Malson’s Barbecue, I-95 Exit 3, Kingsland, Georgia

Few things can be more discouraging on a long trip on I-95 than the prospect of finding a good place to eat.  Lots of good places exist, but they rarely are mentioned on the Food-Fuel-Lodging signs along the interstate.  (I have heard that restaurants have to be open for three meals in order to qualify for sign placement, and they may have to pay some money.)  Driving on I-95 can get pretty old, even with a good audiobook, and the push to get to your destination can make for recklessness as to good food.  “Oh, what the hell.  Subway will do.”  Once we were driving to Hilton Head and both Bill’s and Parker’s were closed because the roads had iced over — seriously iced over — and there was no power.  I didn’t think Nancy would go for Waffle House, so we ended up getting a sandwich at a Subway a couple of stops south.  It nearly broke my heart.

So it’s good to get a trustworthy recommendation for a good place along the stretch of I-95 between Savannah and Jacksonville.  Dan Kenney, a distinguished coach and  athletic director (and recently retired chief of staff to the Chancellor of UNCP)  and, most impressive, the co-founder of the Annual Beer Snob Pig Picking.  He also has the coach4aday blog.  Coach Kenney is a remarkable person who makes a point of learning something new every day, and he comments on all sorts of things, including food, and, impressively, beer.  See his heroic beer of the day list.  Coach Kenney gave me this recommendation:

If your travels take you down I-95 towards Jacksonville, FL, check out Malson’s at Exit 3 in Kingsland,GA. Stopped by yesterday. A shack in the parking lot of a Chevron Gas Station with all outside seating.

Sounds like a good place.  It gets a lot of good reviews on Yelp and the like.   It reminds me of a place we stopped once somewhere along there that was pretty good.  It, too, involved eating outside under some live oak trees, as I recall.   I wonder if it’s still there, wherever it was.  Maybe it was the same place.

As a matter of fact, we will be going to Florida a couple of times this winter, and I don’t know that we’ll be able to avoid I-95 both ways.  I’d like to swing west and go through Nashville to try Peg Leg Porker, then south to see family and barbecue places in Birmingham, and then down to Panama City and Hunt’s Oyster Bar, and on to Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish in South Pasadena.  On the way back I’d like to stop at Pearl’s Country Store and Barbecue in Micopany, then head up to Atlanta to the Heirloom Market BBQ, and over to Columbia and Hite’s and all the other good South Carolina Piedmont places, and hit Alan and Sons on the way to DC.  But Nancy would think that was ridiculous and she would be right, so we’ll probably be spending time on I-95, which means a possible chance to try the turkey barbecue at Parker’s.

Many thanks to Coach Kenney for the recommendation.  Tips from readers are always welcome.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

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