Traveling by Fiction
Cruising the Central Coast

Healthy Eating along the NJ Pike

In driving up and down the lower 100 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike this week between Delaware and Staten Island, I discovered several ways to eat healthier than the typical fast food restaurants positioned at turnpike rest stops.

Midway, to the west: Take turnpike exit 4 and drive over to Philadelphia, where one of the world's greatest farmers markets, the indoor, covered and huge Reading Terminal Market, is a destination in itself. It's well worth the break from the grinding drive. When I lived in Philly, I would spend entire days there, browsing through the stalls, sampling, eating. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Midway, to the east: Take turnpike exit 5 and drive a couple of miles to Mt. Holly, where Christopher's Deli and Catering sits informally in a small strip mall, at 516 High Street (609.265.4000); Mon-Fri, 9-8, and Sat 9-3. On a cool rainy day, we chose from the hot smorgasbord -- Tuesday's special was fresh roasted turkey and dressing -- as well as the cold buffet and sandwich lanes. For a copy of Burlington County's smoke-free dining guide, call 609.261.0001.

On the pike -- Eat at Starbucks (besides non-rockgut coffee and tea, there are juices, sandwiches, salads and yogurt).

For other suggestions, ask a toll booth operator -- they know their communities.