Steinbeck observed in Travels with Charlie that you could still get an excellent inexpensive breakfast almost anywhere in the US. A few years after he wrote that I was able to confirm that observation personally. An evening meal was another matter.
When traveling by thumb, hitchhiking, you are not able to select the bistro of your choice. Even if you could, most discerning establishments will disdain to seat you among the other- shall we say more gentile sort. There you stand, sweaty, tired, and with backpack and guitar in hand. No maitre’D is about to loan you a tie and shepherd you to a prime table. No. You get relegated to the sort of place that boils their rigatoni with last night’s underwear. They are known locally for cheerfully serving up frankenfood of undeterminable origin.
If a friend has not already advised you, it’s wise to come equipped with something you can whip up over a discreet fire or eat uncooked. While you are always mindful of adding canned goods to your pack’s shoulder weight, an old favorite of Bill and I was B&M Baked Beans. You can warm them up over an evening fire, or in need, eat them cold.
For the Newb, here is some advice that might seem a bit trite until you think about it: unless you have a through ride, avoid eating at truck stops. They are private property and generally take a dim view of non-local vagrant types like hitchers.
As the traveling season begins, this has been your hitchhiking tip from the Old Professor.