Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 23, 2008

As seen on television

Smokey Valley Truck Stop gets celebrity visit

SMOKEY VALLEY — I n a truck stop with no fuel for sale, a group of hard-working people is learning about what happens after a visit from a Food Network celebrity.

Smokey Valley Truck Stop, off of I-64 at Olive Hill, is featured in the “Like Mama Made” episode of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” which will air again tonight at 11:30 and several more times during the week following.

Truck stop owner Juanita Flannery said she had not watched the show when first contacted by producers, although she has since learned the show’s host, Guy Fieri, has a large and loyal following.

“We’ve had calls from all over the country. There are some people who just like going where he’s been,” Flannery said with a giggle, later adding it didn’t take long to figure out several of the Food Network’s show hosts have true celebrity status.

“We just had a couple in here from Texas. They were in Huntington where they had filmed and they told them he had stopped here. That’s what a following he has,” she said.

Flannery is genuinely baffled about why the show chose her restaurant, and recalls she told them, “It’s just food. We don’t have any gimmick. We don’t have anything special,” when first contacted by telephone. She is, however, pleased with the way the show portrayed the business.

“I thought they did a marvelous job with what they had to work with,” she said, smiling and sitting during a rare break in customers. “I think they were just in this area looking for a place to film.”

It isn’t a fancy place. Smokey Valley Truck Stop is cozy, with many large tables, a gumball machine, a couple of coolers, a pair of video games and a jukebox. The food, and the friendly people who prepare and serve it, are the obvious reasons why people have been recommending the place to friends for years.

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