Skip to comments.Gas station restaurants are becoming the next big thing in cuisine
Posted on 10/01/2013 9:32:32 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
Gas stations have not historically inspired confidence as palate pleasers. Day-old (or longer) doughnuts or hot dogs rolling (and rolling) on a spinner grill come to mind. But across the Washington region, there are at least a dozen eateries serving delectable, sometimes organic, fare near the pump. Theres Korean bibimbap in Wheaton, authentic Mexican in Jessup, Thai in Leesburg and Latin American in the District. Corned Beef King cooks its meat for 11 hours.
Gas station cuisine is partly being driven by popular food truck operators Corned Beef King started as a truck in 2011 seeking permanent locations for the evolution of their brands and to meet strict regulatory requirements to have a licensed base of operations. Other eateries are looking to gas stations for low start-up costs, guaranteed foot traffic and a little bit of kitsch.
The chefs and dreamers have found willing partners in gas station owners. Some have volunteered to cover the cost of building kitchens to tap new sources of revenue from rent and increased foot traffic as the margins on gas sales shrink even further and retailers such as Best Buy encroach on their quick-bite turf by stocking soda and snacks at the register.
Jeff Lenard, vice president for strategic initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores, is planning to highlight the regions flourishing gas station food scene at his groups annual trade show next month. Hes seeking to inspire a wave of innovation at the nations 149,000 gas stations and convenience stores, which generate 160 million transactions a day plenty of opportunity to sling chorizo tacos.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Muzzimart....Gas and diner...
We have two in KC that I know of. Oklahoma Joe’s which people say is the best bbq in town (I prefer Arthur Bryant’s), and Papu’s which is a bery good gyro place.
BUC-EES in New Braunsfels. A transformative dining experience.
Now that they have taken away the mechanics shop there is plenty of room for a dinner.
I love my car. Who wouldn’t like to stop, and get gas for BOTH of us?
Phil Fulmer, Ole Miss as portrayed in The Blind Side
Touch screen order. Pay for it and maybe add a $1 soda to wash it down. Pump your gas. Take a leak. And it's ready to go.
RC and a moonpie...still the best.
To be sure there would be a lot of issues to work out, but wouldn’t it be great if you could pull up to a restaurant and an employee would take your car, gas it up, check the fluids, clean the windshield, air up the tires, and park it for you while you had lunch? While dining, you could access a portal and possibly order some snacks/drinks/coffee/maps to go from the gift shop that would be packed and ready for you as the staff brought your car to you as you left.
Sorta combining valet parking, full-service gas station, travel center and restaurant all in one...
I think the new thing is that they’re talking about is relatively nice restaurants setting up shop in gas stations, rather then fast-food places or diners. About the nicest place I’ve ever seen up here attached to one is a Denny’s.
You’re right about Sheetz. When the family visits relatives in the Youngstown, Ohio, area, my kids insist on getting sandwiches from Sheetz. Very tasty, very affordable, and very big!
It’s bbq anyway.
I stopped at a place in upstate Alabama-Pilot’s I think it was- that had a full restaurant upstairs. VERY nice, big place, good food. It was a real surprise. Anyone else know if I have the right name?
The local paper went around sampling convenience store food and found fried fish was the biggest seller.
Pilot/Flying J is a chain of 500+ truck stops. The ones I’ve seen almost always have various eating establishments connected with them, most frequently Subway, but almost always with other restaurants too.
Usually the cheapest gas around too.
“I dunno, I always thought “gas station pizza” was a good name for a garage band.
I think “Creepy and the A$$ Crackers” is about the best Band name possible.
Middleton Wisconsin has a very nice sit-down Chinese restaurant/gas station on University Avenue.
Bucc-ees is ok.
I prefer Rudy’s.
We have two in KC that I know of. Oklahoma Joes
I have family less than 15 minutes from there. We will have to go there the next time we visit them.
I have eaten at the Iron Skillet in Oak Grove. Good comfort food.
When I’m driving cross-country, I tend to stop at Petro truck stops that have Iron Skillet restaurants.
Thirty years ago, the best steak anywhere was at the local gas station. Huge stab of melt in your mouth beef taking up the entire plate with sides of a giant loaded baked potato and a tiny bowl of salad. People would drive hours for those steaks. Very inexpensive and fold up tables set up beside the potato chips and motor oil.
Another was a bbq trailer that had one picnic table. He was there over 30 years until he was too old to operate it. Others tried to sell chicken or tacos from the trailer but people wanted gas and bbq (in no particular order). Finally, they just built a real bbq restaurant next door but still only room for four tables.
Do NOT eat at either Ruby’s in north Austin. The we all got sick from both. The bbq wasn’t fit to feed the dog. Never again.
This is all new to me being from the northeast, but I was shocked to discover that Dallas has a Zagat-rated gas station taco window. That means that world-wide restaurant reviewers went there and liked it. Texas-sized big gulps cost less than a dollar, hate to break that to Major Bloomberg.
Dallas Fuel City’s “simple, traditional soft tacos have received numerous awards, including “Best In Dallas” by D Magazine and “Best In Texas” by Texas Monthly.”
Texas gas stations are legendary for their BBQ. We have many, many gas station eateries and they are all good.
In sum, you can eat better at a Texas gas station than you can anywhere in NYC.
“So when will we see Cracker Barrel restaurants in the same building as a mini-mart with gas pumps just outside?”
The dream realized.
Rudy’s is great!
I can buy that - some parts of the country are just better at certain types of food. I like Texas, worked down there before, but I’m sorry, you just aren’t good at making Italian food. Local hole-in-the-wall pizzerias at strip shopping centers up in here in Jersey make better pizza then fairly expensive sit-down restaurants in San Antonio. Stuff there tastes like cardboard covered with tomato sauce.
The best Italian in Texas is at my place.
Pasta that makes your teeth bounce.
Thanks.I was always told if a parking lot is full of big rigs the food is good there. I don’t travel enough to say that is definitively true, but that was some NIIIIICCE truck stop.
These are simply using the idea of “truck stop diners” as “car stop diners.”
I agree that Wa Wa makes a decent sandwich nearly equal to Sheetz. But the bigger attraction is that they have far more stuff to shop for while you are waiting for the sandwich to get done. There are times I’ve sworn they are slow on purpose just to get you to spend more on impulse stuff.
If you are referring to the one on loop 360 as north Austin, I agree. Ate there after our daughter's soccer game years ago and all three of us got sick. I only know of the one in north Austin as the one on 183, and won't eat there again after our shop had a going away party for someone. Most of the guys got sick within a couple of hours.
Ugh, good to know we weren’t the only ones. Or bad, sorry. Can’t understand why people rave about it.
The sausage at Rudy’s was too greasy to eat. I’ll make a trip to Elgin Southside for sausage, rather than Rudy’s.