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Favorite Gas Station Foods?

Hello! I am working on an article about regional gas station foods across the USA. Do any come to mind in your home state/where you live/an unforgettable place you've visited?

If so, tell me about it: What is it? Why is it so great? Where we can find it?

Personal/unique (ie "this one Chevron in West LA") is welcome, as is the iconically regional stuff. I'm particularly interested in the Midwest & West, but all testimonials welcome, since the world of gas station nosh is vast.

Nikkitha is an Associate Editor at Food52.

asked 5 months ago

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19 answers 689 views
Jr0717
added 5 months ago

Guilty pleasure: Wawa flavored drip coffee, mixed with two hits of one of those ridiculous over-sweet cappuccino blends. Specifically, the Wawa on Route 36 in Middletown, NJ, where they worked overtime and then some in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to keep those coffee drums full for their local regulars.

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cv
cv
added 5 months ago

About twenty years ago, I discovered that I could buy grass-fed beef steaks from Princeville Ranch at the town's sole gas station (a Chevron); the ranch itself had no retail store or sales counter. This was back in an era where high-quality meat was very difficult to source on the island of Kaua'i.

The steaks were frozen (like Omaha steaks) but the quality was great. Back then, Princeville Ranch basically focused on wholesale.

This has changed over in the past two decades but man, what a find that was in the late Nineties. You certainly couldn't buy these steaks at the Safeway in Kapa'a at the time.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby

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added 5 months ago

There is a 76 Station that is constantly busy with food patrons. I go in to pay for my gas (yes, the attendants pump our gas, NO self serve in metro Portland, Oregon....and, they clean your windows!) I usually have a wait as some people go there only for the food. I've noticed lots of pizza slices, a hot pastry type sandwich, big icy drinks are most popular. Many grab a bag of snacks and a drink. I did buy a bottle of orange juice under an unknown label and it was the best orange juice I've ever had...I'm hooked! What is impressive of all the stations I frequent is how clean they are outside and in the mini marts.

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Rachelwrites
added 5 months ago

Tommy's is a convenience store near in SC.They no longer serve gas but they have great ribs on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays. The half chickens, sides and cake slices are great too!

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Rachelwrites
added 5 months ago

Another gas station in my town, The Markette, is a chain but only one branch serves made fresh doughnuts and they are fantastic! They cater and they beat the socks off any of the big name doughnut places.

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Nancy
Nancy

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added 5 months ago

Nikkitha - your question makes me think of two countries that have strong traditions of good road food (quick stops, diners, truck stops), France and India. Tangential, but at some point may be interesting. Or maybe a direction to pursue after the American article.

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Nikkitha Bakshani
Nikkitha Bakshani

Nikkitha is an Associate Editor at Food52.

added 4 months ago

Super interesting food for thought ;). Thanks!

cv
cv
added 5 months ago

Perhaps it is too infrequent to qualify, but there is a BBQ guy who sets up a stand at a car wash once or twice a week somewhere on the southern SF Peninsula (Mountain View? Los Altos?). I understand he does brisk business (like you need to order in advance) on holidays, particularly Thanksgiving.

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becca.rice
added 5 months ago

Pepperoni rolls are the first and last thing I hit whenever I go home to West Virginia - delicious (especially the ones with hot pepper cheese) and available in any self-respecting gas station. :)

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Nan
Nan
added 5 months ago

What a great interesting question

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Sam1148
Sam1148

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added 5 months ago

In the south. There's a hotdog place. "Sneaky Pete's" that used to have stand alone stores but now has a place in gas stations.
Their main draw is a hot dog with a chili sauce:
It's a similar recipe to a http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/lafayette-coney-island-hot-dog-chili-sauce-517477
A chili based 'meat sauce' on a hot dog.
http://www.sneakypetes.com/


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Sam1148
Sam1148

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added 5 months ago

Also. it might be interesting to contract the owners of "Sneaky Pete's" to find out the economics and motivations of why they moved from stand alone stores and partnered with gas stations.

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Liz VanHuss Bateman
added 5 months ago

You may have to live in Texas to understand what a good gas station experience can be. Slow smoked bbq to handmade kolaches to peanut brittle and fudge to well, gourmet sandwiches and salads. Jalapeño candied cream cheese spread. Here. Buc-ees it’s the insane bomb.
https://www.google.com...

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Liz VanHuss Bateman
added 5 months ago

Yum

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Liz VanHuss Bateman
added 5 months ago

Yum again

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Gammy
added 5 months ago

Any Wawa has delicious subs, made while you wait. PA, NJ, DE, FL, not sure where else but they are expanding.

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BakerBren
added 4 months ago

The F'real self-serve milkshake machines around here (WA, ID, MT and maybe beyond) are pretty interesting and awesome. I can't admit to eating them often, but the concept is fascinating and on a family road trip back to a family farm in North Dakota, our grandma bought everyone in the car who wanted one a milkshake from the machine at each fuel stop. Yum!

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MMH
MMH
added 4 months ago

Don’t forget the farmer who sets up at the gas station with produce picked that morning fresher than you could ever get anywhere else and he’s still got mud on his knees from grubbing around to pick it - at least we’ve got that in Nebraska!!!

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Nikkitha Bakshani
Nikkitha Bakshani

Nikkitha is an Associate Editor at Food52.

added 4 months ago

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses! The article is live: https://food52.com/blog...

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