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Washington Post & Me


It was a normal day here at the international headquarters of the Gas Station Gourmet. We’re kind of a think tank, test kitchen and seekers of great buffets. Mike just reiterated that he would probably not eat beef tongue. I explained that it is a popular staple at wedding receptions and funerals here in Cajun country. Mike Falgout is from New Orleans. He’s not Cajun.  He is however a talented shooter and editor, but very finicky about what he eats. Just as I was about to tell him about ponce, the phone rang.

Reporter Mike Rosenwald of the Washington Post needed some information about gas station food. I was very excited to know that the premier newspaper in St. Landry Parish was interested in me. I love the big flea market in Washington. I’ve dined at the Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant.  It was great.

Mr. Rosenwald explained he was not in St. Landry Parish, but in Washington, D.C. That is way north of Washington, Louisiana. He understood how easily the two cities might be confused.

He said after searching the nation he found that I was America’s expert on gas station food. I wasn’t sure if this was a joke or not.  I wanted to be an expert on foreign affairs or UFO’s and their impact on East Texas poultry plant workers or something in healthcare. I write and shoot healthcare pieces all the time.  Still, I’ll take expert in gas station food.

We spoke a few times on background. I ended up with a mention in his story on gas station food in Washington, D.C. area.  I started to get calls to travel around and speak to industry groups.  I tell everyone, I’m not in the industry. I’m not a chef or even much of a cook.  I try to be honest. I explain that I’m simply an overweight, middle-age guy with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and low self-esteem who eats in gas stations and reports on the experience. Apparently, America wants to know.

Here is my brief appearance in the Sunday story.

 

Al Hebert, a medical journalist who blogs at +/0+/ about his eating adventures, once ate Cornish hen prepared by a classically trained chef in a Chevron station.

“The average person just fills up their tank, pays with a credit card and drives off,” Hebert said. “But if you just walk a few feet from the pump to the store, you might discover one of the best eating experiences of your life.”

I’m a professional eater-I guess. Do not confuse this with competitive eaters. Those folks are the athletes.

The speaking thing’s worked out nicely. I’m available for meetings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs and crowded waiting rooms.

I’ll post the Business Insider story later.

It’s a little late, but nonetheless, here’s a link to Mike’s story.

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Papu's Chicken Shwarma Sandiwich

Papu’s Cafe – NACS Magazine August Story

KANSAS CITY, MO – Papu’s Cafe & Shell Convenience Store - You can read about this great store in the  August Issue of NACS Magazine. He’s been pleased and surprised by the success of his food. This is the first store I’ve written about that serves Mediterranean cuisine. Shuja put a unique spin on his food by adding some Indian spices. I’m a big fan of chicken shwarma.

 

Papu’s Chicken Shwarma [READ MORE]

Smokey G’s BBQ – Van Alstyne, Texas

SMOKEY G’s BBQ – Van Alstyne, TX 

If  you’re heading down U.S. Hwy 75 take the Hwy 121 exit at Van Alstyn. You’ll see a Shell Station, now, look on the opposite side of the parking lot for Galen Gibson’s Smokey G’s BBQ.  It’s neat looking little food trailer and that caught my eye. That’s not what got my attention.

 

This heavy, steel smoker got my attention. For me, when it comes to smoked meat or [READ MORE]

Cajun Meal Planning At A Gas Station

 

Sammy’s Country Store in Maurice, Louisiana has an easy fix for your dinner dilemma – grillades. This Cajun tradition has been around for over a hundred years. Before electricity came to South Louisiana, Cajuns had a clever way of keeping meat fresh. This technique gave the pork a bold flavor. You can still find grillades around if [READ MORE]

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Aherns Service Center & Convenience Store-NACS July Issue

 

Moore Haven, Florida-            

THE  STEVE SANDWICH - When Steve told Ahern’s Service Center & Convenience Store co-owner Jason Griner that the breakfast sandwich was kind of small, Jason came up with a solution.  He starts with a 5-inch bun, scrambles 5 eggs with 3 slices of American cheese and offers a choice of 4 slices of bacon or 2 sausage patties. Is this popular item big enough?
Yea, both Steve and I think so.
Check out the July edition of NACS Magazine for the whole story
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Half Eaten donut orange

Convenience Store Sales-Record High 2013

(This is a great story. Could the growth in the foodservice section have something to do with the Gas Station Gourmet? 
We don’t know, but we will ponder after lunch.)

 

CHICAGO – U.S. convenience stores reached record in-store sales in 2013, with sales climbing 2.4% to $204 billion. Combined with motor fuels sales of $491.5 billion, overall convenience store sales were $695.5 [READ MORE]

HORROR-able Customer Service

Most C-stores  & truck stops I visit have really good service.

I was in a store and watched this happened. I simply observed as an employee at the counter read the sports page.

Inattentive employees can be an issue for some stores. 

It’s [READ MORE]

VIDEO – C-Store Cajun Barbecue-Eunice, LA

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Horror-able Customer Service

http://youtu.be/lF4G4CBMm4U

Most C-stores I visit have really good service.

This actually happened to me in a retail store. It’s something for all managers to consider when training staff. Pay attention so customers don’t feel invisible.

So, I thought it would make a good topic for my first short film.

Thanks to our friends at Richard’s Meat Market for supplying the location.

Those folks know [READ MORE]

Tailgating at the Oasis Travel Center

Logo No White NEW

NACS Magazine – January Issue

 My profile of Mudbugs in Eunice, Louisiana is in the January issue of NACS Magazine. 

Thanks to Tom Voinche for tipping me off and lunch.

Acadiana’s news anchor legend, Tom Voinche and Tanya Bollich of Mudbugs.
Unicorn sightings are a rare event. Even more rare is Voinche paying for lunch. That day, I knew I’d seen everything
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One man- 148,126 Stores


Watch a video about one man and 148,126 stores.
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bbq or bust

BARBECUE TRAIN-NACS JUNE ISSUE

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA 

 

 

The digital-issue of NACS Magazine is available. The print edition is not far behind. I found barbecue in Bloomington, Indiana. I was surprised.

The guy behind it is barbecue guru Chris Smith. He’s put a lot of thought into the process and the sides are engineered for powerful flavor.  It took weeks in the Sysco test kitchen to create the mac & cheese. Customers love it.

 

Anywhere from 800 to 1200 people show [READ MORE]