While everyone else is in line at Starbucks, the working class is in line for our favorite coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and tobacco products. No matter what you do or where you come from everyone has had to resort to eating at a gas station meal. For a lot of blue-collar workers like myself…we seek it out and some of it ain’t bad. I have no idea why eating at gas stations has become a right of passage for us in high vis and hard hats, but it is what is, and here’s what I’ve found out over my career in the field.
The Bad – BPBP gas stations are about as good at feeding a person as they are at keeping their oil out of the ocean.
All you really can expect from a BP is a cup of coffee from an automatic coffee machine they probably bought from an old hotel and some pre-wrapped muffins. Not to say the muffins are bad…but do you really want a muffin that was made a year ago and will look the same 3 years from now?It’s tough to give them too much shit considering they don’t really try and are just staying in their lane with the road trip snacks like candy and pop.
If you have to resort to a BP for food, hopefully you luck out and there’s a Burger King attached to it or something. No better place to get the runs than on the road!
The Really Bad – Speedway
By far the worst gas station to stop and get a quick bite is Speedway (formally known as Super America). I unfortunately have experienced the wrath of SuperMom’s coffee and snacks a few too many times…
The donuts are always just a little hard (lol) and taste like they’ve been sitting in that glass case of emotion for just a little too long. As a bigger person, it’s pretty fucking rare that I would turn down a donut but when a coworker walks up to the job site with a box of these fuckers, I decline and second guess if I even want to eat donuts ever again.
When a guy need’s a cup of coffee, a guy needs a cup of coffee. But not when your only option is a Speedway. Always tastes burnt and just generally shitty. I’m almost certain that the coffee that is in those brewers at 7 am is the coffee that the guy made last night at 8 pm when he was putting new dogs on the roller grill.
Don’t get me started on the roller grill…I think the only thing more egregious than watching these wizard fingers turn all day long is when someone eats one. It always amazes me when I see a landscape crew funnel in at 6 am and make a batch of 20-hour old dogs topped with jalapeños for breakfast.
If a hot dog doesn’t flip your fancy then they also have breakfast sandwiches. I personally have never had a breakfast sandwich from Speedway and I intend to keep it that way. If a place hasn’t gotten the coffee and donuts down…I don’t suggest getting a bacon, egg, and croissant sandwich.
Overall the stores in general are pretty gross and dirty and so is the food.
Renzs Speedway Run: Energy Drink, Bottled Water, Grizzly Wintergreen
The Good – Holiday Stationstores
This one is my personal go-to since there’s a plethora of them around where I work.
Holiday has always had decent 100% arabica coffee and in the past year, they’ve made it even better by putting in some automatic machines that grind up it up and spit it out right in front of you. Makes for a really consistent cup of joe at all hours.
The food is also very decent. The donuts…are unreal. I’ve heard through the blue-collar rumor mill that they get them from Lund’s & Byerly’s. I cannot confirm nor deny but I certainly fucking believe it by the way they taste. They’ve also got a wide variety of breakfast and lunch sandwiches and other tasty roller grill items that are all pretty decent.
You can see the employees shoveling those bad boys from a little oven behind the counter and on the hot shelves and they go quick. I enjoy them as much as any other shovel leaner, but I can’t take down 3 of those bad boys like some of those concrete guys do.
Holiday does a great job keeping their stores clean and has great food if you need to stop and get something quick.
Renzs Holiday Run: Sausage, bacon, pepper jack cheese on a pretzel bun sandwich, glazed donut, and dark roast coffee
The Really Good – Kwik Trip
Kwik Trip is more than just a gas station. They’re damn near a grocery store. They have the gas station staples that are all fucking fantastic. The coffee is always tasty, hot, and ready. The donuts are always fresh and delicious. Their hot sandwiches are just as good as Holiday. It’s the only gas station where I would eat the rib sandwich.
It’s all the other shit that puts them a step above the rest.
While you’re grabbing your lunch you might as well get your grocery shopping done too.
Not too many gas stations are dealing bread, eggs, fresh produce, and fucking MEAT. I’ve bought plenty of meat from Kwik Trip and it stacks up with the Targets and shitty Walmart’s of the world. I would rather pay a little more and get my shit here than navigate through the shit show that is the grocery store.
It’s tough to compete with a place like Kwik Trip with all they have to offer. You kind of got to be outside the immediate metro to find these kings, but if you need to stop to fuel up and see a Kwik Trip. Go ahead and pull over.
Renzs Kwik Trip Run: Glazer’s Donuts, Rib Sandwich, a cup of coffee, and for the hell of it, grizzly wintergreen
Honorable Mention – Casey’s General Stores
Casey’s are for sure not in the metro but if you find yourself in the boonies a bit and you’re hungry? Stop and get a Casey’s pizza. It’s not gas station pizza at all. It’s legit pizza that easily trumps the dominos and can compete with a Davannis.
Great guy, better drinker. One of the better looking husky guys around.