Posts Tagged ‘Gas Station Cuisine’
You know I’ve written a lot about “gas station chicken,” or “fry delis” as they are called in the deep south. Counters inside of gas stations, c-stores, or truck stops, these enterprises sell freshly fried chicken, and sometimes sausage, fish, shrimp, eggrolls and the like.
The Calument gas station (formerly Spur) at the food of the Blatnik Bridge in Superior, Wisconsin, is home to Franks Fast N Fresh Deli, serving plate meals and individual pieces of chicken and other goodies early til late. They also have fries, corn dogs, cheese sticks and some sides.
The chicken is reportedly some of the finest to be found in Duluth-Superior. But then, what gas station chicken isn’t?
Locals “in the know” fondly call the gas station “Chicken Spur.” It’s on Hammond and N. Fifth Street, across from the Hammond Steak House in the map below. Lest out of towners get further confused, Superior is sometimes referred to as “Soup Town.”
Franks Fast N Fresh Deli
So when i saw empanadas at the Dollar Store the other day (labeled “Jamaican Beef Pies”) I had to give them a whirl. I love empanadas, one of my favorite places in Los Angeles is a drive-thru on the west side, and we had some outstanding Salvadoran style in Aberdeen, WA.
I think these are probably called “Jamaican style” as the ground meat is heavily flavored and a little spicy, much like you will find any ground beef concoction in Jamaica.
The product is made by Golden Krust Bakery, a fast-growing franchise of Caribbean food; it’s based out of the Bronx; they currently have over 100 locations up and down the east coast of the U.S. At the restaurants, in addition to meat pies, you’ll find jerk chicken and other Caribbean specialities.
The ingredients are fairly straight forward; the item is apparently meant to be available at convenience stores, as it has microwave instructions for both “in store” and “at home”.
The pie comes wrapped in the type of paper that assists with microwave “browning”, and at home it suggests two minutes in the oven, and a two minute rest.
I’m quite surprised at the outcome. I like these. Other than the fact they are very high in carbs, the microwaving works out well, which surprises me, the crust crisps up nicely, and the meat filling is tasty and peppery.
Very few frozen food companies, in my opinion, are able to figure out “crisp” in the microwave, so kudos to Golden Krust for that.
The best thing? If you’ve ever been to Jamaica, you know that ordering and waiting for food can sometimes be “a challenge.” With these pies, there’s no wait But then, there’s no pristine beach like Negril, to eat them at, either!
Microwave food tests
I write a lot about gas station “cuisine.” I think I have sampled most every major manufacturer’s hot foods, as well as fresh wrapped sandwiches. Deli Express seems to be the 900 pound canary in the room, but I can’t say for sure. As it is a Minnesota company, and I am a Minnesota boy, it is certainly the brand I was first aware of. Deli Express does a good job, too. I am particularly fond of their “Italian Sandwich“, which they used to call a muffaletta, even tho it lacked several key ingredients of a traditional muff. I believe early on Deli Express was a distributor or reseller of a different brand, whose name was Stewart. Could be mistaken on that.
This trip, I was able to (able to?) try a sandwich from a Ft. Worth company called “Mom’s Fresh Sandwiches.” From their website, it seems they make and distribute these sandwiches, along with other products (Jack Link, for example).
I had one of their ham and cheese sammies quite by accident. I was feeling a might peckish in Oklahoma, and saw a billboard for “Robertson’s Hams“, which used to be located all over Oklahoma, and sold cured hams, jerky, and ham sandwiches. My mouth squirted when I saw the billboard and took the exit. But my salivary glands slammed shut when I saw this location was closed. Damn. Clink on the link above for stores that are still open or order online. It’s good stuff.
So it was fast food or gas station, and I opted for the latter, obviously.
Mom’s makes a fresh wrapped sandwich as good as anybody does, and the meat and cheese portions were ample. Mine was very cold, but then I always pick from the far reaches of the cooler. A freshness rotation thing. Most of these sandwich companies have such high volume and are in their outlets so often, spoilage isn’t usually a problem, but once and awhile, you’ll find one with a grey piece of meat or two …. so I pick from the back. That’s all.
P.S. Dear Mom’s: do you know how hard it is to find your website in search engines? A little money spent on SEO will clear that right up.