In todays world we are constantly on the go, especially myself. I am in a car more than I stay at home it feels like sometimes, so the need for quick caloric bomb food is unfortunately a necessity. Personally I prefer stopping by a Wawa or Sheetz for a quick bite to eat than McDonalds or Burger King. Picking the right pit-stop is key, to make sure the kitchen is clean, food is good, and the service is friendly. Let’s rank some of my favorite Gas-Station food stops ranked least favorite to best, but keep in mind some of these are regional, and may not be available in your area! Let’s check out the list.
When you talk about pit-stops its hard to exclude 7-11 from any conversation. The reason 7-11 is on the bottom of this list (or top depending on perspective) is due to its food menu, and inconsistent standards. The picture above represents the way 7-11 stores should look, and many of them reflect this inviting, simple, but pleasing look, but so many do not. Visit one 7-11 that mirrors the picture above, and I will show you three others that are littered with trash, smell funky, and have low quality service.
Talking about food, 7-11 just doesn’t have the menu items that its pit-stop rivals have. Chicken fingers, dry bland chicken, hard unappealing pizza, rock hard mozzarella sticks, and hot dogs that wouldn’t be so bad if the condiments were not left out for the public to sneeze, cough and stick fingers in. If 7-11 took some of the counter space they spend on hotdogs, roll-ups, and taquitos they could have a well stocked deli. Until that happens, I don’t think this chain will ever top the list when talking about food.
I have only been to a few millers while traveling, I would defiantly choose them over 7-11 any day of the week. Millers may have some dingy looking stores, but of the stores I have visited, they are maintained about as much as a gas station is expected.
The food menu is bigger than 7-11, featuring fried chicken items, pork-chops, and chicken sandwiches . When I visited early morning, and late nights, I see employees working in the kitchen, frying food which leads me to believe most of the food is freshly cooked in house.
In Hampton Roads, Virginia Royal Farms filled the void that was left when our local Farm Fresh grocery stores left the area. Royal Farms made in house, fresh fried chicken is surprisingly good by any standard. One one my favorite items to order is the pulled fried chicken sandwich, and all the calories that come with it. They take two chicken thighs , pull the meat off the bone, add the custom veggies and sauces you like and serve.
The service at Royal Farms is why its lower on the list than other pit-stops. I have been to maybe a couple of these that have great customer service and a clean parking lot. Most of the time I have experienced sticky floors, inattentive staff, and bad attitudes. One visit, I literally got to the counter and waited 11 minutes to have someone help me before I decided to leave.
Wawa is near and dear to my heart, because its the pit-stop on this list that I visit the most often. Wawa is a regional pit-stop that is found only in Virginia, Florida, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Over the years the menu items have grown from standard hoagies for low prices, breakfast bowls, to now offering dinner menu items like burgers and pasta.
Most of the food you get from Wawa you can expect to be frozen, outside of the deli menu items. The food is pretty tasty though, especially after a late night out, or a quick bite to eat that would cost as much as a fast food chain. I do like that food is assembled (not always made) in front of you behind a clear glass window. If you have ever met an east coast native in one of the states listed above, they probably swear by Wawa even if its not their favorite place.
QuickTrip is a pit-stop that is deceptively awesome. Unless the location has been updated, from the outside it looks like any other gas station on the interstate, but when you walk in you find everything you need for lunch or an on the go snack. Fountain drinks, slushies, snacks, and all the fixings that make for a good pit-stop. I tried a chicken wrap on my first visit and it tastes great. Although I’m sure it was shipped in, it tasted fresh, came with a side of dressing, enjoyed it with a coke and a smile.
For the most part, QuickTrip is a clean and inviting stop that makes an enjoyable road trip even better. Although they didn’t take the top spot, unless QuickTrip is located right next to our #1 pit-stop location I would stop at a Quicktrip every time.
Sheetz has been at the top of my list since I first visited many years ago. Sheetz is the only pit-stop that I can grab Faygo pop without going to far north. Sheetz is also the only spot where I can get sliders, decent mozzarella sticks, and that amazing Dr. Pepper bbq sauce to dip them in. Sheetz is like the Target of pit-stop locations for me, I can never drive-by and not grab some food, good desserts, or a cold brew coffee.
I have never been to Sheetz and had a bad experience in food or service. Sheetz also has the most variety when it comes to energy drinks, soft drinks, and water. I am a big fan of Voss water, and lately I have struggled to find it in a store. Each time I visit Sheetz they have all my favorite beverages stocked and some new ones I will try. Honestly it was a hard call to choose Sheetz over Quick Trip, but the one thing Sheetz has, is the Dr. Pepper bbq sauce, which for me is the tie breaker!
Do you agree on our top picks? Tell us what you think, and what favorite pit-stop food spots you love in your area!
Categories: Food For Thought