Gas Gourmets

Is It a Gas Station or a Restaurant That Happens to Sell Gas?

We eat ravenously behind-the-wheel more often than we eat standing at food trucks these days. So until some ballsy entrepreneur gets properly gassed up and finds a way to chuck tacos through our open windows on the freeway, we must submit to the occasional service station eatery in our mad dash to get wherever it was that we were promised was only 20 minutes away. Apparently, we’re not the only ones.

L.A. Times looks at the rise of the local gas station restaurant. Apparently gasoline doesn’t really pay the bills anymore, so as one service station owner puts it, “We’re changing from gas stations that happen to sell food, to restaurants that happen to sell gas,” with upgraded options from chains like Subway to one-offs with pulled pork sandwiches and freshly baked crossaints. Richard Speckman, owner of the Mobil Station at Sepulveda and Santa Monica where we had a horribly expensive and worse tasting pre-packed sandwich recently, says his Corner Grill & Deli is flipping over 700 orders a day and we can attest to the lunchtime lines.

Overall, the growing trend has much more to do with the gas biz than our tastes, as much like movie theater owners selling candy and popcorn for their profits, it’s increasingly the only way to pry a little Petrol loot from the big companies. Speaking of whom, no mention is made of BP-owned AM/PM stores and AMCO Stations AKA “BP California”, which could be facing potential losses on all fronts, food and gas, if boycott calls against them are successful.

Do you ever eat at gas station restaurants? Would you recommend any in L.A.? Let us know your thoughts in our comments.

Service stations are filling bellies as well as tanks [L.A. Times]

Is It a Gas Station or a Restaurant That Happens to Sell Gas?