One of the first things I did when I moved back to Peoria was to get a driver’s license. I hadn’t driven for over 19 years and was a little leery about getting behind the wheel again, but you gotta do what you gotta do. The only subway’s in Peoria are sandwich shops, so I had to get a driver’s license and a car and get on the road again. I’ll do a proper road trip post down the road (pun fully intended), but today’s post is about gas stations.
I hadn’t been inside of a gas station for 19 years. They don’t have that many in Manhattan, and since I didn’t have a car, there was no reason for me to venture inside of one. I’ve been inside a few since my return to Peoria and I’m shocked at how they’ve changed. Gas stations used to sell gas and maybe candy and cigarettes along with oil and other things car-related. Well, things have changed and gas stations now are like little mini malls! They sell all kinds of stuff now, including food and beer! And I’m not talking candy and peanut butter crackers, you can now get a full-blown meal at a gas station. Which led me to a new idea for a series of ongoing posts.
I thought I’d drive around every couple of weeks and have a meal at a gas station in my car. And so today begins the first of these driving and eating outings, where you get gas before you eat your meal.
Okay, first we fill up the car, and then we'll get some food to fill me up inside.
They give you step by step instructions now, which was handy my first time filling up after a 19 year gap in putting gas in a car!
Houston, we have gas!
Over twenty bucks for six gallons of gas, a little more expensive than it was 19 years ago!
Let's go inside and see what they have to eat inside of this gassy emporium.
As you can see, there's a plentiful offering of food in here, let's check it out.
There's three styles of hot dogs and sausage on the grill.
Lots of sandwiches, subs and there's regular burritos and breakfast burritos to choose from.
This lone Ball Park Cheeseburger frightens me somewhat, it looks like a wrapped up hockey puck. Plus, cheeseburgers are for Saturday nights, so I think I'll leave it alone.
There's lots of side items to be had in here as you can see on these racks.
Plenty of dessert items here in this section to choose from.
They even have cat food in here! Meow!
And check this out, not only do they sell beer here, they've got a whole refrigerated room stocked with suds!
Look at all the beer in here!
And the prices are decent in here. A six of 16 ouncers would go for at least $8.50 in New York.
Okay, time to assemble today's meal for this episode of Dashboard Dining. I decided to go with the cheddarwurst sausage, but wasn't sure where to get a bun for it. I asked the guy behind the counter and he said, "Try the door that says, 'Open Here For Buns."' Whoops!
Hmmm...so this is what Rick Schwindenhammer is up to these days! (Inside joke about a guy who probably doesn't even read this blog.)
And here's the very first Dashboard Dining meal that I've assembled up at the counter. I got the cheddarwurst sausage and applied a liberal amount of the Heinz spicy brown mustard to it, for a side item I got the Kitchen Cooked potato chips and for dessert I chose Mrs. Freshly's Chocolate Bells. And I also picked up that sixpack of 16 ounce Budweisers. The fellow behind the counter refused to let me take his picture. He had been staring at me while I was taking photos and I think he was a little frightened of me.
Okay, here's the meal on the dashboard, let the dining begin!
The first bite of the cheddarwurst sausage was good, but then heartburn started setting in and it all went downhill. You can read more about it in the review below.
The Kitchen Cooked potato chips did not disappoint. I haven't had these in years and they're great potato chips. They're locally made in Farmington, Illinois and one of these days I'll have to do a post from where they make them.
Since I don't drink and drive, I brought the beer home and I need a beer or six after that meal! Now I need to go and find the Tums in the bathroom, see you all tomorrow!
Dashboard Dining Review—Circle K at the corner of Universtiy and Pioneer Parkway
There’s a varied lot of food to choose from at Circle K. On the grill you’ll find hot dogs, cheddarwurst sausage and a strange venereal-diseased looking hot dog on the grill mysteriously named, “Chicken and Bacon Club.” There’s sandwiches, subs, breakfast burrito’s and I even found a lone cheeseburger, that kind of resembled a foil-wrapped hockey puck. Side items include potato chips, pretzels, pork rinds and a bunch of other crap. For dessert you’ve got your choice of Little Debbie or Mrs. Freshley cupcakes and creme filled cakes and other sugary items. There’s also a large candy section and there’s even cat food!
I chose the cheddarwurst sausage and applied a liberal dose of Heinz spicy brown mustard to it For a side item, I chose Kitchen Cooked potato chips and for dessert I went with Mrs. Freshley’s Choclolate Covered Bells. Once inside my car, it was time to let the Dashboar Dining (trademark pending) begin!
The first bite of the cheddarwurst sausage was tasty, cheesy and spicy, though the bun was a bit on the stale side. Then with the second bite, heartburn started rearing it’s ugly head and by the time I finished it, I felt a little sick to my stomach. I tried to ease the pain by diving into the Kitchen Cooked potato chips and they helped somewhat. These are locally made chips from Farmington, Illinois and I haven’t had them in years, but I kept burping up that cheddarwurst and it kind of soured the potato chip experience, so I moved onto dessert. I chose Mrs. Freshley’s Chocolate Bell’s, because I mistakenly read the name as, “Mrs. Freshley’s Chocolate Balls” and thought it would make for a fun joke at Mrs. Freshley’s expense. Well, when I realized the name was “Mrs. Freshley’s Chocolate Bells” that went down the drain, so I tore the package open and took a bite and it was horrible. The chocolate tasted like wax and the bells, were dry and stale. I threw the other bell in the trash and drove home before I threw up all over my new car.
Dashboard Dining Rating
Daily Slideshow—Photos via the internet, Photoshoppery by me!
Bonus Roadside Wonder Photos!
Well, color me intrigued, so yesterday I drove to 1800 Washington Street in downtown Peoria and here’s what I found!
1800 SW Washington is the home of Peoria Plaza Tire Company and as soon as I got within a block of the place, I saw and remembered the woman Wendy had tweeted about!
And here she is, Vanna Whitewall, the amazon woman waving at you from the Plaza Tire parking lot! Leave it to Wendy to direct me to a Peoria Roadside Wonder I had long forgotten about!
While checking Vanna out, I wondered what she had going on underneath that dress. A gentleman would never peek, but luckily for all of us, I've been called a lot of things in my day, but "gentleman" has never been a title that's been thrown my way!