A few days ago, I saw a tweet from Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks about a crab cake being sold by High’s, a local convenience store chain. I thought for about half a second about going out to a High’s and trying it, but I’d also said the same about their fried cod sandwich, but never followed through on that idea. It’s a gas station. Thankfully, he tried it himself and saved me from having to go out there, since the meat is claw. It’s like $8.99 and I can go to my favorite seafood place and get an excellent backfin crab cake for a couple bucks more.
That tweet spawned more discussion and then the Sun’s food writer put out the call to Baltimore drivers, asking for their favorite gas station meals.Since I drive lots of places in the Mid Atlantic and lower Northeast, I have, from time to time, bought food at a bunch of different convenience stores and gas stations. Here are some of my favorite meals and other items that I like when I’m on the road. And some other stuff.
Overall favorite: QuickChek Chicken Sandwich. I’ve had this numerous times from being around New Jersey so long. It’s about as good as a McChicken or Burger King’s original (long) chicken sandwich, so don’t expect the Sun, Moon, and stars, but it’s decent. But it has one thing over some of its fast food cousins — since you’re inside of the store at the machine to order it, it’s much more customizable. That way, you can more or less make the sandwich yours. QuickChek also makes some really good branded teas. No, there are no QuickChek locations in the Baltimore area.
But, my local favorite … Royal Farms (RoFo) Chicken Tenders with Western Fries. Royal Farms chicken is good. Perhaps not as good as their commercials would indicate –and it does not necessarily take the place of a chicken box from a corner spot– but it’s a good stand-in if you’re on the go. And if you’re not in the mood for fries, you can get mashed potatoes and other sides. They also have a good selection of sauces for your meal. RoFo’s lime tea is highly recommended. Get yourself a jug of it instead of a bottle. For something sweet, get yourself some chocolate donut holes.
Wawa: Hands down, their strawberry smoothies. During Siptopia, I might go every other day to Wawa. Also, their branded teas are awesome — Peach, Raspberry, Blackberry, just go get them. Their brownies are really good, too. Not too much into their hot foods.
High’s: I grew up going to High’s but not for hot food. High’s is where I go to get cheap lemonade and orange drink and things like that. I’m not planning on trying any of their hot food, but if I’m up near Ellicott City and remember, and am bored, I might roll in there. And if it looks okay in there, I might get the sandwich. Maybe.
7-11: Haven’t eaten anything made at a 7-11 in a very long time, like decades. But they carry some of my favorite candies, so there’s that. And their branded drinks are pretty good.
A-Plus: I don’t eat anything out of here that’s not prepackaged. And the only one I usually go to is the one at the other end of the parking lot from the Biden (Delaware) Welcome Center, so I’m not there that often anyway.