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May 20, 2008

Dinner on the go ha ha

GasStation.JPGTomorrow is the day we've all been waiting for, boys and girls. Multimedia Editor and Shallow Thinker John Lindner's story on filling station fare is appearing in this Wednesday's Taste section.

Just looking at the photos from his story in our archives to find one to go with this entry made me feel kind of queasy. I've picked a fairly benign one because it's almost dinner time.

I'm trying to think what will be the most un-gas station food I could possibly fix for my family. It's not really the weather for salade nicoise or vichyssoise. Maybe shrimp, asparagus, fresh peas, red peppers and heavy cream over pasta?


(Jed Kirschbaum/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:46 PM | | Comments (32)


Wow, Elizabeth! What time is dinner?

Maybe shrimp, asparagus, fresh peas, red peppers and heavy cream over pasta?

I sauteed some catfish filets, with broccoli and sauted mushrooms on the side. Your's sounds even better.

They have sushi at the Royal Farms on the corner of Red Run Blvd. and Pleasant Hill in Owings Mills. Even if I liked sushi, I don't think I could bring myself to buy it there.

Shrimp or Tuna as the "Most Un-Gas Station food? Well, I guess you've never been to Stingray or as it better known the Chez Exxon on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This gas station serves up moderately high end seafood dishes along with a pretty nice wine selection.

You know, after the Exxon Valdez incident, it doesn't surprise me that there is an Exxon station that has a nice wine selection.

No offense, but that just seems like a stupid novelty piece of fluff. It has no value at all. Ugh, I promised myself I would never do this, but I can't find the backspace key. I miss the guy who used to write for the Sun who would tell us how ridiculous the TV news here was. Okay, I haven't seen an actual physical copy of the Sun in a long time. I used to get the Friday copy because it had the hardest NYT crossword puzzle, but that was a couple of years ago. But I guess they won't despair since the blog is a revenue source now that they finally figured out that the inter-web is a real thing. Whatevers.

I know you'll feel different after you read it, and you'll come back and say you're sorry. EL

Here's the link to the gas station food story. Putting it charitably, Mr. Lindner's rating system is, um, bizarre. He dissed the food at the BP, but still gave it a 4-tire rating, based on other people's recommendations and his prior visit there (when, for all we know, a different "chef" was working the BP "kitchen").

Rest easy, EL -- your job is secure.

And JL was off doing that instead of providing us with shallow thoughts. Where, oh where are his priorities?

And he didn't really try the sushi, did he? I still have nightmares over that picture you so thoughtfully provided for us.

Old habits die hard. I started out the day with the morning paper at about the age of six (couldn't miss the comics) and it's still a morning routine -- a mug full of coffee, then the Sun. On the rare occasions that Mr. Coffee blows a gasket or the Sun turns up missing, it puts a damper on the whole day. I can't fathom how someone as savvy as Owl Meat can even confess to being a non-subscriber. Then again, I can't understand why anyone in their right mind would buy sushi at a gas station. Which (to complete the digression) recalls the famous sign outside a filling station-cum-cafe on Route 9 in New York's Catskill Mountains: EAT HERE AND GET GAS!

Owl Meat Grump wrote: "...that just seems like a stupid novelty..."

Newspapers have both News articles and Features. The Features are often what draw readers.

Robert, Stingray's by Cape Charles was one of my favorite places to stop by. I loved the Chicken Fried Steak!

There's a gas station on Route 8 south on Kent Island that sells gourmet cakes, pies, and pastries that are made onsite. I think its a Texaco.
Closer to 50 on 8 south is a Valero that sells fried chicken and all sorts of sides. It has tables in there and draws a fairly decent lunch crowd, myself excluded. (I used to work near there).

OMG, the hardest NYT crossword puzzle is on Saturday! Please subscribe to The Sun again and refresh your memory.

--Marketing Manager Anne

RoCK is right - Stingray has fantastic seafood...for a gas station. I've stopped there numerous times on trips between Ocean City and VA Beach. Just be careful when you're pulling off to get there as it's situated on one of the sharpest turns on Rt 13.

In retrospect I am also a stupid novelty item.

Yeah, I like the features too. After forcing myself to read it (too wordy off the bat), it just didn't work for me. I'm going to have to give it just one Calvin Trillin. It didn't work for me on any level. The format was ill-conceived.

Mr Owl shouldn't have prejudged the article. After reading it I would have to agree that it was kind of pointless. It could have been an amusing satirical piece in half the space. It lacked a human element - why do I care? Why compare gas prices that were collected over an unknown time period? Seriously reviewing gas station hotdogs isn't really serious, so I was expecting more fun or some fun. Sorry.

There aint nothing wrong with Royal Farms Fried Chicken and western fries! Subs aren't bad either!

Some of the best boudin I ever ate was from a gas station in South Louisiana! They also had cracklins and the most heavenly strawberries for sale there, all locally produced.

My question would be where does this food come from? Who actually makes the western fries and chicken? I doubt that Gomer and Goober are in the back making them. I think I may have asked too many questions. There are things that we should not know.

AnneB, yes I love the Saturday NYT Xword but try to find it anywhere. I live in the city and have no doubt that a delivered paper would be stolen enough to give me fits. And when I used to try to get one from the box on the corner on Saturday MORNING, the futuristic Sunday edition was already in the box. Sadness.

Agree with Owl Meat on the Calvin Trillin rating. Is there a shortage of editors?

There aren't any immediately around here that I'm aware of, but I actually enjoy the food from Sheetz. Nice subs/wraps made to order, decent soft pretzels, and a mac-n-cheese that, when microwaved enough (!), is really tasty. Makes a road trip in PA/Western MD much more pleasant.

Mr. Owl, I'm with you on how annoying it is that the paper boxes on Saturday are filled with Sunday's paper instead. It's like the Sun is saying that there's not really any news on the weekend.

That said, I live in the city in a rowhouse with no front yard, and rarely does my newspaper get stolen.

For anyone that wants to check out Stingray's.

And my bad, it's in Capeville, not Cape Charles.

I subscribe to the Puzzles portion of The New York Times On The Web, and get my puzzle fix from the source. I think its up to $35 a year now.

The Sun used to post the crosswords on the website, but dropped them a while ago in favor of Sudoku.

I liked the story, and I bet others did too. They're just afraid of getting eaten by OMG.

Send me some live mice and I'm gentle as a lamb, otherwise I'm swooping around looking for raw meat.

You can get really cheap older copies of dozens of Will Shortz edited NYT xword books. I think I got several hardest versions. Try Amazon or B&N.

The gas station on Kent Island is on Route 8 and it just changed hands. I think it's a BP now.
Yes, they do have homemade quiches and pastries and a fresh breakfast buffet with fruit and eggs. Also bulletin boards with the news of the day. I heard it used to be run by a French chef, but I don't know now. I think it's also a wine store. It may have been too far for Lindner to hit; Bay Bridge on a motorcycle is not for the fiant of heart...but I would say it probably has the most gourmet of any gas station food I've encountered.

Rona, bay reporter

Very subjective matter. It just wasn't for me. I don't bite humans. In real life only pigeons are scared of me.

Just wanted to add, if you're interested in bay news, you can check out my blog at We have some great photos of red crabs, which are apparently quite tasty...thanks in advance, EL, for the mention.

And so the Sandbox Universe grows as yet another Sunny comes on over. Ms. Rona, don't forget your bucket and shovel.

As to Mr. Cheeseburger's article, I'm afraid I have to agree with other comments: what got printed was not his best work. We have seen better. I suspect Evil Editors had too heavy a hand in what got printed.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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