There is a standing joke about the South that you can fill your tank and stomach at the gas station. Some gas stations specialize in fried chicken. Others have sandwiches. Once I bought a seven-layered cake at a gas station. In fact, I made a special trip. However, I have never actually sat down to eat at one.
There's a little town outside of Smalltown, New Mexico which boasts a gas station/restaurant. I don't know if it has a name at all because the only sign on the building simply reads "Restaurant." Hubs heard about their green chile cheeseburger at work and was determined to have one.
Today we left horseback riding and headed to The Restaurant. We also happened to need gas, so we pulled up, filled the tank, then drove the car another 40 feet or so to park.
We stopped by the cashier to pay for the gas. As I waited, I saw a sign next to the beef jerky which read (forgive me as I paraphrase,) "We do not sell raw meat to the public. We can only sell bacon or luncheon meats, and are not allowed to sell raw meat. We are trying to change this, but do not sell raw meat to the public until further notice. Sincerely, Virginia."
Now, I don't exactly know how many people walk into a gas station wanting to buy raw meat, but apparently there is a huge demand for it there. I don't know about you, but I am thankful that Virginia nipped that one in the bud.
We walked over to the dining area and found the short order counter. The hostess/waitress pointed to the menus in the little plastic bins and the three of us took a look. The green chile cheeseburger wasn't on the menu, but Hubs asked about it and she said she would make him one. Daughter ordered the classic burger, and I simply ordered hamburger steak, with a salad and baked potato.
After we made our drinks at the little soda machine, we found a table by the window. I have to say the view of the gas pumps outside added to the atmosphere.
As we finished our dinner, a family came in, pushed three tables together, and stood in line to order. Grandma got the silverware from the little bins and set the tables. My guess is that they were waiting for more relatives to join them.
Grandpa, in his Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots, placed an order for his grandson.
"He'll have the hamburger without any vegetables. Is that right, son?"
"Yessir," the little boy answered.
As we left, I heard the cook fire up the grill and thought to myself, "I bet Virginia would be pleased."