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Sheetz, An Altoona-Based Gas Station with Food - Dozens of Locations in the MD and VA Suburbs

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I searched high and low, but found no thread or other post regarding 7-11. I'm surprised because, though I am known among my friends as someone to consult regarding all things culinary, I must confess a love of 7-11 hot dogs, particularly the 1/4 pound spicy bite. But this post is not about that. It's about the other things they serve, which have seemingly been shoe-horned into tube shape so they can be cooked on the hot dog grills. I speak, specifically, about the "taquito."

My girlfriend has a dog. This dog loves me, and usually won't leave me alone, so I walk him often. I also am frequently the one that feeds him. In short, there is a bond, so hopefully it doesn't seem cruel when I reveal that my nickname for him is "dumb-dumb." He's a sweet guy, and terribly inquisitive, but basically a simpleton. Notwithstanding, or perhaps because of this, he will eat anything. When I lived in DC, he found chicken bones and other detritus that no one could have -- and consumed it. And he still does this now that he lives in the 'burbs, though to a lesser extent. But, honestly, he did something the other day that surprised me. On a normal walk, I saw a whole, seemingly fresh, taquito in our path and decided not to avoid it. The dog came to it while smelling the ground incessantly, presumably looking for things to eat. But when he encountered the taquito, he passed right by, not even recognizing it as food.

So, if you're tempted, don't be. My--de facto--dog has decided that a taquito is not food. Clearly you should not eat one.

I hate to admit it but I think Sheetz has pretty good food, far better than Mickey D's or BK when it comes to breakfast sandwiches, pretty decent Subs too. What think ye?

Hijacked from the 7-11 thread!

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For my money, Subway subs are horrible, and places like Sheetz are worse. And of course 7-11 will sell you a sub wrapped in celophane and made sometime earlier this week. On the plus side, my benchmark are the subs from Ollies and the Twinbrook Deli in Rockville. Across the street from each other, at one time they both made "wicked good" cold cut subs. I also like the new Pasquales in Damascus, MD. In the middle somewhere is Rubino's in Herndon. I've had many others, all forgettable.

In the spirit of more, I hereby offer my 10 commandments of a good Italian Cold Cut sub:

  • Decent meat: My favorite branded meat is Boars Head, followed by Dietz and Watson. Regardless, it has to has some quality and moisture. Low quality meat can't be corrected.
  • Moisture. The best ingredients aren't edible if the sub is dry. Moisture comes from the oil and vinegar, the meat, the lettuce/tomato, a careful limit in the amount of bread and even possibly mayo.
  • Bread. There's some leeway here, but the key is that the bread plays a supporting role and should be fresh and tasty but not too much in terms of flavor, texture or quantity. If the loaves have a bit too much heft, then hollow them out first.
  • Cheese. Same with the cheese. It should complement and not dominate.
  • Pride. It should be a menu item, not a luck of the draw where you are left to choose ingredients and to hope you craft a proper sub. The menu item should be stated, and if you want to customize, it will be to subtract from the menu ideal.
  • Zing. Hot or banana peppers - should be present, but left to you to maybe go light or heavy. But every good sub should have a little zing to it.
  • Lettuce - it ain't a salad. Lettuce is fine, and shredded is fine. But don't give me a head of shredded lettuce and call it a sub.
  • The paper - wrap it in something that can absorb some moisture and act as a kind of plate. If the sub is still good 4 hours later, it probably isn't made right, see #2 above and make it moister.
  • The build - There's a proper order to building the sub - I've always prefered the meat to be the first thing on the bread (except maybe oil or mayo), so it is tasted first. My opinion is that the cheese should NOT be on the outside.
  • The presentation - Just make subs, sell beer, maybe some sodas and chips. It doesn't have to be fancy or even advertised.

Do you really think Sheetz is worse than Subway?

7-11, yes - 7-11 is worse than anything.

An observation: The world of restaurant journalism became all atwitter when Fast Gourmet and R&R Taqueria opened (I don't exclude myself from this).

Other than those two places being good when they opened, what's the difference? When I think of the meals I used to have at Cloverly Drug Store with my dad, sticking a food counter in someplace other than a restaurant doesn't seem like that big a deal (I remember, plain as day, the little handwritten sign they had proudly put up saying "Blue-Eyed Willie was here" - he had been in the week before for lunch). I also remember the french fries at Tuffy Leemans' Glenmont Bowling Alley - those cheap, frozen, crinkle-cut things you find at Shake Shack.

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Moisture? You don't want moisture.

A relative is a food scientist who spent a year getting deli ham to absorb more water. A 3% increase in water retention per pound rolls up to become millions in extra sales. Deli meat should be moist, but shouldn't have moisture. If your deli meat glistens and sweats, it is chock full o'bullshit.

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I used to eat a lot of Sheetz, not as much anymore.  But I did stop with a friend to get a snack and got a chili dog.  She got fries with "Boom Boom" sauce.  Umm, boom boom sauce is an abomination of bad things you shouldn't like, but I did in a white trash sort of way.

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I used to eat a lot of Sheetz, not as much anymore.  But I did stop with a friend to get a snack and got a chili dog.  She got fries with "Boom Boom" sauce.  Umm, boom boom sauce is an abomination of bad things you shouldn't like, but I did in a white trash sort of way.

Sounds like contorted mayo to me. Is anyone visualizing the boardwalk at Ocean City?

Soybean Oil, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Egg Yolk, Aged Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Contains 2% or less of: Garlic, Red Bell Pepper, Chili, Chili de Arbol Pepper, Spice, Plum, Rice Vinegar, Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Disodium EDTA), A Third Ear, Paprika, Shallots, Modified Food Starch, Annatto, Turmeric, White Wine, Xanthan Gum, Early Death, Sodium Metabisulfite, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Natural Flavor. Contains Soy, Egg.

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In my opinion, the bread is actually most important as showcased by Wegmans subs (the sub by which I judge all others).  The folklore goes (highly debated) that Wegman watched people lineup at DiBella's Sub Shop and couldn't understand why.  He tried a sub and saw what it was all about.  Wegmans went on to purchase DiBella's solely for their bread recipe.

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