News / USA

Pump Premium Fuel, Eat Gourmet Food at Washington Gas Station

Pump Premium Fuel, Eat Gourmet Food at Washington Gas Stationi
X
November 26, 2013 7:44 PM
Imagine putting gas in your car and sitting down to a delicious meal - all in the same place. You can do that in Washington, D.C., where a combination gas station and convenience store is also serving food that’s getting rave reviews from customers. As we hear from VOA’s Deborah Block, Fast Gourmet is doing a booming business.
Deborah Block
— Imagine putting gas in your car and sitting down to a delicious meal - all in the same place. You can do that in Washington, D.C., where a combination gas station and convenience store is also serving food that’s getting rave reviews from customers. Fast Gourmet is doing a booming business.

Fast Gourmet is the one stop shop for Christina Wilkie, who fills her car with gas, buys candy, and then orders a sandwich. She lives nearby and considers Fast Gourmet a hidden gem.

“The food here is amazing. This place gets voted the best sandwich in Washington year after year. There are sandwiches that you wouldn’t expect like the chivito, which is steak, ham, eggs, cheese and olives. There are wonderful high quality ingredients,” said Wilkie.

Co-owners Lina Chovil, from Colombia, and her Argentine husband, Fernando Almiron, opened their gourmet gas station three years ago. Chovil said they drew upon their experiences back home where it's common to get good food from street vendors and at gas stations.

"What we want to serve is gourmet street food appealing to different cultures. We felt that the gas station would be a nice way to introduce a different way of dining to the Washington area," said Chovil.

High marks for fresh food

Fast Gourmet is in what is now a trendy neighborhood known as the U Street Corridor. Once a crime-ridden area, it is continuing to be revitalized. Customers come from all walks of life.

"We get people from the government, celebrity chefs, homeless. I've seen even a really, really nice vehicle parked that you would never expect to be here at this gas station," said Chovil.

Customers and food critics give Fast Gourmet high marks for its freshly prepared food - from American-style sandwiches, to Middle Eastern inspired dishes, to Latino favorites. After hearing about the food from his customers, limousine driver Melaku Tarekegn from Ethiopia decided to try it.

"Today is my lucky day. I love it. It's so delicious," said customer Melaku Tarekegn.

Fast Gourmet cashier William Mason, known as Big Mason, loves the chicken barbecue sandwich and ate eight of them in one day. After that, it was renamed the Big Mason.

“I couldn’t stop. I ate one and so I had to eat some more. I mean, they were delicious,” he said.

International flavors

Colombian Oscar Garzon, who works nearby, often eats here. A friend brought him the first time.

“I was like 'ok, this is a gas station.' It smelled good so, all right, I'm going to order a sandwich, and the first bite I totally loved it," said Garzon.

The food brings back memories for Marlon Ulloa from El Salvador. “Reminds me of being back home making the sandwiches with the pork, ham and combining the spices and the sauces. It’s just amazing.”

Besides the food, there also is an amazing bathroom, nothing like you’ll see at other gas stations.

“You will remember it and you will come back," said Chovil.

Fast Gourmet's innovative concept is working. The gourmet gas station made money during the first year it opened, and this year will bring in more than a million dollars.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 27, 2013 3:34 AM
In Japan, it is uncommon to have foods at gas stations primarily because we do not have enough time to do so. But if gourmet foods are served there, we may drop in and enjoy meals during filling cars. Yet, it would be not easy for owners to serve some foods both fast and delicious. Good luck, these Colonbians ! (p.s.unbelievable more than a million dollars this year !)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid