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
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid