PARKLAND, Fla. – In South Florida, one doesn’t need to go to a restaurant to enjoy delicious cuisine—one just has to go to the right gas station. South Florida.com recently highlighted seven gas stations with outstanding kitchens.
From adventurous foodies to regular locals, these restaurants tucked inside gas stations offer unique, tasty menus designed to wow. “You don’t come across gas-station food that looks and tastes this good,” said chef Anthony Hoff, who, along with Robby Bushman, opened Los Bocados, a fast-casual taqueria, in a Chevron gas station in Parkland. “It’s a great little space with low overhead.” Los Bocados has fresh ingredients for build-your-own burritos, quesadillas and tacos.
At Paty’s Café in Fort Lauderdale, owner Michael Suarez and his girlfriend, Patricia Moreno, and her brother, chef Alexander Moreno, serve up a Cuban menu of chicken fricassee and grilled palomilla sandwiches. “When people think of gas-station food, they think it’s horrible,” Suarez said. “Our passion is our flavors. You try our food once, and that misconception about gas stations goes away.”
Direct from Philly in Deerfield Beach has Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks, Bomb Fries (cheese whiz, bacon and ranch) and the John Galt (6 ounces of ribeye or chicken, roasted peppers and garlic, pepper relish and American cheese). Pembroke in Miami and Cooper City has arepas, charcoal-grilled chicken, sausage or pork, empanadas and pastelitos.
Chikita's Venezuelan Food & More in West Palm Beach has a pared-down 10-item menu with arepas, chicas, pepitos and empanadas. “People love it here and don’t care that there’s no place to sit,” said owner Rosa Merlo. At Pepito’s Plaza in Doral, beef is on the menu, specifically huge hamburgers, as well as cachapas, pepito sandwiches and parrillada mixta.
El Carajo International Tapas and Wines in Miami serves Spanish tapas amid 2,000 bottles of wine. The menu boasts bacon-wrapped stuffed dates, paella, trout fillet and the Caldo Gallego.