Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hello, Soldier!


When traveling along the major highways and Interstates, good and/or healthy food can be hard to find.

The usual burger joints? For us, not so much. Ok, Burger King has veggie burgers, but that gets old fast.

Matt hates Subway, because of their bread.

And if you're passing by lots of very small towns, as we did on our recent trip, good luck to you.

But we had a ray of light. Light at the end of the West Virginia tunnel.

See, we knew that, somewhere up ahead, we would find our travel Mecca: Sheetz!

Oh, Sheetz; how I'd missed you!

I realize that, at first glance, Sheetz appears to be nothing more than your average convenience store/gas station.

You'd be wrong.

Sheetz stores are actually the most incredible road way 'pit stops' you'll encounter.

Around over fifty years, Sheetz is known for couple of things. The cleanest bathrooms on the road, for one. I'm not kidding; it's always one of the things I overhear when I'm there. And while that may not seem like a terribly big deal, trust me: walking into a public restroom, and finding each and every stall clean, with toilet paper in each holder? You can't buy that kind of happiness.

Sheetz is also known for their MTO's; or Made To Order, food.

order central

The most amazing selection of food I've ever seen while traveling; Sheetz MTO's allow you to customize, via a touch-screen computer!, hot and cold sandwiches, subs, burgers, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, hot dogs and...ta-da!...salads!

go on, touch me; you know you want to

I kid you not; salads.

On the road, tired of eating greasy foods, and suddenly...you can get a green salad, with fresh vegetables? Customized for you? That tastes good?

Heaven. Absolute heaven.

I confess, I didn't go too crazy on my toppings here, but it really did hit the spot.

In addition to all the MTO options, several of the Sheetz locations also carried a ready-to-go cooler, filled with...wait for it!...fairly healthy options.

I'd eat this!

I was blown away when I saw this; cups of fresh cut fruit (and it was, Alex had a couple of them), brilliantly packaged salads (greens...actual greens, including purple cabbage) in the bottom of a plastic box, with a divided insert on top, each compartment filled with veggies, cheese, etc, keeping everything separate (and fresh) until you're ready to eat it

Lots of sandwiches, but they all sounded so good, I almost regretted giving up meat!

There were sun-dried tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, roast beef on ciabatta, you name it.

They also sold yogurt parfaits, whole fruits, cheese (string and small blocks), even hard-boiled eggs!

It's all new since I'd last been there, two years ago, but I was pretty happy to find it.

In addition to the walls of pop, milk, juice and iced tea, Sheetz offers a rather comprehensive coffee station, if that's your kind of thing.

shouldn't I be getting royalties?

It even looked like Sheetz had added a milk shake/soft serve machine since my last visit.

Being me, however, it was all about their breakfast options (which, as God intended, are available 24/7).

I'm partial to the Shmiscuit (that's a Sheetz thing; items either begin with a 'Sh', or end with a 'z'; the foods is just that good, it doesn't bother me); a really good biscuit, topped with egg and cheese (there are plenty of options, but that's my way).

It's just so...good. Simple, but perfect. I lived off these during our trip.

It's entirely possible fried potatoes where consumed at some point, as well...

Hey, that's my Shmuffin!

Just of the many 'cool' things about Sheetz, you can even place an order while you pump gas.

Fast, good, food, quality service, and a pretty neat place; while very happy to be on my way home, I admit I was sad to pull away from the Southern-most location.

I suppose all we can do is hope Mr. Sheetz decides to expand into Tennessee!

(forgot to mention; the Sheetz website also allows you to figure out the nutrional value of most of their MTO's, too!)

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10 Thoughts for food:

At 2:03 PM, Blogger The Cookbook Junkie said...

Thanks for the reminder. We have a Sheetz in our small town and I did get salads and subs there a few times but it sort of fell off my radar. I don't like to cook on the weekends and McDs is getting old. I hate the bread at Subway too!

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous ostwestwind said...

How funny, we like Subway-style sandwiches, I've tried to duplicate them for the kids. Perhaps the reason is, that we normally have other kinds of bread.

The recipe of "my" version is very popular with google ;-)

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie - my parents used to live near a Sheetz and always spoke highly of their made to order sandwiches. I never got around to trying one, but maybe I should take a little detour someday soon and see what the fuss is about!

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Claire said...

This looks GREAT! I wish those were around where I travel because I always have a hard time finding something to eat on the road. I don't do the the typical fast food fare, as I don't really like sandwiches and don't do fried foods it I can help it.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Jen(nifer) said...

Ode to Sheetz. Very nice! And the retro pictures all over must be a thrill for you as well :)

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Coobook Junkie; it's probably just as well we don't have Sheetz in the south: I might invent reasons to pop in!

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Ulrike; I, personally, have no issues with Subway. In fact, there was a Subway shop a three-minute drive from the radio station, and if I were stuck there without food, I would cajole a part-timer or sales rep into running over and grabbing me a veggie sub!

Of course, I haven't had anything from them since we drove from California to Tennessee, so I may be mis-remembering.

But I'll have to check out your version!

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh, Cathy...you really should!

I think Sheetz is just wonderful; they really do have something for everyone, and this from a picky vegetarian!

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Claire, they really are nice. And it's such a welcome break from snacks and fast food.

Hey, maybe the Sheetz family will go global one day!

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Jen...I did get a kick out of the graphics!


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