Why I Always Brake for Gas Station Biscuits

This is one gamble worth rolling the dice on.

The Biscuit Pit | Grenada, Mississippi

If I'm on the road for any longer than two hours, I've got two main concerns. What am I listening to? And what am I eating? Making sure I have enough gas in the tank to get where I'm going registers as a distant third. On the playlist front, I typically tailor my picks to the destination I'm visiting. When the coast is the objective, Jimmy Buffet and Jack Johnson are my jam. And when the mountains are calling, that means it's time to queue the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan.

With the tunes flowing and wind in my hair, all that's left to worry about is that second question—what to eat? Road trips are my favorite excuse for filling up on indulgent treats. You know, the ones you can't make a part of your regular diet, so you save them for special occasions. I'm talking sour gummy worms, fried pork skins, and giant ICEEs. And don't get me started on those classic road trips snacks that mysteriously taste better when you're cruising down a backroad. Boiled peanuts anyone?

Outside of an opportunity for hours of uninterrupted snacking, road trips also provide an excuse to try something new. And in my world, that means trying all the gas station biscuits my mileage—and waistline—will allow. My mom always said not to judge a book by its cover, and when it comes to gas station food, that statement couldn't ring truer. I mean how many times do we have to see a TV food personality clue us in on the best-kept-secret Thai food, or tacos, or fusion fried chicken to come from a gas station before we take a hint?

When you're driving in the South, no gas station food is more ubiquitous than the humble biscuit. Typically served as the base for a breakfast sandwich, they can be filled with any number of proteins, from fried chicken and smoked sausage to bacon, egg, and cheese. My go-to depends on the time of day and what I hear other folks ordering.

But as a rule, if I stop at a gas station and they've got biscuits, I always, always get one. If I'm not hungry, I save it for later. If I'm traveling with someone else, I grab two. Why? Well, because life is short, biscuits are cheap, and you never know what you could be missing out on.

A few years ago, I stopped at a random gas station somewhere outside of Atlanta to pick up ice. It was before 8 a.m. and there were already five people in line in front of me. Every single one of them asked the cashier for a biscuit sandwich. When I got to the front of the line, I followed suit and requested a bacon biscuit. The biscuit was fluffy and buttery with a perfectly crisp top. The bacon inside was salty and just crisp enough to make a statement. I can honestly say it was one of the best biscuits I've eaten to this day. And thus, the brake for biscuit tradition began.

Since then, I've kept my word and endured my fair share of not-so-stellar biscuits mixed in with the truly great ones. I'm not a betting woman, but I'll always roll the dice for a shot at biscuit euphoria. It's kind of like playing the lottery except you're only out $5 if you lose. The true jackpot comes when you find a worthy gas station biscuit on one of your regularly traveled routes. Now every time you head to the beach, you'll have something other than the promise of the sand in your toes and the sound of the ocean to keep you going during the drive. Sure, you could go to Chick-fil-A and know exactly what you're getting, but hey, what's life without a little adventure?

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