Yesterday my husband and I went to Shop Rite a gas station/convenience store in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on Keyser Avenue, just to eat lunch. Yes, that is what I said. For some reason a phenomenon exists here in the South, or at least particularly in Louisiana where food reigns; "fast food" you can get at gas station/convenience stores is sometimes better than similar items in much, much more expensive restaurants in the same area.
For instance, husband and I ordered only ONE shrimp basket--to share. That translates into one large cardboard "basket" loaded with fresh french fries topped with a ton of medium small (battered and fried) shrimp hot out of the fryer. They were fresh, scathingly hot, cooked to perfection and were served with a sauce like I've never before tasted. We had to have more of that! The only other "food" items we had were soft drinks and the total bill was less than $10. Including tax. The shrimp basket cost $5.99. And we ate. And ate. And ate. And got full and could eat no more and the basket still had more fries and shrimp.
We have been to Lasyone's, an old restaurant in the heart of Natchitoches, known especially for their Natchitoches meat pies and ordered shrimp po'boys, for more than twice the cost, with less than half the fried shrimp that wasn't even thoroughly cooked--even after sending it back to the kitchen for a re-do!
I spoke with one of the ladies working the "lunch counter" at the Bourbon Street Deli (I think that's what the name is) in Shop Rite, to find out exactly what their "sauce" was called. It reminded me of remoulade sauce (a mayonnaise based sauce hot with pepper, horseradish and other scrumptious seasonings that I really like.) She said it was their homemade tarter sauce. After eating theirs, I might just have to change my mind about liking tarter sauce. (Before yesterday, I pretty much avoided tarter sauce.)
Another gas station/convenience store on the outskirts of Natchitoches serves fried catfish, Natchitoches meat pies and boudin balls that are all very yummy. YES, it is all fried food and filled, undoubtedly, with a multitude of calories but oh, my! It is sooooo good. And fresh. And cheap. So. There you have it! Great food at a great price available at gas stations. Who'd a thunk it?!