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This Guy Loves Gas Station Hot Dogs


It’s National Hot Dog Day, and we’re taking a closer look at the humble gas station hot dog with our friend and an expert on this specific topic, Jay Bouchard, from 5280 Magazine in Denver, Colo.

We came across Jay’s article about his love for gas station hot dogs in May, and we knew we had to give him a call to find out more.

Jay Bouchard with gas station hot dog
Courtesy of Jay Bouchard

  1. So Jay, what made you write your gas station hot dog exposé in 5280 magazine?

    In the world of food writing, food items like the gas station hot dog get overlooked. Our magazine food editors have great taste and they go find the best gourmet food in the city. I was giving them a hard time and jokingly said, “one of these days I’m going to write a story about gas station hot dogs,” and they laughed at me. I knew I wasn’t the only one out there who loved gas station hot dogs. And I love gas station hot dogs. There’s just no way around it.

  2. How long have you been eating gas station hot dogs?

    I’m 25 and I’ve been eating gas station hot dogs for 20 years. I was at the gas station with my dad when I was a kid and we went inside. I saw the hot dog rolling under the hot lamp and that was that.

    When I went to college in Montana I did a lot of driving. It was my first time away from home and I wanted something to eat that was familiar to me, and that was the gas station hot dog. I went through high school and middle school eating them… college wasn’t any different.

    In fact the best gas station hot dogs I’ve ever had were in college at a Holiday gas station in Helena, Mont. right by Carroll College. Even though I had a meal plan, I would go buy gas station hot dogs before class – they were that good.

  3. Did you ever get hot dogs with your college friends?

    I was a loner. I’ve expressed this to a lot of people, this passion, and most of my friends think I’m crazy. I’ve tried to sell the idea to other people, saying, ‘you gotta try it, you gotta try it’. I’ve managed to turn a couple people onto the gas station hot dog. They’ve said, “I actually tried it and I enjoyed it!”

  4. How often do you eat gas station hot dogs? (Is it only a road trip? Or do you eat it regularly during lunch, dinner)

    Usually when I’m on the road. At least twice per month. If I’m driving for a couple of hours to go fishing and I stop and get gas, I’m going to get a hot dog.

  5. You mentioned that you usually go without fixings – but if you had to have something on the dog, what would it be?

    I don’t have anything against condiments, mustard’s great, relish is fine, but if I had a choice I’d just do ketchup and onions.

  6. What’s your go-to gas station beverage to accompany a hot dog?

    Usually water or coffee. I drink a ton of gas station coffee as well. Every now and then it’s a Gatorade. I don’t do soda with it, which might be weird.

  7. What’s the best gas station hot dog in the Denver area?

    It’s a little outside of Denver, the Phillips 66 gas station on Bear Creek avenue in Morrison, Colo. They’ve got a good one. The 7-Eleven near Coors Field also has a great two-for-one hot dog deal.

  8. What should people look for in a gas station hot dog?

    As a rule of thumb, I would say the tanner, the better. You can cook a hot dog as much as you want, but it feels more authentic and real when it’s tan.

    It’s also a good sign when there’s only one or two hot dogs left. If they’re still rolling and hot, and there’s only a couple left, that means people are eating the hot dogs and you know it’s good.

  9. Where would you recommend hungry drivers go for their first ‘gas station hot dog’ experience?

    I’ve been on a few big cross country trips and [Pilot] Flying J has huge gas stations on all the major interstates. Everything is great there and they have consistently good gas station hot dogs.

    Time to try it: Pilot Flying J is giving away FREE hot dogs today at more than 750 locations in North America!

    I’m also a big fan of Exxon’s hot dogs – they’ve always delivered.

  10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    Gas station hot dogs are something a lot of people can relate to, which might not be the same with a fancy restaurant. Gas station hot dogs are real, normal and delicious, and I’m happy to spread the word.

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $3.6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.

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