fuel city car wash

fuel city car wash

Fuel City Car Wash

Three handsome tacos, from left to right: picadillo, barbacoa, and pastor. I asked for the pastor in corn tortillas (you get a choice), and it was served in a double.Warm corn kernels, dressed with sour cream, cheese, and hot sauce, make a great companion to tacos. The corn, known as elote, is sold out front in small, medium, and large sizes.As moist as beef can be, barbacoa is described next to the order window merely as ”steamed roast beef.” The sign does not mention that the beef is saturated with spice.Ground beef and potatoes are infused with a good green sauce. It’s not hot but it supplies a savory twist. Did I mention how crunchy and sweet the chopped onions are?The amount of beer stocked by Fuel City is astonishing. This corridor of Coronas and Coronitas leads to the indoor side of the taco order window.Those in need of a quick, cool one to go with their tacos can avail themselves of this immense ice chest in the center of the store.Place an order, pay, and wait for your name to be called. The wait time is a good opportunity to stroll over and secure a cup of warm corn.I knew I was going to like this place as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. At the right is a lane that leads to what the management boasts is Texas’s best car wash.Covered seating at the side of the building. Fuel City Tacos is on the outskirts of Dallas with a good view of the city skyline.When you dine at a picnic table to the side of Fuel City, appropriate Lone Star background is supplied by a small herd of grazing longhorn cattle.
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Fuel City Car Wash

About Fuel City Fuel City is a family owned full-service station that’s not just about gas and snacks. Their car wash service offers both professional exterior services, as well as interior detailing, leaving vehicles looking like they’re fresh off the lot. For hungry customers, they offer more than candy bars and pretzels; their food options include subs, fried pies, and their self-proclaimed best taco in Texas. Fuel City Company Website
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Fuel City Car Wash

And he positioned Fuel City as an entertainment mecca, with food that frequently makes best-of-Dallas lists, a car wash that features a view of the animals, and a swimming pool. As the local publication D Magazine put it, “calling Fuel City a gas station is like saying The Grapes of Wrath is a story about a car trip.”
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Fuel City Car Wash

Source: Fuel City Fuel City in Dallas, Texas It’s hard to miss the swimming pool by the car wash decorated with a life-size dinosaur, and the stuffed remains of wild animals adorn every wall. “His name was Double Wide,” said owner John Benda, referring to the massive bust of a longhorn hanging above him whose horns measure 90 inches “from tip to tip.” Benda, however, is not a hunter, and none of the animals are his personal trophies. “I’m a complete pacifist, I don’t even like to fish,” he said, before stepping out to check on the well-being of a living longhorn named Stretch kept in a large pen.
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Fuel City Car Wash

Tacos, 24/7. Between 5am and 10am, they are available filled with eggs along with bacon, chorizo, or potatoes. Non-breakfast varieties include picadillo (spicy ground beef with diced potatoes), beef or chicken fajita (sautéed with onions), barbacoa (roast beef), and pastor (pork). Standard garnishes, unless refused, include chopped raw onions, cilantro, hot sauce, and a wedge of lime. Roadfood devotees know that I have a soft spot for restaurants in gas stations, but please do not think I recommend this place just because it is a takeout window in a building behind the pumps and that it also boasts of being Texas’s best car wash and has an absolutely stunning amount of beer by the can, bottle, and case for sale inside and there are real longhorn cattle grazing in back and you dine at a picnic table with the Dallas skyline looming overhead. Continue readingTacos, 24/7. Between 5am and 10am, they are available filled with eggs along with bacon, chorizo, or potatoes. Non-breakfast varieties include picadillo (spicy ground beef with diced potatoes), beef or chicken fajita (sautéed with onions), barbacoa (roast beef), and pastor (pork). Standard garnishes, unless refused, include chopped raw onions, cilantro, hot sauce, and a wedge of lime. Roadfood devotees know that I have a soft spot for restaurants in gas stations, but please do not think I recommend this place just because it is a takeout window in a building behind the pumps and that it also boasts of being Texas’s best car wash and has an absolutely stunning amount of beer by the can, bottle, and case for sale inside and there are real longhorn cattle grazing in back and you dine at a picnic table with the Dallas skyline looming overhead. Oh, and also there is a cart in front selling cups of warm corn (“elote” in Mexican) mixed with cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce — a fabulous starchy side dish for a quartet of tacos. Talk about ambiance! As noted above, there are no dining facilities at Fuel City other than a few picnic tables. There is plenty of space in the parking lot, where many customers dine in their cars and trucks; many more get bags full of tacos to take elsewhere.
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Fuel City Car Wash

A second Fuel City in Lufkin, Texas, occupies 11 acres; and a third, opening this year in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, sprawls over a whopping 17. Benda recently acquired the land for a fourth Fuel City, in Fort Worth. “I can build two pretty good-sized ones for the price,” he says. “But I can build one huge one. So I am going to build one huge one.”
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Fuel City Car Wash

Much of Fuel City’s revenue comes from the 24-hour taco stand, which Benda rents out to the cook. It’s extremely popular after the bars close down at 2 a.m. “We have so many people here at night on the weekend that we have two police officers directing traffic until 4 in the morning.” People also come for the karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays, to picnic near the animals and for the free vacuum stations set up next to the car wash.
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Fuel City Car Wash

Not everything at Fuel City has worked out. A hot dog cart generated little enthusiasm. After 8 p.m. no one came to the 24-hour car wash. For years Benda paid women in bathing suits to lounge by the pool, until his daughters convinced him to quit it. “It was a little edgy or sizzly to have girls sit out there, but it was not done in distaste,” says Benda. “I just wanted anything I could to have reasons for people to come by my store.”
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Fuel City is a family owned full-service station that’s not just about gas and snacks. Their car wash service offers both professional exterior services, as well as interior detailing, leaving vehicles looking like they’re fresh off the lot. For hungry customers, they offer more than candy bars and pretzels; their food options include subs, fried pies, and their self-proclaimed best taco in Texas.
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Then again, who else in that business offers as much as Benda? Fuel City is at least as famous for tacos as for cheap gas. The sister-in-law of that original taco chef manages 25 people who turn out the Mexican street food 24 hours a day in a 200-square foot kitchen. She has expanded to the other Fuel Citys as well. Corn in a cup, with such toppings as cheese, mayonnaise, and hot sauce, has made The Dallas Observer’s list of 100 favorite dishes and is now sold late into the night from two carts.
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Fuel City is a gas station in the middle of downtown Dallas, but “gas station” hardly describes this bizarre Disneyland of truck stops. Inside its large convenience store there’s a huge, custom-made ice chest for beer the size of a Jacuzzi. A taco stand regularly serves long lines of customers 365 days a year.
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So in 1999, after a lifetime of business pursuits, he created Fuel City on Riverfront Boulevard, at the intersection of two freeways. “I was doing jury duty down the street, and during lunch break, I found this spot.” Benda figured he could make money selling gasoline and food at the convenience store, and use those funds to build out the 8-acre space to include animals.
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Anywhere else in the world, a dinosaur by a swimming pool at a gas station would seem out of left field. It’s all perfectly normal at Fuel City. “I just want people to come in and have a good time,” said Benda.
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This is a typical Saturday night at Fuel City in Dallas. Two police officers direct traffic as cars line up for unleaded gas at $2.39 a gallon. All three taco windows are mobbed, as are the carts peddling elote en vaso (corn in a cup). Customers wander into the karaoke trailer (complete with disco ball) to belt out Tejana favorites, country classics, and oldies. Out back, longhorn cattle snooze on the ground. The zebra remains standing.

Published on Jul 7, 2017 | Under Car | By michael ellis
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