This summer, one of my friends changed the way I view gas station food marts when he told me about Fast Gourmet, the hidden but Yelp-loved sandwich shop inside the Lowest Prices gas station at 14th and W NW.
Yes, inside the gas station.
Honestly, I probably would not have agreed to go if not for the fact it was proposed as a post-night on U Street destination. I’d walked/driven by the gas station countless times, but I never noticed the sign above what I assumed was the attached convenience mart.
Inside the mart is unlike any gas station I’ve ever seen. It was bright, clean, and had plenty of seating. Neatly printed chalkboard menus above the cash registers offer a mix of traditional American diner/deli menu items, but the standouts are the Latin-themed items, such as the cubano, empanadas, and chivito, which is (according to Wiki) a national dish in Uruguay.
I haven’t had other chivitos to compare, but Fast Gourmet’s version of the sandwich includes beef tenderloin, mozzarella, black forest ham, bacon, green olives, hard boiled eggs, escabeche, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and a soft bun. Delicious is an understatement. And I’m pretty sure my assessment would be the same at 3 PM as it was at 3 AM.
Of course, I substituted the regular fries for sweet potato fries, and they are also worth writing home about. Not overfried, greasy, or soggy. Crisp and well-seasoned with cinnamon and salt.