On my way home from Charlotte on Wednesday, I was looking to stop to get gas sometime before crossing into Georgia because I recall gas being much cheaper on the South Carolina side as I was heading north. I made the mistake of stopping early and paying 20 cents extra. I wasn’t going to do that again. As I was passing through Greenville, I saw a sign for a Pilot that had $3.05 gasoline at exit 35. I moved over to the right lane and prepared to get off the highway in a couple miles. But then I saw a sign for a QuikTrip (QT) that was 14 miles ahead and had the same price gas. I decided to wait. I wasn’t low on gas (had about half a tank) and didn’t have to go to the bathroom just yet either. In my mind, going to a QT was well worth the wait.
QT’s are simply the best convenience stores out there. They are always clean and the employees are speed demons on the register, so there’s rarely a line even when there are lots of people in the store. But this store in Anderson, SC took things to a whole new level. As I walked to the restroom, I saw wall after wall of drink machines: coffee, brewed tea, non-carbonated, smoothies, Freezonis, etc.. It was so well organized. I opted to go for a orange creme Freezoni, but I only wanted a small one. I should have gotten the kiddie cup. The next size up is about 20oz, and it was $1.09. The 32oz was $0.99. If there is one thing I am not fond of it is when they price the bigger sizes cheaper. I went ahead and got the 32oz, but swore I would not drink the whole thing (I didn’t, but I downed at least half for about 250 calories).
The thing that intrigued me most on the visit was they advertised soft pretzels. If there is one thing I love, it’s a good soft pretzel. They were $2.49, much like what we charged back in the day at Pretzel Time. So does that mean they are made fresh? You betcha. You order from a touch screen. They offered 3 choices: classic, parmesan, and cinnamon. I chose parmesan. To my surprise, there was no extra charge for this. Nor was there a charge for marinara sauce. It took them about 2-3 minutes to prepare it behind a custom counter that also served special coffees. Frankly, it was one of the best pretzels I have had in years. Big, fluffy, and airy. Awesome. I only wish I hadn’t been trying to drive as I ate it.