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Inside the St. Louis gas stations hiding restaurant-quality food

Olivette Station, in Olivette, is a gas station that also contains a restaurant.
Danny Wicentowski
Olivette Station

Recently, Sauce Magazine writer Alexa Beattie went looking for hidden food treasures in St. Louis. The search took her to several gas stations, where she found delicacies that you won’t find at a QuikTrip.

“Gas stations are usually grim places for me,” Beattie said. “The idea that somebody, somewhere was doing something delicious was intriguing.”

Beattie discussed her findings on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. Highlights included Olivette Station’s samosa chana chaat, which is smothered in chickpea curry and topped with chopped onion, tomato and cilantro. Beattie also wrote about the barbeque offerings she found at gas stations 3 Bay BBQ & Bakery, as well as O’B Que’s.

Beattie also discussed a trend of restaurant owners choosing to turn over their businesses to employees. That trend includes Sydney Caldwell, who last year went from employee to co-owner of Retreat Gastropub.

Caldwell said she hopes other restaurants follow suit.

“I think that this is probably the best possible model for a restaurant handoff, and I think it will preserve our great restaurants,” she said. “Instead of shuttering them, it'd be really great to see them continue.”

Featured in this conversation:

To learn more about Alexa Beattie’s search for gas station delicacies and how St. Louis restaurants are being passed down to employees, listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast or Spotify or by clicking the play button below.

Alexa Beattie and Sydney Caldwell on 'St. Louis on the Air'

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily WoodburyDanny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Roshae Hemmings is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org.

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Danny Wicentowski is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air."