I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma
N 36° 4.5813’ W 096° 2.9036’ Elev. 653 ft.
If you’ve never been to a QuikTrip you’re missing out. It’s a trip.
The chain was founded here in 1958, which may explain why there seems to be one on a corner every four blocks … or less. I’ve been to many QuikTrips, from as far west as Phoenix to as far east as Gaffney, South Carolina. Although most locations are merely overly large convenience stores with gas pumps, many are truck stops as well.
They’re all curiously consistent in an unusual way. It’s not that they look the same or have all the same stuff or anything. Rather it’s that all the employees are consistently friendly, happy. The reason for this is that the founders of QuikTrip, or QT for short, discovered long ago one of the secrets to making money: Pay your employees well, adequately train them and treat them with respect, and your turnover will shrink to virtually zero. The payoff is that they will exceed the customers’ needs with alacrity.
The result it that the customer base and their loyalty only grows. It’s essentially the mirror image of Walmart’s personnel management model. You know, where the mega-profits are derived from squeezing every penny from every employee, every vendor, and every county, state and country they operate in, through a combination of outright intimidation and other forms of mafia-esque thuggery.
Indeed, QT is an anomaly in this respect. It’s consistently rated as one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”, a claim Hades Hillbillies, the Wicked Waltons of Bentonville, has never aspired to. In Walmart’s defense it should be said that when you’re a corporate behemoth roaming the planet being the Merchant of Death, Who has time to care about freakin’ human beings? Certainly not Walmart. Just for fun I’ll also note that the center-less asterisk that follows its branded name — they call it a “starburst” — accurately represents the company and its corporate ethos to a T: It’s an ASSHOLE!
QT on the other hand is not. In fact, they tend to roll along treating the public and its employees with great dignity. It’s also perfected cooking most anything imaginable on roller grills. I mean, they’ve got various flavors of hot dogs and foot-long taquitos, bagel dogs — hell, if it can be rolled they’ve got it! Moreover, they rotate the stock; i.e. if it’s been there for over X amount of time, it hits the Dempster Dumpster. I like that.
What’s more is they actually have warm hot dog buns. I’m kind of baffled by the mechanics of it all, but the bun warmer has water in the bottom of the drawer. So it’s warming them but not steaming them. It’s like some sort of climate control thing for buns, a bun spa, if you will.
When I was there this time they had a new “flavor” of hot dog (2 for $2.19): a bacon cheese dog. Ever curious, I got one along with a traditional Oscar Meyer weenie. A cool thing about QTs is the fixins it offers: fresh chopped onion, pico de gallo (a great mix of tomato, onion, jalapeño and cilantro), sliced jalapeño peppers, chunked fresh tomato, neon-green Chicago-style relish, sauerkraut, banana peppers, and pickles. The other thing that’s really great are the condiments. QT not only has deli mustard, it has spicy ketchup! I’d never run across spicy ketchup before.
So I fixed my dogs in the warm buns with onion, pico de gallo, deli mustard and spicy ketchup. Then I ate them (sorry, no photo available). They were great, especially the bacon cheese one. Keeper!
In addition to the “roller” foods, QT offers freshly made (packaged) sandwiches and, in the morning, breakfast sandwiches and fresh donuts. While the donuts are pretty good, I’m still a bit miffed at QT about them.
You see, during the winter of 2011-12 QuikTrip had a Buy-A-Coffee- ($1.19, because I’m getting a refill) -Get-A-FREE-Donut thing going. I liked that. Very much. So much so that I’ve been waiting for them to bring it back ever since. To date, they have not. I still make it a point to ask “When is that going to come back?” every time I check out. They never know. So I wait, antsy-pantsed, tapping my foot, rolling my fingers (ba-da-da-dut, ba-da-da-dut) on the counter.
QuikTrip also offers a half-dozen flavors of coffee, a like amount of iced teas, chocolate cappucinnos, frozen cappucinnos, milkshakes, and eight flavors of Freezonis, which is analogous to a Slurpee or a Slushie or, if you’re a patron of Apu’s Nahasapeemapetilon’s Kwik-E-Mart, a Squishee®™©SimpsonsMegaloCorp®. They also carry nearly every soda known to man. I haven’t looked but there’s probably a bottle of YooHoo and/or Diet Moxie hiding in there somewhere.
Another thing QuikTrip has that I’ve only seen one other place (Sapp Bros.) are plastic drink cups with plastic lids. These are great because they’re reusable; it’s the official SSMSH ice water cup. The only thing that ever wears out is the lid, which eventually breaks along the lip. Thankfully, QT has more.
If you happen to visit this particular QT it has a Wendy’s attached to it. And you know what that means: Great chili dogs!
I swear, it seems that if QT doesn’t have it, you probably don’t need it. Seriously, they’ve got everything. And at reasonable prices. What a trip!
And so we roll.
QuikTrip, 6008 S. 49th W Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma
and 694 other locations scattered across metro areas in 11 states.
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.