August 14, 2022

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A few unique items at the iconic Texas gas station

6 min read
When I think of Buc-ee’s, I think of barbecue-drenched pulled pork sandwiches, walls of beef...

When I think of Buc-ee’s, I think of barbecue-drenched pulled pork sandwiches, walls of beef jerky, and sweet, sweet fudge. For as many times as I have been to the famous Texas pit stop, I’ve never taken the time to go through the store and really take a deep dive into each aisle.

This last trip to Buc-ee’s changed all of that. I went searching for some of the most unique items that I could find. Jeff Nadalo, Buc-ee’s general counsel, returned my call about the new Buc-ee’s in Boerne, which is expected to be completed in 2025. During our conversation I asked him about his go-to Buc-ee’s snacks. He shared a few of his go-to items as well. Although, he did note Texas-shaped cutting boards, I was more interested in the food — my new goal was to try these goodies.

   

   

Gabriel Romero

Wasabi Peas

When I started my quest, I figured some of the items might test my heat threshold and boy was I right. Buc-ee’s has sweet and sour gummies, multiple trail mixes, and a variety of chips and popcorn, but it also has some interesting choices as well. A $4 bag of wasabi peas caught my eye.


I usually get wasabi when I eat sushi, but I never eat the stuff. In my youth, I worked at a sushi restaurant. I remember when the chefs would mix up the wasabi package in the back kitchen and the dust would literally choke you out if you got caught in the cloud. I knew these small green peas were nothing to mess with.

I cracked open the pouch and my 20s hit me right in the face. I mistakenly got about 10 or 12 wasabi peas and crunched them up. As soon as the wasabi hit the moisture from my mouth, I could feel that cloud of spicy dust scratching my throat. Now here’s a tip. Don’t touch your eyes when eating them or your eyes will feel the heat too.

After the initial taste test, I was apprehensive to try them again. I grabbed just one time and while it does pack a kick, the actual pea was really good and left a great aftertaste. You definitely have to try them once, but I’m still debating if I’ll pick them up again.

   

   

Gabriel Romero

Pastrami Reuben

Buc-ee’s has multiple barbecue sandwiches for people to grab and go, but people can also go to the kiosk counter to place an order for a grilled cheese, club sandwich, tacos and burritos. One item that jumped off the screen was the $7 pastrami Reuben sandwich. This bad boy had a pile of pastrami, bacon, pepper jack cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, and French onion pieces all on a pretzel bun.

I’ve been having a hard time finding pastrami sandwiches that really hit the spot. Though non-traditional, Buc-ee’s pastrami Reuben hit the spot. Different isn’t a bad thing. In this case, it was a great thing. I felt like I needed to unhook my jaw just to eat the sandwich, but when I bit the sandwich I took a second to compute the vast amount of flavors I tasted.

Usually, when I eat a pastrami they tend to be on the greasy side, but this one was the opposite. The thick cut of bacon was a first in a pastrami for me and I was not upset about that. It had a great spice and the mustard complimented the saltiness of the meat perfectly. The sandwich is a must have for a reason, and I’ll order it again because it rivals the other barbecue sandwiches in taste.    

   

   

Gabriel Romero

Candied Jalapeños

I’ve never heard of candied jalapeños, which is one of the reasons I ventured down this rabbit hole. There are a few shelves with various seasoning, spices, jams, and jellies. This $7 treat took me a long time to figure out where to place it and what food to eat them with. I figured the best way to figure this out was to eat the jalapenos by themselves.

I was expecting something hot, but there was too much sugar hitting the tip of my tongue that I had to eat another one just to see. I honestly can see myself drinking an ice cold michelada with an elote in a cup and these candied jalapenos right on top. I think they would be perfect on salty and buttery popcorn. They are sold by the jar and worth the $7 dollar price tag.

     

     

Gabriel Romero

Carolina Reaper hot sauce

This was the worst one to try for me. It brought back too many painful memories to one of my trips to the San Antonio River Walk in 2015. Inside of the Shops at Rivercenter, there used to be a hot sauce store right above the food court. They had a chili challenge where you tasted one drop of their hottest sauce. Now the $6 Buc-ee’s Carolina Reaper hot sauce was tame compared to that experience, but it was the second hottest thing I’ve ever eaten.

I do enjoy hot chili, but this was stupid hot. I learned from the wasabi peas not to touch my face. I drank two cups of water, a large glass of milk, and about 15 scoops of H-E-B Creamy Creation ice cream, none of which seemed to help me out. Ever breath felt like I had taken another dab of the sauce. I felt like I didn’t have any taste buds after the test and I’m still feeling the after effects this morning. I made the mistake of doing research while my mouth was on fire, instead of before.

According to the Scoville Scale, which measures the degree of heat in peppers. The Carolina Reaper is the hottest pepper on the planet. Coming in at between 1.5 million and 2.2 million Scoville heat units (SHU). To put it in perspective, a jalapeno falls between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU. So, while my wife was laughing at me in the corner, I saw my son walk by with a little bit of Rico’s nacho cheese on a tortilla chip. As he walked out of the kitchen, through my tear-filled vision, I saw him waving his hand over his mouth to say “hot hot.” I was envious of my 20-month-old son.

This one will sit in my cupboard for a few years or at least until my little brother visits the 210. If I don’t see this sauce on the show “Hot Ones” then I know they aren’t doing it right.

   

   

Gabriel Romero

Pickled Quail Eggs

I traveled to New Braunfels to start this taste test journey because Nadalo brought up this item during our conversation. I don’t think of pickled eggs when I picture gas station food. I like deviled eggs and eggs in my Cobb salad, so this couldn’t be any different. I put the jar upside down for a few hours, hoping the pepper, jalapenos and vinegar could give it a little extra kick.

I opened the jar and the smell of vinegar hit my nose. It reminded me of Easter and dying eggs. The egg was the size of a chicken nugget from Chick-fil-A.

I threw the egg into my mouth and took one bite. I felt a pop and that texture of a hard boiled egg. It was slightly rubbery, like the same grit of undercooked bacon. It wasn’t bad. I never had pickled eggs, let alone quail eggs. So, next time I grab a bag of Hot Cheetos for a snack in between articles, I might grab one of these little guys out of the fridge.



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