Gossip and Gas Stations

Main Street
Main Street

SOLON— Word on the street is that the Dock Restaurant is doing a makeover. There had been some negative chatter about the restaurant in social media, the owners found out and are taking some new directions. As I wrote in my Aug. 18 review, “the food was good, and reasonably priced, and that is a positive. However, rather than the good food, the restaurant’s operational issues dominated the evening.” We’ll give it some time before the restaurant crawl makes it over for round two— the hope for redemption.

Needing to dispense with the two gas stations on the restaurant crawl, I stopped by Casey’s General Store and RJZ Express this week. If one’s view of dining options includes take out while stocking up on tobacco products, lottery tickets, fishing bait, beer, sugary drinks and salted snacks, these establishments are the ticket. Hands down, Casey’s is the better option for food.

The fare is similar, pizza by the slice, sandwiches made in house, chicken nuggets, and other items served in a rotating warmer.  I’d go back for another slice of Casey’s pizza because it was freshly made. The RJZ Express pizza looked like it had been in the rotating warmer a day too long. The reason for the difference is corporate process.

According to their website, Casey’s operates more than 1,759 stores. Their “success has been attributed to (their) clean stores, restrooms, and the friendly employees who pride themselves in customer service. Casey’s customers have come to know that inside each store they will find dedicated, helpful, and well-trained employees, exceptional prepared food items, and a clean environment in which to shop.” Casey’s knows what it is, a large chain of convenience stores, and focuses on having processes and training to them. That includes food preparation, and managing a competitive pizza take-out business in small towns that might not have a pizzeria.

RJZ Express is a small-scale owner operator that sells BP fuels. It serves a need in town, but the freshly made sandwiches that persuaded me to include them on the crawl have apparently been replaced with made once in the morning sandwiches that twirl in the warmer all day. Not the same thing. They sell prepared food because their competitor within eyesight does. RJZ Express food is a pale imitation of what Casey’s provides.

That’s about it for gossip and gas stations. Be sure to stay tuned for the rest of our restaurant crawl.