This is what Chow, Baby gets for trying to be efficient. Having recently gotten the Chowbabymobile’s a/c recharged, Chow, Baby spent last week’s heat wave comfortably cruising around the county looking for places where car and driver could get fill-ups simultaneously.

Stopping for some V-Power at the Shell station that’s also the original home of the Tommy’s burger chain (7028 Navaho Tr., Lake Worth) seemed like a great two-birds solution. And since this is also a convenience store, when the cashier says “Grab yourself a drink” you can choose from three walls of coolers! Chow, Baby contemplated a Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Wave Runner Passion Fruit & Mango, but since it was driving it got a V-8. That’s what Chow, Baby’s expense report will say, anyway.

It would have been nice if the affable cashier had asked before putting tons of mustard on Chow, Baby’s cheddarburger ($4.49), though in a way the unwanted taste sensation turned out to be useful. Fresh to the habit of ordering hamburgers medium rare, Chow, Baby isn’t yet counting off for medium-well-doneness – the cutie cook even came out to apologize, explaining that he didn’t have much experience with the pink – but the few bits of meat that weren’t drowning in the yellow stuff were chokingly dry and bland. Chow, Baby considered putting even more mustard on, except that the cheddar that cost 70 cents extra was already undetectable by sight or taste. Plus the onion rings ($1.99) were burnt. Except for the, um, the V-8, it was a disappointing meal.

Chow, Baby had a better burger (double-meat combo, $4.29) at Collins Burger Mart (824 E. Park Row Dr., Arlington), cooked to order (no mustard) while the Chowbabymobile sipped on premium Conoco. And a darn fine carnitas taco ($1.50) at the Taqueria San Luis attached to the Shell station at Highway 199 and University Drive. Unfortunately, car-and-driver fueling efficiency hit a pothole at the X-Trac Convenience Store (1330 Woodhaven Blvd.), though Chow, Baby did learn the difference between “Biloxi chicken” (as writ large over the no-name-gas pumps) and its more famous Southern cousin – namely, that Biloxi chicken has zero herbs and spices, secret or otherwise, and it sits for hours under a heat lamp until it’s dried out and stringy. But just across I-30, at 5300 Brentwood Stair Rd., is a Citgo with a smiling grillmeister who turns out burgers and baskets, taquitos and turkey legs, and all kinds of hot and cold sandwiches. The important lesson Chow, Baby learned here: A lightly grilled sausage/egg/cheese sandwich ($1.39) can be deeply satisfying even if you don’t have a hangover.


All week long, of course, Chow, Baby knew where it was going to wind up: In these parts you can’t say “gas” and “food” in the same sentence without also saying Chef Point Café (5901 Watauga Rd., Watauga). True, this Conoco-fronted full-kitchen restaurant isn’t in the same class as the gas-eat-and-go’s. Chef Franzen Nwaeze, one of whose mottos is “White Tablecloth Dining Without the White Tablecloth,” turns out some serious gourmet food, from a crab cake appetizer with a delectable roasted red pepper sauce ($6.95) to a perfectly grilled salmon fillet with roasted potatoes and sautéed vegetables ($12.95). But for those on the run, Chef Point also makes a mighty fine cheeseburger to go ($4.95). And they’ll ask you if you want mustard.

Contact Chow, Baby at


Previous articleHear the Sirens Singing
Next articleFreeze in Forecast