Discovering (Albeit Late) the Greatness of Buc-ee's

Do you ever walk into a place and think, "If all hell breaks loose, I hope I can make it to this place. I could live here for weeks!"?

Buc-ee's, people. It's a giant gas station/store/bakery/everything place on Interstate 45 north of Huntsville. Put them on your hell's-broken-loose radar. It appears they've been open a couple of years, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to discover the greatness of Buc-ee's.

Please stop here if you can. Go out of your way if you have to and make sure you have time to soak it all in. Absolutely use the restrooms. Take a nap in them if you need. On your way out ask if you can buy a 100 bags of ice just to see what they say. And if your dog has to do it's business, for the sake of the children, clean it up. Buc-ee's is the Taj-Mahal of convenience stores and gas stations.

Here are some things I noticed about Buc-ee's and, for the most part, I liked:

1. The bathrooms double as art galleries. Bonus: It's all for sell. The theme is primarily contemporary bedazzled cowgirl.

2. The cleanliness is astounding. Not only is there hand sanitizer in every bathroom stall, there's also toilet sanitizer.

3. 18-wheelers are not welcomed. There's a sign that says so. You know how truckers take a righteous attitude at truck stops? Buc-ee's has two big double flip offs to that.

4. Beaver nuggets.

5. They make signs for things that smell atrocious. Leaving Buc-ees, I noticed a sign (see below) and in my immaturity, pulled over to snap a picture, then the most horrible smell of all horrible smells overtook our car. We couldn't escape fast enough. It was like trying to run in a nightmare. People sit at that stop light and almost die, so they had to instruct people how to handle up on their dog's business. C'mon! You should know this already!

6. Belt buckles and pimento cheese are sold within 20 feet of each other. (See photo at top.)

7. Pecan pie kolaches -- hadn't seen those before.

8. Have you ever wondered if there is a beef jerky heaven? Yes, there absolutely is. I found it.

9. Buc-ee's has the right to limit the number of bags of ice you can buy. There's a sign that says so.

10. You could easily do all your holiday shopping here. I love that quality in a gas station. I'm big a fan of one-stop shopping.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.