Last week I drove up through the Hudson Valley, zipped through the Catskills, skirted the Adirondacks, dipped my toes in Lake Champlain, crossed the border, and was in the Province of Quebec. Outside of Montreal, on Route 20 to Quebec City, I stopped for gas.
Gaz-o-Bar is one of just a few available pit stops along that road. When I headed back into the states I was struck by how much is available at U.S. exits—not just one station, but three or four, then there are the McDonalds, Subways, Starbucks. Old news, sure, but compared to the humble Gaz-o-Bar, there was a certain decadence to it. Although the gas station is part of a larger company founded in 1972, the Canadian truckstop served a limited menu of eight hearty (read meaty) suppers (brought tableside by hot ‘n meaty waitresses who have surely seen a few miles) to hunkered-down, hungry truckers. Not a Whopper in sight. One exit away was a nod to American-style franchise: Tim Hortons, Canada’s answer to Dunkin Donuts and home of the best Chocolate French I’ve ever tasted.
P.S. Here's a shot I took for the Blue Monday guys.