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May 27, 2009 08:09 AM

thoughts on convenience stores selling real food...

Yesterday I had the most delicious samosa at a convenience store. Perfectly blistered outside, not in the slightest greasy (in fact, no grease at all), amazing veggie combo of potatoes, peas, broccoli & spinach with the perfect blend of spices.

This is strictly a convenience store that sells beverages, ice cream, snacks, etc. Did not appear to have a kitchen. I do not have a problem with that at all. When I told the man behind the counter that the samosas were delicious, he thanked me & said that "they" made them. I didn't inquire further. Is it possible they were made in their home? Do I even need to know or care?

So what are everyone's thoughts on this? I would like to give a recommendation on the Boston food board, but don't want to jeopardize the convenience store getting shut down if what they are doing isn't allowed...

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  1. I don't know what the rules are in Boston (or even here in OH), but there used to be convenience store about a half mile from my home, owned by a Greek family, and they always had baklava available for purchase (and really good baklava at that!). My husband and I also stopped for gas in Crestview FL once and the store had some awesome fried chicken we've ever had! And the Indian grocery that we sometimes frequent often has a heat lamp with samosas sitting under it at the check out. Again, don't know the legality but appreciate the access!

    1. I doubt they would get shut down, but they may be told to stop selling the samosas. Basically, any food offered for sale has to be prepared in a facility that conforms to certain standards. If they are making them at home, it is unlikely that it does. Perhaps they are made at a licensed restaurant owned by a relative?? Maybe they've fooled you and the samosas are made commercially and sold to them frozen to be reheated?? Who knows. In any case the local food police probably have bigger fish to fry.

      1 Reply
      1. re: johnb

        Back when I lived in Northwest Arkansas, I'd often stop at a gas station that doubled as the best tacqueria in the area.

      2. Stores run by ethnic types often have the best specialties... as you said they 'made them themselves'. Who knows better how to make a curry than an Indian, etc? If they don't look dodgy, I don't worry too much about where they came from.

        2 Replies
          1. re: stricken

            Apologies to anyone who thought it was a slur... perhaps I should have said 'recent immigrants'? I get the BEST empanadas from the local farmer's market store, run by a Mexican family. They don't speak much english, but they can cook! :)

        1. Obviously you weren't looking hard enough every Tom Thumb here that sells real food i.e, gizzards, chicken, fried porkchops and things of that nature has a kitchen! There are 3 here in Crestview that cook and sell food also doubling as a total convenience store! Never assume had you asked someone would have gladly pointed it out as a matter of fact right there where you got your food not too far away (hidden) is a FULL size kitchen!