Ah, did you miss me?
This week we are on the road again. We are getting extra adventurous this time around. We’re eating at a gas station. And no, they don’t sell lottery tickets anymore.
Located in Alma on U.S. 71 North is Sargent’s Pump Station and BBQ.
Let’s be frank here, it’s a gas station. The décor is that of any gas station. Racks of souvenirs and beef jerky line the place. Cigarettes hang boldly behind the registers. The menus live behind the stand that hold the Bic lighters.
But the service is excellent. I wouldn’t go so far as to say full service, but they’ll make you a mean smoked bologna sandwich, so I’d say it’s quite a bit further than most gas stations. The staff of Sargent’s is as friendly and talkative as you expect any small town gas station to be.
Now, I know what you are thinking, how can this place possibly serve good food? To be honest, I have no idea. What I do know is that they do. I’d go so far as to say that is one of the best barbeque places in the River Valley. That’s how good it is.
Now that we’ve brought it to the table, let’s chew the fat about the menu. Hands down, without a doubt, best chopped smoked beef I’ve ever had. It’s got that mysterious savory something-or-another in it that will make you keep nibbling at it even after you are so full that you might die. It’s even spectacular without any sauce on it. But with sauce, it’s a whole new world of awesome deliciousness.
Next up on my list of must try’s at Sargent’s is the bologna sandwich. One bite of this bad boy and you’ll find yourself praying to Batman to protect these babies from the Riddler (who is a well known smoked bologna sandwich lover).
If bologna scares you because you’re a big sissy, then maybe a little less processed meat food is your cup of tea. If so, get the spicy smoked sausage. It is wonderful, but not the best in the area. If pulled pork is your thing, Sargent’s is solidly good, but it just didn’t do it for me.
Sides are a barbeque joints’ weak spot. Most places can make a mean sandwich or a mean potato salad, but rarely shall both meet. Sargent’s manages to pull it off somehow. I’m putting my money on the fact that they a) don’t buy it at Sam’s Club, and b) use an infusion of smoke and spicy mustard to give theirs a real bite. The baked beans are also out of this world. The fries are just fries and the cole slaw is good, but not rocking my butt these days.
If you haven’t ventured out to Alma lately, you should go by and grab some barbeque at Sargent’s. You’re bound to wind up with a smile on your face as you hunt for a bottle of Rolaids.
Until next time, good eating to you and yours.