Fill A Bag Of Chips With Gas Station Toppings For On-The-Go Nachos

Road trip season is upon us, and that means we have a ton of pit stops to make at gas stations along the way. And one of the unspoken best parts about stopping by one is stepping into the convenience store to grab drinks and a snack after refueling your ride. There's just something about gas station food that tastes even better when you're munching away in the car.

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But the thing is, not all food is optimized for car eating. Plain chips and a slushy drink are one thing, but sometimes hot food is what you really want. The problem is that the stuff from the hot bar, like hot dogs and nachos, can be a potential disaster due to toppings like drippy chili and gooey cheese. But what if you had a workaround?

We've got a bit of life advice for you: If you play your cards right, you can buy a bag of chips straight from the rack and dump fillings right into the mouth of the open bag. Grab a fork and voila, you've got walking taco-style car nachos that won't make you have to pull over to scrub your seats. 

The nacho topping bar is the best friend you never knew you had

If you've never had a walking taco, it's a fun snack (or sometimes meal) that you assemble right in a bag of corn chips (usually Fritos). You take chili, cheese, and other condiments of your choice, like onions, pickled jalapeños, diced onions, tomatoes, and hot sauce, dump it right on top of the chips, and eat it out of the bag with a fork. It's easy, filling, and most importantly, portable.

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You can easily assemble one using the toppings from the nacho bar that's available at many gas station convenience stores (in fact, we've already got a handy guide on how to make a 7-Eleven walking taco). If there are nachos available for purchase, chances are there's also a hot cheese and chili dispenser somewhere nearby, along with a cold bar stocked with onions, tomatoes, and pickled peppers. 

The typical nacho container is wide open on top and a catastrophe waiting to happen should a chip slip out between your fingers, which is why using an enclosed bag of chips with a utensil is a much better option for car eating. But the other great thing is that you can choose whichever base chip you'd like; if you're a Doritos fan, you can use those, or if potato chips or Cheetos are more your thing, you can dream big. 

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There is one big catch to making your own gas station nachos, however

Before you go hog-wild at the nacho bar, however, don't forget a few things. One, you need to have already purchased your bag of chips at the front counter. That means you can't just rip your bag of chips open before you pay for them (I'm saving you a stern talking-to here).

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And two — this detail is really important — while nacho toppings are typically free for those who purchase the tortilla chips up by the nacho bar, this doesn't necessarily apply to any other chips from the other snack racks. When you're at the register to purchase your chips, be sure to ask the employee what the store policy is. I've run across varying answers from straight-up barring of the practice altogether to small upcharges added during checkout.

Since many of these gas station convenience stores are owned by independent franchisees, they set their own policies, even if the store is a big chain brand like 7-Eleven. So just like with anything else in life, it's better to be safe than sorry, and make sure it's cool with the store before you build your own glorious bag of on-the-go gas station nachos. Oh yeah, and don't forget the fork on your way out.

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