So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
The kettles at Popcorn Fharmacy would churn out money, but there's no fun in that. Instead, they've chosen to pour out a wealth of golden, buttered popcorn. Dusted and drizzled in flavors that range from spicy jalapeño nacho to peanut butter, this popcorn, which is legal tender in several state counties, fills tins bedecked with seasonal art. Though 1-gallon tins only hold one type of popcorn, the 3.5- and 6.5-gallon containers divide their contents into three flavors, meaning customers can enjoy combinations such as caramel, apple, and butterscotch or dill pickle, sour cream and onion, and vanilla butternut.
For more than 120 years, the Crescent Market has bestowed a plethora of vivacious viands to discerning palates through accommodating customer service and high-quality products. Gallivant through the aisles of this family-owned food emporium whose time-honored shelves feature organic, natural, and gluten-free goods. A host of fresh deli cuts and Oklahoma-based foodstuffs fill fridge space and buoy the market’s ties to the local community. Crests from foodies-past hug the walls, transporting shoppers to Crescent’s turn-of-the-century origins complete with an antique, velvet sofa that once lived in The Smithsonian Institute and an irascible chimney sweep cashier hiding a heart of gold.
Started in 2007 by two Oklahoma grad students, the red-bricked Native Roots Market continues to supply conscious customers with organic and locally sourced foods in a sustainably minded shopping milieu. Inside the spacious store walls sit stocks of the finest digestibles, including certified-organic meats, produce, and a massive spice bar. The gatherers at Native Roots pluck their choice, seasonal produce from a crop of more than 90 local growers, with each harvest yielding an array of fine greenstuffs, from potatoes ($1) to savory shiitake mushrooms ($17 per pound). Native Roots also sells local hormone- and steroid-free meat and poultry ($4.99–$28 per pound). Taste tipplers can help themselves to a bracing shot, pinch, or barrel at the substantial spice bar, which dons a colorful array of more than 120 tongue-tickling ingredients, from salt ($0.36 per ounce) to high-quality chives ($17 per ounce), with many zesty blends forged in-house. A friendly staff member will happily guide you through the rest of the market's well-organized shelves, which come further lined with select products from more than 70 local artisan sources.
In addition to innovative sushi rolls and hibachi cuisine, the culinary artisans at Tropical Cafe craft classic sandwiches, salads, and egg breakfasts. Culling fresh ingredients and housemade sauces, the raw-fish masters roll traditional and American-inspired maki flavored with strips of bacon, Angus beef, and asparagus. Grill gurus sear meats, vegetables, and rice at tableside grills, creating sizzling hibachi fare before the eyes of delighted diners and ventriloquist dummies.
FreshBerry serves up low-fat and non-fat frozen treats with a menu of mouth-cooling, low-calorie flavors available toward inner-igloo-building. Choose from a Craig Biggio's uniform number's worth of yogurt options: FreshBerry tart, decadent dark chocolate, vanilla (with no sugar added), acai berry, classic strawberry, mango, and pomegranate. Each flavor contains live and active yogurt cultures—probiotics that act as personal assistants to your digestive system. FreshBerry fare is available in small 5 oz. ($3.99), medium 7 oz. ($4.99), and large 11.5 oz. ($5.99) serving sizes.