For some people, nothing tastes so good as food that's consumed at a gas station — look at Fuel City and any number of gas station burger joints. It's a lesson learned by Naughty Chile Taqueria, a chain of taquerias opening its first outlet in The Colony, in the Fast Fuels station at State Highway 121 and Standridge Drive.
Naughty Chile was developed in Denver and is being managed in the Dallas area by Alan Stapleton, who anticipates a dozen branches around Dallas.
"We are not your typical gas station food concept," Stapleton says. "Our signature items are street tacos and burritos, like the Chipotle-style burritos. We have tacos, breakfast tacos, burritos, bowls, and nachos that we make to order. If you think of a Subway where you order a sandwich and go along a line, that's what this is like, but it's all tacos and burritos."
Ingredients run from fajita chicken to beef brisket to breakfast ingredients, such as eggs and sausage. There are salsas, pickled jalapeño, and a press to warm up the tortillas. They can even fashion a vegetarian option. "We have all the veggie items — rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, as much veggies as we can carry," Stapleton says.
Branches have already opened in Denton and White Settlement, but this one in The Colony is the closest to Dallas.
"For location, you need a place with busy traffic," he says. "This one is going into a former TCBY yogurt place, but we don't need a kitchen, so the space can be very minimum."
They don't need a kitchen because most of the food is made ahead of time and warmed onsite. Is this a gourmet experience? Probably not. But a taco assembled à la minute is surely more appetizing than an in-store hot dog, and it's noteworthy that tacos are now going head to head with names like Arby's and Pizza Hut.
While the gas station is open 24 hours, the taqueria is open during regular dining hours only: 6 am to 8 pm, with a slight emphasis on breakfast. "The idea is that you can come in on your way to work, or wherever you're going, and grab a bite," he says.