CityView Magazine

April 2023

CityView Magazine - Fayetteville, NC

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Page 34 of 55 | 31 GOOD EATS Buc-ee's bonanza! All the cool buckaroos head to this roadside attraction for Texas-style brisket, a beef jerky bar and bodacious fun. STORY AND PHOTOS BY JANET GIBSON A Sheetz marries a Tractor Supply, and they give birth to two babies: Cracker Barrel and Hobby Lobby — but only the folksy home décor and casual-clothing parts of the stores. WHAT TO EAT IF YOU GO BEAVER NUGGETS: Crunchy, corny and super-sweet, these bites remind us a bit of the Corn Pops cereal that we grew up on — and are just as addictive. BRISKET SANDWICHES: As good as the melt-in-your- mouth beef brisket in Texas? Not really. But it's still a decent fix in a dousing of savor y-sweet barbecue sauce. Get the X XL. (Note: We also hear positive reviews about the pulled pork and sausage links.) FUDGE: The real deal. Several varieties. Made in-house. JERK Y: It's ever ywhere! In myriad displays, on entire walls and in full view in a jerky bar where you can request samples. Our favorites: teriyaki, cherr y maple, Korean BBQ. PASTRIES: European-inspired kolaches, basically a meat- or jam-filled round of soft dough baked to perfection, are favorites in the Lone Star State. If spicy is your thing, check out the jalapeño-stuffed baked goods. South Carolina, just off Interstate 95 at North Williston Road. It's about 90 miles from Fayetteville. Like a beacon in the distance, we spot the happy, snaggle-tooth beaver mascot on a behemoth building that's been packing them in 24/7 since May 2022. We luck out and find a parking space right up front. e people-watching possibilities are instantly primo, and the energy is electric. Folks are arriving as eager as, well, the beaver that adorns everything — on signage, packaging, T-shirts, tote bags, cups, baseball caps, you name it. Before taking the adventure inside, we check out meticulous displays of outdoor grills, fire pits and deer feeders. ere are also big coolers of bagged ice all in a row and 120 gas pumps (about 5 to 10 cents cheaper 1: A Buc-ee's cowboy serves up fresh brisket, a favorite at the Texas-themed chain. 2: Among the many jerky flavors is cherry maple. 3: Grab some wet wipes from the glovebox; you'll need them for the juicy brisket sandwich at your 'car picnic.' 4: A ceramic chick is perched on a shelf. 5: Pickled treats make a down-home gift selection. 6: Folksy home accessories are in abundance. 7: A variety of house-made fudge satisfies your sweet tooth. 8: Beaver Nuggets are a snack reminiscent of Sugar Pops cereal. Add in Texas-style brisket sandwiches in sizes such as XXL, a beef jerky bar, house- made fudge, kolaches and jalapeño-stuffed pastries; more road snacks than you can count; a massive filling station with discount gasoline prices; electric vehicle chargers; and the cleanest restrooms off the interstate that double as art galleries. And now you've got a formula for a bona- fide success story with the buzz to match: Buc-ee's. e first store opened in Texas in 1982 with a pair of visionaries, Arch "Beaver" Aplin III and Don Wasek, at the helm. In 2019, they decided to expand in the South. Now they are spreading like wildfire with 44 locations. ere are none in North Carolina — yet. So, on a recent Tuesday we're in Florence, per gallon than we saw on the highway). Well-placed sandwich boards declare that working for the beaver also pays well: from $18 an hour for cashiers and grocery stockers to $150,000 to $225,000 annually for general managers. What you don't see are 18-wheelers. Not allowed. is is not a truck stop, but a "family-focused" attraction, according to company policy. As we head inside, the excitement builds. We're welcomed by a smiling, red- shirted associate named Star (for real). First impression: is place is cool — all 53,000 square feet of it.

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