In fact, you'll find some of the country's tastiest meats inside gas stations
Like most chefs, Newman Miller of Star Hill Provisions in Loretto, Kentucky is fanatical about where he sources his products. Often, finding the best ingredients requires snooping around in unconventional places: Miller makes his signature sausage balls using meat from 150 Quick Stop (Jake's), a truck stop in Bardstown, Kentucky that he claims makes some of the best sausage in the country. In fact, he won't buy sausage anywhere else, and it's one of the only products Star Hill Provisions doesn't prepare in-house, because they'll never get it quite as good.
"They make thousands of pounds of homemade sausage in the back every week. They're just the best," Miller says of the spicy, sage-heavy blend. "They sell 600 sausage biscuits every morning out of a gas station."
Legend has it, 150 Quick Stop aquired the magical sausage recipe when the owners beat a butcher in a card game. (Miller worked at that same butcher shop growing up, and he says that the sausages are identical.)
"Good pork, red pepper and sage – those are the three main components that should be doing all the work," the chef says. "They do a fatty enough grind, so my guess would be they’re probably 70/30. It's got a decent amount of fat, but it never splits. And they grind it with two plates, which is a must. You know when you get a burger, and it's plumped up in the middle? That's when they only do the grind one time. Here they grind it, then grind it again. You don’t get that baseball spongey texture."
To make his sausage balls – which, by the way, make an excellent Super Bowl snack – Miller mixes the sausage with bread, buttermilk and farm eggs, then mixes in extra sharp cheddar cheese and let the balls settle over night in the fridge. The next day, he bakes them at a super-high heat to get a bit of crust. ("Make sure to serve them room temp. You can taste them better when they’re luke warm," he adds.)
Miller also swears by 150 Quick Stop's lunch counter, too—specifically, their homemade chicken and dumplings.
Believe it or not, gas stations have long been some of the most interesting places to eat in the U.S., serving next-level fried chicken, sausage, Indian food and more. (Here are ten of our favorite stops.) Of several ringing sausage endorsements on 150 Quick Town's Facebook page, this one may be the best: "We can't keep the sausage at home! We eat breakfast for dinner just for the sausage! We drive for it once a week! Love it! If you ever stop making it, don't think we will ever eat sausage again!"