(Image of Buc-ee's in Terrell, Texas courtesy of WikiCommons user CJ Jameywiki)
Emmett Burnett got a dream journalistic assignment -- visiting a Buc-ee's travel center. Burnett did so for Alabama Living magazine, and his article -- "A road trip to Buc-ee's is an experience like no other" -- was recently republished by the Alabama Newscenter website.
His assignment took him to the Buc-ee's Robertsdale travel center in Baldwin County along I-10 about a half hour's drive east of downtown Mobile. While the chain has been around since 1982, it just recently started venturing out of Texas. In fact, the Baldwin County location (the first in Alabama) opened up in January 2019 with the second spot in the state up in Leeds in Jefferson County following in January 2021. Thus, Buc-ee's is still relatively new to Alabama and its residents.
Burnett offers sage advice to people who are having their first Buc-ee's experience by stating, "Follow me, but be advised: First timers can be overwhelmed. Taking in the sights, aromas and crowds often evokes sensory overload and spontaneous smiles. Slow down. Relax. It's time to smell the brisket."
Further, the Director of Operations John Taylor told Burnett, "You can almost tell a new visitor just by looking at their expressions. Their eyes get really big and mouths open wide... I've heard them say, 'This is amazing.'"
We agree. A Buc-ee's travel center is a lot to take in. Fortunately, each location is well staffed with employees who are happy to help people navigate the cavernous stores. In fact, some even offer fresh and hot BBQ meat and sandwiches. People also show up to buy all sorts of stuff like shirts, coffee mugs, roasted nuts, and meats (a store favorite is Bohemian Garlic beef jerky). A chain-wide bestseller is Beaver Nuggets, which Burnett describes as "puffed corn bathed in honey/cinnamon and kissed by angels."
Of course, there's the spotless potties as well, and they're essential.
Burnett's article is to help the uninitiated. We were all like that once. Tell us about how y'all reacted during your first visit to a Buc-ee's by either leaving a comment on this blog post or on the Texas Snax Facebook page.