Speedy Cafe – Wayland
I go through a lot of gas driving between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo five days a week. Most of the time, I like to stop at Speedway gas stations due to their Speedy Rewards program. I quickly rack up the points and use them to buy iTunes gift cards so I can buy movies for L.
There are a couple of Speedways along US-131, but I usually stop at the Wayland store just because it’s pretty easy on and easy off.
Earlier this summer, I made my usual stop in Wayland for gas and the Speedway was gone. There was a fence around the property and the building had been torn down. There were signs outside saying they were rebuilding, so in the mean time, I started getting my gas at the Shell station across the street.
When the new Speedway finally reopened last month, it opened with Speedway’s newest concept. The Subway counter that was inside the old building was gone and the new Speedy Cafe concept was introduced.
The Speedy Cafe offers a fast-casual dining option to selected Speedway gas stations. I’ve always been a fan of the food that Speedway offered during the day. The burgers are cheap and better than fast food burgers and the pizza is actually pretty darn good. The Speedy Cafe offers both of those, but with more options. They also introduce panini’s, subs, hot dogs, smoothies, and a number of breakfast sandwiches.
The Cafe is set up so you order at a self service kiosk. It prints out an order ticket for both you and the cafe workers. You take your ticket to the cash register and pay for your along with gas or anything else from the convenience side of things. When your order is ready, a number is called you pick it up from the cafe counter. As you would guess, most orders are for carry-out, but there is a small dining area in the corner of the gas station building.
The first time I stopped in and actually ordered food was earlier this week. I was in the mood for a burger and fries, so I pushed through the order screens until I found what I was looking for. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and spicy mustard. Once I finished the order, it asked me if I wanted two burgers. I assumed that meant a double cheeseburger, but it actually meant two separate, but identical sandwiches. I punched “yes” for the two burgers and was surprised when I was handed two boxes.
The burgers from Speedy Cafe are surprisingly good. They’re not made fresh. Like most fast-food places, the meat is cooked ahead of time and kept warm then reheated when it’s ordered. The options for toppings is actually pretty large and a welcome improvement to the burger from the old Speedway I used to (and still do at other Speedways) eat regularly. I breezed through both sandwiches pretty quickly on my drive from Wayland to Grand Rapids
I also ordered the Fresh Baked Fries and, while they had potential, they were waaaaaaay undercooked. The potatoes were still raw in the middle. The fries themselves are skin-on fries that are dusted with a seasoning salt. Had they been cooked all the way, I’m guessing they would have been pretty good, but the order I got was inedible. At that point, I was really happy I screwed up and ordered two sandwiches because I had to stop eating the fries after just a couple.
The bill for my food order was just under $9. I really like this new Speedy Cafe and the best part, to someone like me who works an odd shift, they are open 24 hours. I assumed they’d close early, but I stopped in the other night on my way home from work to grab a Pepsi and the Cafe was still manned and he was making a pizza for someone at midnight.
There’s a McDonalds right next door to this Speedway and in the past, if I was hungry at night, I would have to stop at McDonalds for food then go next door for gas and a Pepsi. No more of that. The Speedy Cafe actually has pretty good food and to top it off, it won’t break the bank.