‘Watts for Dinner’: Wawa improves on gas-station food

Will Watts
The spicy cheesesteak sandwich from Wawa, South Naples.

Wawa. It sounds like a small child asking for water. But, no, it’s the next stop in our ongoing dining adventure.

So where does the name come from? According to Wikipedia, “the chain's name comes from the site of the company’s first milk plant and corporate headquarters in the Wawa, Pennsylvania area. The name of the town Wawa is in turn derived from the Ojibwe word for the Canada goose (taken from ‘The Song of Hiawatha’). An image of a goose in flight serves as the Wawa corporate logo.”

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Well that explains it.

Wawa opened last week offering $2 a gallon gas and other incentives. When I visited on Sunday, you could but any size fountain drink for $.59. And they have those Coca-Cola machines that let you add flavors and offer a wider selection.

In perusing their sandwich offerings, my curiosity was piqued by the specials of hot turkey paired with stuffing and cranberry sauce or mashed/sweet potatoes on a hoagie roll.   

The spicy Cajun turkey sub with bacon from Wawa, South Naples.

Alas, the temps suggested I sample something less heavy. So, I sampled the spicy Cajun turkey sandwich and added bacon. I ordered the 10-inch sandwich which is compact and easy to handle; yet still stuffed with mildly spicy goodness. The ingredients were fresh and delicious. I highly recommend this sandwich.

For my side, I added a cup of chicken noodle soup; also, amazing. If this is the new standard for gas-station food, I’m in and Subway is doomed.

My partner in dine picked a sandwich from the sourdough melts menu; the spicy cheesesteak. Cheesy, hot and scrumptious was his assessment. Although he would have liked a bit more meat.

Sourdough melts feature thick-sliced-artisan bread. You can also get roasted chicken and pepperoni, to name a few.

For his side, the sweet potatoes. This dish was incredibly sweet, more like a pie filling than a savory side dish. Don’t get me wrong, it was top notch and earns our highest rating.

The chicken noodle soup and sweet potatoes from Wawa, South Naples.

Ordering is high tech. You place your order on a touch screen and it walks you through several options to customize your meal. Once your entire order is done, you get a receipt with an order number. You can take it along with any other items you wish to purchase to the front counter for payment. Then just wait on the serving area to call your number; and it’s quick, once you pay.

There’s no indoor seating; so, keep the temps in mind if you plan on eating it there. And there is plentiful outdoor seating.

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Wawa, the quality will make you rethink what gas station food could and should be.

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go


  • Price Street and Tamiami Trail E., South Naples
  • Wawa.com