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Why Gas-Station Restaurants Are Great for Suburbs

A new crop of restaurants in gas stations, like Seoul Food D.C., will help suburbs grow into more authentic urban places.
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It's 1 p.m. on a Tuesday, and I'm at Seoul Food D.C., eating a kimchi-bacon rice bowl as I watch cars whoosh down a six-lane road. I'm fighting the urge to finish my lunch with one of the pumpkin whoopie pies next to the cash register—instead, I settle for a pack of gum, sold in the Tiger Mart a few steps away.

Tiger Mart, you may recall, is Exxon's convenience-store brand. Yes, this Korean-fusion café operates out of a gas station. Anna and Jon Goree launched Seoul Food in a food truck in nearby Arlington, Virginia, in 2011. After building a devoted following for their caramelized kimchi and bibimbap, the couple decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.