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February 10, 2013

Roast Pork of the Gods — My spectacular food discovery on Rockfish Gap Turnpike


Yesterday, after running the Crozet 5K, I made my way back to the Interstate to head home and for no good reason decided to top up my half-full tank with gas.

Since a Citgo station was on the same side of the road (250 West, known in that portion of its traverse as Rockfish Gap Turnpike) as I was traveling, I stopped in to refuel.

While the gas was pumping I noticed a Coke sign on the ice dispenser that read "HECHO IN MEXICO"

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and thought "Hey, wait a sec — I've been trying to find Mexican Coke (sweetened with cane sugar as opposed to the high fructose corn syrup used in the American-made brew) for years."

Without success around these parts, alas.

After the gas tank was full I wandered inside the little concrete block store

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and asked the person in charge — Maria Garcia, the owner (top, left) — if she really sold Mexican Coke.


I bought all they could round up, a total of nine bottles.

As they were doing that, I noticed something smelled really good and I took a look around and saw that there were all sorts of visual delights in the area reserved for things just prepared:

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Turns out there were tamales of all sorts, chimichangas, burritos, chili relleno, posole, roast pork, rice, beans, and much more, all cooked by Ms. Garcia that day.

She opened the store four years ago and works there seven days a week, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

I bought some of everything but let me just say this: I started eating the roast pork (above, to the right of the tamales) out of the container on the drive home and almost passed out, it was so good.

My head exploded.

This is world-class barbecue, tender and crusty and perfectly seasoned and smoky and crunchy and just.out.of.this.world.

Everything else I've had so far has been superb, with the green corn tamale a revelation.

Lisa Provence of The Hook wrote a glowing review of the food last year but I never saw her article.

No matter — now I know this place exists and it is mos def worth the 15 mile trip from my house.

I'll be back — way before next year's Valentine's Day 5K.

Highest possible recommendation for this fantastic outpost of Mexican cuisine, stuck out in the middle of nowhere outside the middle of nowhere.

Who'd a thunk?

The name and address for your GPS or Google/Apple maps: Las Cavañas — Gas Station & Mexican Food, 6098 Rockfish Gap Turnpike, Crozet, Virginia, 22392.

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The sign outside the store reads Las Cabanas but don't worry — this is the place.

February 10, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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"Provide GPS coordinates" commented 6.02*10^23.

1. I do not know how to provide GPS coordinates nor have I any interest in the subject of GPS coordinates. I do not use Google Maps or Apple Maps or ANY such things because I cannot figure out how they work. Instead, I pay for Motion X HD, an iPad app which has a simple enough interface that even I can use it and most of the time get where I am trying to go without getting lost. Notwithstanding a nightmare outside Philadelphia last year and having to ignore the completely wrong directions just this past Saturday getting to the Crozet race after which I happened on this market.

2. I got you close enough: Anyone in ZIP CODE 22392 if asked can tell you exactly where to find this jewel. If they can't, simply email me and I will drop everything and personally drive to your location and take you to the store. Is that better? Because that is the bookofjoe way.


"'6098 Rockfish Gap Turnpike, Crozet, Virginia' - in google maps pulls up an Exxon station" commented rob weaver.

1. It would appear your google maps is more up to date than that of 6.02*10^23, since at least you got a gas station.

2. Perhaps you've noticed that from time to time a gas station changes brands. Is it not enough that I directed you to a combination Mexican grocery/restaurant and gas station, with a reasonable degree of certainty the only one in ZIP CODE 22392? Have I fallen short of what you've come to expect by not offering the brand of gasoline featured on your [outdated] Google Maps entry instead of the current real-time vendor? If so, my apologies.

Posted by: bookofjoe | Feb 11, 2013 6:23:35 AM

Oh man, I'm so jealous. Oh, and Safeway sells the Mexican coke and (Fanta and Sprite) in these parts, individual bottles, 99 cents

Posted by: tamra | Feb 11, 2013 2:41:04 AM

" 6098 Rockfish Gap Turnpike, Crozet, Virginia " - in google maps pulls up an Exxon station

Posted by: rob weaver | Feb 10, 2013 11:55:11 PM

Tengo hambre!

Posted by: joepeach | Feb 10, 2013 9:09:28 PM

You can get Mexican Coke (made with cane sugar) in glass Coke bottles at Costco.

Posted by: Pepsi | Feb 10, 2013 8:18:31 PM

Provide GPS coordinates. That address is at the corner of NO and WHERE streets.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Feb 10, 2013 6:56:45 PM

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