Stay right at the fork. Follow the signs to the airport, but don’t go to the airport. If you’re coming from Dallas, you’re headed down Interstate 30. Maybe you catch the manufacture-y aroma whipping in the air off of the highway—it’s something like a grilled cheese that’s stuck to the tire of a big rig. Keep going. There are dumplings at the end of his drive.
Who doesn’t need explosively good dumplings? Dumplings are like math: they are a universal language to communicate joy. They’re simple and pocketable, like a baby bird or a lottery ticket. The best dumplings are served in street food format: each as hot as campfire, rippable-tender on the outside, an eye-opening fennel and juicy, salty chicken on the inside. They’re best when devoured moments after they’re done cooking, in those dangerous moments when they’re hotter than lightning.
On the corner of Northgate Dr. and N Belt Line Rd., there’s a Texaco (with Techron™️) gas station that knows the entrancing power of dumplings. There, you’ll be lured into counter-serve momos—fried or steamed or chili-cloaked dumplings—a Nepalese street food joint that’s served with sauces that cause periodic blackouts.
Don’t park at the gas pump unless you need to. You’ll want to take the time inside, under Momos TV menus, to pull up a clangy stool. The romance, at wonderful Momo Stop, is in the candy-red chili sauce flipping in the pan. The fragrance is dazzling, all heat and floral herbs and peppers. About an hour after opening up their little shop, Momo Spot is ready to drop dumplings into a basket. It’s just me and the momos and the smiling cook. You might wait a grand total of fifteen minutes before you’ve got a full plate in front of you for roughly the same price as a spicy chicken sandwich combo at Chick-fil-A.
The momos, little crimped pockets like gyoza, are uniformly arranged around a styrofoam plate like a delicious clock with a dipping sauce in the center. Starting at, say, 11 p.m. on the momo timepiece, paint the creamy, peppery tomato sauce over the dumplings with your fork. Dip and dive. And for the love of all that is holy. Be careful, if you jump the gun, you’ll end up scalding your insides.
It’s perfect, frills-free cooking at a place where you might otherwise fill your car up with unleaded and leave. Take the time to drive and stop. The lucky ones live close to this gas station. Ignore the stereotypical jokes centered around gas station food that causes bowel issues—that’s ignorant stuff. Momo Stop is one of many reasons why Dallas’ suburbs are magnificent at fast food.
Eat in, and then take an order of chili momos, which means they toss your dumplings in a clinging, fiery sauce with dashes of peppers and onions. It’s less than seven bucks, and leftovers get better as they sit in your car.
This is the best meal at a Texaco you may ever have.