Fine dining and gas station food may seem like a world apart, but one local chef is bridging the gap, dishing up gourmet sandwiches to fill you up as you fuel up your car.
“We knew we could make really good food out of a gas station, and we weren’t going to let that stop us” explains Hisham Diab, the Chef and Co-Owner of Pump 5 Grille in Livonia.
Diab has worked in several fine dining restaurants and is a strong believer that good food should be accessible to everyone.
So how did a fine dining chef end up at a gas station? Well, it all started as he was filling up the tank of his food truck, and having a conversation with the owners of the gas station. They were friends from childhood and were interested in his knowledge about running a food truck compared to a restaurant. They took him into the back of the gas station to show him a large room they were using for storage and asked if it could be transformed into a restaurant. After looking into it more, they decided to give it a go, and Pump 5 Grille began in April of 2021.
They started testing out their menu at one of the smaller gas stations by selling hot dogs and other gas station classics, but their customers were gravitating towards Diab’s more chef-driven specials. Following what the people wanted, the menu changed to gourmet sandwiches with lots of specials, like a lobster tail sandwich, or their Yemeni hot chicken sandwich.
“We wanted to have flexibility, and we wanted everything to be fresh,” says Diab.
Always on their menu, they have a selection of burgers, chicken tenders, fries, some breakfast items, and their very popular fried chicken sandwich. The Fenkell Fried Chicken Sando uses freshly battered and fried thigh meat, to make it extra juicy. They top it with lettuce, pickles, and their Number 5 sauce, a homemade cilantro jalapeno ranch. They jazz up their Metro Burger by topping it with house-made onion jam and their signature Pump Sauce. You can also get any of their sandwiches, tenders, or fries “pumped up” which means they are tossed in a cheddar cheese powder, drizzled in their Pump Sauce and topped with beef bacon and fresh green onions. Everything they make is halal.
If you are looking to dine-in they have picnic tables set up outside, other than that you can order carry-out or delivery. Pump 5 Grille is located inside the Mobile Gas Station on the corner of 5 Mile and Middlebelt in Livonia.