Stop for gas and fill up, too

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The best things in life are simple and unexpected -- like Marcelle Katry's beef stew. Boasting hearty chucks of tender beef and vegetables in a rich, succulent sauce, a heaping portion of Marcelle's stew is ladled over rice for only $4.99. What's unexpected is that Marcelle and husband Albert serve this home-cooked goodness out of their Marathon gas station at 711 W. Lee Road, just west of I-4 (407-647-6669).

In the midst of remodeling several months ago, Albert recalled the many drivers who had stopped in years past to ask, "Where can I get something good to eat?" So the gregarious and entrepreneurial couple, who immigrated from Egypt decades ago, installed a deli counter, highlighted by Marcelle's beef stew and savory roast chicken, open to hungry motorists until 11 p.m.

Considering the too-crowded and too-slow lunch offerings on that stretch of Lee Road, the Katrys' hot dishes are a practical delight.

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