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 Burgers, Barbecue and Pie

Change Page: < 12345678910.. > >> | Showing page 6 of 11, messages 151 to 180 of 305
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Louis

  • Total Posts: 713
  • Joined: 4/28/2003
  • Location: Henderson, KY
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/18/12 10:49 PM (permalink)
For what it's worth, I've had acid reflux for years.  I discovered the cure for it was to watch what I ate.  When I ate too many acidic items (which, unfortunately, consists of most of the tasty things in life), the reflux would occur; when I ate enough alkaline items (salads and greens, stuff like that), I would not have it.  When my Ph level got too acidic, reflux would occur.  To avoid reflux, I don't eat anything after 8:00 p.m., and I drink a couple of glasses of water mixed with about 3 oz. of pure lemon juice; this is enough to alkalize my body.  Lastly, I take six capsules of Buffer ph made by Vaxa, some company in Tampa.  This ensures me that I won't awake in the middle of the night with my stomach acid in my lungs.  Again, I pass it along for what it's worth.
 
 
    JRPfeff

    • Total Posts: 2368
    • Joined: 12/1/2006
    • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/18/12 11:31 PM (permalink)
    buffetbuster... assorted questions:
    • Any truth to the rumor that Razorbacks are the Southern version of Cheeseheads?
    • Boxers, briefs, thong, or commando? Never mind, I really don't want to know or even think of it.
    • Candidly, when you first heard of the Thiensville Fishfry Pig, which Contingent member immediately came to your mind?
    • What was the best burger on this year's Cliff & Johnny's Excellent Adventure?
     
      buffetbuster

      Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Mon, 05/21/12 7:41 AM (permalink)
      Rocky Enfield


      BB
      This is such a great report that I can't wait to read the rest of it.  While all the food descriptions, photos of food and memorabilia is outstanding I have to say that the photos of the OK City Bombing memorial moved me to near tears.  Thank you for including those.  With all that has happened in the 17 years since then you almost forget about it. Your pictures reminded me of man's inhumanity towards man. I can only imagine how you must have felt standing there on that hallowed ground.

      Keep up the great postings and thanks for making your trips come alive for the rest of us.

      Thanks so much Rocky.  This was now the third time I have been to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial.  I won't say it didn't have as big of an impact on me this time, but there is nothing quite like seeing it for the first time.  The final room of the main exhibit area is where they have photos and personal belongings of those who died.  Let's just say I am glad they have boxes of Kleenex readily available.  The museum really does a wonderful job of handling an incredibly difficult subject in a tasteful and thoughtful manner.  I highly recommend it to anyone who visits OKC. 

       
        buffetbuster

        Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Mon, 05/21/12 7:58 AM (permalink)
        Screaming Chicken-
        Thanks so much for bringing those links to my attention.  Now I am curious why there was a Jenny Lind and an Old Jenny Lind.  If your friend at the newspaper comes up with anything,please report back!
         
        phlmaestro-
        I appreciate the kind words!  I will be writing more about it later on, but Oklahoma is an underrated Roadfood state.  I hope you get a chance to try those onion burgers.
         
        rumaki-
        You got me wondering if the buttermilk pie comes straight from those cookbooks.  It sure sounds that way.  While we were chatting, the friendly owner even remarked how easy someof her pies were to make.
         
        Thanks to everyone for all the advice on acid reflux.  Obviously, this is a common problem.  Everyone seems to have a different method and medication which works for them.  I am lucky that mine is very mild and the only time it rears its ugly head is when I seriously overeat.  On this trip, I took one of my pills every other day and never had a problem the entire time, despite how much food we put away.
        <message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 05/21/12 8:44 AM>
         
          buffetbuster

          Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 8:00 AM (permalink)
          Thursday April 26, 2012 (cont.)
           
          We briefly considered driving back to Fort Smith National Historic Site or Ed Walker's Drive-In, but we had too much to do on this day, so those things will have to wait for a future trip.  You may have noticed the unusual road name Jenny Lind's Country Cafe is located on, as the Gate Nine Road refers to Fort Chafee.  The reason for our visit here was the Fort Chafee Barbershop Museum, also known as the Elvis Haircut Historic Site.  I have to admit, this was my first ever haircut historical site!

           
          When Elvis entered the Army, his getting a haircut was a huge deal.  I like this photo of the press covering the big event.

          It happened in that first chair on the right.  

          But, my favorite thing here is a letter

          on display from three young ladies in Montana to President Eisenhower, pleading with him not to make Elvis shave his famous locks.  If anyone has trouble reading it, let me know and I will write it out here.  As for Elvis, he seemed to understand that this was his duty and didn't make a big deal out of it.  They have a quote by him leading into the barbershop.

           
          Fort Chafee is also famous as a filming location for such movies as A Soldier's Story, Biloxi Blues (a personal favorite of mine) and Tuskegee Airmen.  And it also served as a home for refugees from Vietnam,

          Cuba and those displaced from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  During World War II, it also served as a P.O.W. camp.  There is a lot of history here and we enjoyed the hour or so visit.
           
          It was approaching lunchtime and we drove to Paris, AR, home to two restaurants reviewed on this site across the street from each other, Rogerland Restaurant and Grapevine.  Thinking the buffet at Rogerland Restaurant

          would help us get in and out quicker, we went there.  It quickly became clear to us we picked the wrong one.  Johnny decided right away that he was getting the buffet, while I looked over the menu, thinking about going for the bbq.  When I started asking questions to the waitress (who was actually very pleasant), she was obviously pushing me to get the buffet.  Eventually, I acquiesced.  I found out later, she is the only waitress here during a busy lunchtime and that is why she wanted me to get the buffet.  This was my fault, because I know better.
           
          There is no other way to put it, but the food on the buffet is not good.  There is a big variety,


          but the mashed potatoes were instant, the gravy certainly wasn't homemade, canned green beans, mushy yams, etc. 

          The Southern vegatables were bland and lifeless.  No need to go on.  Johnny did like the greens, but otherwise agreed that this was a forgettable meal.  Actually, the cherry cobbler

          was sugary sweet and gummy in a good way.
           
          Next time, I will try the bbq.  Actually, there probably won't be a next time, as we will go across to the street to Grapevine.  And it wasn't a total loss.  We got to see Snuffy's Bait & Tackle

          next door!
           
          Rogerland Restaurant
          27 1st Street
          Paris, AR
          479-963-1257
           
          We got back in the car headed for Hot Springs.
           
          Much more to come.     
          <message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/22/12 9:13 AM>
           
            buffetbuster

            Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 10:01 AM (permalink)
            Thursday April 26, 2012 (cont.)
             
            The drive from Paris, AR to Hot Springs takes you on two lane country roads through Ouichita National Forest and was quite pretty.  At least that's what Johnny told me, since I slept a good portion of it.
             
            Once in town, we went straight to McClard's Bar-B-Q

            This restaurant goes back back to 1928 and they have a great neon sign out front. 

            I think they have also added to the mural next to the parking lot,

            as this is the first time I have seen the pink shaded one.
             
            McClard's has long been a favorite of mine and along with the Brick Pit in Mobile, I think they make the best ribs I have ever had.  Having talked this place up to Johnny for a long time, I was a little nervous that they would live up to our expectations.  I shouldn't have worried, because the food was fantastic!  Johnny went for the rib, slaw and beans plate. 

            The beans had a mushy texture and not a lot of flavor.  Johnny spiced them up by adding plenty of that great bbq sauce.  The peppery, finely chopped slaw was much better.  I'm at a loss of what to call this type of cole slaw at times, because it isn't liquidy like many slaws, but calling it dry wouldn't be fair either.  Johnny also tasted a slight sweetness to it, which I didn't taste.
             
            But who cares about that, it is all about the ribs.  And these ribs are world class! 

            They are extra large in size, with very little fat on them.  Instead of fall off the bone, Johnny called it bite off the bone as the meat easily seperated.  And such great smoky flavor!  We were both filling the room with yummy noises. 
             
            My dinner was the rib and fry plate. 

            If I remembered correctly, the top of this is supposed to be slathered in sauce, but that was no problem since there was a bottle of sauce on our table.  The french fries are crispy and golden brown.  Eating the ribs and fries covered in sauce is pure bliss and requires lot of napkins!
             
            Because I had always been here alone before, I had never been able to try the famous tamale spread. 


            Truthfully, once it was delivered, it sat there untouched for the longest time while we were eating ribs.  But eventually we started into it and it was much better than I ever imagined.  A mixture of pork, cheese, tamales, chili, onions and lots more of that glorious bbq sauce, we couldn't stop eating it despite being fairly full from the ribs.  They did provide crackers to eat it with, but we mostly went with forks.  Johnny pointed out that the tamale spread would be the ultimate food for watching sports.  I had to agree.
             
            Strangely enough, here we are in the South and the iced tea was unsweet.  The inside of the restaurant is nice, with a combination of booths and counter seats. 

            The one negative is that you have to walk outside to use the bathroom.
             
            Our waitress was an attractive woman around our age.  Our accents gave us away and she asked where we were from and what we were doing in town.  When we told her we planned on having breakfast at The Pancake Shop the next morning, she told us her mother is a long time waitress there and we should ask for her by name.  And, her daughter had also just recently started.  Three generations of woman, all working at Roadfood restaurants. Pretty impressive!
             
            Needless to say, we loved McClard's.  This was on the short list of best meals we ate on the trip.
             
            McClard's Bar-B-Que
            505 Albert Pike
            Hot Springs, AR
            501-623-9665
             
            It was time to do some sightseeing in Hot Springs.
             
            Much more to come.....      
            <message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/22/12 10:07 AM>
             
              ScreamingChicken

              • Total Posts: 4716
              • Joined: 11/5/2004
              • Location: Stoughton, WI
              Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 11:35 AM (permalink)
              buffetbuster


              The one negative is that you have to walk outside to use the bathroom.


              Which is its own separate structure and not the nearest tree, shrub, or wall...right?
               
                Sundancer7

                Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 11:52 AM (permalink)
                BB:  I always enjoy your write and visits.  I am doing ribs for Roz this weekend and I am certain they will not be anywhere as good as what you shared or the Brickpit in Mobile.
                 
                Roz and I just got back from a long weekend trip to Charlotte and Myrtle Beach.  WJ steered me to Lu'Wan's ion Charlotte and it was outstanding and we did the Sea Captain in Myrtle.  Super seafood but the tartar sauce was sweet and the hushpuppies were not what we were use to.  Just fried cornbread which here in TN is not hushpuppies.  Gpotta have onions and jalapeno to jack them up a notch.
                 
                Thanks for your input to Roadfood.
                Paul E. Smith
                Knoxville, TN  
                 
                  ann peeples

                  • Total Posts: 8317
                  • Joined: 5/21/2006
                  • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                  Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 1:28 PM (permalink)
                  Its so funny- Bob and I were never big on ribs. But since joining roadfood years back, and reading reports like yours, BB,( along with everyone elses's!) we have them at least once a week in some shape or form!!
                   
                    Foodbme

                    • Total Posts: 9548
                    • Joined: 9/1/2006
                    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                    Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 3:15 PM (permalink)
                    BB,
                    Great Report & Pictures.
                    Not familiar with Tamale Spread. What is it and what does it look like? How is it made???
                    I assume it's masa and some other filling that you spread on Crackers or something?????? 
                    <message edited by Foodbme on Tue, 05/22/12 3:16 PM>
                     
                      kaszeta

                      Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 3:25 PM (permalink)
                      I'm taking notes.  I'm already slated for a July trip to KC.  Been looking forward to my first Stroud's visit since 2006.
                       
                        josefinajoisey

                        • Total Posts: 69
                        • Joined: 5/10/2005
                        • Location: Rutherford NJ
                        Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 8:06 PM (permalink)
                        Holy Moly.  What a trip!  Thanks for 'taking one for the team' and risking acid reflux to give us a great Roadfood experience!
                         
                          buffetbuster

                          Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Tue, 05/22/12 10:46 PM (permalink)
                          Thursday April 26, 2012 (cont.)
                           
                          Our first stop in Hot Springs National Park

                          was the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. 

                          At 216 feet tall, it gives you an excellent view of the surrounding area.  If you look this direction,

                          you see nothing but thick forest and this way overlooks the city.

                          They have a history display at the top of the tower and Hot Springs certainly does have a colorful history.  It has been the haven for gangsters, spring training site for several major leagues ball clubs

                          and President Bill Clinton grew up here.  What I would have really enjoyed though, was to be pulled around in a cart by an ostrich!

                          I could do without buying an alligator, though.
                           
                          Once we got back into the town portion of the park, we decided to walk down Central Avenue to see where our breakfast destination, The Pancake Shop was located.  We were stopped by a man in a wheelchair,

                          who had noticed my Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt.  It turns out he was a retired steelworker from Monessen who wanted to talk a little football.  Even though he was now living far from home, he still followed his favorite team and we had an enjoyable chat.  BTW, some of the notable people from Monessen include Coolio, Frances McDormand and famous makeup artist in horror films, Tom Savini.
                           
                          There is a pool of water being feed by a spring coming down the hillside. 

                          When sticking out fingers in to test how hot it was, we did not expect it to be as hot as it was.  This would be way too hot to ever take a bath in.  We read later that they did use cold water to cool it down before spa guests would use it.  Bathhouse Row is a series of buildings of beautiful old spas. 

                          The most impressive one, Fordyce Bathhouse

                          doubles as the park visitor's center.
                           
                          The restored interior is beautiful.  On the third floor they have an impressive old gymnasium

                          and parlor room.
                           
                          Some of the dressing rooms are opulent, including this one with a stained glass ceiling

                          and a sculpture that I have titled, Who Needs A Duck?

                          While the old spa equipment was designed for comfort and relaxation, they can also look like torture devices.

                           
                           
                          The visitor's center kicked us out at 5:00PM closing time, so we checked into our hotel to relax for a few hours before dinner.
                           
                          Much more to come.....
                          <message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/22/12 11:13 PM>
                           
                            buffetbuster

                            Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Wed, 05/23/12 6:08 AM (permalink)
                            Thursday April 26, 2012 (cont.)
                             
                            Our dinner destination, Stubby's Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que


                            is open until 8:00PM.  We showed up at 7:30 and they were already cleaning up to close, since there were no other customers.  Yes, we did have our appetites back. 

                            Thanks for asking!
                             
                            First up for us was the Pot O Beans. 

                            I had this side dish on my previous visit to Stubby's in 2010 and it blew me away.  Unfortunately, it didn't look nearly as appetizing, as it had been sitting around all day.  A top layer of crustiness had developed where it was exposed to the air.  Once we did a little maintenance to it, we were very happy with this.  This is a bowl of sweet baked beans, topped with plenty of pit ham and doused with sauce.
                             
                            For our entree, we decided to split the Ultimate Platter,


                            which is a combination of ribs, ham, pork and beef.  My favorite was the ribs, which were big, meaty, provided a crusty chew and only slighty less enjoyable than those served at McClard's.  The pit ham and pork were both very tender and cut easily with a fork.  Johnny enjoyed the brisket more than I did.
                             
                            For sides, we went with potatos salad and cole slaw.  The slaw

                            was wet and not too sweet.  The potato salad

                            was chopped into small little bits and was yellow, although the mustard taste was mild.
                             
                            Despite the fact that they were getting ready to close, the staff made us feel very comfotable.  We offered to get our food to go, but they told us over and over to take our time since they would be cleaning up for a while.  They even brought our refills without us asking.  Really nice people here.  So we stayed and watched part of the first round of the NFL draft on their tv.
                             
                             
                            Although the circumstances were different, I do think McClard's is the better of the two bbq parlors we visited on this day.  Still, Hot Springs is lucky to have two such excellent places to choose from.
                             
                            Stubby's Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que
                            3024 Central Avenue
                            Hot Springs, AR
                            501-624-1552
                             
                            It was straight back to the hotel for the night.
                             
                            Much more to come.....   
                            <message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/23/12 6:16 AM>
                             
                              wanderingjew

                              • Total Posts: 7384
                              • Joined: 1/18/2001
                              • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
                              • Roadfood Insider
                              Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Wed, 05/23/12 7:45 AM (permalink)
                              Buffetbuster
                               
                              Did you climb the Mountain Tower?
                               
                              Glad you liked Stubby's as much as I did
                              I didn't have the Pot of Beans- just the side of beans which came with my meal
                              You should have gone for the pit potato!
                               
                              Next time I'm in the area  which I gather should be in yet another 13 years, I'll have to check out McClard's
                               
                               
                               
                                buffetbuster

                                Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Wed, 05/23/12 8:22 AM (permalink)
                                annpeeples-
                                My experiences with ribs are similar.  I was never a big rib fan until discovering Roadfood.  Now that I have had them in some of the best bbq parlors in the country, it has become one of my favorite foods.  Unfortunately, none of those places are around here, so i don't order them that often.
                                 
                                kaszeta-
                                Six years since you have been to Stroud's?  that is way too long for someone who travels as much as you do.  Hopefully, it will be as good as you remember.
                                 
                                josefinajoisey-
                                Thanks for the compliment.  The acid reflux seems to be under control.  It seems as long as I am smart about it and stay away from anything tomatoey, I don't have a problem.
                                 
                                  buffetbuster

                                  Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Wed, 05/23/12 8:24 AM (permalink)
                                  Foodbme


                                  BB,
                                  Great Report & Pictures.
                                  Not familiar with Tamale Spread. What is it and what does it look like? How is it made???
                                  I assume it's masa and some other filling that you spread on Crackers or something?????? 

                                  I know it doesn't look like what one would normally think of as a spread, but it is exactly what is shown in the above photos, made with tamale, chili, pork, cheese, onions and sauce.  And I very much appreciate the generous comments.
                                  <message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/23/12 8:26 AM>
                                   
                                    buffetbuster

                                    Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Wed, 05/23/12 8:42 AM (permalink)
                                    wanderingjew


                                    Buffetbuster
                                    Did you climb the Mountain Tower?

                                    (Wipes tears of laughter from my eyes)  WJ, you should be doing stand up!
                                     
                                    Since Johnny and I are lovers of baked beans, the Pot O Beans was an easy choice.  I don't really even remember any discussion about the pit potato, so it seems we missed out on something good.  We probably wouldn't have had room for it, though.
                                     
                                      kaszeta

                                      Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Wed, 05/23/12 9:11 AM (permalink)
                                      buffetbuster

                                      kaszeta-
                                      Six years since you have been to Stroud's?  that is way too long for someone who travels as much as you do.  Hopefully, it will be as good as you remember.

                                       
                                      Indeed.  Somehow KC keeps eluding me.  I used to pass through there 6-8 times a year in the 90s (I used to frequently drive from Minneapolis to Columbia, MO to visit friends, stopping either in Ames, IA or KC, depending on schedule, for food, and Stroud's was a frequent dinner stop)
                                       
                                        buffetbuster

                                        Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Thu, 05/24/12 7:44 AM (permalink)
                                        Friday April 27, 2012
                                         
                                        This was not a great day for me.  Oh, I ate lots of pie, so it wasn't a total waste, but I don't ever remember doing so many dumb things in one day.  While it is a little embarrassing, some of you might find it amusing.
                                         
                                        When we arrived early at The Pancake Shop

                                        for breakfast, there was already a big crowd.  As soon as we walked in the door, we were immediately waved to the only open table.  Had we arrived 30 seconds later, there would have been a wait.  And for the rest of our time here, there was a line out the door.  The crowd did seem to be mostly tourists, which is no surprise since this is a big tourist area.  Just a few doors down is one of those cheesy wax museums.  If I remember correctly, there is a small handful of seats at a short counter, but all the other seating is at tables.

                                         
                                        We looked over the menu and they do have plenty of non-pancake options, but how can you not order pancakes at a place called The Pancake Shop?  Here

                                        is the pancake portion of the menu.
                                         
                                        Somehow, I managed to not take any photos of my single order of banana pancakes.  No idea how that happened.  Anyway, these aren't the light, fluffy style of pancakes.  These things are heavy, substantial and are wide enough to fill up the whole plate.  Thank goodness I only ordered one because I never would have been able to eat two.  The pancake was also full of plenty of cut up bananas.  The maple syrup is also served warm,

                                        which is a nice touch.
                                         
                                        Johnny ordered a stack of two of the blueberry pancakes. 

                                        Notice the one renegade blueberry playing king of the hill on top.  To see just how many blueberries there were in these, Johnny flipped it over.

                                        Strangely, it seemed his blueberry pancakes were thicker than my banana pancake.  He also said there were a couple of spots in the middle where it wasn't cooked all the way through.  Still, he ate them both and was happy with his choice.
                                         
                                        On the side, we split an order of thin, very crisy bacon

                                        and some toast.

                                        With the toast, comes grape jelly and some excellent homemade apple butter.
                                         
                                        Service here was efficient, but not what I would call friendly.  Considering how many people come through these doors every morning, that is understandable as they need to get you in and out quick.  Johnny noticed a table next to us, where two two older women had been sitting and they left a one dollar tip.  Not cool at all.
                                         
                                        During our meal, I was trying to spot which waitress was Evelyn, the mother of the woman who waited on us at McClard's.  I asked Johnny that I was thinking of asking which waitress was Evelyn and he answered, "Evelyn?  I thought her name was Irene."  Hmmm, I was sure I heard Evelyn, where did he get Irene from?  I eventually told our waitress that we ate at McClard's the night before and we were supposed to say hello to the mother of our waitress there.  She relied, "Oh, that's Irene.  She's been here forever, but she has the day off today."  So, Johnny was right.  How did I come up with Evelyn?
                                         
                                        The Pancake Shop
                                        216 Central Avenue
                                        Hot Springs, AR
                                        501-624-5720
                                         
                                        We got in the car and headed towards Little Rock.
                                         
                                        Much more to come.....
                                        <message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 05/24/12 8:32 AM>
                                         
                                          buffetbuster

                                          Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Thu, 05/24/12 3:53 PM (permalink)
                                          Friday April 27, 2012 (cont.)
                                           
                                          Once we got on I-40 towards Little Rock, I called into work.  What should have been a quick phone call turned into longer than expected and I wasn't paying attention where we were on the highway.  By the time I got off the phone, we had already passed my next planned stop, Ed & Kay's.  This is small cafe right next to the highway that makes really good pies.  Equally disappointing is that I had also wanted to stop and see the only known building made of bauxite.  The reason we couldn't double back was that I knew that our lunch destination, Charlotte's Eats & Sweets gets very crowded and I didn't want to wait in a long line.  So, we wanted to be there when they opened at 11:00AM.  If I had been paying better attention to what we were doing, we could have had pie at Ed & Kay's, seen the bauxite building and arrived at Charlotte's in time for their opening.  Very disappointing!
                                           
                                          Charlotte's is located in Keo, Arkansas, a small blip on the map southeast of Little Rock.  According to the 2000 census, Keo had 235 people and I can tell you there hasn't been a major growth spurt since then. Charlotte's

                                          is easy to find as there aren't many businesses here.  It is between the tiny city hall and just a little further down the street, a taxidermy shop.  We arrived around 10:30AM, which allowed us some time to catch up on our notes for the trip.  Around 10:45, other cars started to pull in and when the doors opened, there were about 25 people milling around outside.  By 11:15, there was a wait for a table.
                                           
                                          In the front room, there is a long case full of tea pots, knickknacks and antiques. 

                                          On the other side, sits a walnut soda fountain.  The back dining room is much bigger and on my previous visit here, was full of ladies from the Red Hat Club.  Even before we looked at the regular menu, we were eyeing up the dessert list. 

                                          Maybe someday I will try one of the cakes, but for now, it is all about the pie.  When the waitress came over, she recommended ordering our pie ahead of time, because they are known to run out quick.  Needless to say, that was our plan, too.  Johnny went caramel pie, I went chocolate and they were soon sitting at our table. 

                                          This quartet of diners had the same idea,

                                          as they had their pies on the table before their entrees.
                                           
                                          When I went to use the men's room, I noticed a counter with pies a'plenty lined up. 

                                          I ran back to our table to grab my camera.  When they saw me taking the photos, they invited me in for some closer shots. 

                                          These are some seriously gorgeous pies!
                                           
                                          We eventually quick the pie oogling and ordered our entrees.  Here is the main sandwich part of the menu.
                                            
                                            
                                          Johnny went for the signature sandwich, known as the Keo Klassic. 


                                          This is smoked turkey, tomato onion, avocado, Monterey Jack cheese on sourdough.  Sounds good, but not particularly interesting.  The twist is they deep it in a Parmesan garlic cream and then grill it.  The top part of the bread it light and crispy, while the bread underneath stayed soft.  Johnny was also a fan of the thick, creamy cheese and the tasted fresh avocado.  He loved his sandwich.  On my previous visit to Charlotte's, I had the same sandwich and also thought it was a winner.
                                           
                                          This time, I went for another of their "very special specialties", the reuben. 

                                          Now, this isn't one of those giant overstuffed reubens you would see at a deli, but more like a delicate reuben from a tea house serving ladies lunch.  It was not too thick, easy to eat and had a wonderful, strong, yet not overpowering horseradish flavor.  I very much enjoyed it.  Both sandwiches came with potato chips, olives and a dill pickle.
                                           
                                          It was finally time to dig into our pies. 


                                          I know, I'm as surprised as you are we didn't eat the pie first.  The meringues on the pies were a true thing of beauty.  While we were eating our sandwiches, one of us accidentally bumped the table and we just watched the meringue just shake back and forth.  The top was lightly burnt, the meringue a lovely white.  It was airy, yet still had substance to it, if you know what I mean.  The filling for both the chocolate and caramel was extremely dense, not overly sweet and unmistakably homemade.  These were some of the best pies of the trip.  And further proof that Arkansas might be the best state in the country for pies.  
                                           
                                          If we didn't have such a rigorous pie schedule ahead of us,we would have tried more pie here.  We spotted the strawberry pie on another table and it looked so good.
                                           
                                          It should be noted that Charlotte's is only open for lunch on Tuesdays through Saturdays and does not accept credit cards.
                                           
                                          Charlotte's Eats & Sweets
                                          290 Main Street
                                          Keo, AR
                                          501-842-2123
                                           
                                          We got back in the car to look for pie in Little Rock.
                                           
                                          Much more to come.....
                                          <message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 05/24/12 9:39 PM>
                                           
                                            buffetbuster

                                            Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/25/12 7:58 AM (permalink)
                                            Friday April 27, 2012 (cont.)
                                             
                                            I felt bad that here is Johnny on his first ever trip to Arkansas and we are really only going to spend two days.  There are several reasons for that, which I will get into later.  But, once we hit Little Rock, our first stop was Chips BarbecueChips has been a popular bbq destination since 1961.  The outside looks more like a family restaurant than a bbq parlor

                                            and the sign has seen better days.

                                             
                                            Most of what I read about Chips is that the bbq is average, but don't miss out on their excellent pies.  Still doing just fine in the appetite department, we decided to try a pork sandwich and split it. 

                                            We were asked if we wanted slaw on it and as always, the answer is yes.  The pork was cut up into small lean chunks and was very tender.  The slaw was vinegary and sweet.  This sandwich was much better than expected.  We also got an order of the barbecue beans and for a small charge, you can add some smoked meat of your choice.  Inspired by Stubby's Pot O Beans, we went with pit ham. 

                                            The beans were firm, sweet, smoky and drenched in lots of the tasty sauce.  Chips has already won us over and we haven't even tried our pies yet!
                                             
                                            Okay, time for the most embarrassing story from the week.  There are very few foods that cousin Johnny doesn't like, but he is not a fan of anything that contains chocolate chips.  When we were looking at the menu while standing in line to order, all the pies were listed something like:
                                             
                                            Chips chocolate pie
                                            Chips banana cream pie
                                            Chips coconut pie
                                            Chips lemon pie
                                             
                                            I'm reading this and my brain interpreted it as all the pies have chocolate chips in them.  In that moment, I felt so sorry for Johnny.  I even said, "Johnny, I can't believe all the pies have chocolate chips in them.  Even the lemon pie!"  He looked at the menu again and then pointed out they just use the restaurant's name at the beginning of each pie.  Duh!  I can't remember the last time I felt so stupid.  The good news, Johnny was able to get pie without chocolate chips in it.
                                             
                                            We weren't sure what to get until looking over the pies in the case. 

                                            Everything looked good.  Johnny got the lemon pie,

                                            which was fantastic!  Despite the pale yellow color, you could tell it was made with real lemon and had just the right amount of tart.  That is also a real whipped topping, with crumbled up graham cracker on top.  This pie was on the short list of Johnny's favorite of the trip.  Unfortunately, my banana pie

                                            was much less successful.  While it did have more waves of that lovely whipped topping and lots of big slices of banana inside, the filling tasted very artificial as if straight from a box.  I was much happier helping Johnny with his lemon pie.
                                             
                                            Overall, we really liked Chips Barbecue.  Two more things that caught our eye was the cool razorback sculpture

                                            in the dining room and this excellent sign

                                            hanging by the counter.    
                                             
                                            Chips Barbecue
                                            9801 W. Markham Street
                                            Little Rock, AR
                                            501-225-4346
                                             
                                            On my last visit to Little Rock, I was TravelinManned by another great sounding pie shop called Hunka Pie.  Since then, I have been following them on Facebook and Twitter, reading about their specials, hearing how great their pies are and today is the day I FINALLY get to eat there.  But, as Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend."  Yup, I have been TravelinManned by Hunka Pie twice now. 

                                            There was no explanation on the door.  Very disappointing!
                                             
                                            We got back in the car heading out of town on I-40.
                                             
                                            Much more to come.....
                                            <message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 05/25/12 8:16 AM>
                                             
                                              rumaki

                                              • Total Posts: 967
                                              • Joined: 3/1/2008
                                              • Location: Minneapolis, MN
                                              Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/25/12 10:50 AM (permalink)
                                              Thanks again for this wonderful report.
                                               
                                              I have to say that the photo of the Keo Klassic looks great, and the ingredients are things I enjoy, with one exception: "Parmesan garlic cream."  Sorry -- that just sounds disgusting to me.  Garlic and cream together -- not appealing.  I do like garlic butter, but garlic and cream -- I don't think so.
                                               
                                                buffetbuster

                                                Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/25/12 12:23 PM (permalink)
                                                Friday April 27, 2012 (cont.) 
                                                 
                                                Despite the setback of no pie at Hunka Pie, all was not lost, because we had yet another pie stop ahead of us.  That would be Stoby's in Russellville.  There is also a location in Conway.  We found out about Stoby's because their possum pie made an appearance in the previously mentioned 15 Best Pies in Arkansas list.  After all, how could we resist something called possum pie?
                                                 
                                                The theme of Stoby's is trains as half of the building is an old train car. 

                                                You can even blow the whistle on your way in. 

                                                Let me tell you, it was loud!  There is even a toy train running around tracks on the interior.

                                                The first thing we noticed as we entered is the impressive pie case. 

                                                We knew right then we were in for something good.  But, pie would have to wait, since we were also here to try another Arkansas specialty, cheese dip
                                                 
                                                Before doing research for this trip, I had no idea that cheese dip is so loved here.  It is so popular, they even have a World Cheese Dip ChampionshipStoby's offers regular yellow cheese dip or a spicy white cheese dip and we chose the latter. 

                                                This is a mixture of several different cheeses that blends nicely.  The heat isn't apparent at first but it does catch up to you on the back end.  They do say it is unlimited chips, but when we had the cheese dip finished, 3/4 of the chips were leftover.  I can't say cheese dip is the most exciting regional specialty I have ever tried, but we did enjoy it. 
                                                 
                                                High time for pie!  Johnny went coconut cream

                                                and was rewarded with his favorite slice of pie of the trip.  This had a seriously tall, light meringue with lots of toasted coconut on top.  The custard filling was incredibly thick.  Sorry this shot is blurry,

                                                but you can see how dense it is on the fork.  I am not a fan of coconut and even I had to admit it was an excellent pie.
                                                 
                                                Though not quite as good, my possum pie was also a winner.  

                                                I had first assumed that possum pie is something you will only find at Stoby's, but apparently it is another Arkansas thing.  I like how the menu

                                                says it is only available during possum season.  You can see that there is two different layers of the custard filling.  The vanilla layer is mixed with creamed cheese and sour cream giving it an unusual, but delicious flavor.  The layer of chocolate filling was light and not too sweet.  Being a nut frowner, I was worried about the pecans, but it really proved to be no problem at all.  By the way, the pie isn't supposed to look like that.  But, Johnny went ahead and attacked it before I could snap my photo. 
                                                 
                                                We did wonder where the strange name for possom pie comes from.  I asked the waitress if they guaranteed a pound of possum meat in each pie.  When I posted a photo of the pie on Facebook, Nancypalooza asked whether it rolls over and plays dead when you approach it with a fork!   
                                                 
                                                For the first time I could recall on our entire trip, we just sat back and enjoyed a leisurely small meal.  Our dinner destination did not open for several hours, so we took our time.  It helped that our server was really good.  She was an apple cheeked young lady from Appleton and with her unmistakable Wisconsin accent, sounded like she belonged in Arkansas about as much as we did.  Oh, and to drink, I had the Mexican punch (which tasted like Kool-Aid)

                                                and Johnny had the strawberry lemonade. 
                                                 
                                                I don't get the feeling that everything at Stoby's is as good as the pie or even the cheese dip.  But, if you are looking for a good slice in central Arkansas, this is a good place to go.
                                                 
                                                Stoby's
                                                405 W. Parkway Drive
                                                Russellville, AR
                                                479-968-3816
                                                 
                                                For some reason, the traffic in Russellville was terrible.  Almost as bad as what we had in Norman, OK.  It just seems strange that despite spending time in big cities like Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, we saw the worst traffic in smaller cities.
                                                 
                                                Much more to come.....          
                                                <message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 01/15/13 5:31 PM>
                                                 
                                                  love2bake

                                                  • Total Posts: 1272
                                                  • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                                  • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                                                  Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/25/12 4:20 PM (permalink)
                                                  Oh my--that CFS looks awesome!  Was the gravy made from the drippings?  Out here in CA they put sausage gravy on CFS which is just not right, in my opinion. :(  Love your report, btw.
                                                   
                                                    love2bake

                                                    • Total Posts: 1272
                                                    • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                                    • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                                                    Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/25/12 4:26 PM (permalink)
                                                    Holy mackeral!  I just went through Little Rock a few weeks back.  I was on my way the National Pie Championships in Orlando, FL, in fact.  Wish I could've tried these pies, especially the caramel one. 
                                                     
                                                      The Travelin Man

                                                      • Total Posts: 3698
                                                      • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                                      • Location: Central FL
                                                      Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Fri, 05/25/12 5:33 PM (permalink)
                                                      How much longer will I have to wait before I make an appearance in this trip report. I'm getting a little bored with all of the non-Travelin' Man activity.
                                                       
                                                        buffetbuster

                                                        Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Sat, 05/26/12 1:26 AM (permalink)
                                                        TTM-
                                                        What, making sure Hunka Pie was closed for no apparent reason wasn't enough of an appearance for you!
                                                         
                                                          mayor al

                                                          • Total Posts: 15062
                                                          • Joined: 8/20/2002
                                                          • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                                                          • Roadfood Insider
                                                          Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Sat, 05/26/12 3:45 PM (permalink)
                                                          Love2bake- We were introduced to Carmel Pie at the Catfish Hotel next to the Shiloh Nat'l Military Battlefield. They not only served a wonderful Carmel Pie, but they gave us copies of their recipe!  Even a novice like me...and my 15 yr old grandson, have been able to make this fantasic treat several times since. I have not seen it anywhere outside of the Arkansas/Tennessee region.
                                                          Let us know when you make one !!
                                                           
                                                            love2bake

                                                            • Total Posts: 1272
                                                            • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                                            • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                                                            Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie Sun, 05/27/12 1:36 PM (permalink)
                                                            Dear Mayor:  Does the recipe call for boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk?  If so, that is such a delicious flavor, although quite intense. 
                                                             
                                                            I'm going to take your challenge and bake a caramel pie very soon and report back. :)
                                                             
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