Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie
Thu, 05/31/12 9:07 AM
Friday April 27, 2012 (cont.) Our final destination of the day was AQ Chicken House in Springdale. I have to admit, based on the review, it sounded touristy and I wasn't expecting to love this place. They have a big parking lot that was mostly empty by this time of night. The outside is busy, with neon signs and old cars sitting out front. A giant metal chicken sculpture greets you as you walk in the door. The chicken theme runs throughout the interior decoration and for the most part it is tastefully done. While Johnny was in the men's room, I killed time looking through an old guest registry they had sitting out. Whenever we are out eating together, Johnny and I try to avoid ordering the same dishes. This way, we get to sample a much bigger variety of things. Here at AQ, we made an exception. You can order your chicken a lot of different ways, so we both settled on the chicken sampler platter. The first things to show up were our root beers in glass bottles and some huge, soft dinner rolls. There was already honey on the table, which for me, is always a good sign. The rolls were the perfect conduit for loading up on honey. Our entrees arrived and we got different pieces of chicken for the different styles. We both thought that the barbecued and pan fried chicken pieces were moist and juicy. But we agreed that the clear best on plate was what they called "over the coals". This style, as explained by our waitress, makes you think the chicken just came off the backyard grill. It had a strong lemon pepper flavor which permeated deep into the meat. Outstanding! At least we managed to order four different sides. The mac and cheese was not good. Johnny thought the noodles were overcooked and I thought they used low grade cheese. The sweet potato casserole was whipped and had lots of cinnamon in it. The green beans were in a mild porky juice. Johnny's favorite of the sides was the battered french fries. These are battered and then deep fried, which gave it a coating more like onion rings. Because we didn't show up as hungry as we liked, I was shocked that Johnny also ordered a side of the chicken and dumplings. But, I wasn't about to complain. This was loaded with big chunks of tender chicken, plus wide, flat noodles, all covered in a thick gravy. I ate more of this than he did as he was running on fumes by now. When I mentioned dessert, Johnny wanted no part of it. He is clearly the bigger eater of the two of us, but on this day, he had had it. This is a very rare occurence and I figured if I got something he liked, he would still contribute. So, I went with the fried peaches, which came with several scoops of ice cream on top. Much to my surprise, Johnny took about half of a bite, said it was really good, laid his fork down and said no mas! After how much we had consumed on this day, it was more than understandable. But, now it was up to me. The best way to eat this dish is what I like to call, the Indian Pudding technique. That is making sure you get a bit of the ice cream and the fried peaches with each spoonful. Even though it wasn't overly sweet, what really elevated this dish was that they used what sure tasted like fresh peaches and not canned peaches. I didn't completely finish it, because it was an imposing portion size, but I did come close. Our meal here took much longer than we had hoped, considering how tired we were. Despite that, we really liked our waitress, who was in her 60s and had a twinkle in her eye. She spent a good portion of the meal at our table chatting with us. The AQ Chicken House (the AQ stands for Arkansas Quality) turned out be a place we very much enjoyed and we would definitely return. Johnny said his one regret was he just wished we had shown up hungrier. AQ Chicken House 1207 N. Thompson Street Springdale, AR 479-751-4633 On the way to AQ, we passed Neal's Cafe, a restaurant Wanderingjew had recently visited and gave high marks. We discussed the idea of stopping in afterwards for pie. But, at this point, all we wanted was to relax. It was a short distance from here to our hotel in Rogers. Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 05/31/12 9:11 AM>