A few days in Arkansas

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buffetbuster
Porterhouse
2008/11/03 06:33:14
The plan is to fly into Memphis and spend the next few days checking out the sights and Roadfood in Arkansas.

Friday October 31, 2008 
After landing at Memphis airport, I took the shuttle to get my car rental. At the counter, the guy recognized me from my last trip here a month and a half ago as the "bbq guy". He told me again I need to go to Tom's BBQ on Getwell in Memphis.

But, my destination tonight was Neeley's BBQ. I know that they have a tv show, but I have never seen it. The reason I wanted to eat here is it came highly recommended by cecif and I think wanderingjew made positive comments about it in the past.

When I pulled up, there were plenty of cars in the parking lot, but the inside was deserted.

Where was everybody? I'm sure most people were busy with Halloween. Speaking of Halloween, since I was by myself, they sat me down at a booth right in front of the tv, which I appreciated. So, I sat there and watched Milla Jojovich kick some zombie butt in a movie. Ah, nothing whets your appetite for good bbq like seeing the undead feasting on the living!

Since this is Memphis, I had to start off with a side of bbq spaghetti.

The version here at Neeley's has plenty of small bits of pork and is heavy on their own bbq sauce. This was really good!

The bbq beans was also loaded with meat and sauce and was equally delicious.


Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same way about my pork sandwich.

I have never seen a sandwich like this before. The pork came in the shape of a tower, making it impossible to eat as a sandwich. The hard bun didn't help.

For dessert, they offered pecan pie or peach cobbler. Since I would be eating plenty of pie in the next few days, I went for the cobbler.

It was nice and warm and tasted fine.

After my recent experience in north Florida, where I could not get a decent glass of sweet tea, what I drank was a big improvment. I am ready to crown Memphis the sweet tea capitol of the South!

Since I was planning on just relaxing in my room for a few hours and watching to see if Milla survives or not, I placed a to go order for another Memphis specialty, bbq bologna.

Instead of a bun, it comes on toast, which was a nice touch. The cole slaw and the sauce ensures a messy meal, but still a very good sandwich! Overall, Neeley's gets a thumbs up. It is no Cozy Corner, but I would definitely go back for those sides.

http://www.neelysbbq.com/home.htm

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:44:09
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 06:37:35
BB: We missed you in Nashville but it appears that you did very well. Nobody knows pies like BB. How did you rate the BBQ spaghetti? Even though the sandwich was a little tall, how was the taste?

Perhaps we will see you in February in Charleston or Savannah for the Presidents day event?

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 07:34:41
BB - Nice start...and the rental guy knows you! It must have been that Captain Pie Halloween costume! Were you able to just squish down the sandwich and then eat it? The cobler, and crust or topping? Can't wait to see more. My brother would love that bolagna sandwich!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 07:57:32
Just returned from breakfast at Wagon Wheel in Greenbrier, where I had biscuits with gravy. Chocolate gravy! More on that later!

Paul-
This was a weekend I wish I was twins, so I could have been in both places. Even as late as Saturday morning, I was debating whether I should head east or west out of Memphis. As great as it would have been to see my Roadfood friends like you, Travelin Man, The Mayor and Poverty Pete, I had been planning my trip to Arkansas for too long and had already made too many plans.

I will absolutely be in Charleston or wherever for the President's Day weekend. That reminds me...... I need to go buy an official Glee Club shirt!

The bbq spaghetti I had at Neeley's was as good as I have had anywhere!

CTD-
The reason the guy remembers me was because we had a nice long conversation about Memphis bbq while I was filling out the paperwork. And he was right about A & R BBQ, which I really enjoyed. Still, I was surprised he recognized me. BTW, I loved the line about the Captain Pie Halloween costume!

No squishing down of the sandwich. I ate it with a fork. As for the cobbler, I have the feeling it wasn't homemade. Since I didn't ask, I can't say for sure. Still liked it, though.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 07:59:00
Buffetbuster

Good start so far. What a difference 3 1/2 years makes. The pork bbq sandwich at Neely's looked normal when I was there. None of that fancy schmancy tower stuff.
Mrs.Crunch
Cheeseburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 09:00:04
Great stuff !........ a hard bun will ruin a sandwich everytime.....
Does this experience make you want to check out a few episodes of their show??
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 09:45:46
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

Just returned from breakfast at Wagon Wheel in Greenbrier, where I had biscuits with gravy. Chocolate gravy!


After last night's Treehouse of Horror Simpson's special, I know that I can't be the only one thinking....



Mmmmm.....chocolate gravy.
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 10:16:16
The tower thing seems to be very in but it almost always makes whatever it is harder to eat. I guess I'm anti-tower then.

That BBQ bologna sandwich looks terrific!
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 16:17:36
BB

We missed you in Franklin and Summertown, I tried to pay homage to you as you will see in the trip reports.

I agree about neely's sides, I wasn't fond of their pulled pork the last time I was there it was mushy. That towering pile of pork looks interesting, but as you found out it is hard to eat.

looking forward to chocolate gravy and the rest of your report

blinky193
Hamburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 16:25:33
My mouth is watering once again at your photo's! Hope you are having a good time. You'll hve to make another pit stop at Neely's on the way back with a few zip loc baggies and bring some of the bbq spaghetti back home!
susanll
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 16:45:16
It is just me....but the spaghetti is a little too sauced for my tastes. Waiting for more!
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 16:46:05
I am looking forward to your insight into BOOMING DuValles Bluff! Did you visit both Craigs and the Family Pie Shop ??
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 16:48:29
quote:
Originally posted by susanll

It is just me....but the spaghetti is a little too sauced for my tastes. Waiting for more!


Yeah, it's just you....

I thought it tasted fine...
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 17:21:43
CajunKing-
I had no idea that you were going to be there at the bbq get together in Tennessee! It sounds like a real all-star line up. Sorry I missed you.

Actually, I was thinking about you earlier this morning when I was at the Wagon Wheel restaurant. You would have loved my dessert. Yes, I had dessert after the chocolate gravy!

Travelin Man-
As a huge Simpson's fan, that is priceless!!!

Al-
You are way ahead of me. De Valls Bluff will be in an upcoming installment. No way I could pass up a place called the Family Pie Shop.

blinky193-
Can you see me trying to bring bbq spaghetti home in my luggage? I can just imagine what my clothes would smell like! BTW, I tried to text you from Neeley's, letting you know I was there, but it didn't go through. Oh, and get back to work!

susanll-
It was just on the verge of being oversauced for me, which means it would have been too much for others. Luckily, I like a lot of sauce!

Nancypalooza-
Other than the cole slaw at Belgrade Gardens in Ohio, count me as anti-tower, too.

Mrs. Crunch-
Yes, it does make me want to watch the show. My co-worker (the previously posting blinky193) has watched the show and told me about it. Have you seen it? Is it worth watching?

wanderingjew-
Glad to know that isn't something they have always done. They might have been thinking they were doing me a favor by giving me so much. Who knows!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 17:56:22
Saturday November 1, 2008 

Happy birthday mom!

I got off to a nice early start out of Memphis and arrived at my breakfast destination, Gene's BBQ in Brinkley, AR around 7:00AM.

As you can tell by the light, the above photo was taken on the way out. The parking lot was packed with pickup trucks. Good sign #1. There was a banner over the front door declaring it.....

Does that mean Ivory Billed Wood Pecker will be on the menu? Luckily, no. It turns out the inside is a veritable shrine to the elusive bird.

Apparently, a hunter spotted this once thought extinct fellow in 2004. And, no one has seen him since. But, he sure is a popular one here at Gene's BBQ.

He even makes an appearance on the menu cover.


From talking to the waitress, apparently there are some skeptics as to whether the bird was really spotted or not. Including my waitress, though I don't want to get her into trouble. That is why it says "We Believe".

As for me though, "I Believe" in a big country breakfast.

Especially if it stars country cured ham,

plus biscuits and gravy.


The hash browns were straight from a box and the eggs were rubbery, but the gravy more than made up for it. Creamy, peppery, with unusually large chunks of sausage in it, this is something my Kentucky-born gramma would enjoy!

The crowd at Gene's was nothing but locals, all men, wearing ball caps (although they probably call them farmer's caps around here) speaking in hushed tones.


You can see they have a dessert case and I took a look. But nothing appeared homemade, which the waitress verified. My next visit here, I would prefer to try their bbq, but the sausage gravy made this a worthwhile breakfast stop.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=2102&RefID=2048

I headed on to DeValls Bluff, home of two famous Roadfood joints. I knew it would be way too early for Craig's BBQ, but I was hoping to get lucky with the Family Pie Shop. It was only 8:30AM.

I parked across the street at Craig's and walked over to snap an outside photo.

The exterior looks exactly the same as my last visit in 2001! A woman came out of the house next door and I asked her what time the shop opened. She told me to go ahead and knock on the door. When I hesitated, she told me to follow her and she went in. It turns out she was Mary Thomas' daughter and they had sweet potato, coconut and chocolate pies ready. I ordered a small sweet potato and small chocolate. As I was waiting for my pies, I got a photo of their menu

and some whole sweet potato pies cooling off.


Mary Thomas was very jovial and didn't mind answering all of my questions. She did tell me she doesn't open for a few more hours, but I was in the right place at the right time. WOO-HOO!!!!

I went ahead and ate the chocolate in my car.

There is no doubt, that this was as good a pie as I have ever had. The meringue was airy and light on the tongue. The chocolate filling was incredibly dense, yet not rich at all. It was very sweet, but not too sweet. Absolute pie perfection! Here is a close-up of the chocolate filling.


Mary Thomas is a master of her craft! And to think how close I came to going away emptyhanded.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=316&RefID=316

I stowed the other pie away, since I had plenty more meals to hit.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:44:36
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 18:06:00
You Are Killing Me!!!!
Twinwillow
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 18:21:33
Damn!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 19:28:13
It keeps getting better...love those pies!
joerogo
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 19:41:55
BB, Looks like some good down home cookin'. Great report.

After the meal at Neeley's BBQ only you would have to get a sandwich to go.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 20:07:30
BB is definately the RF pie man. Great report. One other note is I do not believe that the Ivory Bill has been spotted but it works great for that exit.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 20:56:09
Saturday November 1, 2008 cont.

I arrived at McClard's Bar-B-Q in Hot Springs around 10:30AM. Since they didn't open until 11:00AM, I had some time to kill. So what do you do, waiting for your lunch spot to open? Eat, of course! So, I went ahead and devoured my sweet potato pie from Family Pie Shop. As for how good it was, I will let the photo do the talking!

I don't know if the photo does the pie justice, but the portion size is huge. These are two slices or a 1/4 a whole pie each.

While sitting there, I admired the nice mural of the building next door.

At five minutes 'til, people got out of their cars to start lining up at the front door.

The inside is comfortable and is half counter seats and half small booths.


I had a bit of a dilemma on what to order. The rib and fry plate was my intended, but I also wanted to try some of their famous tamales. But, there was no way I had room to eat all that. The waitress said she would be happy to substitute a tamale for half of my fries, which was just what I needed to hear. Here is what I ended up with:


Here is a close up of the tamale:

There was nothing wrong at all with the tamale. But, I only ate about a quarter of it. That was because of how spectacular the ribs were. Big, meaty, full-flavored, doused in wonderful sauce, I loved these ribs!

Along with The Brick Pit in Mobile, these are my favorite ribs anywhere. And almost as good was dipping the fries in the sweet, slightly hot bbq sauce.

BTW, I received really good service here. When my waitress asked where I was from and I told her Pittsburgh, she told me her boss was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan. She was also wearing a Razorback ball cap and a t-shirt that said "Woo Pig Soiee"! Yet another reason to like this place! I did buy a bottle of the barbecue sauce to take home with me.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=78&RefID=78

I headed out to do some sightseeing in Hot Springs.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:45:04
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 21:03:44
Those are some meaty looking ribs! I like that the inside of the tamle is not all ground up...it has texture.
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 21:21:52
Cliff if you go to a place that seems closed and get the door to Pie Heaven opened up for you, I think you have experienced the opposite of being Travelin' Manned.

I'm not a rib lover and those look perfect. Nummy.
Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 22:19:55
McClard's!!!This is another place I have on my "to do list" that I will probably never do. This is where Bubba Clinton has eaten many times...Right? I wonder if Hillary has also been there?

I have a friend who has been there and he said it was terrific. Hey, BB, thanks so much for the pictures! Just wondering if you can comment...Are the tamales at McClard's as good as the ones they make in Mississippi? Never had one. Doe's in Mississippi makes them and they're supposed to be terrific. Perhaps you've been to both places?

These Southern pies....I know you love them. In a way, I'm glad they do not do too much for me (the pictures that is) as I like a cream topped pie (not meringue) and I like huge sky high filled pies. All these southern pies from these pie shops are so thin. When you have a pie at a NJ diner, they are 3-4 times thicker. Just what one's use to I guess.

Interesting that you compared Neeley's to Cozy Corner. That BBQ spaghetti looked nasty. Too much sauce! At Interstate they dipped my ribs in their sauce and I hated the texture. I never was even asked if I wanted them sauced. Pissed me off. Missed Cozy Corner..Heard really good things about that place. Went to Charlie Virgo's as our second dinner meal..Should have pulled a "Pastrami Queen" and gone to 3-4 "Q" places in one night! We should have "Pastrami Queened" Kansas City, too!
mar52
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/03 23:30:28
I think I need to move to the South!

I don't know about the barbecue spaghetti, but I sure want some pie!

What do they mean by Tamale Spread?

Did they offer you any sauce with that tamale?

Everything looks scrumptious!

Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 00:38:17
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster
... Can you see me trying to bring bbq spaghetti home in my luggage?


Buffetbuster,
If you went through airport security anywhere, it would be interesting to see the looks on their faces when you told them that you had a suitcase full of BBQ spaghetti -- "Well, I can't get this at home," I hear you lament as they drag you off to commune with Napoleon XIV....
Not Going Pastal, Ort. Carlton in Often-Just-As-Messy-As-That-Would-Be Athens, Georgia.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 00:39:58
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen
I am looking forward to your insight into BOOMING DuValles Bluff!


Mr. Mayor,
What?!?!? Did they have an explosion?!?!?!? -- It surely wasn't of the population kind.
Calling Your Bluff, Ort. Carlton in On-A-Hill Athens, Georgia.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 00:45:24
Dearfolk,
Strikes me that McClard's is only one of the famous-and-decent BBQ places in Hot Springs. Can anyone supply information on any of the others? I'm curiouser than curious.
Wondersomely, Ort. in 30601-Central.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 00:47:26
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster
Just returned from breakfast at Wagon Wheel in Greenbrier, where I had biscuits with gravy. Chocolate gravy!


Dearfolk,
Makes me wish to have some livermush to go with that gravy. I bet it would be gooood....
Oinkfully, Ort. in Amazing Athens.
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 01:01:59
Nice few days here...and some great food..that country breakfast looked perfect...and ooohhh those pies....looking forward to more!
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 01:17:01
Buffetbuster,
I forgot to toss in a serious post and thank you profusely for your travel report. I gained two pounds just glancing at those photos, so now I gotta go walk it off in Atlanta somehow....
Overwaitingly, Ort. in Amazing Athens.
porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 08:22:47
When I ate at McClard's, I had to have one of these over-the-top tamales. It seemed to be the item of choice for many of the diners that afternoon. pb



Photo from Michael Stern's review[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=78']here[/url].
mr chips
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 08:57:50
Those pies look sensational! They let you in early for fresh pie! Keep the reports coming. It is always a pleasure to read of your adventures.
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 09:37:09
I don't recall ever seeing tamales accompanied by saltines before. Is this something specific to McClard's or more of a southern regional thing?

Brad
porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 09:48:44
quote:
Originally posted by Brad_Olson

I don't recall ever seeing tamales accompanied by saltines before. Is this something specific to McClard's or more of a southern regional thing?

Brad

McClard's tamale "spread" is a layered mountain of steamy corn tamales, spicy chili, crunchy Fritos, crisp raw onions, rich grated cheese, and hot barbecue sauce. I think you're supposed to eat the saltines with the upper layers, before you get to the tamale base. pb
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 09:48:45
One of the things Michael Stern put an accent on in his book write-up of McClards BBQ was the 'side' of Beans they served. They were very good as well!! We really enjoyed our plate of Ribs, fries, and cup of beans!

We visited McClards about 10 years ago, using the ROADFOOD Book as our guide in Arkansas. As BB did we got there a short time before the opening hour...The place was deserted. Suddenly about 5 minutes before opening time, a stream of vehicles converged on the parking areas on both sides of the building, looking like a Police Raiding force. People poured out of the cars and trucks and in no time at all the place was full!

ORT Asked a question about other good BBQ in Hot Springs. There are several other BBQ stands around the town. The only other one that we visited back in '98 was also included in Stern's Roadfood Book. It was STUBBY's BBQ. We got a bunch of Ribs and a couple of bags of Chips to take out from there. The ribs were fine. I don't recall much about the place and have no photo record of that visit. I do know it is still in operation (check the Yellow Pages!) but it is no longer reviewed in the Stern's Books.
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/04 10:21:46
The Saltines sure look out of place with that dish!!!!!!
Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/05 02:15:22
Those tamales look over the top. Won't get them in a hospital. so hungry viewing these posts.
Shadow knows.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/05 11:12:17
quote:
Originally posted by Nancypalooza

Cliff if you go to a place that seems closed and get the door to Pie Heaven opened up for you, I think you have experienced the opposite of being Travelin' Manned.
Good one and I agree. It would have been heartbreaking to miss out on those pies.!

Baah Ben-
Yes, McClard's BBQ is very popular with President Clinton. He grew up in Hot Springs and he apparently still eats there occasionally. Unfortunately, I have no experience with tamales in Mississippi, which I will be correcting in a few weeks. Maybe someone else can comment.

Ort-
It is always great to hear from one of my favorite posters. Livermush with chocolate gravy? You lost me on that one, though! I did visit another barbecue place in Hot Springs called Mickey's Bar-B-Q. Two other places that were on my radar were Purity Barbecue and Stubby's, which Al The Mayor mentioned.

porkbeaks-
I sure do wish I had room for one of those tamale spreads, because it looks wonderful. But when you are traveling by yourself, you can't eat everything. Had my cousin Johnny been with me, we definitely would have ordered one. And had ChiTownDiner been with us, we would have sampled a little of everything on the menu!

Al-The-Mayor-
I missed out on the beans. Damn!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/05 13:53:25
Saturday November 1, 2008 cont.

Since this was my very first visit to Hot Springs, I had been looking forward to checking the area out. There is a large tower on the top of a hill, so that seemed the ideal place to start. Hot Springs Mountain Tower is 218 feet tall and gives a great view of the area. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the structure itself, but here is what the woods around the city look like from up there.

As you can see, the trees had just started changing colors in Arkansas.

At the top of the tower, they had a small museum on the history of the city. To say that Hot Springs has a colorful past would be an understatement. Anyway, one thing that caught my eye is that they used to have a minor league baseball here team called the Bathers.

That name just struck me as funny.

I went into town to see the famous Bathhouse Row.

Some really lovely old buildings here. What used to be the Fordyce Bathhouse is now the national park visitor center and museum.


Some rather opulent bath facilities here,


though some of these contraptions don't look particularly comfortable.


After being a good tourist for about three hours, it was time for more barbecue. This time, I went to Mickey's Bar-B-Q.


When I pulled up, there were no other cars in the parking lot. Not a good sign! I walked into the customerless front room and was met by the stares of two woman. They looked like they wanted to be anyplace else but there. I chose the pork sandwich and beans off the small menu and moved down the short cafeteria line. The humorless lady asked in a way I didn't like if that was all I wanted. You would think she would just be happy to have a customer. Still, I spotted some deviled eggs and added them to my order.


I took my tray into the side dining room. The pork bbq sandwich was covered with what sure seemed to be store bought cole slaw. The pork itself was just okay.

Certainly edible, but nothing really to recommend about it, either. The beans were straight from a can. I did like the deviled eggs, though. Oh well, not every place can be McClard's!

Two things I did like about the little dining room. First, this old retro menu board.

And the glowing pumpkin made me think of CajunKing.


I got back in the car and headed out of Hot Springs.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:45:53
joerogo
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/05 14:56:23
Sorry to hear about Micky's. You have a good attitude, pick up and move on.

If you want to drop them an email, I found their web page http://www.mickeysbbq.net/index.htm

buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 09:48:57
joerogo-
Thanks for adding their website. I don't think I will email them. If the food was especially bad or I didn't like the way I was treated, that would be different.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 10:42:47
Saturday November 1, 2008 cont.

My next stop was Ed & Kay's in Benton, which sits right next to I-30. Which makes me wonder why my GPS took me down a dead-end dirt road to get there.

Even in the middle of the afternoon, the place was fairly busy.

Note the Halloween themed play on words on the sign.

Since I have had barbecue the last two meals, I was ready for some Southern vegetables. So, I focused on that page of the menu, which also had the desserts.

But, one other thing on the menu caught my eye.

It was surprising to see horseshoes on a menu in Arkansas. Isn't that a Springfield, Illinois thing?

Here is what I ended up with on my four veggie plate: green beans, purple hull peas, pan fried potatoes and carrot raisin salad.



I don't think I have ever had potatoes like that before. The creamy carrot raisin salad, with small pieces of pineapple was especially good.

You can't come to Ed & Kay's without a slice of pie or two. So, I ordered a piece of the amazingly tall lemon meringue to eat there

and some pumpkin pie to take with me.

Though it wasn't close to the best meal of the trip, Ed & Kay's is a solid family restaurant with really good food.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=2094&RefID=2040

Next, I got on I-40 heading west and checked into my hotel in Russellville. While unpacking, I discovered I had accidentally taken the remote control from my hotel in Memphis with me. Oh well, I will have time to return it before my trip ends.

First stop in Russellville was Feltner's Whatta-Burger.

This is part of the huge fast food chain, but they sure don't act like it here.

With it being a Saturday night, the place was packed!

Still, as soon as you walk in the door, there is someone there to take your order. Similar to Kincaid's in Fort Worth, they write your name and order on a paper bag.

Here is the menu board.


Since I had already eaten so much today and planned on another stop later, I went with the single with cheese, with the works.

It may not be clear in the photo, but this is no ordinary fast food burger and was quite good. The small fries

also tasted fresh for a fast food place.

There is a large selection of shakes available and I went with the cherry.

For dessert, I grabbed a peach fried pie.


The young people working here are very friendly and seem to really care about doing a good job. Expect to be treated well here. I am assuming most of them go to school at Arkansas Tech across the street.

The inside is also decorated in cutesy little signs, some funny, some not.

I took photos of quite a few of them, but that was the only one that turned out.

Before I left, the place got even busier as people were arriving from the Arkansas football game. The line was now well out the door. I headed back to my hotel.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=59&RefID=59

I had wanted to have a late dinner at Catfish 'N in Dardenelles, but I was now too full and too comfortable in my hotel room to go out again.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:46:36
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 11:48:05
It looks like that pan fried potato dish was made with food service fries? Not a bad idea, really. And I love the burger joint--that burger does look mighty tasty. I'm disappointed I can't get a 'Bathers' ball cap--beautiful pics from Hot Springs.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 13:31:51
WOW! Where to start - the pies looked great! Not sure what PCP is? did you see the cobbler? Cherry shake...my choice also. The Whatta-Burger looked really good and jumping. Is that the same chain as in Texas metro area?

Must have some Springfield influences to have the Horseshoe on the menu...and even the Pony!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 13:52:23
Sunday November 2, 2008 

I had hoped to get off to an early start since my breakfast destination was hours away. But, I slept in later than I had wanted to. It wasn't until at least an hour into my morning drive that I realized that due to the time change for daylight savings time, I was now going to arrive at the restaurant before they even opened.

So, I made a quick detour into Alma for a photographic opportunity that Travelin Man would enjoy. Alma is known as the spinach capitol of the world, so they have a Popeye statue in the middle of downtown.


Needing to hit a bathroom, I found a Braum's near the highway. And as long as I am here, I mind as well grab a two scoop (chocolate peanut butter and mint chocolate chip) hot fudge sundae.

Yeah, I did the same rationalizing in Tulsa!

Once I got on I-540 headed north, the scenery turned spectacular. Between the mountains, the leaves changing and the fog, there was also something to look at. Since I was driving, it was tough to get a good shot, but you can kind of get the idea from this one.


My destination was The War Eagle Mill outside Rogers. It is in the middle of nowhere, but there are signs leading you there.

You come to a one lane 100 year old bridge and the mill is on the other side.




The place has an interesting history as a number of mills have been built on this ideal spot.


The first floor has a general store feel to it.

Lots of the wonderful sounding products they make here at the mill are for sale.




You can also see the inside wheel working on the first floor and there is someone there to answer your questions.


The second floor is more of a gift shop and also has nice plates and dishes for sale. The third floor, is where the Bean Palace restaurant is located.

Shaped like a hay loft,

you place your orders at the counter to the left in the photo. Here is the breakfast menu on the day of my visit.


I went with the buckwheat waffle and sausage.


To pour the syrup on the waffle, they give you this handy little device.

As someone who hates getting sticky stuff on his hands, I sure do appreciate this.

For a side, I went with the tasty yellow corn grits.

Topped off with a generous portion of butter, these were very enjoyable.

The Sterns highly recommend the cobbler here, so I got the blackberry.

Outstanding!

It wasn't until later that I was kicking myself for not trying a biscuit. How do you visit a restaurant as part of a mill and not get a biscuit?

Before I left, I watched the water wheel do its thing from the bridge.

This is one of the great Roadfood settings!

The facilities? Outhouses!


http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=131&RefID=131

Much more to come.....

post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:47:18
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 15:05:33
CTD-
The PCP pie stand for pinapple, coconut and pecan. Since I had cobbler the night before and was planning on having cobbler with breakfast the next day, I stuck with the pies at Ed & Kay's. I do imagine they were good, though!
rhpenland
Hamburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 15:28:19
Buffetbuster - Thanks for posting all these great pictures, I am really enjoying your trip report. My family and I did the same thing a year ago, hitting many of the same places (McClards, Feltner's Whattaburger, and War Eagle Mill). I like hearing that they are all still good, though it may be a while before I'm able to get back out there again. I will second your comment about the service at Feltner's - those folks are really on the ball, and truly do seem to care about the restaurant's reputation and history.
acmalcolm
Junior Burger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 15:54:10
Ort-Tho I've enjoyed McClard's BBQ a few times, I haven't tried any other joints in Hot Springs.On my radar for future trips would be:
Mickey's 1622 Park Ave. (501) 624-1247
Purity Bar-B-Que 1000 Malvern Ave. 623-4006
Stubby's 3024 Central 624-1552
I'd have to agree with buffetbuster that McClard's has some of the best ribs I've ever eaten.If the other joints in town compare then the people of Hot Springs are some lucky.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 15:55:00
Cliff,
Sorry you missed "CATFISH N". We have ejoyed dinner there several times over the years and have yet to have one that was less than an 8 on the 10 scale. We especially like the setting, on the river just below a large dam. Maybe next time you'll get there. it is worth a bit of a side-trip.
AL
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 16:43:08
Cliff

(chocolate peanut butter and mint chocolate chip) hot fudge sundae.

WOW what a choice of flavors
crew84row
Cheeseburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/06 18:15:16
BB-

Definitely a buffet busting trip! Thanks for bringing back memories of McClard's and Ed & Kay'ds from my childhood. Mc Clards was always on the menu when we went to Hot Springs. My parents used to bring back ribs when they went to Oaklawn. And Ed and Kays (Pat's in those days) was our meeting spot for family get-togethers with aunts and cousins in the area.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 08:11:00
CajunKing-
Yeah, now I'm thinking I should have gone with butterscotch topping instead of hot fudge!

acmalcolm-
I'm glad you agree with me on the ribs at McClard's. Those other places in Hot Springs can't possibly be as good, can they?

Al-
Now you got me really disappointed that I missed out on Catfish 'N. I probably could have eaten there that night, but as full as I was, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I should. Sure gives me a reason to go back!

rhpenland-
Thanks for the nice words and for letting me know you went on a similar trip last year. Did you take a whole week and just a few days like I did? Was McClard's as good for you too?
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 11:01:19
Sunday November 2, 2008 cont.

This was my first visit to northern Arkansas, and I was very much looking forward to the scenery and exploring the little towns. One of the towns I drove through was Harrison, which gets kudos for having such a lovely art deco building.

But, they lose points due to this:

The Goblins? Seriously? My high school's nickname was the Planets and I think this is a lame name. All of a sudden, the Bathers are looking better!

My next food stop was at Coursey's,

just south of the tiny town of St. Joe. It is now a multiple building operation,

but the middle (light green) building is the store. The little wood structure in the foreground is their original building.

Coursey's is best known for their smoked hams. They do have some hams hanging inside the store,

but obviously, I couldn't buy a whole ham and try to get it home.

In the back of the store, they have a counter where you can get a sandwich. Here is the small menu board.

I went with the smoked ham and smoked cheddar on wheat.

Once again, the photo might not do the sandwich justice, but they really piled on the meat and cheese. Just a little brown mustard and I was good to go.

They also had baggies of smoked turkey and cheeses for sale, so I bought a couple of those for snacking.


There is no place to eat inside, so I took my sandwich to a picnic table underneath the trees.

The sandwich was delicious The ham was slightly sweet, slightly smoky and very full-flavored. I realize that I am just eating a ham sandwich at a picnic table, but this was a great Roadfood experience and I loved this place!

I have every intention of ordering a ham and some of their fine looking bacon around the holidays.

BTW, the huge sandwich, a root beer and two baggies of smoked goodies came to $8.00. This was typical as everything I ate in Arkansas was almost shockingly inexpensive.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=127&RefID=127

I continued north and east and stopped in Fred's Fish House


in Mountain Home. The sign said they overlook Lake Norfolk. So, I asked to be sat next to the window. Well, you can see the lake alright, but overlooking the water may be stretching it a bit.


One of the things I like about the menu was this column, that listed what you could purchase ala carte.

I should have taken advantage of this and tried more things.

My meal started off with a plate of an onion, a dill pickle, pickled tomato and wonderfully fresh, sweet cole slaw.

As an appetizer, I couldn't pass up the interesting sounding fried green beans.


There was no way I could not come to Arkansas and not get some catfish, so that is what I ordered.

There were four sweet, crunchy fillets and I enjoyed these very much. The french fries and hushpuppies were nothing special.

The young guy who waited on me was very impressive. He was outgoing, friendly and really hustled. He seemed to be everywhere, waiting on every table. When I was paying my bill, I mentioned how good my service was to the woman who appeared to be the owner. She asked, "Which of the twins did you have?" Well, that would explain it!

I drove through some beautiful country to arrive at The Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View.

Unfortunately, the restaurant and the museum were closed. In fact, there was no one around at all. I did check their website before my trip and unless I read something wrong, they should have been open. Are you happy Travelin Man?

Tired, I checked into my hotel in Conway. I did get out the phone book to see if anyplace interesting was open. But being a Sunday night, everything was closed. So, I stayed in my room and ate my smoked cheese, smoked turkey

and the pumpkin pie from Ed & Kay's.


Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 15:48:02
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 11:14:33
Cliff we were the Capitols. Yes, as in a building. It's kind of hard to get people excited for the buildings. Goblins look like downright genius in comparison--and the picture's kinda cute. It looks like you really got off the beaten path for this trip--lovely shots!
joerogo
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 11:52:21
The twins, that's funny.

Looks like a real fun trip. Enjoying the report!!!
Alirush
Hamburger
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 11:54:38
Buffetbuster,

According to their (somewhat confusing) calendar, I think the Ozark Folk Center closed for the season on Nov 1. Too bad you missed it - it's a wonderful place to spend a few hours.

We've lived in Hot Springs for 7 years now, so we're lucky enough to enjoy McClard's whenever we're in the mood for BBQ, which is pretty often! You must order a spread the next time you're in town - they're amazing. There are no other BBQ places quite as good as McClard's, but our next choice for ribs is actually Smokin' In Style, which no one else has mentioned yet.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of your AR tour!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 13:29:02
Man, a giant Popeye statue and the "Home of the Goblins"...how does a trip get any better? Come on...at least Goblins is seasonal, and the use of the phrase "Go Gobs" is kind of priceless. Embrace the Goblins, my friend!!!

Oh...and I would never wish my bad restaurant luck on anyone else. My new mantra when others travel may be "May all your restaurants be open."
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 14:42:37
Go Gobs...The new mantra for Captain Pie!

Coursey's looks pretty cool...was there more of a menu or just the two types of meat sandwiches?
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: A few days in Arkansas 2008/11/07 14:47:12
Travelin Man-
Way to take the high road! Oh, and the only Gobs and I want to see have pumpkin filling!

Nancypalooza-
Can't say I am too impressed by the Capitols, either. But still, the Goblins?

Alirush-
Thanks for the info. I obviously didn't check out the website as closely as I should. Too bad I missed the place because it looked like it would have been enjoyable. Lucky you being able to go to McClard's BBQ anytime you want!

CTD-
That was the entire menu, but I was grateful for that. It would be tough enough trying to sneak bbq spaghetti on the plane, yet alone an entire ham!

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