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Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Patty Melt and a Fried Pie at the Hurley House in Hazen.

I posted this picture a few days ago on Twitpic and asked people to identify it. I got a lot of answers, but no one even came close to figuring out that this patty melt is from the Hurley House Café in Hazen.

Unless you’ve traveled Highway 70 these past few years, you probably have never heard of the place. I haven’t seen any sort of advertising out there. It’s not that sort of place.

The Hurley House Café’s the sort of place a community needs, a place where old men get together a couple of mornings or afternoons a week and swap tales about the past and fishing lies, where families can sit down for a homestyle dinner and where workers can drop by and have a plate lunch.

This wasn’t my first visit. I dropped by back in early November 2007, shortly after I’d started my blog, and I chronicled the Barbecue Burger. I was just passing through on my way to Memphis, looking for material I could share. This particular Saturday afternoon I was traveling with my daughter, and we were looking for lunch.

We split this great patty melt (which will run you $4.25, hamburger or chicken) and an order of fried okra ($1.25). The patty melt was thick, cooked through and very juicy with its layer of cheese gluing the meat to the crisp toast. The meat had a nice peppery flavor to it. Hunter was thrilled with the okra, a large portion we shared with gusto.

Now, there was this list of fried pies on the wall, and you know how I am about pie. We shared a blackberry pie ($1.75). It came out nice and hot, a flat and flaky translucent crusted crescent, the filling visible under the layers. It was tender but not especially crispy, and the filling was smooth without seeds.

The Hurley House Café also does daily lunch specials and catfish, fried bologna sandwiches and Frito chili pies. A plaque by the door states the place was established in April 2003. Seems it’s getting a lot of local traffic. Might be worth a check-out if you’re heading towards points east of Little Rock.

You’ll find The Hurley House Café on Highway 70 across from where Highway 63 comes in from the Interstate. It’s open at six every morning and open through lunch on the weekends and dinner during the week. For more information call (870) 255-4679 or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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