UPDATE: It'd been a while since I'd dropped in at Neal's Cafe, but on a visit to the area in November 2016 for Food Network, I dropped in for lunch. My work for the day done, I could relax and have a delicious lunch before making the trek home to Little Rock.
Inside, the scent of fried chicken hung in the air, along with the sweet of pies and the savory notes of vegetables. The restaurant was not busy, and I had my pick of a number of tables. I looked over the menu, decided quickly on my entree and let my waitress guide me through a variety of available side dishes.
The quiet chatter while I waited was not distracting, and I was able to send the messages I needed to take care of to finish my responsibilities for the day. This particular Friday was relaxed, and I was looking forward to going home.
My food arrived - a large colorful plate plus side dishes, so mych to enjoy. Alongside the three pieces of meat, there were a couple of fluffy whole wheat rolls, a medley of sauteed squash and zucchini, apple salad and red hot apple cider. The last two dishes could not look less alike.
The applesauce, flavored with cinnamon imperial candies, was delectably sweet and about perfect a remedy for the windy day outside. It was delightful.
The fried chicken, though...
This is a pulley. It's the center cut of a chicken breast. Sound strange? Neal's Cafe cuts its own chicken, and does the old fashioned way. Rather than having two enormous, oversized breasts, the chest is cut into three.The pulley contains the wishbone. I think it's the juiciest piece of white meat you'll find on a bird.
And it's so very, very good.
Of course, I coudn't finish all this food, so I took the rest home with me. Except the red hot apples. I ate all of them.
Before I left, I checked out the pies. And let me tell you what - this is absolutely magnificent.
Coconut meringe, chocolate meringue, lemon meringue - and just as fluffy as on my previous visits. Ah, but pie. So much pie... this time I passed. Next time I won't.
Check out the Neal's Cafe Facebook page, or give them a call at (479) 751-9996. And if you're looking for the restaurant, you'll find it at 805 North Thompson Street in Springdale.