Friday, September 5, 2014

Hogland Bound: Little Rock to Fayetteville for Razorback Fans.

Heading to Fayetteville to catch the Arkansas Razorbacks in action? Have other plans in the area? Here's a handy list in order of exits along Interstate 40, full of great places to grab a bite on the way up.

Mayflower (exit 135, left over overpass, at intersection)
Stroud's Country Cafe. You may have to park on gravel. This local joint fills up for breakfast to overflowing -- which is saying something about the sizable eatery. Look to overstuffed omelets and bacon for breakfasting and whatever the plate lunch special happens to be for lunch. Also, good burgers.
558 Arkansas 365, Mayflower, AR 72106
(501) 470-9828

Conway (exit 129, Dave Ward Drive west, Harkrider north a couple blocks)
Smitty's BBQ. Barbecue done mighty fine not far off the Interstate, with choice of sauce including a nigh-on close bona-fide Shack sauce. Hungry for something? You're like as not to find it here -- barbecue stuffed potatoes, PurpleHull peas, fried pies, fried crappie (and if you don't know what crappie is, just WOW), turnip greens, Frito pies... about everything you can imagine. And the smoked meats -- beef, pork, ham, turkey -- are superb.
740 S Harkrider St, Conway, AR 72032
(501) 327-8304

Conway (exit 125, left under overpass, couple of blocks down on right. Look for big white chicken)
David's Burgers. It's a burger. But it's a burger at a place that does little more than burgers. Got on the road late? Roll through the drive-thru and get a burger and fries to go. Hope you didn't wear your best clothes, though -- for those who add cheese and grilled onions to their sandwich, you've agreed to either a slippery, sloppy roadborne dinner or you're going to need to pull over and eat your burger with a fork.
1100 Skyline Dr, Conway, AR 72032
(501) 327-3333

Morrilton (exit 108. left over overpass, right at Y, on the left)
Atkinson's Blue Diamond Cafe. Good homecooked meals, burgers and a delightful array of ice cream confections. This one's a couple blocks from the highway atop a hill, but it's worth a stop-in. The fried pickles are plentiful, and the patty melt is a sin.
1800 E Harding St, Morrilton, AR 72110
(501) 354-4253

Morrilton (exit 107, left over overpass, on the right across from Love's)
Morrilton Drive Inn Restaurant. The menu's so large here, it's only contained by being included on menu boards that entirely surround the ordering window. Want Mexican? They got that. Breakfast? They got that. Strange burgers, catfish, barbecue? Check, check, check. Skip the fried pies by the register and get a milkshake to go.
1601 Oak St, Morrilton, AR 72110
(501) 354-8343

Morrilton (exit 107, left over overpass, on the left two blocks past Love's)
Mom & Pop's Waffles. Making your run on Saturday morning? Budget a little time for an old fashioned breakfast experience a couple of blocks south of the Love's station. Lots of homemade specials here, and you can't beat their strawberry topped waffle.
1504 Oak St, Morrilton, AR 72110
(501) 354-8284

Russellville (exit 81, left over overpass, Highway 7 around Arkansas Tech, intersection with light, on the left)
Feltner's Whatta-Burger. The traditional stop for Hog fans, all the way back to the late 1960s. Orders are taken on white paper bags just inside the entrance, then you stand in line a while and get up to the front. My suggestion? Though the memorabilia is awesome, you're ready to get to Fayetteville for the game. Call in your order (479) 968-1410 (wow, I didn't even have to look that up!) and pick yours up at the window. Remember, full size fry orders will feed a family.
1410 N Arkansas Ave, Russellville, AR 72801
(479) 968-1410

(exit 81, turn right at Highway 7 and it's immediately on the left)
CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers. Burgers, fries, shakes and sodas. That's all this former Waffle House cooks up -- but it does all well. Take advantage of the free jukebox and relax a few. Bonus -- the interior is Razorback-friendly red and white.
2803 N Arkansas Ave, Russellville, AR 72802
(479) 968-2300

Lamar (exit 64, right on Highway 64, into town, on left in the big curve)
Sweet Treats. This one's specifically for folks coming in on Friday around lunchtime. You have to stop here and get pie. They have good plate lunch specials (today's is Mexican Casserole) and their chicken salad is humongous, the chili's pretty great, but there are always quite a few marvelous pies on the whiteboard at the front end of the restaurant. Get you a slice.
5 Main St Lamar, AR 72846
(479) 647-0133

Clarksville (exit 55, right at Highway 64, couple of blocks down on the left)
Kountry Kitchen Grille. Worried about the crowds? Here's a hidden gem that features home cooking and a packed menu with some really great prices. However, what you really want to get would be one or several of Michelle's homemade desserts. Sometime's it's cake, sometime's it's pie, sometimes it's banana pudding. Whatever it is, get it and count yourself lucky.
2604 W Main St, Clarksville, AR 72830
(479) 754-2611

Ozark (exit 37, left over overpass to town, cross Highway 64, block and a half further on the right)
Rivertowne BBQ. Off the top of my mind, about the only place in the state that offers creamed possum on the menu. Located downtown about a block off the square, Rivertowne's specialties include ribs, chicken and brisket like buttah.
205 S 3rd St, Ozark, AR 72949
(479) 667-1808

Ozark (exit 35, right on Highway 23, immediately on the right)
Hillbilly Hideout. Located inside the I-40 Travel Center, this overlooked 24 hour diner is relaxed, has delectable breakfasts and does some fantastic burgers. If you're in too much of a rush for a sit-down meal, there's a full hot counter with barbecue, fried chicken, fried pies and more to go.
3202 Pence Ln, Ozark, AR 72949
(479) 667-0711

Alma (exit 13, right on Highway 71, left on Collum Lane)
Catfish Hole. The best hush puppies in the state, in my honest opinion. Mind you, the new facility a few blocks north of I-40 is very modern and crisp, with gigantic photos of the family inside. Don't let that fool you. The catfish is decent, and the dishes are spot-on. Prepare for a wait, though -- it gets busy.
24 Collum Ln W, Alma, AR 72921
(479) 632-9718

Alma (exit 13, left under overpass, block down on the right)
Braum's. Yes, it's a chain, but as longtime Hog fans from Little Rock know, it's a special place. Braum's business plan means there will never be one closer to Central Arkansas, but that means having a burger, crinkly fries and an ice cream cone is a very special treat. On the way back, use that now-empty cooler to pack in a few cartons of ice cream to take home.
129 Hwy 71 North, Alma, AR 72921
(479) 632-4077

Alma (exit 13, right on Highway 71, right on Collum Lane)
D's Restaurant. Want a cheap, complete breakfast in Alma? This is it. The bacon breakfast sandwich comes recommended, but I'm very appreciative that the cooks know how to prepare eggs the right way.
39 Collum Ln E, Alma, AR 72921
(479) 632-1014

Alma (Interstate 49, exit 24, on right at end of ramp)
Hilltop Travel Center. This travel plaza isn't just a truck stop -- two cooks manage all the dining decisions, and you can get a marvelous meal here. It's yet another place to pick up a great fried pie for the road, too. Also, last best easy spot for gas until after the Bobby Hopper Tunnel.
8265 Arkansas 282, Alma, AR 72921
(479) 632-1356

Grandma's House Cafe, Winslow.
Take Highway 71 for nostalgia's sake, and stop in at Grandma's House Cafe. Longtime fans who have made the trek since before I-49 was built remember this as the Blue Bird House Cafe. This is the daughter's operation now, and it's been expanded upon time and time again. Good country cooking and always a marvelous selection of pies.
21588 U.S. 71, Winslow, AR 72959
(479) 634-2128


  1. Great list Kat! Anyone else hungry already? WPS!

  2. Have you had a chance to check out Crawpappy's in Alma, yet? I'm told it's very good and very reasonable.

  3. Prepare the ribs as usual. Preheat the smoker and add wood chips to the very littlewood chip drawer. explanation


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