Friday, September 5, 2014
Hogland Bound: Little Rock to Fayetteville for Razorback Fans.
Mayflower (exit 135, left over overpass, at intersection)
558 Arkansas 365, Mayflower, AR 72106
Conway (exit 129, Dave Ward Drive west, Harkrider north a couple blocks)
740 S Harkrider St, Conway, AR 72032
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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