Thursday, August 27, 2015

Inside the Arlington - The Largest Hotel in Arkansas.

Hot Springs is known as one of Arkansas's most popular tourist destinations.  Nestled in between the Diamond Lakes, speckled with a plethora of grand, fun and friendly attractions, dotted with great shopping opportunities and blessed with world-famous thermal bathing, the Spa City is a top choice for travelers looking for the right place to kick back and relax.

The city's most famous accommodations can be found within an edifice overlooking the famed Hot Springs Bathhouse Row.

Last Chance at Summer – Ideas for an Arkansas Labor Day Weekend.

Summer has slipped away, and the kids are back in school.  What can you do on the last three day weekend before the school year fully kicks in?

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Tommy's Pizza Is Worth A Significant Detour.

When I was young and inexperienced, I could not imagine a single food item worthy of a major detour.  After all, it was enough just to get out and try a place from time to time.  If I wasn't on the way to some place, I seriously had to consider whether it was worth it to drive X number of miles for a meal.

But then I tried Tommy's Famous... A Pizzeria, and that went out the window.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Julie Steps Out, Does Good at Julie's Sweet Shoppe and Bakery in Conway.

Despite being in one of Arkansas's most bakery-saturated cities, Julie Goodnight's decision to step out on her own and begin her own bakery has been a successful one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wagon Wheel's Comfort Food Sustains in Greenbrier.

Arkansas, if it were to have just one sort of restaurant to represent it, wouldn't be shown as a barbecue joint. Nor would it be an Ark-Mex joint, or a Chinese buffet, a sandwich shop or drive-in.

If you were to pick one restaurant that bears the hallmarks of the overall average of all Arkansas restaurants, it'd look like the Wagon Wheel.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chocolate Rolls, The Pride of Searcy County Arkansas.

Everywhere you go, there will be something that people say can't be found anywhere else, or something that was created right there. In Arkansas, we all know about fried pickles in Atkins and that Petit Jean hot dogs come from Morrilton. Searcy County, buried in the hollows of the Arkansas Ozarks, has its own claim to fame in the form of the chocolate roll.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Barbecue Tour of Far South Alabama.

There are many places, people, even states that lay claim to great barbecue. I grew up between the forces of Memphis pork butt and Texas beef brisket, sometimes waved by the eddies of Kansas City and St. Louis. Arkansas’s own home-grown ‘cue’s descent into obscurity, that of the smoked goat, left behind only some of the famed sauces that once covered it (McClard’s and Craig Brothers’ comes to mind), coleslaw on the top and sometimes, the desire to serve one’s meat on white bread.

Arkansas Trips for Adults (Now That The Kids Are Back In School).

Summertime is great... a wonderful time to spend with family while children are out of class.  But once school starts, Arkansas is a wonderland for adults who are looking for more grown-up adventures.

Here are some places to go now that the kids are back in school.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Top of Hillberry - Magic at The Farm.

Atop a mountain north of Eureka Springs, abutting the Mark Twain National Forest, you’ll find an undulating field and a gigantic stage.

This is The Farm.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

From My Desk in the 505, A Week at the Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow.

I came to Writer's Colony to see if I could write a novel. What I found was... well, myself.

The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow is a special place for me and other writers.  I've been longing to spend a significant amount of time here for ages.  My first stay here was in July 2012, for just one night.  I was a guest speaker at the Colony for the Fleur Delicious Festival, and I was kindly offered a place to stay.  What I didn't realize then was this would become my secret bedroom, my lair for when I really needed to get the words out.

An Evening at Ermilio's in Eureka Springs.

Any day, and I mean any day during the summertime in Eureka Springs, there's a line outside Ermilio's Italian Home Cooking. It starts before the restaurant opens at five and rarely goes completely away before closing time at nine. And that's every single summer day.

Because of this, I've never taken Grav here... and it's a shame. The boy will not wait for food.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Walk Through the Weeks Bay Pitcher Plant Bog.

Off the cuff, the remark "hey, let's go look at a bog!" when it's 89 degrees outside in southern Alabama may sound a little off. After all, aren't bogs what trolls hang out in? Few would be excited to spend their midmorning ankle deep in muck, right?

However, bogs are important eco-systems that often get overlooked. They're fragile, and even footprints can cause problems for plants who need the spongy, water-filled soil to grow.

The Weeks Bay Pitcher Plant Bog between Magnolia Springs and Fairhope, Alabama is meant to help preserve a unique area, part waterscape, part landscape, where carnivorous plants can grow.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dinner and a Show at Loree's Cattleman's Restaurant in Green Forest.

Country music and country vittles go hand in hand, or at least they should.  So many of our steakhouses, catfish houses and country fried joints all across Arkansas and the Mid South pipe in the tunes of the greats of country music.  But few of them offer live performances, and even fewer offer that live entertainment for free.

Of them, Loree's Cattleman's Restaurant in Green Forest is a real gem.  The Cattleman's Restaurant has stood since 1958, as part of, I kid you not, a sale barn.  It is truly a local gem, with clientele that usually seems restricted to people who all know each other. Everyone really does seem to know everyone by name.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Quick Bite at The Filling Station in Eureka Springs.

I'm a sucker for a good breakfast.  You would be too, if you traveled like I did.  Heck, who needs travel to appreciate a fantastic meal of the day?

If you're looking for a reasonably priced place to grab a bite in the morning hours in Eureka Springs, you might go ahead and give The Filling Station a shot.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Moving and Mixifying.

Have a kid?  If yours is like mine, the hot weather has kept her inside and not doing much this summer.

But I got to see a whole lot of kids get moving this week at MacArthur Park, thanks to the Mixify Tour.  More than 200 teenagers from Little Rock and close by gathered to enjoy the events surrounding the tour.  The aim?  To help teenagers find balance in their lives, especially when it comes to diet and exercise.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Quick Bite: Burrito Asada at Taqueria Samantha #2.

There are a lot of great places to get burritos in Little Rock.  After all, the city is home not only to a thriving Mexican community but also to a generation of well-known Ark-Mex restaurants and new, trendy places offering south-of-the-border fare. But the largest, and perhaps best, burritos in the city come not from one of these brick-and-mortar establishments, but a food truck.  Or more specifically, two.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Stop at an Alabama Roadside Stand.

We've been on the road a few days now, trying out barbecue joints and checking out places to visit in southern Alabama.  On our way out of Mobile, we spotted a bright orange roadside stand in Wilmer that smelled really fantastic, so we stopped.  Here's what we discovered.