Monday, November 20, 2017
This Is Crazy! Best Cheap Fried Pies at the Bald Knob Phillips 66 Travel Center.
That's right. You, yes you, can pocket one or more of the two-handed delights behind the counter at the travel center on US Highway 165 north of where it splits from US Highway 67 in the northeast Arkansas town of Bald Knob.
I have dropped by here many a time. The restrooms are clean and it's open 24 hours a day, which means I have a place to grab gas and a bite to eat when I am late coming in from an assignment. But it is the wonders I've discovered in the cabinet by the register that have caught my attention.
It's no secret I keep an eye out for pies. So when I first noticed these fried pies, I had to make a note. It took me until November 2015, on the way back from a trip to Blytheville and Jonesboro for book signings, to realize that I'd missed a good spot for fried pies. Because these suckers - in this case, fried S'mores pies filled with chocolate cream, marshmallow fluff and graham cracker bits - were huge. I mean, they weren't served up wrapped in plastic wrap or foil but were handed over the counter one in a box, the sort of box that's usually filled with an entire meal of fried chicken.
At the time, I wondered if it was a one-time gimmick. No, it's not. Heavens it is not. I've been by many times since - because frankly, location and hours make it a great place to stop. And I've seen things.
I've seen the almost eternal buffet of food in the middle of the dining section of the restaurant. Sometimes there's a Mexican theme going on, sometimes it's Sunday best with fried chicken and mashed potatoes and dressing.
This most recent time, it was breakfast with biscuits and tater tots and sausage gravy and eggs and what... is that chocolate gravy? Couldn't be.
But that wasn't on my mind this most recent time or most of the times before. Nor was the hot cabinet full of fried foods, including - I kid you not - fried corn on the cob. Yes, indeed, some place other than Calico County and the Arkansas State Fair carries battered and deep fried knoblets of corn in its hot case.
This most recent visit also revealed a new flavor to me - sweet potato. Oh golly.
I have, though, managed to pull apart a couple in the car while traveling with my folks from one point to another. And I have to say - they're not just big and they're not just full of neat stuff, they taste pretty good too.
And look, the price.
Seriously, $1.99 each. That's an excellent road food if I've ever seen one.
So now you know. Drop in to the Phillips 66 Travel Center at Bald Knob next time you're passing through and see if I'm right. You know I am. It's located at 142 US Highway 167 North in Bald Knob. If you need to call, dial (501) 724-1385.
Two notes - one, for truck drivers, this stop has plenty of parking and good clean showers. And two, this isn't the first time I've found great pies at a truck stop.