Marie and Greg Heiser's once diminutive lunchroom along US Highway 64 in Lamar grew to new digs not long ago, a cavernous space filled with tables, booths and more than 450 teapots. And yet most lunchtimes the parking lot overflows to the surrounding lots with hungry customers seeking a dependable plate lunch and the tallest meringue pie in all of Arkansas.
There's an old-fashioned chargrilled burger or chicken salad, and hot ham-and-cheese and turkey-and-cheese sandwiches. You can get a hot dog or a taco salad. It's all prepared just like you were sitting at your mom's table, made to order, satisfying and reasonably priced.
What dwarfs the listings on the whiteboard by the door for the special, the soup of the day and such is the immense list of desserts, featuring a truly extraordinary selection of pies. every one of them made from scratch on handmade, blind-baked crusts.
The possum pie's custard is from real cocoa and eggs, not from a gelatin pudding box. Ample slices of strawberry banana cream cheese pie served chilly, peach or apple warmed delightfully, and egg custard, sweet potato, turtle and buttermilk pies delivered quickly and
essentially perfect, are a smorgasboard of different flavors like opening the pages of a favored cookbook, all for $2.95 a slice, right alongside all manner of cakes, cheesecakes and cobblers and in the presence of soft serve sundaes and root beer floats.
The standouts in this deep bench of sweets, listed within the two dozen different offerings each day, are the meringue pies in lemon, coconut and chocolate. Atop Marie's fine custards float the thickest, tallest meringue currently found in the state of Arkansas, inching out the legendary Charlotte's Eats and Sweets in Keo and bringing to mind the dearly departed Ed and Kay's of Benton.
The super flurry meringue's height is only limited by the internal dimensions of the ovens, yet these are meringues that never bead, that cling well to their custards and which come delivered on a never-soggy hand-rolled crust, an airy yet substantial dessert that ensures you with only the craving for a cup of coffee (just a buck!) and a post-lunch nap.
I can honestly say, after traveling the state these past 16 years and writing not one but three books about pie in Arkansas, that Sweet Treats currently holds the record for tallest meringue pie served on a daily basis. The secret - 12 to 13 egg whites for the meringue. And it can't go taller, because that's as high as it can be in the oven without touching the top.Facebook page for
daily lunch specials, but remember to bring cash.