Friday, September 29, 2023

Homestyle Cooking? Let's Eat in Alma.

Pie any day of the week? Homemade bread? Dining at Let's Eat in Alma is just like sitting in a favorite aunt's kitchen, enjoying good homestyle food.

Tara Way's bright country cafe has doubled in size in the past few years, but that hasn't kept the tables from being packed come lunchtime. It's still cozy and comfortable, just like the menu at Let's Eat.

Diners are offered the choice of a daily ever-changing plate lunch special or a selection of excellent sandwiches, salads and sides. These include hot offerings like burgers and quesadillas and handhelds that can be served hot or cold, like ham and cheese or tuna salad on your choice of sourdough, white or wheat. Any of them come dressed with mayo, mustard or Miracle Whip, ketchup or barbecue sauce, and plenty of toppings. The chicken apple salad sandwich in particular is notable not only for the sweet-tart combination of apples and grapes but for coming "dressed" by default - as in, with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. The combination works incredibly well.

Soup choices vary by day, and can come on their own with crackers, chips or homemade bread or as a side item all on their own. When presented with this choice, you really should go with the bread, which is served warm, is delightfully pliant, and almost melts on a bite. The most recent visit, Tara's chicken noodle soup warmed the soul while the bread wrapped my appetite in comfort.

You don't go to Let's Eat, though, unless you intend to enjoy a complete meal, complete in this moment meaning having a slice of pie. Tara often includes a slice of pie and a drink in the daily lunch special, and that slice can be one of so many options. She decides what pies to make based on what she feels like making, what's available in season and what's on sale. So some days you might get a PB&J pie, a cream pie with strawberry jam and a peanut butter lid, while on others it may be Samoa Coconut Cream, or even the Elvis - a peanut butter pie topped with banana cream and chocolate. The case always has a half dozen or more pies to choose from, all made from scratch.

Let's Eat offers drive-thru service for those who wish to pick-up and go, but one should definitely schedule a visit to spend time chatting and chewing in the dining room. It's just like a comfortable and sunny country home.

You'll find Let's Eat at 200 Collum Lane West in Alma. Check out the Facebook page for daily specials, or call in your order ahead to (479) 632-6322.

Kat Robinson is an Arkansas author and food historian, covering all of The Natural State's highways, byways and pieways. Her 12th book, The Great Arkansas Pie Book, is now available nationwide.

Click menus below to enlargen (current 2023)

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