Mexican Mama’s Restaurant, conveniently located at 1350 Myers Avenue next to Riverside Conoco, really lives up to its slogan. Since opening in late Read the rest of this entry »
The Italian Grill at 2360 Harrison Street, next to Hastings Books, Music, Video, and Video Games, is a popular family restaurant that focuses on comfort foods, reasonable prices, and down home hospitality. While classic Italian dishes—Spaghetti, Lasagna, Pizza, Manicotti, Tortellini, and Fettuccine—dominate the menu, an ample and creative range of other selections is available to satisfy most dining preferences.
Over the past few months, Batesville has witnessed a number of restaurant closings, including the Cheeseburger Grill and Claudel’s. The current economic situation is obviously a major reason for these closings. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, Elizabeth’s Restaurant, in the heart of the downtown historic business district, has withstood the economic pressures to maintain its high level of quality lunch and dinner offerings at reasonable prices. In fact, the restaurant has added a Sunday Buffet Brunch which has received high ratings on the Urbanspoon customer reviews website. Elizabeth’s was a recipient of two awards from the Eye on Independence magazine food competition, receiving both the Best Service and Best Place for a Romantic Dinner honors and narrowly missing Best Desserts. Owner Diane White and her outstanding staff deserved both awards for maintaining a consistent level of quality food and stellar service.
By: Bob Pest
After several trips and some fine eating, I decided to examine the food
culture of western North Carolina, a leader in implementing sustainable Read the rest of this entry »
By: Bob Pest
FoxCreek BBQ was chosen Best BBQ by Eye on Independence readers who Read the rest of this entry »
Kin Folks Bar-B-Q, located next to Aunt Minnie’s Yellow House on the Courthouse Square in Mountain View, treats both its customers and its food with great respect. The dining room is cozy and bright; it also tends to fill up, especially at lunchtime and on event weekends, which are frequent in Mountain View. The spacious outdoor deck, comfortably furnished, not only gives diners an option when the weather permits, it also invites them to take in the live folk, bluegrass, and country music being made on the square much of the time.
Hardy’s Words & Afterwords manages to combine bookstore, art gallery, coffee house, restaurant, and live music venue into a fluid celebration of fine food, wonderful music, and great books. Located in the heart of Old Hardy Town at 201 Spring Street, the eclectic gathering place and eatery also succeeds in creating a casual, welcoming environment that can transform any visit into an event that nourishes both body and spirit.
Words & Afterwords opened in 2006. The bookstore is located in the Old Walker House, a circa 1900 home listed on the National Register of Historic. Much of the house has been preserved, including the wood burning fireplace. The bookstore not only carries an impressive selection of over 6,000 works of fiction and non-fiction, but also work by local authors, local music, cards, postcards, and pictures of Hardy in earlier times. The walls of both the bookstore, “Words,” and the restaurant/coffeehouse, “Afterwords,” feature local art by the likes of Inga Eubanks, whose quirky and colorful photos reveal “the backside of Hardy.”
Tommy’s Famous . . . a pizzeria has been a fixture in the Ozark Gateway region for nearly two decades. The family-run establishment, just off the courthouse square in Mountain View, has earned national acclaim for its distinctive pizzas, christened as “fabulous” by Southern Living magazine. But pizza is only part of the story; both National Geographic Traveler and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel heaped high praise on the ribs and Hickory Smoked Pit Barbecue. Closer to home, Tommy’s has been a regular on the Arkansas Times Readers Choice Awards list since 1996—for both pizza and barbecue.
In a world where people eat lunch at their desks, in their cars, or not at all, the lunch experience has been seriously devalued. Fortunately, there are restaurants like Elizabeth’s that maintain the tradition of lunch as a time for camaraderie, conversation, and fresh, delicious food. Lunch at Elizabeth’s has become a Batesville tradition for all ages, shapes, and sizes of hungry diners. Elizabeth’s comfortable dining room transforms lunch into a calming, relaxing experience—something you just can’t get at the drive-thru.
The luncheon menu is creative and ambitious, clearly recognizing both the healthy and the hearty appetite. A dozen salads are featured, ranging from a magnificent Tropical Chicken Salad with fresh pineapple to a generous Caesar Salad available with grilled chicken or shrimp. The Spinach Salad, Stuffed Tomato, and Luncheon Green Salad can also be ordered with chicken or shrimp. Owner Diane White demonstrates a commitment to the freshest possible ingredients in all of her dishes, but it is especially evident in the salads. My own favorite is the Tropical Chicken Salad, with the Spinach Salad a close second.
Article and photos by Bob Pest
There are restaurants in caves, restaurants on rafts, restaurants in churches, restaurants in bank vaults, and restaurants in tents. But only a handful of cities and towns in the world can boast of having a restaurant in an airplane. Fortunately for Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, it is one of those towns.
The Parachute Inn, located at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport, has transformed the fuselage of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, into a unique and comfortable dining room. The dining room is connected to the main building by a walkway that replicates the boarding experience and sets the tone for an unforgettable meal. The restaurant was opened as the Parachute Inn in 2001 by Donna Robertson. Her niece, Rhonda Higginbotham, took over about a year ago when Donna retired. Rhonda is extremely energetic and friendly. Her days include everything from shampooing the carpets in the aircraft, talking with visitors full of questions, and serving lunches during the lunchtime rush. The Parachute has been “adopted” by Southwest and other pilots, whose signatures and messages adorn the areas above the seats. The inside of the aircraft has been painstakingly refurbished to capture the Southwest Airlines “look” and to give diners ample space.