Monthly Archives: November 2009

Expert Pics: Your Photos, Thanksgiving Version

Our most awesome Twitter peeps tweeted about some drool-worthy Thanksgiving meals yesterday, and we just had to share some of them. (Check our inaugural Expert Pics post.)

Yes, we love Fort Smith restaurants and we can’t wait to continue sharing our thoughts and photos with you. But, there is just something about grandma’s homemade dressing or Aunt Lula’s special chocolate pie that no restaurant experience can replicate. And we are ever-so-thankful for our Fort Smith Eats readers — you guys are the true experts!

Happy Holidays!

via @Rachael_Davis Pies Galore! (Looks yum!)

via @AaronRodgers That's a plate-full of delish.

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Hardee’s Fried Bologna Biscuit: The Fort Smith Eats Experience

Don’t say we never did anything for you, Fort Smith Eats readers.

Sure, we eat at area restaurants practically every day. Sure, we carve out time from our days to write and blog and tweet about what we’ve discovered just to share with you, so you and your families can know what is good, great, or avoidable about our local eateries. Sure, we do this at our own often considerable expense, with no profit in mind, other than the gratification that comes from interacting with you and knowing we’re helping our community in some small way.

All this is true. But never until now had we truly realized the sacrifice our commitment to you might sometimes require.

A while back, one of our readers and early Twitter followers, @WendyWhy, asked us if we’d eat Hardee’s new fried bologna biscuit and tell her how it was.

Now, we like food. We like food a lot. We like high falutin foodie food and we like low brow street food and we like a great deal of food in between. There are few menu items in Fort Smith whose names alone have ever reduced us to squealing like a little girl: Ewwwwwwww!

But the mischievous Ms. @WendyWhy knew that Hardee’s fried bologna biscuit was one of those items. In fact, probably THE item that makes our usually steel Fort Smith Eats tummy go flopping around in our belly at just the thought. Continue reading

Mexican Monday Meal-Atta-Glance: La Ranchera Tortilla Sopa (con Pollo) at Rolando’s

Rolando’s Nuevo Latino Restaurante

223 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901

Ok, so Rolando’s isn’t actually Mexican.

But “Nuevo Latino Cuisine Monday”? Not quite as catchy.

Besides, tortilla soup IS Mexican, and the cuisines are close enough cousins that they ought not to be kissing, if you know what we mean.

Don’t know about you, but Fort Smith Eats loves us some tortilla soup. We’ve found that when you’re stuck at a Mexican restaurant and you’re not really in the mood for the standard rice & beans dishes and you’re maybe not tremendously ravenous — or you just want something a little lighter — tortilla soup fits the bill almost always. Almost every Mexican restaurant has some variety of it (though, oddly, not Los Jalapenos, which just has seafood-based soups). Tortilla soup is usually surprisingly filling, affordable, and happy tasting.

Rolando's Restaurante Fort Smith Arkansas Ft Smith Fort Smith Eats Interior Garrison Avenue

Rolando's comfortably cluttered interior looks much nicer than Fort Smith Eats' "comfortably cluttered" abode tends to look.

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Mocha-Off: Sweet Bay vs. McDonald’s

“Whatever-Off”: A head-to-head competition of two similar dishes from two different restaurants. As defined by the experts at Fort Smith Eats in our first official Pie-Off.

OK, so we know. We know that some coffee-snobbery types may not consider “coffee drinks” as the Real Thing. We get it.

But there is something about a mocha. Or a latte. Or an espresso. Or a mocha-chiller or frozen-coffee-chocolate-yum-vanilla concoction. So coffee snobs, chill out.

Onto the Mocha-Off. Let’s meet the competitors. Continue reading

Diner Week: The Roundup

Whew, we feel accomplished. 

We published a new blog post every day for a solid week, rounding up our thoughts on 7 Fort Smith diners. Some are newish, some are way oldish, all have their own personality and food specialties.

Diners generally speaking are the most basic of restaurant fare, but we like the “specialness” each Fort Smith diner brings to the plate. (Woot! A play on food words! We’re so clever, ha!)

Day 1: Boom-A-Rang Diner
Day 2: Dodson Diner
Day 3: Ed Walker’s
Day 4: Lucy’s Diner
Day 5: The White Spot
Day 6: Bob & Ellie’s
Day 7: Benson’s Grill

We sure hope ya’ll enjoyed as much as we did. We’ve already gotten some great suggestions for future theme weeks for our super Twitter peeps.

Diner Week Day 7: Benson’s Grill

Benson’s Grill

2515 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901

It’s appropriate we’re talking about Benson’s on a weekend. You’re driving around Fort Smith some weekend night, can’t find anyone. Where the bloody heck is everyone? Try Benson’s. Nine chances outta 10, the place is rockin’ like the back of a sunset-painted 70s van after dark.

The place is tiny and the parking lot is no better.

Fort Smith Eats Benson's Grill A Place Like No Other

Can't argue.

Fort Smith Eats Benson's Grill interior

Look how cozy! We luv that you can watch the cooks so closely, & also interact with the other diners if it's that kind of atmosphere. (at 3 a.m., it is!) Cozy.

Benson's Grill Fort Smith Eats sign burger

The sign has a much-larger-than-real-size brightly lit picture of a burger. There's a reason for this. They're great.

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Diner Week Day 6: Bob & Ellie’s

Bob & Ellie’s Drive-In

6500 U.S. 271
Fort Smith, AR 72908
Other than Waffle House, the south side of Fort Smith’s rather lacking in 24-hour places. That’s where everybody’s favorite couple-named diner comes in. Just a few blocks away from Whirlpool, on Hwy. 271, Bob & Ellie’s is a long-time favorite of shift workers, college students, truckers and other people who are up way too late. We’re sure people must eat there in the day, too, but our experience has only been late nights and early mornings. The idea of going there for, say, lunch seems weird. Like going to the beach in the middle of a blizzard. Sure, you can do it, but why?
Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's

Rare sighting of Bob & Ellie's during the day.

Bob & Ellie’s is in an unpretentious metal building. The great thing is how much effort they’ve put into distracting you from the fact that it’s a metal building along a truck route. The north side of the building has a gazebo and a little garden of statuary. Of course it still looks like a metal building with a tent gazebo and small statuary, but we give them 27 bonus points for trying. Continue reading