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.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's garden

Remember that part in The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe where the evil White Queen of Narnia had turned all her enemies into stone in her courtyard? If it had been in Arkansas on Hwy. 271 outside a metal building with pretty plants and a gazebo and not in a magical land of snow it might have looked like this.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's shelf

All the wee petrified enemies they don't want to put in the garden outside, Bob & Ellie mount on the shelf above this friendly sign

Our very favorite thing ever about Bob & Ellie’s (other than rolling the name off our tongues so fast that people think there’s a new Italian restaurant in town) is the waitresses. Are there waiters too? Don’t think so. All of our Diner Week diners have had fantastic, competent, and colorful service. The ones at Bob & Ellie’s though truly seem like they stepped out of an episode of “Alice.” These are gals that know everything about the place backwards and forwards, and are happy to sit down and chat with you about it while they tell you about their dog’s foot problem or ask after your mother or  lightly chastise you for not tipping enough last time. Doesn’t matter how hungry, cranky, or rushed we are, we’ve never minded these asides. The no-nonsense personalities are utterly winning.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's inside
Let’s start with breakfast this time.
Ham and cheese omelette, coming up. A little Meh, but you have to give it to them for the symmetric artistry.

Bob & Ellie's Fort Smith Eats omelette

When we saw this plate, we wished we'd ordered biscuits instead of toast, so we could try to make it look more like Princess Leia. "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobe. You're my only hope of making this omelette more interesting!"


We eat breakfast there a lot.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's pancakes

Pancakes good. Pancakes brought to table at 3 a.m. by nice lady just when you were craving them are great.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's breakfast

Giant bowl o' grits, crispy bacon, eggs over hard that were supposed to be over medium but apparently got walked on by the chicken. Check out all those hashmarks. Just checking to make sure you'd overcooked them, Bob?

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's biscuit

We like when the gravy comes on the side. Not amazing gravy, but so polite about standing back and letting the biscuit take center stage.

We only ordered the cinnamon roll once. It should join a Butterholics Anonymous support group with The White Spot’s grits.


Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's cinnamon roll

Like a honeybun that's about to go into the tanning bed.


We’ve been trying roast beef out at several other diners, so we thought we’d try it here, open-faced-sandwich-style. Not bad. Not great. A little like deli roast beef with gravy on it. At least it was duly sloppy.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's roast beef

Sloppy firsts. Open-faced roast beef sandwich & mashed potatoes.


The fries at Bob & Ellie’s are pretty good for, you know, homemade:

Bob & Ellie's Fort Smith Eats fries

Homemade fries. Not crinkle cut. Unless by crinkle you mean "straight."


All this is good information, Fort Smith Eats. But if you go there so much, what do you get most? Alright. We’ll tell. The club. Just right.

Bob & Ellie's Fort Smith Eats club sandwich

Basic diner club, done right.

What’s an all-night diner good for if they can’t do pie right? No worries here. This chocolate pie is as ungussied up as they come, but rich and cool and creamy.

Fort Smith Eats Bob & Ellie's chocolate pie

This pie wasn't what we were expecting when we ordered it--no meringue or Cool Whip or anything, just crust and chocolate. Good choice. Had to order another piece!

So give Bob & Ellie’s a go sometime. Tell the girls we sent you.


9 responses to “Diner Week Day 6: Bob & Ellie’s

  1. OMG they make the BEST peanut butter shakes! I didn’t realize they were still open! I’m gonna have to go get me an awesome shake!!!

  2. PB shakes?!?! We’ll have to try those!

  3. B&E has been in business almost 30 yrs on the
    south side.. Opened in the old D Q building years ago, finally built new building south of there about 8 yrs ago, it is one block s of the old
    building. It is family owned and operated.
    A very good place to eat anytime and get anything on the menu 24 hrs a day, Open 7
    days and holidays.

  4. they need to go menus!!!

  5. food is always good and service great

  6. Bob and ellies is terrible. The pictures say it all. You’ve got the frozen biscuits with the powdered gravy. The instant grits. The pre-packaged roast beef with frozen brown gravy. I’m sure the microwave was used more than once. And the cinnamon roll looks awful soaked in all that butter. Please anyone seeing this I suggest lucys everything is better there. Bob and ellies is nothing more than frozen Ben and Keiths that they re-heat it’s disgusting.

  7. Took a visitor from another country there for breakfast before catching a very early flight home and while waiting on the food a cockroach runs out of the napkin rolled around the silverware and across the table. We cancelled our orders, paid for our coffee and left the premises.

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