Category Archives: Lunch

Event Review: Taste of Fort Smith 2010

Taste of Fort Smith is TODAY, faithful Fort Smith Eats readers. Today!

Last year, we tweeted up a storm from the Taste of Fort Smith event, but we thought we might do a quick review and get some of you fellow foodies out there in time for some evening grub tonight.

Lots of restaurants are participating, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that includes plenty of establishments from outside Fort Smith. Cedarville and Lavaca, for instance, were both represented well at the Taste of Fort Smith. So, yes, that makes it even more awesome.

Two things disappointed us slightly: Continue reading

Advertisements

Quick Eats: Pepperoni Sandwich @ Geno’s Pizza

If you live in Fort Smith, Van Buren, Greenwood or Alma long, you’re going to find yourself eating at Geno’s Pizza. This is because there are approximately 87 Genos locations in Fort Smith alone. Okay, so there’s like, six total in the River Valley. But we swear it feels like 87 because people are always eating there. This, to us, has long been a conundrum that keeps us up into the wee hours of the morning. Our basic question has always been: why?

We figured it’s the kids and the convenience. Cheap pizza, served by the oversized slice, on styrofoam plates in a place you don’t have to clean — that’s a family outing right there. No flavor required. And they have drive-thrus. Who doesn’t love eating a big slice of bland pizza while driving, talking on the phone and texting? Gimmee a slice of Supreme and a large Diet Coke, hold the pizza artistry please.

Every so often, though, we go back and try it again. Surely if there are this many locations of a local favorite, it’s got to be good, right? On a recent drive-thru visit when we were running late and super hungry and Geno’s was right next door, we decided to try the pepperoni sub. We’d tried the ham and cheese many moons ago, but the pepperoni sandwich was probably the one menu item we’d not yet sampled. Continue reading

Fort Smith Eats @ Phoenix Drive-In

Phoenix Drive-In

1715 Phoenix Avenue
Fort Smith, Ark.
(479) 648-9776

Exterior parking spots Phoenix Drive-In, Fort Smith, ArkansasPhoenix Drive-In is that colorful, Sonic-like place next to Jerry Neel’s BBQ. The one you’ve likely been wondering about.

Phoenix Drive-In is in a repainted Sonic building. We remember when the old Sonic was there, but even if you didn’t, you can see the resemblance if you’re familiar with the cherry-limeade-tater-tot icon. And, like Sonic, Phoenix Drive-In is, in fact, a drive-in restaurant. But its resemblance to Sonic, or any other chain-fast-food food, ends there.

The menu: Well, it’s surprising. It sure surprised us. It’s…expansive. Very expansive. And eclectic as anywhere we’ve seen. It has lots and lots of options, from the expected drive-in fare like burgers and chili dogs and fries and o-rings to interesting side items like fried green beans and green chile fries to breakfast foods like scrambled eggs & ham steaks with biscuits & gravy to full plate lunches and dinners like meatloaf and and chicken-fried steak, spaghetti & meatballs, and homemade lasagna (the priciest item on the menu at $5.69 with salad and bread). A menu of Americana, folks, pure Americana. Continue reading

Fort Smith Eats @ George’s

George’s Restaurant

2120 Grand Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72901
479.785.1199

Townie. That’s the word that comes to mind whenever we think of George’s. Know what we mean? Every town has at least one spot that is a no-frills, solid, dependable restaurant frequented at any given time by dozens of locals, the townies who gather ’round the pie case like it’s a watering hole.

If you’re lucky, the townie places also happen to have good food. Some towns have to make do with what they can get. The townie spots are there by tradition alone, where people just have to put up with the sort of food that gets served there. We always feel a little sorry for those towns.

Thank goodness Fort Smith has George’s. It’s a townie spot we’ve even been known to take the occasional visitor. Not someone who’s looking for elegance or exotic food or for a touristy experience. Hard Rock Cafe Fort Smith this ain’t. But someone who wants to have a good conversation over a great American meal without worrying about all the other stuff will get George’s. The restaurant is reliably clean and neat with food that is simple, tasty and filling. Oh, and affordable. And a constant, reliable menu. Is it such a mystery this place does a good business?

George's Restaurant Ft. Smith AR Fort Smith Eats interior

We took this picture because it is, for the record, the emptiest we’ve ever seen George’s large dining room. We’re not sure how many people fit in the restaurant, but it’s a bunch and they’re usually at least half full. Read on and find out the reasons for that.

Continue reading

Fast Food Filler: Charbroiled & Fruit Salad @ Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A

6810 Rogers Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72903
479.484.5152

Every so often in addition to featuring local independent restaurants, Fort Smith Eats will post short write-ups on fast food finds. Why? Because sometimes we don’t have time to do a full post, and because, honestly, we  have to admit we still eat at these places more often than is wise, we suspect you do, too, and sometimes we have something to say, good or bad, about what we’ve eaten there. (We’ve also previousl blogged about fast food in a mocha-off.)

It’s pretty well established that Chick-Fil-A is the hot young thang on the Fort Smith fast food scene, as well as everywhere else nationwide fortunate enough to have a franchise. What was once an unexciting mall food court standby has in the past few years achieved this weird cult status with some crazy Chick-Fil-A-lovin’ fans. We’d pay cash money to see a fierce game of Red Rover between Chick-Fil-A fans and Apple fans. Except they’re often the same people, so maybe that wouldn’t work.

You could count us among the semi-rabid Chick-Fil-A fans. We’re not putting on cow costumes or getting Eat More Chickn tattoos, but if you suggest going to Chick-Fil-A for a quick bite, we’re probably going.

We are sometimes guilty of getting stuck in a rut, getting a craving for something we’ve had before and then only ordering that. There are about three items on the Chick-Fil-A menu we get over and over and over: the original chicken sandwich (plain, no need to tart it up with lettuce and tomato), the Chick-N-Strips, and the surprisingly-yummy-though-weird-textured chicken salad (in a cup, with crackers).

We love these items. They are solid, dependable. They make us happy every time.

But then we watched Up, and got that Spirit of Adventure. So we ordered something different. We ordered the Charbroiled & Fruit Salad.

Continue reading

Meal-Atta-Glance: Pulled Pork Sandwich @ Art’s BBQ

Art’s BBQ and Grill

4620 Rogers Ave.
Fort Smith, AR 72956
479.452.2550

People ask us what we think about Art’s, and we always start to say something along the lines of, “Well we think they’re definitely an important part of human expression and an invaluable component of education to promote the continued success of our species by instilling an appreciation of the intangible, metaphorical and some might say purest realms of human experience, while fostering the collective and individual creative spirit of our people in our constantly changing and challenging world, today and ever forward.”

Then, they say, “No, Art’s BBQ. On Rogers. Any good?”

Oh, Art’s. Not arts. No one ever pronounces the apostrophe, so you can see why we’d get confused.

Adding to the confusion, is that every time you go there, right inside the door of Art’s is bona fide Art. Not the owner — he may be there too, but it’d be sort of creepy if he ALWAYS was, you know?

No, Art as in “a painted work on canvas that is an important part of human of human expression and an invaluable component of education to promote the …” Oh, whatever. It’s not actually good enough to warrant a capital A.

However, being a Painting of a Place that Hangs within the Place Itself, said painting IS mos def good enough to make us go, “Hey, meta, dude…” and stop and appreciate it each time. Admire, boys and girls, the art of Art’s:

 

Art's BBQ painting Ft. Smith Arkanasas Fort Smith Eats

Another entry into our happiness-inducing series of Paintings of Places Inside the Places Themselves.

 

Continue reading

Meal-Atta-Glance: French Onion Soup & Salad at Varsity Grill

Varsity Sports Grill

318 Garrison Ave.
Fort Smith, AR 72901
479.494.7173

Been a bit nippy lately, hasn’t it? Whenever the wind sends a chill right to the very marrow of our bones, Fort Smith Eats starts thinking soup. Mmm. Soup.

Have you ever known someone who didn’t like soup? We have. They were strange, unnerving, off-balance folks, the soup-haters. Coincidence? We think not.

Soup haters (started to make that one word, but then it’d be Souphaters, which does that phreaky PH thing and we pheared you might phumble over the fonetics, thus disrupting the natural phlow of the sentence, so we lepht it two words. You’re welcome.) might have a hard time hanging out with us. We eat a lot of soup. And one of our all-time favorite kinds of soup is French Onion. We don’t know why the onion has to be French. Maybe any nationality of onion would do. Canadian Onion Soup? Burmese Onion Soup? We’d try them. But since Ivory Coast Onion Soup isn’t on the menu anywhere in town — trust us, we’re the experts — when the weather got into the single digits we had a craving for some French Onion.

If there’s a better French Onion Soup in town than at Varsity Sports Grill, please let us know and we will literally drop everything and rush over to try it. Because Varsity may not be high-falutin cooking, but they do a reliable soup.

Continue reading