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Friday, June 27, 2014

La Hacienda

La Hacienda seems to be a popular name for Mexican joints.  I think there are 6 or 7 just in Fayetteville, but this one is definitely one of the best.

I have been to this place before, but I never tried the fries.  Dang, I forget how big (and colorful) this place is.

Oh no...there they are....right there on the menu....for $2.15.  Why must I be cursed with the obligation to find and report on fries no matter the time of day or night in sleet or snow or rain or sun?  WHY???  My heart always sinks when I see fries on the menu at a place like this.  The food is REALLY good at LH, but ethnic restaurants don't have a good fry track record.

The fries arrive.

Fork for scale.  Jack wanted me to note that the forks were top-notch Thunder Group SLGD006s in fair condition.

Amelia tried them.

Zessna tried them.

Jack told me to get the camera out of his face.

Big surprise, they are not good.  In fact, they are devoid of any taste whatsoever.  It was like eating fry-shaped nothing.  Weird.  But since they have fries they at least get a 5, and because the rest of the food rocks (including THREE DIFFERENT FREE salsa offerings), they get an extra point.

6 out of 10.  Go there, but skip the fries.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Neal's Cafe - Springdale AR

Every decent size town has one or two joints like Neal's Cafe.  Moderately priced homestyle plate lunches served in a time capsule complete with sassy waitresses.

Check out their cool Route 66 era sign.

This place has been slinging it since 1944, and I think the decor may be original.

Note that in Arkansas, it's customary to have guns hanging on the walls at a minimum ratio of one gun per table.  Neal's has 23 (visible) assorted guns on the walls, which doesn't actually meet the requirement.  Maybe there are reserve guns in the back or something.

But they also have this dead alligator so I guess they get a pass.

Fries are listed two places on the menu.  Once as an "extra" for  $2.49...

And AS A VEGGIE!  Sweet!  Now I can lose weight!

When I asked for an order of fries, the sassy waitress said I wouldn't need them if I was also getting them as a side with a meal on accounta the sides being so big, but I told her I was from Rhode Island (therefore a "yankee") and didn't understand.  From then on she treated me like I was impaired.  This was delivered:

I believe they're Ore-Ida Thick Crinkles (#OIF00993A) or possibly McCain Thick Crinkles (#MCX60).  They were hot, crispy, and boring.

My buddy Jack wanted me to give extra points cause the ketchup was chilled, but I will not.

You can't beat the atmosphere at a place like this.  There are people in suits sitting next to farmers in overalls with muddy boots.  Any given day the governor or a senator might be sitting at the next table (which seems weird with all those guns around).  All in all, the fries are kinda meh, especially for $2.49.  But the amount you get and the fact that Neal's is so awesome make up for it to the tune of a 6 out of 10.

P.S. Their pie is EPIC.

P.P.S  I was bored so I made a cornbread muffin french fry sandwich.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Let me start by acknowledging that the International House of Pancakes may indeed be a place that one might expect the strongest offering to be pancakes.  One might possibly even expect that the "international" ones would be the best.  Now that we have that covered, I must inform you that they also have fries.

If you haven't ever seen the inside of an IHOP, I already know a great deal about what you have and have not been doing with your life (#drunkcollegekids).  Oddly,  the great wheel of life kind of spins you back around to the IHOP when you have critters cause they have a propensity to demand cake for breakfast.  Anyhoo, you've seen one IHOP, you've seen em all.

Fries weren't actually on the menu as a "side", but I noticed the burgers came with them so I knew it was possible.  This is what was delivered.  Lame.

19 fries with some trickery dust dumped on them unevenly.

The trickery dust was the only thing that made them kind of decent, but as you can probably tell from the pictures only 3 or 4 of them had a decent amount of dust.

Since they weren't on the menu, I didn't know how much they cost until I got the check.  AND THEN I WAS OUTRAGED.  $3.59 for this lame plate of crap is the worst thing ever.  I was so mad my hands were shaking when I was trying to take the picture.

IHOP = DON'T DO IT.  Unless you're a 22-year old drunk and/or hung over college student and you haven't learned anything yet.

GRUNION:  Bummer dude, you shoulda ordered the "double-double-chocolate chip-espresso-mocha-milkshake-powdered sugar-whipped cream pancake bomb-diggity-breakfast #9 like I did.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some Weird Joint in Arkansas

I went to this weird restaurant recently.  It looked like a house on the outside.

The dining area kinda looked like a living room.

When I ordered fries the waitress/cook/hostess/bartender/busboy/dishwasher/manager/owner/parking attendant gave me a weird look-like I was putting her out or something.  Anyhoo, I had to stand IN THE KITCHEN AT THE STOVE and eat the fries right there like an employee or something!  These new super-trendy hipster restaurants are so weird!

They were your standard Ore-Ida 1/2" Crinkles.  Cooked pretty well.  Nice and crisp.  But they were totally like some fries that you might make in your house in your own oven.

Overall, they were pretty good.  The only problem is that I never got a ticket to pay, so I just kinda didn't pay.  Without knowing how much they charge I can't really give a fair review, so I'll just say that they are totally worth checking out.

P.S.  My wife informed me later that this was indeed someone's home, and that I am not allowed to drink cough syrup with beer anymore.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Shack in Jessieville, AR

The Shack is the kind of place that makes America great.  Located in Jessieville (you know I wish that I had) on highway 7.

This mom and pop joint is the complete tiny town fry experience at it's very best.

It has a 1950's kinda vibe inside.

And no less than 4 kinds of fries (not counting those disgusting sweet potato nightmares) for only $1.50 for a large!  Dang it!  I forgot to try the tots!

What are ranch fries?  Oh...steak fries.  I was hoping for something uber-merican like fries bathed in ranch dressing.

Cajun fries?  Yes!

Regular fries?  Yes again!

Hot, crisp, tasty, and a good amount for the price-what more could you ask for?  Seriously, for $4.50 you could leave this place STUFFED with fries.

Regular Fries: 10 out of 10
Cajun Fries: 9 out of 10
Ranch Fries: 8 out of 10

The only weird thing was that the bathrooms are on the outside of the building like at a gas station.  Is this an Arkansas thing?

P.S. They are pretty proud of their burgers, but I don't care about burgers.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Ohio Club in Hot Springs

If you are ever in Hot Springs, AR there are a few things you need to do.  First and foremost, stay at the Arlington Hotel.

It is old school-The Shining-kinda cool.

The lobby bar is a time machine, and the whole look and feel will make you feel like you're in The Great Gatsby.

And they have ACTUAL ROOM KEYS.

After you check in, head across the street to The Ohio Club.  It's right past this building.

The Ohio Club was a legal/illegal casino, legal/illegal bar, and general gangstery hangout.  The bar was floated down the Mississippi river from Ohio in like 1520.  The whole place is a time machine.


They're $4.00, but it is totally worth it to feel like a 20's gangster for a while.

10 out of 10.  Do it.