RSSCategory: Valley Vittles

The four-napkin sandwich

The four-napkin sandwich

I gauge my barbecue sandwich experience by how many napkins it requires. One napkin is pretty boring. Two napkins is the norm, and there’s nothing wrong with needing just two napkins. It means that, though, the meal was fine, the sandwich was probably too nice and so was I while eating it. Three-napkin sandwiches are […]

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November 1, 2018 | By More
Three great tastes that taste great together

Three great tastes that taste great together

The Arkansas state bird should have been a chicken. Growing up in the rural River Valley, chickens were a part of the day to day and often on the dinner table at the end of the day. Chickens are cheap to keep, backyard accessible, and delicious. What more could you ask for from a bird? […]

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October 1, 2018 | By More
Where have you been all my life?

Where have you been all my life?

There was a time in the River Valley when food choices were limited. Sure, we had plenty of restaurants, but they all featured the same type of foods prepared or served in slightly different ways. It was simply life in rural Arkansas. But the times, they are a-changin’. An authentic and growing array of diverse […]

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August 1, 2018 | By More
Open up your mouth and feed it

Open up your mouth and feed it

It’s Friday night and Dad just got paid in 1980-something. I’m in Russellville with Mom, Sister (who was a Christian, as we all were), and a few cousins. Just kids in a small town out for pizza. After we order the pizza I try to cure my Pacman fever, but there’s still too much time […]

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July 1, 2018 | By More
Icy, spicy, sweet with heat

Icy, spicy, sweet with heat

I’m a sucker for adventurous flavor combinations. The snap of lemon juice paired with the fullness of garlic and earthy tones of cumin on venison steak all gently muted under a pillow of buttery béarnaise is a favorite. The twists and turns keep my tastebuds locked into the moment, and anticipation of not knowing how […]

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June 1, 2018 | By More
A savory cure for spring fever

A savory cure for spring fever

Those warm spring rays and southerly breezes flirt with your sense of adventure. As a fresh greening spreads across the land, an urge to try something new and unique, something beyond the ordinary builds. The longing for thrills after a winter of cabin fever extends even to our hunger. Sit-down restaurants are nice enough. A […]

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May 1, 2018 | By More
Satisfy the urge

Satisfy the urge

What do you do when the carnivorous urges become too powerful to ignore? You crave meat. Poultry and fish? Nah. Hamburger? We’re getting close, but what you really need is a slab of protein with depth. You crave steak. Seasoned, seared, and cooked to perfection with all that earthy essence only red meat can offer. […]

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April 1, 2018 | By More
Not your mom’s

Not your mom’s

Pimento cheese is one of those storied Southern delights ranking right up there with grits and fried chicken. But truth be told, I’ve never been a fan. That’s weird because I’m a big fan of cheese. I like mayonnaise and chili peppers (pimentos are a type of chili pepper), too, and when you add those […]

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March 1, 2018 | By More
Can you be be an Arkansan and not like ham?

Can you be be an Arkansan and not like ham?

Growing up, ham was a regular meat option at every meal after the holidays. Seemed like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and even sometimes Independence Day involved a huge Petit Jean ham that, try as we did, always had leftovers. Pork was what’s for breakfast, often lunch, and sometimes dinners afterward for days. And we never got […]

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February 1, 2018 | By More
Italian Comfort Food

Italian Comfort Food

When it comes to Italian food, I go for the savory, the spicy, the adventurous. I like the tang of tomato sauce and the zesty zing of peppered dishes. I don’t want dairy creaminess and I definitely don’t want chicken. This mindset is always firmly in place as I peruse the menu. It’s not that […]

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December 1, 2017 | By More