RSSCategory: Valley Vittles

A taste of old Mexico

A taste of old Mexico

Defining Mexican food is best done by first clearly understanding what is not Mexican food. As Anthony Bourdain once said: “It’s not melted cheese over tortilla chips.” It’s also not Taco Bell.Though the offerings are often delicious in their own right, it’s not the various Tex-Mex establishments found in nearly every town. I used to […]

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March 1, 2019 | By More
Crusty, creamy, golden goodness

Crusty, creamy, golden goodness

Slogging through the gray days of our shortest month, that somehow seems twice as long as any other month, is always a challenge. We lean on a couple of crutches to get us through — the hope that warmer weather is just around the corner inspired by the occasional bright spring-like day and comfort food. […]

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February 1, 2019 | By More
Rib-stickin’ breakfast

Rib-stickin’ breakfast

Remember those cold winter weekend mornings at Grandma’s house? If you were lucky, she had a wood or gas stove you could snug up against while watching Bugs and Daffy punk Elmer. You’d look out the window at the frosted yard and start planning your fun while incredible smells and sizzling sounds came from the […]

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December 1, 2018 | By More
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