Getting Acquainted with Hot Springs

I’ve posted very little about our new home and its environs, primarily because we’re not yet in our new home.  If all goes according to plan, a week from today the movers will deliver our furnishings and we can begin unpacking and getting organized.  But, between arriving here and getting all organized, we will have gotten acquainted with quite a lot of the area.  So, in the interest of getting some of it stored electronically, here are some bits and pieces about our adventures in the last couple of days.

hummingDay before yesterday, we drove to Jessieville, just a few miles north, to have lunch at The Shack, a died-in-the-wool dive of a hamburger joint/roadside cafe.  The burgers are decent, but not quite up to my standards, e.g., you have no say in rare or well-done they are cooked…but they are certainly edible. What I find most appealing about The Shack is that it’s so damn casual!  I love casual.  Casual is good.  And another thing I find appealing is the fact that there are two hummingbird feeders outside the south-facing windows.  When we were there yesterday, there were scads of hummingbirds, not five feet from us outside the window, drinking in the red nectar from the feeders.  I waited until we were outside to try to get a photo; I used my iPhone, hence the poor quality.

After lunch, as we were heading back home, we stopped in at Bennett Brothers Stone Company, to take a look at what they had available in grey flagstone.  The stoneyard is the sort of place that could hold my attention for days…they have so many types of natural stone, most of it from nearby I think, that are so beautiful it makes me want to build something!

Yesterday, we moped about early in the day, but managed to get out of the house and drive over to Little Rock to get the cashier’s check (I prefer the British spelling, but do not use it because I do not want to give the wrong impression about me) we’ll need to close on the new house next week.  Because we are deeply uncomfortable having a check of that size laying around the house, w.e stopped by the title company at which the closing will take place next week and dropped it off for safekeeping and deposit into escrow.  When the time for closing comes, we’ll not need to take any money with us.

McLards7When we left the house today, our destination was McLard’s Bar-B-Q, a place I learned about from Michael Stern’s Roadfood.com. I do not always have the same experience at restaurants as Stern does. Sometimes, he waxes poetic about food that I find only adequate.  But the ribs at McLard’s Bar-B-Q today were nothing short of exceptional.  Following Stern’s lead, I ordered the Rib & Fry plate, which consisted of six monstrous pork ribs under a mountain of French fries.  My favorite wife ordered the ribs with beans and cole slaw (both of which were superb). The ribs, with thick layers of meat and just enough fat to accentuate the flavor, were smoked to perfection!  I ordered mine dry, but tasted their signature BBQ sauce and was more than a little impressed.  There’s no wonder this place has survived and thrived since 1928, operating since 1942 in the same building. Here are some shots of the food, along with a shot of the side of the building across the parking lot from McLard’s:

McLards4 McLards3 McLards5McLards1

Two other things we saw in the place left an impression. First, we noticed that our waitress was wearing a restaurant t-shirt with the following statement printed on the back: “I like pig butts & I cannot lie.”  Then, my favorite wife pointed out a sign on the wall above my left shoulder that read: “Put some south in yo’ mouth!” We left the restaurant poorer and with a to-go box full of six ribs, then headed out to explore more of Hot Springs. For a small town, there is one HELL of a lot to see…and we will have a long time to see it all.

McLards2I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned that there is an airport in Hot Springs.  Well, there is.  And I learned a few days ago, to my delight, that there is scheduled commercial service from Hot Springs to Dallas and Memphis on Seaport Airlines. The carrier flies small (about 10 passenger, I think) commercial Cessna aircraft to Dallas and Memphis.  If one doesn’t need flexibility, a person can lock in a round trip for about $133; for $250 or so, a refundable, changeable ticket can be had.

There’s much more to see, more to do, and a lot more experiences to have here.  I’m enjoying this.  And it will be even better when we can get into our new house and unpack!

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes "Intimacy is never wrong. It can be awkward, it can be unsettling, it can feel dangerous, it can seem out of place, but it’s never wrong."― John Swinburn
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2 Responses to Getting Acquainted with Hot Springs

  1. Mosha says:

    Yes, those ribs look as delicious as you’ve stated, John! Big servings, too. How were the prices compared to Texas??

  2. jserolf says:

    That looks so good

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