Sunday, August 06, 2006

Good Southern Food and Roads

After my previous rant on the joys of chicken trucks, I should say that the trip really was quite nice. The chicken truck turned off after what seemed like hours but in reality was less than 20 miles. Long enough to make an impression on me, but not so long as to affect the overall trip.

The real destination of the trip, if there was such a thing, was Cafe Klaser. Located overlooking the Little Red River, the views are nice from any of the large windows that run along the back of the building. You can watch the fly fishermen wading out into the river with kids on their shoulders, anxiously waiting for the big moment. The food was very good, I had blackened Walleye and my husband had their daily special, fried catfish. Their fresh baked yeast bread is somewhat heavy but still very good, and the homemade peanut butter pie was a great way to end the meal.

What is it that makes us southerners take a perfectly healthy food and decide it would be really great battered and fried? For an appetizer, we sampled the fried green beans. Also in keeping with the southern style, they are served with ranch dressing for dipping. I guess I am southern at heart, I happy ate my fair share, and they were pretty good!

I must also revise my statement in a previous post about Highway 9 being so awful. The stretch that runs north from Mountain View to Melbourne is pretty bad, but the portion from Shirley heading into Mountain View is in good shape, by AHTD standards anyway. The scenery on Highway 5 from Mountain View north into Calico Rock as it passes through the Ozark National Forrest is nice, but the road is not especially entertaining.

The view coming into Calico Rock, Arkansas is stunning. Businesses and homes hang on the edge of bluffs overlooking the river below. You can tell as you drive through this is a classic example of a small southern town that has outlived the industries that once brought it life. Towns like these make for interesting stops along a drive, but time didn't permit a stop on this trip. Maybe next time...

Something I didn't expect to see just outside of Tuckerman, Arkansas was the Red Bull Mini. Red Bull has a mini that's just slightly modified to include a serious overdose of caffeine sized "can" on the rear. The picture here isn't one I took as is evidenced by the palm trees, but the car looked the same. Good choice of car for the product, small but fun and quite energetic.

It was an enjoyable day in all and just left me looking forward to my next great drive.

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