Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pioneer Woman. Tusk & Trotter. Crystal Bridges.

I met my first celebrity.
My first star.
Her name is Pioneer Woman.
Her real name is Ree Drummond.

She has a cooking show on The Food Network that I watch every week, written several cookbooks, and writes picture books that my students just love!

She started with a personal blog to keep her family and friends updated with their life, but a lot more people than just family loved to read her posts. I can easily stay on her blog for hours reading about recipes, hotels she stayed at, the lodge makeover, and her dog, Charlie.

One day I was reading her blog and she had posted the cities that she would be visiting to have book signings. I looked just for fun because, quite frankly, I just didn’t believe she would come to Arkansas. I scrolled down for awhile and there is was. Rogers, Arkansas. My state. My lovely lovely state.

I immediately screamed with excitement and ran to tell Rustin. “GUESS WHO IS COMING TO ARKANSAS!!!”
“Pioneer Woman," said Rustin. (Promise. First Guess!)
“YYEEEESSSS!!!” I screamed back.

I later asked how in the world he guessed that it was Pioneer Woman. He knows me.

So, the weekend finally came for us to travel up to Rogers to meet Pioneer Woman. My aunt and uncle live up there, so we were going to visit them along with Crystal Bridges. A little weekend trip.

We arrived at Walmart an hour before signing started, so we could get a good spot in line. We walked in. Everything looked calm. We found the signing table. Spotted the line, and started to find the end. This was going to be a breeze. We were going to be in and out in no time. We later found the end in-between the men's shirts and PJ bottoms miles behind the signing table.
Okay, not miles, but a line weaving in and out of departments that was longer than a football field.
I was so close to Pioneer Woman yet so far. Luckily we were right behind some women from Arkansas Women Bloggers, so our four and a half hour wait was enjoyable. The Park Wife, creator of AWB, gave me some blogging advice, and I received several restaurant recommendations from her and the other women.

I was so star struck when I finally got to meet Pioneer Woman. 

If you know me personally, you can tell how big my smile is compared to normal.

If you even kind of know me, take my advice. Buy her cookbooks. You, along with your dinner guests, will love every recipe. Rustin will try anything if he knows it is one of her books.

I also got to meet her husband, Lad. He is on just about every show and, of course, on her blog.

 I thought it was so sweet that her husband came along too.

My husband is just as sweet. He waited in line with me without complaints. That’s true love right there.

After the book signing, we visited with my aunt and uncle who I do not get to see too much. We were several hours late, because I thought the signing was going to be an hour or two. I was wrong. Very wrong. I underestimated Pioneer Woman’s following.
They fed us a late lunch and we talked for a few hours. They are the kindest people, and I just love them!

When it was time to head to the hotel, we entered in the hotel address in our GPS and headed off. I love staying in hotels. Especially Holiday Inn Expresses. They have THE best biscuit and gravy! So, you can imagine my disappointment when I booked a Holiday Inn and Suites by accident. Don’t get me wrong. The rooms were nice, but there was no free breakfast. No biscuit and gravy. I will never make that booking mistake again!

Sunday was dedicated to going to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville. My Aunt Betty had been talking about this place, and we finally had the time to go!

But first, we had to have lunch. One of the women that we met in line for Pioneer Woman had suggested Tusk & Trotter in the Bentonville Square. It was right by Crystal Bridges, and they were open for Sunday lunch.

Right when you walked into the restaurant it had a warm welcoming vibe.  The dark concrete floors, wood planked ceilings, and dim lighting made the atmosphere relaxing and laid back. We were seated in the bar area at a high top table and immediately was greeted by our server, Al, who was also the bartender. He provided great service and an even better Bloody Mary.

They had a variety of different infused Bloody Mary drinks, but I stuck to the traditional tomato.  It wasn’t too spicy and had a wonderful olive flavor. I have a big love for olives. As you know, I love salty foods, and you can’t get saltier than an olive. Especially the green ones.

Now that I was officially craving olives, I chose the Mediterranean Pizza for lunch.

I hardly ever get pizzas at restaurants, but this one sounded great. When Al put it in front of me, man was I glad about my choice.

The thin pizza crust was hand tossed and crispy. Every bite you took you could hear a crunch. This crust lets the toppings’ flavors do all the work. It was not heavy at all, so you did not leaving feeling guilty if you ate the whole thing.
I would’ve eaten the whole thing if Rustin hadn’t stolen a quarter of it while I was taking notes. He does that a lot.

The marinated olives and pepperoni were scattered around, so every bite had one or the other. My salty fix was definitely achieved. The wilted arugula on top gave it an earthiness to it and the cheese and olive oil added moisture to it since there was no red sauce on this pizza. To top it off there was feta cheese. I can eat that stuff raw. Olives and feta cheese....I should’ve been born in Greece. I should’ve been born in a lot of places. Mexico, Italy, Japan....luckily America has all the cuisines.

Well, now that I’m officially craving that pizza again, you have to go try this place out. Rustin got the TNT Burger and loved it as well. The chef there has won numerous awards and worked with some of the most distinguished chefs. Check out his bio on their website.

Tusk & Trotter is in the Bentonville Square, which is a nice place to visit in itself. They still have the traditional square, just like Mountain View. We went through the Walmart 5 and Dime Museum there and learned quite a bit about the Waltons before we went to Crystal Bridges.

This museum is beautiful. It is recognized on a national level, and Alice Walton (Sam Walton’s daughter) has put her heart and soul in this place. The art on display is timeless and takes you back in history.

Kindred Spirits. Alice Walton reportedly paid $35 million for just this painting.

This trip was very short but filled with amazing memories. Northwest Arkansas is such a beautiful place to visit. The people here are welcoming and nice. I look forward to coming back and trying all the places that people have recommended.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bean Festival. Mountain View, Arkansas.

One of my favorite towns to visit is Mountain View, Arkansas. Now, I am all about the big city of Little Rock (Was that an oxymoron?), but there is nothing better than going to Mountain View with Taylor. She was my “Lil” in our sorority, and we have been best friends ever since. We are alike but yet so different in many ways. One being that she is from the small town of Mountain View, and I am from the big city of North Little Rock.

The first time I rode with Taylor to Mountain View, I got horrible car sickness. It was at night, I couldn’t see the windy roads ahead, and oncoming headlights were zooming past us. That is a great combination for a queasy stomach and throbbing headache.

Now I would like to think of myself as a veteran Mountain View rider. I go in the daylight now, and my stomach has adjusted to the turns. The trip up was just gorgeous. The trees were turning to their fall colors and there was hardly anyone on the road.

Every time I arrive, my worries seem to melt away. There is an aura about Mountain View that makes you slow down. It focuses your attention on the present, and you relax. You are on MV time, and that means chill out! That’s why I love it here and why you will love this town when you come to visit.

Anytime I am able to tag along with Taylor for a visit up the MV, I immediately hop in and go! That is what I did when she told me about the Bean Festival. Our trip was short, but well worth the drive!

Bean Festival is just what it sounds like. A festival celebrating beans.

There is a huge bean cooking contest that happens just around noon, singing all around the square, craft sales, food trucks, and best of all.....The Outhouse Races. Because what goes with eating so many beans....well...that your personal business. :)

We arrived too late to enjoy the beans, but there were plenty of other things to do.

Food was on our first to-do list!

Taylor went with the traditional foot long corndog, but I had to try something unique. The Salsa Wagon food trailer smelled amazing, so I hopped in their line. You could see the crock-pots plugged in, the fryer baskets loaded and ready to drop, and the grill top covered with hot food all right from the window. It was the place to be.

I decided on the Chicken Fajita Nachos, and boy was it a good choice! 

The crunchy chips were the perfect foundation for the goodness on top. The fajita vegetables were nicely cooked. There were red and green bell peppers and sweet onions. The veggies were grilled on the flat top making them mostly soft with a little bit of crunch. The grilled chicken strips were tender, juicy, with nice charred edges. To top the nachos off was an amazing white cheese dip.

Cheese dip is a big weakness of mine. I can never get enough of it....especially white cheese dip.

The cheese dip was a critical component of the nachos because it held everything together. Without the dip, it would’ve been fajitas and chips. The dip brought it together to make a perfectly harmonized nacho plate.

Now, the whole dish was good, but there were just a few bites that blew my socks off.
A few bites that cannot be forcefully made.
The few bites that you find at the bottom.
Not those bites that have one drop of cheese dip on it because the other chips were blocking their way.
No, I am talking about the ones that are at the bottom that have been soaking up the excess cheese dip, chicken, and veggie juices.
Do you know what I am talking about now?

I wasn’t able to snap a picture because my hands, palms, and back of my hands were covered in these so-called juices, so you are just going to have to visualize.

I wish I could create an entire dish full of those bites. But....that would be way too many calories and a whole lotta mess.

To walk off some of these calories I did consume, we walked around the town square to check out everything going on. 

Wait! Third place I have worked out at!!!
1. Dondie's in Des Arc
2. Cafe Bossa Nova in the Heights
3. Bean Festival in Mountain View

But why am I not lean and fit.
Don’t answer that.

All around the town square there were places to shop, eat, or just to relax.

Do you see the band in the center of the picture? 

Mountain View still has an authentic square. The shops are still in business and people still come to gather there. Even when you come up here and there is not a festival, there are people at the square playing folk music. It is truly a special town. I think the world would be a better place if we had more Mountain Views.

We, of course, had to stop and watch the Outhouse Races!

I have now seen it all.

After some sittin’, we did some more shopping at the businesses in the square. There were some very unique stores with merchandise that I might never need, and some modern clothing boutiques with merchandise that I always need/want. The square is filled with items that will fit everyone’s tastes.

As we slowly made our way back towards the car, we passed by the Salsa Wagon again. The Fried Oreos that I saw on their menu was heavy on my mind. Taylor had never had them before, so I just had to get them. For her. Not for me. I just helped her eat them to be nice. :)

Have you ever tried a Fried Oreo???

They are horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

Horribly amazing. 

If you like Oreos, you will LOVE them fried. Just try them ASAP.

Now that I was taking shorter breaths, and craving milk, I knew it was time to head home. I have already planned a visit for December when the hubby is off on weekends to do a series of Mountain View’s best restaurants. Believe me. There are some that I crave down here in the big city.

1st stop will be at this place for breakfast. A biscuit and gravy breakfast.

 See you soon Mountain View.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Wagon Wheel. Home cookin'.

This past week I got the pleasure of going out to eat with Allison and Whitney, two of my best friends from elementary and high school who just so happen to ALSO be teachers! We try to get together ever so often, and since they are hungry teachers as well, we decided to go to a new restaurant together for the blog. We are teachers. We multitask all the time. It’s in the job description.

After much debate, we decided to travel to Greenbrier to eat at The Wagon Wheel. It had been a few years since I had eaten there before, and I needed a good refresher. I had been once for breakfast (to eat biscuit and gravy DUH!) and once for dinner.  It is one of those true country, home cookin’ restaurants that every town needs but not many have anymore.

You have two options for ordering food. You can order from the menu, or you can order from the dry erase board. That’s where the specials and veggies are posted. The specials change everyday with food you would see in your own kitchen.

Not my kitchen, I said your kitchen. I’ve been slacking off majorly in the cooking department. As the school year goes on, it seems like the days get shorter and the “need to get done now or you will stress over it” list gets longer.

The one time I had come before for dinner, I had the Taco Casserole. (It was on the white board.) You know, the chicken casserole with cheese Doritos and Velvetta! YUM! I was hoping that they would be serving that again, but that was a long shot.

That should tell you something about The Wagon Wheel. I had been thinking and craving their casserole for about 3-4 years.

I should make that this week......oh wait, Parent/Teacher Conferences are this week. The kitchen will be closed! Maybe next week. 

Sorry, back to the food! 

I really wanted to order from the dry erase board, but I didn’t. One of the options was Chicken Fried Chicken and that made me instantly want Chicken Fried Steak. I love a good homemade Chicken Fried Steak. My mom didn’t cook that much while I was growing up, but she made a mean Chicken Fried Steak. It would be my choice for my last supper.

Since my mom is my biggest fan of the blog and my editor, I have to say that no one can compete with her CFS, BUT The Wagon Wheel’s CFS is one of the best that I have had at a restaurant.

This Chicken Fried Steak was authentic. You could tell that it was hand breaded and pan-fried in the kitchen. It had the nicest crust that is the base of every Chicken Fried Something. Even underneath the creamy gravy, it was still crunchy. The balance of breading to meat was perfect because one did not outdo the other. The gravy that covered the steak made every bite moist, salty, and tender. To top it off and make it even more amazing, just about every other bite I would dip it in the mashed potatoes.


The ultimate bite.

Something else that was ultimate was their Mac and Cheese. Now, I am a box mac and cheese girl. That’s what I was raised on. That is NOT what Rustin was raised on, so I have learned how to cook it and have developed an acquired taste for it. Notice though, I said that their Mac and Cheese was the ultimate. This will convert any boxer to a homemader.

It was creamy, oh so creamy. The noodles were soft and held together with a thick cheesy mixture. The whole dish melted in your mouth.

If you look back at the ultimate bite picture, there is no Mac and Cheese. It was the first thing that I finished. I demolished it. Days later we are still talking about it!

Then there are the carrots. They were recommended by a dear friend. You might ask yourself, “Who recommends carrots!?” Well, you do when they are this good! The carrots were so tender and soft. They had just the right amount of sugar absorbed into their skin to make them sweet. Not too sweet that you felt guilty for eating them, but just sweet enough to gobble them up. 

They reminded me of my Mamaw’s carrots. At 4 years old, I ate carrots. I ate them because they were sweet. It’s make your kids eat vegetables, add sugar. How easy is that?

Make your next dinner choice easy. Go to The Wagon Wheel.

This hometown restaurant has been here for about 21 years. Our sweet sweet waitress Pearly May has been there for 12 of them. This is the place where all the locals go. Well, they aren’t really locals. They are family. This is their dining room too.

As you read, you probably noticed I told a lot of stories. A lot of family memories. That is what The Wagon Wheel’s food will do to you. It will remind you of home cooked meals with loved ones.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Arkansas Burger Company. Come On In.

This week we traveled to Little Rock to try out Arkansas Burger Company. It was recommended by several people on my Facebook page, and I had to try it out! Thank you to those who never lead me astray. 

We got there at dinnertime and sat down to order. This is different than lunch where you order at the counter. The decision was quick and easy...burgers. We also got an order of fries and onion rings. I gotta taste everything for you!

As we were waiting, we got to take in the surroundings. It is a cozy restaurant with an assortment of decorations. There is an Arkansas theme, but once you look closely, I don’t think there is a rhyme or reason to the decor. There are circus posters, Arkansas collector plates, bottles, pails, a boat seat cushion hanging from the ceiling, and license plates. The tables and chairs do not all match but have the same homey look. They look like they have been collected over the years. On those tables are paper towels. Paper towel carriers are my favorite types of restaurants. It is an unspoken rule that it means good food. Just like my dad always judges a place by the number of trucks in the parking lot. Makes perfect sense....try it next time you pick out a restaurant.

I think it was a total of 7 minutes that we got to look around, and then our food was the main focus.  It was quick! That makes it a perfect lunch stop for those around the Cantrell area.

I got the regular cheeseburger with American cheese and no onions.

This cheeseburger was wonderful! Sesame seed buns are my favorite. The soft white bread holds the burger together just right. It melts in your mouth along with the burger patty. They cook the burger right when you order it, so it is super fresh. The thick cheese covers the whole burger and holds everything in place. The shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles really tie everything together. They get their veggies three times a week, so everything is at its’ peak flavor. The burger was so moist that I had juices running down the backs of my hands.

That is why there are an abundance of paper towels on hand. Are you seeing the connection?

I was truly sad to eat my last bite of burger. I hadn’t even touched the fries or onion rings yet. That says a lot about my feeling towards the cheeseburger.

The French Fries were a nice pairing for our burgers. They were soft, salty, and cooked to a nice golden color.  They had a seasoned salt on them that gave them a unique bite.

We also enjoyed the onion rings.

I was a bit surprised that they were more of an onion tangler. I love some onion tanglers. They were crunchy, crisp, and well oniony. To top it off and make it even better, ask for the Thousand Island dressing. You dip a finger full of tanglers into the thick dressing, and it instantly makes them sweet. Thankfully I was eaves dropping and heard another table ask for the dressing. You gotta be in the know some how.

If you want to know about a big burger, then order The Rock. Rustin loved it, especially because they had pepper jack cheese.

This double meat double patty burger is for the experienced. It is for those who are serious eaters. Those who love burgers, and those who are mostly hungry.
This was a great place to eat at. There were 3 guys working the drive thru and floor. They were all so kind and welcoming. I got to speak to Chad, the owner’s nephew and night manager, in between him helping customers and filling drive thru orders. You could instantly tell that he had a true passion for his job and loved serving others.  He has been working there ever since his uncle, Dan Spencer, opened the restaurant almost 13 years ago. Dan wanted to open a burger restaurant, while his wife wanted a Bed & Breakfast. Chad laughs and said, “That is the only argument he has ever won”. 

I am sure glad he won that argument along with many other Arkansans. They have won numerous awards and are recognized in several magazines. Try it out for yourself. Just look for the checkered red and white roof on Cantrell Road in Little Rock. Instead of an “Open” sign, it says “Come On In”.

Go on in.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cafe Bossa Nova. Brazilian Cuisine.

What a wonderful weekend! The weather was perfect, food was amazing, and the company was great.

This week I wanted to go somewhere with my girlfriends. We started messaging to try and figure out where to go for a weekend lunch, and the vote was for Cafe Bossa Nova. I had heard great things about the restaurant from several people and was looking forward to trying something new.  The restaurant is located in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock. This area is known for their close-knit community, clothing boutiques, and trendy restaurants and bars. Their annual Harvest Fest was this Saturday, so we made an afternoon of it.

Harvest Fest is a festival for the whole family to attend. There are all kinds of vendor booths, crafts, live entertainment, and kid activities. Harvest Fest is on Kavanaugh Blvd. in between N. Monroe and Walnut. Cafe Bossa Nova is right in that vicinity.

This Brazilian restaurant has been open since 2002 and is growing more popular everyday. They started serving just lunch, but now because of popular demand, they serve dinner and brunch on Sunday. I’ll have to come back on a Sunday. I love a good brunch! 

None of us girls had been to Cafe Bossa Nova, so we took our waiter’s advice and had the Panquecas De Frango. I was also told to order the Pao De Queijo from one of my oldest friends’ mom that I saw at Harvest Fest.

Don’t ask me how to pronounce it any of it, just point to it on the menu when you order.

Pao De Qeuijo. This is a Brazilian style cheese bread ball that hit my taste buds just right. There wasn’t cheese in the center, but the actual bread had cheese baked within.
Another plus was that it was made with gluten free flour, so everyone can enjoy it. Many of their other dishes are gluten free, vegan, or vegetarian.
(I need to research more about gluten free products. I don't know if I could follow the diet.  It would probably limit my bread consumption, and that would make me cranky.) 

The center was light and airy making it a nice snack before lunch....or before anything. 

I think I would love cheese bread from any country.

Our lunch dish was Panquecas De Frango.

These Brazilian chicken crepes were delicious! For those of you who have never had one, a crepe is made by frying a very thin batter on a smooth pan. They have the consistency of the thinnest pancake you can imagine. People often have sweet crepes, but they can also be made for savory the one we all tried. 

The inside of the crepes were filled with a rich chicken and catupiry cheese mixture. The cheese is native to Brazil and is soft, creamy, and a bit tangy. It reminds me of our cream cheese.

They were served on a bed of rice covered in the catupiry sauce, making the rice soft, tender, and very flavorful. I gobbled up all the rice because the cheese sauce was so good. Why don’t more restaurants use it!!??

Served along side the crepes was a nice light Mista Salad. The base of the salad was organic mixed greens tossed in their house salad dressing. The combination of the sweet vinaigrette dressing, Mandarin oranges, and caramelized almonds made it hard to resist. There were a lot of textures in the salad making it unique and exciting. The oranges were soft, the greens were chewy, and the almonds were crunchy. Mista Salad is no ordinary side salad. If you cannot get enough, they also serve it for a main salad dish.

I would highly recommend this dish for your next outing with the girls or your significant other for date night. The four of us ordered Panquecas De Frango and all loved it. Go ahead, get out of your box, and try a Brazilian crepe. Your hungry teacher approves.

Cafe Bossa Nova is a nice, cozy restaurant right on Kavanaugh. Just look for the yellow and green awning. We had the perfect view of Harvest Fest and would have people watched if we weren’t busy catching up.

After our bellies were full and satisfied, we enjoyed the beautiful weather and walked around to all the neat booths and boutiques.

This makes the second trip in a row where I worked off my meal. Dondie's and now Cafe Bossa Nova. I’m on a roll.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dondie's. A Riverboat.

This week we traveled to Des Arc, Arkansas to try out Dondie’s White River Princess. I was asking around for places to eat seafood, and my teacher friends just raved about this place. The hubby picked me up right after school, and we drove out to Des Arc.

Des Arc is about 40 minutes from Cabot and well worth the drive. This is the definition of an old Arkansas town where everybody knows your name. Now, everyone might not know your name in Dondie’s because people come in from everywhere! :)

Dondie’s opens at 5:00 on Thursday, Friday, and Satudays. We got there a little before 5, and decided to do some sight seeing. I just love small towns. As we drove into town, we were greeted by the water tower.

The old courthouse building.

The bridge that was on their town banners on the light poles.

This is such a rural place, I was able to take several picture of the bridge without cars on it. You can’t do that in those big city towns.

Not far from the bridge is The Riverboat. This is Dondie’s. It brought out the kid in me instantly, and the oohs and ahhs were abundant.

Once we got inside and they asked where we wanted to sit, of course, we had to sit on the second floor. The view was the best!

 While we were looking at the menu, Kathy, our sweet waitress, took our drink orders.

“This is so cool”, said Rustin. He quickly drank his sweet tea, to refill his own cup. Our waitress is usually wearing out the floorboards from our table to the drink station getting his sweet tea refilled.

We glanced over the menu, but knew we were going to get the buffet that was downstairs. See, I do exercise. Knocked two things out at once. Eatin’ and working out. I wish it were always that easy. :)

Something on the menu, that did catch our eye, was the Fried Gator Tails. I asked our waitress, “Like REAL their actual tail!?” She assured me that they were the real deal, and I just had to try some for you. 

Gator Tails were surprisingly really good! They were crunchy little bites of......well, alligator. It is really hard to describe them because I’ve never had something like it to compare it to. They don’t “taste like chicken” everyone says things taste like. They aren’t gamey. It was tender, salty, non-reptiley goodness. (Did I just make up a word?) It came with a sweet chili sauce, but I enjoyed it all on its’ own.
(The portion was larger than in the picture, but like Toad Suck Buck's Mac and Cheese Bites, I got really excited to try gator and forgot to take a picture. I will do better next time. Hopefully.)

For the first round of the buffet, I got the fried shrimp, peel-and-eat shrimp, catfish, and clam strips. Don’t judge me on plate presentation.

The fried shrimp was one of my favorites. The batter was crunchy, the shrimp fresh, and it was cooked perfectly. I dipped it in the cocktail sauce for added flavor. The sauce was amazing and complimented the shrimp and clam strips nicely.

I popped the chewy clam strips in my mouth really fast. Since I was a child, I have eaten clam strips and always get them at every buffet. Love them.

The catfish was also one of my favorites. I like some good catfish, and this is the best I've had so far. The batter was not overpowering and was coated perfectly. As you pulled the catfish apart, it was flakey and tender. They were always hot and fresh because it goes so fast at the buffet line. Dipping the fish into the tarter sauce makes it a perfect combination of salty and sweet. Speaking of sweetness... 

Rustin handed me one of these to try. The hubby does not normally share food, but he does his fair share of stealing it. I knew there was something up.

I assumed it was a mozzarella stick. I was wrong.

I was really wrong. It was an apple stick. Quite the opposite.

Filled with cinnamon, sugar, apple cubes, and goodness, I had to get more. Now, these are right in the middle of the buffet line. The ole regulars know what they are, but us first timers are clueless. They’re trying to trick ya, but you’re in the know now. You’re welcome.

It was a sweet ending to a great meal.

After dinner, I got to meet and talk to the owner/cook, Mike Skarda. He and his wife, Karen, have owned the place for 23 years. He said he has had a passion for cooking since he was a kid, and you can tell in his cooking. Along with his buffet, he is well known for his prime rib steaks. His steaks are on the full menu that was added later on for more variety. The prime ribs are aged for 50 days and sought after by many. People from Mississippi call to reserve a steak when they are coming into town. They often sell out at night because they are so good. I will definitely have to try that next time!

Wow! Writing about a buffet is hard work. As opposed to writing about one main dish, you have, well, all that you can eat. My notes were longer, and my belly was fuller. Luckily, I got that exercise going up and down the stairs to the buffet line. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lunch in the Lounge. Chicken Nugget Day

The Lounge. The place where every kid dreams to explore. I mean, we have a coke machine, AND a vending machine. If they are lucky, they can get a glimpse of it if they pass by right as a teacher is coming or going.
In reality, it is like any other work break room. We have tables, a couch, and a tiny T.V. that is never on. It is our place to cram down lunch, before we run off to do things in the classroom.

I wanted to write a mid-week post about some lunches that I have at school. I give myself one day to eat out. I really try and bring my lunch the other four days. It is always on my “Back to School Resolution” list.....but as the school year goes on, and I wake up later and later, I am eating in the lunchroom or running somewhere more often. Hey, I said it was on my resolution list!

I thought it was only appropriate for my first “Lunch in the Lounge” post to be about Chicken Nugget Day!!! It was always my favorite day in high school at North Little Rock. We had to get a tray from the hot plate lunch line on Chicken Nugget Day. We would even pay extra for one of those great rolls. It is still my favorite as a teacher.

Every other week, we have had chicken tenders. Do not fret. They are just as good as the nuggets, rings, or stars. I think they are better. They were cooked perfectly and had just the right crunchy crust. The inside was the same texture as a regular chicken nugget. Don’t ask me how they did it, but they did. The tenders were much bigger and more filling. My teammates Sandy and Tina, from Flamingos and Butterflies, also got the tray today. We laughed and laughed on how to properly eat the tender so you can get it to fit in the honey mustard or ranch dipping sauce cup. You have to be a planner.
Now that I think about it, we could have just dumped the sauce out and dipped. Oops.

If you are a true chicken nugget tray lover, you do not use ketchup or honey mustard or ranch or mustard or BBQ sauce.

You use The Mashed Potatoes.

I don’t really eat the mashed potatoes on their own. Their reason for being on the tray is for the nuggets. (It is always a letdown when they serve fries).

They are also great on the rolls.

Notice the spork indention. Yeah, they still use those. 

To be honest, I was never one of those that made the ultimate chicken nugget and mashed potato sandwich with the roll. I have, though, seen many of them made!

The green beans and applesauce were good, but not my priority. They got eaten. I made a happy plate.

Well, I hope that I brought back some happy lunchroom memories for you! I know I sure thought about some.

What was your favorite lunchroom meal?