Sunday, October 14, 2012

Arkansas... Crystal Bridges and Fried Chicken

Walmart Visitors Center
I travel pretty regularly to Arkansas for work.  Yes, Arkansas.  And you know what?  It's actually a pretty great place.  Northwest Arkansas, while kind of tough to fly into, is full of brilliant people, good food, and some interesting sights.

During my last couple of visits, I've visited a few noteworthy spots.  The Walmart Visitors Center, in downtown Bentonville, is free admission and pretty fascinating.  You can see Sam Walton's office, displayed exactly as it was the day of his death.  You can see his old Ford truck, which reminded me of my grandfather.  You can see his wife's wedding dress too, and learn about the history of the company. For an organization that has only been around for 50 years, it's hard to believe how big it has become, and how humble the beginning was!

Also in downtown Bentonville is Table Mesa.  I love this modern latin cuisine!  There's fusion like Korean BBQ tacos, or a burger with chorizo and a fried egg, which is what I chose.  Yum.

Crystal Bridges

More recently, I visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  The Walton family built this incredible, world-class museum honoring American artists, and it's exquisite.  Seriously.  I've been to museums all over the globe, and I want to come back to this one.  I ate lunch in their cafeteria and had time only to explore the contemporary exhibit, but everything from the architecture to the setting (tons of nature trails!) seems to transport you from the Arkansas countryside into another world.  Oh, and admission is FREE thanks to the Waltons!

Crystal Bridges - Contemporary Art
One last spot worth mentioning in Arkansas is the Monte Ne Inn.  A few of the folks I work with are fried chicken aficionados, so we headed out to this hidden gem.  You guys, this is a pretty awesome place.  I was embarrassingly overdressed in a dress and heels, but I dove headfirst into their all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of chicken, potatoes, corn, bread with apple butter, and homemade cobbler and cake.  Yowza.  It's delicious food in the middle of nowhere, and totally worth exploring.  Home cooked goodness!  Don't miss it!

Can't wait to share more Arkansas foodie and fun adventures with you in the future!

Monte NE Inn Chicken Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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