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May 15, 2012 10:52 AM

Nashville to Hot Springs, AR breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Hello Everyone,

My husband, 6 year-old-son, and I will be traveling from Nashville (where we live) to Hot Springs, AR, this Sunday, May 20th, and will return to Nashville on Wednesday, May 23rd. My first order of business is picking our Sunday lunch spot. We get plenty of great Southern food here in Nashville, but do not want to miss any treasures en route to Arkansas.Our route takes us through Memphis, and while I love Memphis and all of its culinary delights, we do not plan on stopping there this trip. We are considering stopping at Gus's for fried chicken in Mason,TN., but would greatly appreciate suggestions for Sunday lunch, especially ones that may include culinary delights not found in Nashville. We will also stop for lunch on the way back to Nashville on Wednesday, so I'm really looking for two lunch spots.

While in Hot Springs, we are open to anything. We do have the 6-year-old with us, but he loves all sorts of food and thankfully, has pretty good manners. We are not looking for "fine dining" as we will be casually dressed, this being primarily a trip about crystal digging, hot springs, and hiking. I would like to be able to order a glass of wine or beer with dinner, though. We are staying at The Arlington and would really love to walk to everything, but if there is a "not-to-be-missed" spot, I'll gladly drive! Arkansas-style tamales are high on my list. I've never tried them.

Thank you in advance for any comments and suggestions. This is my first time posting here. My husband and I love food, especially trying regional specialties that we have never had.


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  1. Craig's has outstanding BBQ but it's a few miles off I 40. Gene's is just off I 40 in Brinkley has good food.

    Go to Doe's in HS.

    You can get off I 40 going through Memphis just before the bridge and have good BBQ at Cozy Corner. It's just off the interstate.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Thank you, Littleman! I did not realize there was a Doe's in Hot Springs. I'm so excited! Craig's sounds great, too. I appreciate you taking the time to help.


      1. re: vasiliki

        I'm not sure what's open on Sunday. If you want to stop in Memphis, TN for BBQ I suggest you go to Cozy Corner BBQ due to it's location close to I 40. Right before you cross the Mississippi River get off I 40 at Exit 1B and go N on N Danny Thomas Blvd. Go about 2 blocks and you will pass St. Jude Children's Hospital then take a right on N. Parkway. Go 2 blocks to Cozy Corner for outstanding BBQ.

        Cozy Corner @ 745 N. Parkway, Memphis, TN. 901 - 527 - 9158.

        For outstanding BBQ stop at Roadside BBQ @ Exit 271 off I 40 In W Memphis, AR. Get off I 40 at Exit 241A/B and go N to Colt, AR on Highway 1. Take a left on Highway 306 and go to Greg and Jim's for good BBQ. Get off I40 at Exit 241A/B and go S on North Washington Street in Forrest City, AR to The Ole Sawmill Cafe. It's open for breakfast, lunch or dinner and serves outstanding country food. Get off on the S side of I40 on N Washington and go about 2 blocks to Ole Sawmill Cafe on your right. Craig's BBQ in Devall's Bluff, AR is outstanding. Get off I 40 at Exit 183 at Carlisle, AR on Highway 13 and go S to Nick's BBQ in Carlisle, AR. Get off I 40 at Exit 175 at Lonoke, AR and go S on Highway 31 to E 8th Street and go to Pruett's for good BBQ.

        I would not stop in Little Rock, AR unless you just want to. If you need to stop get off I 30 at Exit 133 and go N on Geyser Springs Road to Sim's for good BBQ. At Exit 116 at Benton, AR you will find outstanding road food at Ed & Kay's Restaurant on the N side of I30 for lunch and dinner.
        Roadside BBQ @ 196 Arkansas 147, West Memphis, AR 870 - 733 - 9208.

        Greg & Jim's Grocery & BBQ @ Hwy 306, Colt, AR. 870 - 633 - 0541.

        The Ole Sawmill Cafe @ 2299 N. Washington St., Forrest City, AR 870 - 630 - 2299.

        Craig's BBQ @ Rt. 70, Devalls Bluff, AR. 501 - 998 - 2616.

        Nick's Bar B Que @ Hwy. 13 N., Carlisle, AR. 870 - 552 - 3887.

        Pruett's Bar B Que @ 108 E. 8th St., Lonoke, AR. 501 - 676 - 2622.

        Sims BBQ @ 7601 Geyer Springs Road, Little Rock, AR 501 - 562 - 8844.

        Ed and Kay's Restaurant @ 15228 Interstate 30 N., Benton, AR 501 - 315 - 3663.

        1. re: vasiliki

          Click on this link. There's some good dining recommendations for Hot Springs. Scroll down towards the bottom. There's also some nice MS dining information as well as New Orleans.

          1. re: Littleman

            Wow! We may have to stay an extra day. Craig;s BBQ sounds right up my alley, but I may have to find a way to work in Cozy Corner, too. We are planning to stop in Little Rock on the way back because we've heard it's just a great city. I thought we might walk around the River Walk area and do lunch there, but now I'm thinking that we will go to Ed and Kay's. I will be sure to report back! Thank you so much, Litttleman.

            Ps: The roadfood forum was so much fun to read. Thank you for the link.

            1. re: vasiliki

              How was your trip. Did you find some good road food.

              1. re: Littleman

                Hi Littleman,

                I apologize for such a delayed reply and thank you for the recommendations! We had a fantastic trip. I fell in love with Hot Springs. Well, we stopped at Gus's in Mason, TN, on the way to HS. My husband, who loves fried chicken, thought it was great. I appreciated the bit of kick in the crust, but because we arrived toward the end of lunch hour, I felt that our chicken had been sitting for a bit. They did not have many sides...I was hoping for mashed potatoes and gravy. Unfortunately, Doe's in HS is no longer a "Doe's," so decided to eat at the one in Little Rock on our return because of that. I was hell-bent to try Doe's and am so glad I did. I called ahead to find out their hours. We got a late start leaving HS. We arrived at 1:30 (they close at 2) to such a warm welcome. The waitress who greeted us asked us if it had been we who had called. When I told her "yes," she said they were planning to stay open until we got there! So nice. Ok. The salad was fantastic. I have an inexplicable passion for iceberg lettuce lightly dressed. Doe's garlicky lemon dressing was the stuff of my dreams. And the steak. And fries. All truly wonderful! The only problem was that we missed out on trying Craig's. There is always next time! Thank you, again. Oh, one BIG disappointment was Hunka Pie in Little Rock. We skipped dessert at Doe's thinking we'd try "the best pie ever" at Hunka Pie. Closed. I read on the roadfood forum that you directed me to that they often decide not to open for the day. Should have called.

                1. re: vasiliki

                  Vasiliki........I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. Stop at the original Doe's in Greenville, MS some day and enjoy the best. Good luck.

                  1. re: vasiliki

                    Here's a link to the original Doe's. Scroll down just a bit and you will see the photo's...........


                    1. re: Littleman

                      Thank you! I'm putting it on my list.