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Monday, December 5, 2011

Fort Smith welcomes new restaurants

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Our Western wall is about to be inundated with a flood of new restaurants in the next month or so. Jennifer Boulden with the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau has shared with me a list of some of the new places that will be popping up around town.

First off — The Egg and I has opened at 3801 Planters Road. It's a breakfast place (think IHOP where the emphasis is on eggs rather than pancakes) open just south of I-540 off Highway 71. The menu looks interesting — lots of variations on omelets, Mexican egg dishes, Eggs Benedict-type selections and skillet scrambles. I'll have to try it out next time I am in the area.

A lot more restaurants are on the way — including a loose-meat sandwich chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, Bob Evans and Dunkin' Donuts. More on the jump.

Coming next month, Maid-Rite, which sells loose-meat sandwiches. May be the first place in Arkansas to do so. If you haven't had a loose meat sandwich before and need an idea of what I'm talking about, think a Sloppy Joe — without the sauce. It's ground beef on a bun, all loose with the traditional hamburger accompaniments. You can have yours one of several ways, including a Taco Maid-Rite, a Philly Cheese-Rite, a BBQ Texas-Rite and more. I'm excited about fried cheese curds myself.
It's going in at 3895 Phoenix Avenue, where the Cricket Wireless used to be at the Fort Smith Pavilion — right by where the new CherryBerry Yogurt Bar is also going in sometime this spring.

Also in January, yet another Vietnamese restaurant. Pho Real Asian Restaurant will open at 4900 Rogers Avenue, another addition to the already saturated pho market. Let's face it — Fort Smith really likes pho.

And then there's the River City Deli, which will open next month at 7320 Rogers Avenue. It'll be a New York style deli emphasizing roasted meats and fresh produce. You can follow along on its progress on the restaurant's Facebook page.

I'm really excited, though, that Arkansas is getting Dunkin' Donuts again. I can remember we had one here in Little Rock back in the early 80s at the most doomed restaurant location in the state, just north of I-30 on Geyer Springs (this location also hosted a Krystal, a Whataburger and heaven knows what else over the years) and I am glad to see it come back. I think the closest one has been, what, Jackson, TN? Yeah, something like that. You know what you can expect from Dunkin' Donuts; this one will be paired up with Jam Mart #6 and will open in February. There's a Facebook page for it, too.

Later on, wing lovers will flock in that crazy way they do to Fort Smith's first Buffalo Wild Wings location. The beer-and-wings sports bar will open its doors at 6550 Rogers Avenue. Should make these people happy. If for some reason you don't know about BWW, check out their website or the piece we did when the location here in Little Rock opened.

And then there's Bob Evan's. If you've been to Branson or have lived outside of the south you probably have a good idea. It's a farmhouse style restaurant heavy on the comfort foods and slow roasted dinners, along with half pound burgers. This one will be located at the Fort Smith Pavilion and will open sometime this spring.

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