Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
It was Halloween, and despite the unseasonably warm afternoon, a strange chill came over us as we walked from our car to the shadowy depths of the Bernice Garden. Strange shapes began to emerge from the darkening streets — tiny witches, zombies and Power Rangers came forth with high-pitched cries of hunger, begging for tricks and treats and mouthfuls of candy. The chill deepened. Perhaps it was something supernatural, a force from beyond the grave coming to exact revenge on those of us who still drew breath — or perhaps it was the Peanut Butter Buttermilk ice cream cone from Loblolly Creamery that filled my mouth with a sweet, tangy richness that that made me shiver with delight. For Halloween in SoMa was a festive affair, with crowds of trick-or-treating families heading down to the Bernice Garden to sample some local food truck favorites before heading out to score their sugary loot.
We had originally intended to grab the appropriately-named Mortadella Monster sandwich from The Food Truck, but the long line of pixies, lion cubs, and one light saber-wielding Darth Vader made us re-think our plans. We contemplated a cheese steak from Philly's, but we finally decided to try Wishbone's, a gourmet hot dog truck that we hadn't seen before, despite its having been open for nearly a year. Fortified by grilled meat, we mingled with the crowd of horrors and hilarities and made our way to the Green Corner Store, where the mustachioed soda jerk was offering tastes of blood-colored hot chocolate, goblin green ice cream, and the delightful caramel apples pictured to the right. It was a great scene full of people out enjoying the weather, stuffing their faces with junk food, and generally just being neighborly. We read every year that the traditional Halloween ritual of going door to door has fallen victim to the fears with obsess and possess our increasingly more isolated society, but that's certainly not the case on South Main. In SoMa, any reason is a good one for getting together with folks in the neighborhood, with Halloween just an opportunity to dress up like a crazy on top of the general feeling of community.
More pictures after the jump.
The Mexican is just one of the gourmet dogs offered by Wishbone's. I liked the grilled sausage, as it was blackened nicely just like it had been roasted over a campfire, and the peppers and cheese were a nice, spicy touch. Less successful was the other dog we tried, The Italian, a rather bland dog with a strange sweet flavor to the toppings.
No sculpture in the Bernice Garden was safe from this pint-sized Dark Lord of the Sith.
Hot gourmet sandwiches from Jeffrey Palsa's Food Truck brought the crowds better than a disembodied brain convention brings zombies.
Peanut Butter Buttermilk and Goblin Green Vanilla ice cream was our final destination, served up in Loblolly's deep red "Devil Cones." We saw a couple dressed as Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke from "Mary Poppins," and they were easily the best costume we saw all night.
After such a fun night, we decided it was a shame that Halloween only comes once a year. As the various haunts and princesses headed back home to sleep off their sugar highs, we made our own way from South Main, stomachs full of tasty food after having such a scary good time.