Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Twice now, in as many weeks, Twitter has come through for me about new eats. The first time resulted in a trip to the excellent Mugs Cafe in Argenta, and last Friday brought word from long-time Eat Arkansas reader and contributor Joel DiPippa that there was a new food truck in town — and they were doing waffles. Now, waffle trucks aren't a new concept to established food truck cities like Austin, but other than the chicken and waffles on the Hot 'Lanta truck menu, nobody else is doing waffles on the go.
I caught up with the appropriately named Waffle Wagon at my second home in the Bernice Garden Farmers Market, running into Arkansas Mirepoix bloggers Jason and Shelle Stormoe who both informed us that the Brown Sugar Peach Waffle and Bacon and Egg Waffle (made with Hillcrest Artisan Meat smoked bacon and Dunbar Garden eggs) were both fantastic. As my wife Jess and I approached the nondescript white trailer, a wave of delicious smells washed over us: toasting batter, bacon, fried chicken, and maple syrup. Our stomachs were empty, and we were ready to eat.
Jess decided to order the Cornbread Waffle with Peas, a cornmeal-based cake covered in slow-cooked purple hulls and a generous dollop of jalapeno jelly. I've eaten a lot of peas all over this state, and I have to say that the Waffle Wagon's were right up there with best of them. The jelly added the perfect amount of spice and sweetness, and while the cornmeal waffle was just a touch on the dry side, the pot liquor from the peas turned everything into a wonderful pile of deliciousness.
For my own waffle, I went straight to the top of the menu and ordered the Chicken and Waffles. The regular waffle was one of the best I've ever had; slightly crisp on the outside with a moist, tender center that held up well to the syrup and chicken piled on top. The chicken in question consisted of three huge tenders, lightly breaded and fried to a delightful crisp, then tossed in hot sauce. The result was a dish that was, like the peas and jelly, spicy, slightly sweet, and altogether perfect. The varying flavors and textures present in this dish were tasty, balanced, and impressive.
The Waffle Wagon is just getting started, so check them out when you can. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook for locations. I'll be back, because I barely scratched the surface of this menu, and if everything else is as good as what we had today, this is a truck that's going to please a lot of folks.