Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
ABE'S OLE FEED HOUSE Once, there was a time when we were a fan of the idea of a potentially-infinite amount of food for one price — otherwise known as buffet dining. What could be more beautiful than the idea of walking into a place, hungry, knowing that you'll leave as full as you want to be? It's what mankind has been searching for since the dawn of time: a place of plenty. As the years have groaned on, however, we've come to realize something essential: that in life, love and food, quality is far superior to quantity. While buying in bulk may work out for those in need of motor oil, rice or copier paper, buying prepared food that way is usually a recipe for disaster. Case in point: Abe's Ole Feedhouse near Benton. Our Saline County relatives have been raving over Abe's country-cooking-style buffet for awhile, and on a recent Thursday night, we dropped in to see what all the fuss is about. We didn't find the love they'd promised. The fried catfish fillets are as bland and forgettable as paper napkins. The ribs taste like they were smoked inside a truck muffler. Most of the sides taste like they were cooked by someone with something other than food on their mind. There are exceptions, of course: the rolls are fine, as were the frog legs, and the coleslaw, and the big cinnamon rolls they had for dessert. For the most part, however, it was just a meal we'd rather not think about anymore, not to mention further proof that food without love isn't worth washing a fork and a plate. 510 Hwy. 5 North, Benton, 501-794-2219. LD Thu. - Sun. CC $$ No alcohol.