A proper road trip headed north of Austin requires a stop in West at the Czech Stop for kolaches!
Tavola Trattoria was fairly full on the Tuesday night we were there. We split the bruscetta appetizer, which might have been a little heavy on the pesto, and we probably should have split an entree since we couldn't take the leftovers, but lesson learned. I had the papparadelle with bolognese sauce, which had a nice heartiness to it. Might be a bit much for a summer dish, as the portions were large as well.
War Eagle Mill, which was first built in 1832; it has been rebuilt a few times since, but it is still in use. They currently sell a large number of grains, as well as jams and canned goods from the region. (I bought some white stone ground grits, and made them with part water and part milk. They are super-creamy and have a good corn taste to them.) Upstairs they have a small cafe, where we had lunch; I had their house special of pinto beans and cornbread.
Crystal Bridges Museum, which was the main purpose for visiting Bentonville. CBM was founded by Alice Walton, yes, of the Wal-mart family; she wanted to create a free and accessible American art museum, and she has done just that. It's a stunning, world-class facility in ARKANSAS (yeah, I know, it still sounds like an oxymoron to me....), so if you should ever find yourself in northwest Arkansas, CBM is decidedly worth a visit. And come on, it's risk free, as it's free admission. They do charge a small amount for their special exhibits like the Andy Warhol show that's currently on display, but totally worth it.
|I loved this stainless steel tree sculpture titled Yield by Roxy Paine.|
|From the Andy Warhol exhibit.|
I had been previously told that Post Familie Vineyards was the best one in town, so after lunch, we took the short drive to it, where we found a really lovely facility and very friendly people. They were doing some private label bottling, using an old-fashioned cork machine, and we tasted 5 or 6 of their different wines. I really liked their seyval, a light, crisp white and at $9/bottle, it's a great deal, and the grapes for this one were grown in the region. Also found some Kyya chocolate there, which is a line produced in Arkansas. This one was a bit too earthy for my tastes, but still love the concept.
Bill Clinton Presidential Library. Still haven't figured out why there was an exhibit of animatronic dinosaurs there, but oh well! I loved seeing the gallery of gifts from other nations such as jewel-encrusted swords, the portrait of Socks the cat, and the blown glass sculpture from Dale Chihuly. And during Clinton's years in the Oval Office, you could view his daily schedule of events as put together by the Chief of Staff, which had practically every minute of the day in queue.
|The all-important Presidential nail clipper!|
And we couldn't leave Arkansas without trying some barbecue. I had done a little research before we left, and had heard about HB's, which I could tell from the map was located between the Clinton Library downtown and our hotel in west Little Rock. It's certainly a diamond in the rough, and run by the same family since the early 1960s. They're apparently known for their pork ribs, which I would have loved to try, but they only have them on Tuesdays. So we got some chopped pork and beef, a couple sides, and a coconut fried pie, and took them back to the hotel for a picnic dinner. Apart from the beans, I really liked everything we tried, but the ribs I am sure are legendary.