This week we venture to a place that is almost forgotten in the hustle and bustle of modern life. And it is a damned shame.
Personally, I feel a tad bit guilty about overlooking them for so long. That’s why we’re going there this week; to remind everyone that not only is this little joint a long standing Fort Smith area tradition, but that dismissing it or overlooking it is a tragedy.
Located on U.S. 71 South, between Interstate 540 and Planter’s Peanuts, is the home of Re-Pete’s Place. This proud little establishment carries the torch that Pete Schmitz lit back in 1933. They offer a family friendly dining experience and yet still manage to provide a place to wet your whistle during a Hogs game. That’s quite a feat in this area.
The staff is like your extended family. Or rather, what you wish your extended family was like. Friendly, helpful, efficient, kind, and always up to rib you a little bit. The balance they maintain between being a watering hole and faith-based charitable organization is impressive. And the food doesn’t suffer from the confusion that plagues most restaurants being pulled in seemingly opposite directions.
Now that we’ve mentioned food, let’s dig in. Shall we?
Let’s start with wetting our whistle. Personally, this heat wave has me jonesing for iced tea like nobody’s business and their sweet tea is as strong and sweet as my grandmother used to make it.
Also, if you get the chance to order the fries, do it. I know, I know. They are just fries, but somehow they manage to pull off really great crinkle cuts even if they do come from a bag.
Personally, I dig the California burger. This perfectly cooked all-beef patty is covered with avocado and bacon and topped with lettuce. May I recommend using a fork to eat this one because it is virtually impossible to eat it without wearing a good deal of avocado in your mustache.
I also hear the jalapeno burger is pretty badass.
If burgers aren’t your thing, go for a daily special. The salmon croquettes are a surprisingly beautiful thing. Forget those terrible little canned salmon patties your mother used to make and slather with ketchup. (And try to block out the mental scarring from her telling you those little crunchy bits were eye sockets.) These cute little fish cakes are lightly breaded tiny pillows of fishy goodness. Plus they come with wonderful mashed potatoes, a small salad, and two additional veggies
If that doesn’t ring your chimes, and you really want to hurt yourself, order “The Works.” I won’t spoil it for you. The menu says to have your waitress explain it, so I’ll let her. Just know that it is ridiculous and awesome.
To finish you off and send you to Napsville, get the Peanut Butter/Oreo pie. It’s an Oreo pie crust filled with whipped peanut butter and chocolate and topped with crumbled Oreos and drizzled with more chocolate. Holy crapballs it’s decadent.
If you’ve never tried Re-Pete’s, or if you haven’t been in a while, you really should go see them. Don’t let this tradition die on your watch.
Until next week, good eating to you and yours.