story by Peter Lewis
This is your Friday Feast. Each Thursday The City Wire will post a few short notes from Peter Lewis that offer at least two dining and entertainment options for the weekend. Enjoy.
Of Barns, Beer and Blues
Winter time is upon us. One of the natural by products of this yearly weather shift is the innate need for culinary warmth and comfort. In an effort to sate this corporal urge, consider paying a visit to the folks over at the Red Barn (3716 Newlon Road).
Never one for fibs, the proprietors of the Red Barn do not skimp on authenticity. The restaurant is most certainly a red barn. With each table sectioned off from others in actual stalls, a patron would not be remiss to think there were animals roaming the establishment.
Though sometimes neglected and forgotten due to its far flung location in the northern reaches of the River City, this forgetfulness ceases to be an issue once one has sampled the edible fare. The phrase “down home cooking” rings true at the Barn and there is a plethora of options available to those with a gluttonously roving eye. From steaks of regular and the chicken fried variety, to pork chops and grilled chicken, the most pesky eater this side of a vegetarian will be in heaven. Most entrees are housed within the $12-$20 range. For the sake of adventure, sample the fried quail ($16.95 for a one quail dinner & 20.95 for a two quail dinner).
Once you've had your fill of the farmhouse, head west on Newlon and take a left on Mussett Road. Peel towards the right on Sixth street and come to a stop at Elwood's Blues Street Tavern (3028 N. Sixth St.). To loosen up your vocal chords saddle up to the bar and knock back a few ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbons. While you contemplate the anachronistic nature of drinking PBR on draft in the late stages of the year 2008, send your date to sign up for a karaoke duet. For ironic kicks, try the Frank & Nancy Sinatra hit, “Somethin' Stupid.”
Not only is this night not stupid, but it ranks an 8 out of 10 on the PeterMeter.
Chalk one up for gumbo and jazz
Nothing says warm and comforting like gumbo. With that in mind, head down to Sixth and Garrison and visit the folks at R. Landry's (613 Garrison Ave.). Though the endearing continental style chalkboard menu system seems to have went by the wayside in favor of traditional laminated menus, the food is still immaculate and the barley pops are still just the right temperature. What else matters?
For the longest time craft and import brews were scarce in this area. The beer geeks among us long had to resort to desperate measures to ensure their palate was indeed properly satisfied with an adequate product. Times have changed and it is nowhere more visible than at Landry’s. With an absolute mammoth selection of import and craft brews, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and it’s most certainly a Peter pleaser. Pleasantly request of your server to bring you a Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. And don't forget the glass! This beer is meant to be poured and only fully enjoyed out of the bottle. Let the ecru liquid glide down your throat as you examine the dietary options.
The Tabitha Graves Ensemble is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Landry’s so take your time with the menu. Let the jazz take your mind away to the cultural home of New Orleans as you peruse the menu. As an adventurer it is hard to be satisfied with just one item. While the dinner options range from $8.95 on up to the $18 range, many are often satisfied with something simple like the red beans and rice. This is most certainly advisable when incurring large potable expenses. However, if you are in the celebratory mood, order the “Taste of New Orleans.”
After your desert of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, force yourself out the door and down the avenue to Roosters (801 Garrison Ave.). Starting at 11 p.m. you will find a significant cultural shift with the Linnie Hice Band. Let his unique blend of bluesy rock cap your evening.
On the PeterMeter adventure thing, this night ranks 5 out of 10.
Know your Peter
Born and raised in Fort Smith, Peter Lewis is a graduate of the University of Texas. Prior to returning to the Fort Smith area, Peter spent the past year as a bartender living abroad and traveling. He’s never worn flannel, but is, he admits, partial to argyle.