Breakfast at the Birdeye Store, Birdeye Ark.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, May 14, 2010

A few weeks ago I had to go home on my lunch hour and get a foster dog and take her to the clinic to go with her family. I invited Julia Gardner to ride with me and have a quick lunch at the Birdeye Store. We arrived to a "come and go" style crowd and was pleasantly surprised to see Herman Damron behind the counter cooking fish. I sat Julia down, she is 96 in two months, and went to the counter to order up our food. The grill was broken but Friday was catfish day. This is a usual menu item around town and is most famous at the community hospital cafeteria that gets rave reviews. We had to choose from the fish or a cold deli sandwich. She had a ham sandwich and I the fish. We enjoyed the quiet store and our unsweet tea and coffee. I've had lunch at the store, just blocks away, only a few times. I loved our lunch and conversation that day and have been meaning to add photographs of her. By the way it wasn't a quick lunch, when we went to get the dog, she wanted to come in and see the remodel, done 2 years earlier. This stop took us the longest, I was praying she wouldn't fall up the steps like I did last fall breaking my hand. Meanwhile back at the ranch, it was a 2 hour lunch but she talked about it for weeks after. You'll love the Birdeye Store. The fish and hushpuppies were excellent and I loved the Louisiana Hot Sauce already on our table.

My original review is below:

July 22, 2009

It was great having Counts Louise Smith Shanks in town for a sleep over with Chloe. Counts Elizabeth and Chloe are a great pair of cousins, they just pick up where they left off. Wednesday morning we loaded up in the car that rainy day and headed to Chloe's favorite breakfast spot. Only a quarter of a mile away, it was my second culinary visit to the rustic kitchen and store. Chloe strutted on in while the rest of us needed a little time to figure out where to order and sit. The place was empty when we got there which is good with three children eight and under. The sweet lady asked Chloe, "you want the usual hon?", I thought now this is what small town America is all about. Chloe shyly said, "yes, ma'am". That was a pancake and sausage with Gatorade. Yes, I said Gatorade. Chloe's thrill in life is to go to a cooler and pick a drink out. Last time we were in there she picked a Yahoo, which is canned chocolate milk. But in a cooler with Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, Gatorade wasn't that bad a choice, I keep telling juices by the way. Chloe, Counts Elizabeth and Ally are great-great-grandaughters of WM Smith.

Counts Louise and I got the biscuits and gravy and I loved mine. Very fresh and I didn't feel bad adding more salt and pepper. The girls loved their sausage patties, I am glad they weren't links, and the pancake syrup was an easy pour that they could handle themselves. Ally enjoyed her bacon and sausage, no pancake for her.

Several patrons came and went while we were there, a highway department truck full men and Bob Stafford, who lives nearby and who I hired to till my garden for several years until I had raised beds installed this spring. Bob is really a nice, southern man who takes care of Lee Wyatt. Lee was help in the WM Smith home and is the same age as Ann Quessenberry, the last living child of WM.

We enjoyed our no-frills breakfast. By the end of our breakfast, Chloe had her two cousins in the office on the tricycle and rolling a pop up ball. You can't do that in just any store but we were glad to be in this one just down the street. Chloe and her daddy eat here a lot on Saturdays I work and they brag on the grilled cheeses and burgers and the fried pies, yes, call ahead and get one in your favorite flavor. My sister-in-law has had many catfish meals catered from the store. It's all good in Birdeye.

Birdeye Store, 4377 Hwy 42, Birdeye, Ark., 870-588-4484

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