Lunch in Fayetteville... Again!
It's been over 10 years since I visited this sweet little town. That's pretty crazy, because Don and I frequently drive by the exit, to Fayetteville.
So Don and I made a stop, a few days ago. The pink building looked the same. But, this time I spotted a new banner, beneath the faded happy chef sign. It seemed a little odd to imagine people drinking wine in Orsak's.
Actually there are two buildings that house the cafe. Here I am in 2008 crossing the wide road, that surrounds Fayetteville's town square. I'm giving my camera-snapping sister, the evil eye.
Today, the corner building has one new addition... a wheelchair ramp, leading to the door. There's also a bush growing on the side and some new seating, where a park bench once sat.
But mostly, Orsak's looks the same. You have to love a building with flesh-pink paint. It makes me think of little pigs!
Lunch With Mom in 2008
This is not the world's most flattering photo of Mom or me, finishing our lunches. It was hot that August day, but Mom was happy. Jennifer and I had taken her off for a day of adventure.
Mom loved road trips and small towns. She loved cafes and diners and we found a great one. She had a milkshake with her burger and fries and she was in heaven.
I have bittersweet memories of that day. Jennifer and I had planned this special outing for Mom, knowing that the next day would be a tough one. We would start the process of moving Mom to an Alzheimer's facility... and she didn't know. If only we'd known that all would turn out so well, Jenni and I could have enjoyed our meal, just a little better.
Now and Then
This past Wednesday, Don and I arrived before noon. My view of the two buildings was blocked by a lineup of cars and pickups. Later, I was able to get a better glimpse of the corner building. The cute little building with the chef's image was blocked the whole time. I found a photo from 11 years ago.
I was eager to walk inside and see how well my memory matched. I was totally confused. I remembered the counter and stools, on the right.
The space seemed open and bright and full of diners. Where were those dated, drop ceiling tiles?
The wood walls were painted and covered in license plates and neon. I kept scratching my head. We found a seat in the room with the counter, but I wasn't sure if this was the room I remembered.
A Fine Menu
There were 4 women greeting and attending to tables. Our server was very friendly when she dropped off menus, but she looked too busy to answer my questions.
I headed off on a hand washing mission, to give myself a chance to explore. I passed through a funny little walkthrough connection to find the "Cowgirls Room", in the corner building.
I passed by the yellow wall, with a set of antlers and lots of photos. I peeked into the kitchen, through the window. Then I found the sweet little restroom, that I only vaguely remembered. Luckily there was a sink, so I didn't have to wash up, using the pitcher and bowl.
The Other Room
There were diners in both rooms and I wondered how a town of around 250 residents, could ever have enough customers to fill tables for daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I wondered about the Orsaks. Who are they? Who were all the people in the photographs? It wasn't obvious.
Time to Eat
I got back to the table, just in time for the dessert to arrive. I didn't even know my $6.50 feast included a chocolate cake delight! It was hard not digging into our desserts first, but then Don's fried chicken special arrived.
Then my stuffed green peppers and green beans and fresh noodles with gravy was delivered. The dividers on my retro plastic plate did not do the trick well. My overflowing servings spilled into each other. Not a problem. Don and I both agreed my stuffed peppers, (even in their collapsed form) were the tastier of the 2 options. The noodles weren't overly flavorful, but they were a fun reminder of Orsak's Czech roots.
There was a slight lull in activity, when we headed to the counter to pay the bill. I was able to ask about 2 questions. Yes, I was right. The counter and stools had been on the other wall. There was fire, some years back. Lots of changes.
In the car I grabbed my phone. I was ready to Google and find out who the Orsaks were and how long the cafe had been feeding the folks in Fayetteville. Nothing. They have no website and their Facebook page was not helpful... no Wikipedia or random info, not even about a fire. Oh well. Maybe someone will read this and fill me in.
What Will I Remember?
Don and I had a quick and decent feast for about $15.00! Now we have our own memory of the dining in the pink building.
I have to hand it to Mom. She was pushing for the hidden gems, long before that term was overused... long before Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, started spotlighting these great finds. Thanks, Mom!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.