Several weeks ago, my family and I traveled to The Natural State, Arkansas. Earlier this month, I wrote my review of a great place to stay while in the area, Country Inn & Suites by Carlson. Today, I’ll share my thoughts on a fantastic place to eat, The Purple Cow Restaurant.
Location, Location, Location
Like Country Inn & Suites, The Purple Cow Restaurant is a bit on the outside of town. Located at 1490 Higdon Ferry Road in Hot Springs, The Purple Cow Restaurant is easily accessible from Central Avenue or from Highway 270, two of the main thoroughfares in Hot Springs. We left Country Inn & Suites and were at the restaurant in no time at all.
Not in the Hot Springs area? Have no fear, there are three other locations throughout Arkansas.
The Purple Cow diner and soda fountain is a family favorite. Why? Classic décor. Nostalgic atmosphere. And really fantastic food. (Excerpt from The Purple Cow Restaurant website)
The restaurant is so retro with its 1950’s theme, vibrant purple décor, and rockin’ 50s music. You can ask the hostess to let you pop a squat at the soda counter or slide on into one of the many retro style tables or booths. Hanging on the walls in various locations, several televisions are playing black and white television shows, of course.
Display cases located in the entryway and on the walls feature every sort of cow whatnot you could ever imagine. Who knew that there were so many purple cows?
The Purple Cow Restaurant Eats!
Even though the restaurant isn’t that large, the menu is! There’s no way that a person couldn’t find something that they want from the vast menu.
Starters/Appetizers include fried pickle spears, homemade cheese dip with chips, sweet potato fries, and, if you want to try them all, go for the sampler platter. South of the Border, Cheddar Cheese and Broccoli, and homemade chili are just three of the soups you can order.
Soups & Salads
Want a salad? Those are on the menu too! Ranch Chicken Tender Salad, Cobb Salad and, a Classic Chef’s Salad are featured on the salad menu. If you are looking for something different than the traditional salad? Why not order the White Balsamic & Berry Caramel Salad or Fresh Fruit Salad Cup.
My mother ordered the homemade soup-of-the-day which was the Cheddar Cheese and Broccoli soup. It was thick, creamy, and so very good. The soup was filling; however, it didn’t lay heavy on the stomach as some cream/cheese based soups do.
Burgers, Sandwiches, Hot Dogs and Hot-off-the-Grill Specialties
Just as you would have probably imagined, burgers, hot dogs and hot-off-the-grill specialties are offered to The Purple Cow Restaurant diners. Along with classic hot dogs and burgers, Grilled Jean & Jack, French Philly Steak or Chicken, Patty Melt, Bleu Cheese Burger are just a few of the offerings.
What did we order?
First off, I did a poor job of taking pictures of the food items. I took pictures but I totally forgot to open the sandwiches and take pictures of the “inside” of the entrees.
Meat Loaf Sandwich Supreme
My husband ordered the Meat Loaf Sandwich Supreme. The menu description of this sandwich: “You’ll need a fork for this one! Grilled meat loaf on toasted wheat bread with Ed’s special sauce, lettuce, tomato and sliced purple onion. Pickles on the side.”
The meat loaf wasn’t a slice of meat loaf that my husband expected. Rather, it was more of a chopped meat loaf. Having said that, it was extremely delicious.
I decided to order a classic. My entrée was a Cheeseburger from the Burger & Hot Dog section of the menu. The cheeseburger is typically served with chips but, for a slight upcharge, I, like my husband, substituted fries. If you want mayo, you must request it and it will come in a small cup on the side.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
A Grilled Chicken Sandwich from the Toasted & Grilled side of the menu was my son’s selection. The menu describes the sandwich as “This is exactly what you think it is – a grilled 6 oz. chicken breast, served on a bun. Try it blackened or with Cajun spice.” He didn’t choose the seasoned breast and went with the straight up classic grilled chicken sandwich. He asked for a cup of honey mustard on the side and the server was more than happy to add it to his order.
Shake Rattle & Roll!
After your wonderful meal, you will want to order one of the old-fashioned soda fountain treats ! What’s on the dessert menu? The iconic, hand-dipped purple vanilla shake is made from their signature purple ice cream! If you are in the mood for a shake or malt, you’ll have plenty of flavors to choose from…16 to be exact! There’s even a non-dairy vanilla! Another specialty on the dessert menu is the Elvis Presley shake which, as you probably guessed, is made from vanilla ice cream, bananas and peanut butter.
The signature purple ice cream is really just vanilla ice cream but it left its mark and led to some serious giggles.
My son skipped dessert, however, there was no way that my husband and I were. We went with a soda-shop standby, a banana split! The banana was nice and firm, the ice cream smooth and, the toppings were generous.
Word from the bird a/k/a the truth!
So, what’s the “word from the bird” on The Purple Cow Restaurant? In our opinion, it gets a solid two, actually no, eight thumbs up since there were four of us! The atmosphere was spot on 50’s, the service was wonderful, the soup, sandwiches and burgers were great, and the desserts were “far out”!
If you are in the Hot Springs, Arkansas area, be sure to check out this budget and family friendly restaurant. You will be glad that you did!
DIStracted tip: Be sure to sign up for their emails. You will receive a special welcome gift and receive great offers!
Stay Tuned for More!
Like what you have been reading about our Arkansas travels? Stay tuned for more! My walking bathhouse tour is coming soon!