Four Corners Kitchen Fayetteville’s Best Kept Secret

Fayetteville's Four Corners Restaurant

Anyone entering the shopping precinct off of N. Garland Ave in Fayetteville, Arkansas would be hard pressed to find Four Corners Kitchen. The light tan colored building, with its sparse decorations sits where the Hogs Breath Inn used to do business, squeezed in between a laundromat and a Dollar Store.

When one enters the premises, a sign informs the prospective customer that they should wait to be seated but at around 4:30 pm, a bustling blonde server tells me “you can set where you want.” There is a couple already being served and moments after being seated an elderly gentleman enters and picks out his own table.

The interior is warm and inviting, but almost as spartan in appearance as the outside. Brown oak chairs and booths with faux leather backs and seats make up the seating arrangements. After a complementary glass of water and a brief discussion of the menu, I order my meal (the chicken sandwich) and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee while I wait.

After a respectable amount of time, in other words not too long a wait, my server brings out a gargantuan chicken sandwich which takes up a decent amount of space on the plate. The home fries, which look more like English chips than American french fires take up another large part of the plate.

The chips (fries) are cooked with the skins on and that, along with the slight coating of sea salt, makes them a delicious treat. There are the usual accompaniments to the sandwich, lettuce, tomato and red onions on the side along with three large pickles. (These looked suspiciously like “bread and butter” pickles and they, like the rest of the meal were very tasty.

Chicken Sandwich, Heaven on a plate

The food arrived at the table fresh and hot from the kitchen and it was made from “local” produce. The furthest ingredient on the menu, according to the staff, comes from Springfield, Missouri. The choices on offer run the gamut; with appetizers that include fresh pork rinds, with a choice of sauces, to a variety of soups and salads that includes a creamy crawfish stew that will have me returning in short order.

While not having sampled the other offerings in the burger arena, a “house” burger, a cheeseburger and a “red eye braised pork shoulder” sandwich, the chicken burger was a behemoth sized repast that could have fed two. (I’m embarrassed to admit that I polished off the sandwich and all but four of the fries. I did, however, refrain from sampling their homemade ice cream, or even the homemade sorbet. Next time, perhaps…)

The food delivered with a smile to my booth was juicy, flavorful and, as its pièce de résistance, came topped with perfectly cooked crispy bacon. Coffee came freshly brewed and in a “bottomless” cup and the service was spot on, so much so that I zealously overtipped.

Four Corners Kitchen is spotless and well lit. The establishment, and its chef, Wesley Douglas,  will be celebrating their three year anniversary in roughly one week’s time. (As mentioned earlier, the place is where the old Hogs Breath Eatery used to be and as a nod to the other, 30 year old establishment’s giant baked potato specialties, offer a “Hogs Breath” baked potato.)

Even the beers on offer are “local” craft beers, although my server did admit that they might have had Budweiser on offer up until recently. Their drinks menu is impressive with a number of different cocktails to chose from as well. Their coffee is excellent; strong and not the least bit bitter. A good choice for those who have no wish to drink and drive.

After two bites of my enormous burger, which was an actual chicken breast rather than a rehashed chicken patty made from the usual inedible bits of the chicken, I declared to the server that this was, in my humble opinion, “heaven on a plate.”

Bacon and Chicken Burger

Four Corners Kitchen is at 1214 N. Garland Ave. The eatery does not appear to have a website but they can be found on Facebook and their menu can be perused here. This is an establishment that “gets” food. Their offering today was mouthwatering to look at and it was sheer perfection to eat.

If you have not discovered this eatery yet, head on over and try them out. You may see me there tucking into some Creamy Crawfish Stew or some other culinary treat from their small but oh so satisfying menu.

Bon Appétit!

Revisiting my Past

I wrote the other day about being “re-born” on the 4th of July. While I pondered over our trip, my daughters and mine, I thought about how eventful the whole thing was. I started with our day of departure and our final packing for the flight and came up with these thoughts.

24 July 2011. We packed our bags (I know, it sounds like a song lyric), not sure of what to bring or to wear on the flight, Then a friend dropped us off at London Heathrow Airport. Midway over the Atlantic ocean, it finally dawns on me that we are going to visit our home for the first time in eleve years. Emotional moment.

The clouds that have been following us from London Heathrow have turned into a storm that the pilot has to avoid. He does a great job as we arrive at Atlanta Airport early. The elation at arriving early soon disappears when we find out that due to lightening striking the runway repeatedly all flights have been delayed.

After an eight hour layover in Atlanta, we finally take off and arrive at Bentonville, Arkansas. It is two in the morning. We disembark to a hot and muggy morning with a temperature of 89 degrees Fahrenheit. It was like walking into a wall of heat. I had forgotten how hot Arkansas can get in the summer.We are both tired, sleepy and sweaty. Welcome home.

Zombie-like we shuffke off the tarmac and enter the terminal. Luckily everything is easy to find and we locate our luggage and head to the car rental desks.

After picking up the car, I have a moment of unease when I realise the car is registered in Ohio. Great, I think, out-of-state plates and it’s from the north. They might as well put a big sign on it saying, Mr Policeman please stop me and give me a ticket.

Driving out of a town, that I’d never really even visited when I lived in Arkansas, and on wrong side of the road and on a road that had not even existed eleven years ago when I had last driven a car state-side and in the wee, very dark, hours of the morning, did not really equate to a calm relaxing drive.

My daughter was so tired that she began to hallucinate and she swore that an English double decker bus had just passed us on the road. I saw police on every corner and by every sign-post. The nice chap I had gotten directions from at the airport had helpfully pointed out that every town between us and our destination (about three in total) was a speed trap.

Miraculously we do not get lost and find our hotel. We had a momentary panic when we decided that the entrance door would be locked.  I had forgotten that hotels in America don’t lock their front doors like the hotels in England do. We pull up in front of the entrance and leaving my half asleep daughter in the car, I check us in. It is about four in the morning and I don’t feel exactly human or like I am tracking anything very well.

Luckily for us the room is right around the corner from the registration desk. My daughter has now gone beyond exhausted so I deposit her in the room, unpack the car and re-park it in the lot and put everything in a big pile in the room. I then turn up the air conditioner and crawl into bed. I am asleep in seconds. I do not even dream.

25 July 2011. We call my parents,grab a few biscuits and some bacon for breakfast and start packing the car up. Even though it is only about eleven in the morning the temperature is already over 104 degrees.

In the daylight, the area now looks more familiar despite the fact that the road has been widened, added to, and built-up with buildings either side of it. We both still feel tired, sleepy and too hot. We also feel very excited. I have not been here in over eleven years. The last time my daughter was here, she was nine months old.

We get in the car and drive to the farm.