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If I am completely honest, my visit to Grumpy’s Getaway in Rose Bud was more of an afterthought than anything else. The priority that day was to tour nearby Forevermost Farms, but a guy has to eat, am I right?
So, before our farm visit, we popped into the roadside restaurant formerly known as Rambler Grill for an early lunch. If you have never been to Grumpy’s Getaway, the first thing that stands out is the size of the restaurant. It is big, and tables are spread out, a welcome sight during these pandemic times. Within moments of sitting down, a friendly server brought over our requested iced teas. Unsweetened, of course, as sweet tea is for monsters. Anyways, sweet or not, the beverage was massive, so expect a decent biceps workout if you are thirsty at Grumpy’s Getaway.
Like the restaurant itself, the menu is expansive, but as with most small-town Arkansas lunches, the true litmus test to figure out if a place knows what it’s doing are appetizers of fried pickle chips and onion rings. Both come hand-breaded and seasoned just right with an appropriate level of greasiness one comes to expect with such fried delights. The same can be said for the other fried items that hit the table, including the sweet potato fries and massive chicken tenders.
I have no doubt the fried shrimp po’boy would have been the same, but our server, Emma, insisted we get the hand-held with grilled shrimp. It proved to be an outstanding recommendation, as the plump crustaceans on the grilled hoagie bun were a wonderful diversion from the fried foods. I should also note that the vegetable medley (broccoli, green bean, and peppers) side was also a standout.
Did we stop there? Of course not. The day’s special, a hamburger steak covered in brown gravy, mushrooms, and onions, was the best of its kind that I’ve eaten. High praise, I know, but totally justified. Admittedly, hamburger steak is one of my favorite comfort foods. And Grumpy’s Getaway doesn’t take any shortcuts in ensuring a delightful dish.
For research purposes, we did try a piece, each, of Possum Pie and Coconut Cream Pie. Both layered desserts were similar and equally satisfying. But, I’d have to give the slight edge to the former with its layer of chocolate pudding and crushed pecans.
The entire meal was an absolute hit. While the food obviously played a huge part in my assessment, the service made it such a memorable experience. Sadly, Emma passed away a few days after our visit. While we only spent an hour of our lives with her, it is a lunch I will never forget. She was so good at her job, displaying a vibrant personality with enthusiastic recommendations that made all the difference.
Please keep Emma’s family and the team at Grumpy’s Getaway in your thoughts.
442 AR-5 (Rose Bud)
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Closed Monday & Tuesday
More great restaurants in Arkansas small towns can be found here.
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