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How in the world did it take me seven years to get up to Mountain View? What is wrong with me?”
Those were the questions rolling through my tiny brain as I bit down on a roast beef sandwich at Oliver’s Bistro. I truly loved everything about my weekend with family and friends in North Arkansas, from the fishing to our tour of Blanchard Springs Caverns to shopping along the town square. But it was my lunch at Oliver’s Bistro that left a food impression on me unlike any other restaurant I’ve come across in the Natural State. Yes, the high praise is certainly warranted, in large part to the fresh ingredients, down-home service, and the bright, welcoming setting.
Oliver’s checked off all of the boxes for our group of eight. Each of us ordered something different to get a good idea of a menu that offered a variety of salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Standouts included the pommes frites, grilled turkey and cheddar sandwich, the gyro, and a Massey Burger.
Named after a nearby ranch, the 1/2-pound, grass-fed beef Massey Burger comes with traditional toppings, along with a nice hunk of brie cheese. Truth be told, I’ve never been a huge fan of brie or grass-fed beef, but neither ingredient overwhelmed the other and proved to be perfect complements. The accompanying thin-sliced, oven-roasted pommes frites (fries) with a light touch of truffle oil and Parmesan were both unique and addicting. Imagine that, fries that weren’t fried. I mentioned the gyro. Never before have I devoured one filled with sliced, medium-rare beef tenderloin. My only regret for the meal was not ordering one of the brick oven pizzas.
Even Oliver’s kids menu is a cut above most of the competition. The pizza got a thumbs-up, but so too did the Ollie’s Mac, a bowl of elbow macaroni and cheese that can be upgraded with peas and chicken. Each meal also includes fresh fruit and a cookie.
All of the appetizers, entrees, and sides were fantastic, but little did we know, they’d only be a warm-up for the insanely delicious desserts that soon followed. Specifically, the Hummingbird Cake, which tasted like a variant of carrot cake, and the strawberry pie, were both worth the two-hour drive from Little Rock.
The graham cracker crusted, cream cheese-based pie was topped with a strawberry gelatin, chunks of the fruit, and a healthy dollop of whipped cream. Light and refreshing, this slice of pie harkened me back to my childhood, when my mother would make a similar, albeit, not as good (sorry mom) version. It’s honestly hard to imagine a better dessert on a summer afternoon.
Correction, it’s hard to imagine a better lunch. Oliver’s had it all, except for dinner service. Although dinner service may be in their future, right now they’ve decided to focus on getting lunch right. And they are doing just that.
201 W Main St (Mountain View)
Phone: (870) 269-2100
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Closed Sunday
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