After we visited the Arkansas State Capitol, we headed off to lunch at Brown’s Country Restaurant in Benton. Brown’s was a staple of my childhood years. We would often stop here when we were on the road to or from livestock shows. It’s easy to get on and off the interstate and they have plenty of parking for trucks and trailers.
We stopped by for lunch on a Monday afternoon so, thankfully, it was not as busy as I remembered it.
Gah! This is the goofiest picture, but I was really fired up to visit this place and see if it was just like I remembered from my childhood. I have so many wonderful memories of stopping at this place because we would get to eat any kind of food we want and we’d always run into our friends while we were here. And all-you-can-eat desserts! And a soft-serve ice cream dispenser! And you can pick your own flavors of Jelly Belly’s! And the stairway to heaven! (More on this in a minute.) My heart is beating fast just thinking about all of it again.
So, this is my second plate of food. My first plate had fried chicken, a bunch of vegetables, and a roll. Did I mention this place has a 100-foot buffet? The highway billboard said they had fried green tomatoes so I challenged the kids to try something new on the buffet. Emily tried the fried green tomatoes but she said they were too sour.
Since we’re on an adventure, I let the kids choose their own desserts. This handsome fellow chose soft-serve ice cream with hot fudge sauce, crushed Oreos, and loads of fresh whipped cream.
Emily’s ice cream was on top of a bed of … (sugar-free … yeah, that makes a huge difference right now) lemon jello? And it had whipped cream and Butterfinger on top.
My dessert was a medley of peach fried pie with ice cream, a cheesecake square, and a slice of coconut cream pie. It’s not lost on me that the ice cream, cheesecake, and coconut cream filling are all basically the same color. I liked the coconut cream pie the best.
No, we didn’t eat again for the rest of the day after this meal.
I had not remembered this, but Brown’s had some very pretty stained glass on display in the restaurant area that you can purchase. We were sitting by this pretty hummingbird stained glass.
After we finished our lunch, we went to explore the gift shop. Their candy displays were amazing – look at all the candy sticks! Emily got three different flavors of these to take home.
Look at the lollipop tree! I’m sure my eyes were as big around as saucers as I was walking through the gift shop.
There were so many colorful options that it was really hard to pick something to take with you.
[cue the angels singing] And this is the stairway to heaven, aka the upper floor of the gift shop. I remember that it had hand puppets and plastic snakes and other toys for the kids upstairs, but on this trip, sadly it did not. There were a few toys up there but mostly trucks and things.
You can see the kind of plastic snakes that I’m talking about here. Have you ever seen snakes like this where you hold the tail and they wriggle back and forth? I clearly remember Brown’s having these plastic snakes when I was a kid.
We didn’t find the Jelly Belly dispensers where you can mix your own custom bag of jelly bean flavors either. I guess they discontinued that sometime in the 20+ years since I last visited Brown’s.
I still had a great time at Brown’s Country Restaurant and I loved the fact that my kids got to experience something from my childhood. I’d definitely make this stop again if I’m ever in the area.