Scenic Highway Seven used to have a whole lot of traffic, especially the stretch from Russellville up to Harrison. That was the way to Dogpatch USA when I was a kid, and you passed all sorts of great stuff like stunning Buffalo National
River vistas, gift shops, rock shops and Booger Hollow.
the Arkansas Grand Canyon.
for about 18 years. Francis wanted a couple of things for the restaurant there: a signature biscuit and a signature pie.
I talked with Becky McLaurin, one of the current owners, and she told me this. “Francis tried different pies and hit on it, because people
would call ahead and ask ‘you know that pie you make? The one with the pineapple? We’re heading that way and wanted to make
sure you had it.’ ” Hence the name of the pie she stuck with, Company’s Comin’ Pie.
“The pie crust is sorta like a Divinity crust,” McLaurin told me, “made with egg whites and sugar. It takes about an hour to make a pie crust. You beat the egg whites and the sugar for about 25 minutes, and then you add crushed saltine crackers and a cup of pecan
pieces, and then you stir that in and it’s kinda like a thick gooey mixture. You take and divide it into two pie tins. You form the crust with a
spatula and bake it for 25 minutes.
pineapple. Fill your pie crust with that. It’s kind of an unusual pie but people love it.”
Regardless, the Company’s Comin’ Pie has been listed all sorts of places as the state’s pie, and the recipe pops up now and again in Arkansas cookbook compilations. That, at least, is no secret.
Dogpatch USA and Booger Hollow and the rock shops may have dried up and moved on, but the Cliff House Inn is still open for business. And yes, you can have yourself a slice of pie. Be sure to say hello to owners Bob and Becky McLaurin if you get the chance.
You’ll find the place south of Jasper a few miles on Scenic Highway Seven. Call (870) 446-2292 or check out the website.