Bypass I-40 Construction Delays; Take U.S. 70 to Discover Some Arkansas Gems

I recently attended a conference in West Memphis. We wanted to miss the mess on I-40 east so we decided to take U.S. 70. It’s amazing what you miss by taking the Interstate. There was very little traffic on U.S. 70 and it was a Saturday. We passed through the downtowns of such small communities as Lonoke, Hazen, Carlisle, DeVall’s Bluff, Heth and Wheatley. I love small town downtowns. Some are in need of help while others appear to be thriving and still functioning as the heart of the city.
I long ago learned that if you want to sample some of the best down-home food, the best “Mom and Pop” restaurants are on the side and back roads. Some of them Guy Fieri would classify as “dives.” But that is meant in the most positive, loving way. We stumbled upon such a place in Heth.
Most people would probably pass right on by when they saw the bait shop sign. But they would be making a MAJOR mistake. The official name is Kitchens Corner Store & Bait Shop with a full deli and grill. I had, without a doubt, one of the best country breakfasts I’ve ever had. I ordered sausage gravy and biscuits with hash browns. The hash browns were cooked to perfection; the gravy sublime. My boss and fellow traveler, Kat Robinson, ordered pancakes and hash browns. She pronounced them outstanding and she is quite the breakfast connoisseur, having created and written the Eat Arkansas blog for several years. The pancakes were, in a word, huge.  
Obviously the place is very popular with locals and you can pretty well order off the menu at any time. While we were there eating breakfast (around 9 a.m.), a gentleman came in and ordered a burger – a one-half pounder. The place isn’t large, but much like an old-fashioned general store, it serves multiple purposes: deli, grill, store, wildlife check station, hunting and fishing supplies and bait shop. 
The extremely cheerful and helpful sisters who run the place said their family has owned the business for 75 years. With the great food and service, I’ll be willing to bet they’re around for another 75 or so. This little gem is located at 26 U.S 70 and is open every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Take a drive to Heth. It’s worth it.
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