Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Farewell to Fayetteville

As you know, Russell and I spent the summer in Fayetteville, AR for his internship (which went really well I might add).  Fayetteville is my old stomping ground and I LOVED being back.  I had fun showing Russell around and discovering the new things that Northwest Arkansas has to offer.  I loved seeing so many familiar faces around town and reminiscing about my undergrad days.  Our summer really flew by and I didn't end up blogging as much as I thought I would so I'm going to try and sum up some of our favorite places and things about being in Arkansas.  These are listed in no particular order.

Hammontree's is a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant (please disregard the "take home gourmet tag at the bottom of this logo...I think I pulled their old logo).  Anyway, they have scrumptious sandwiches, soups and bratwursts all homemade with creative names such as "The Scarlet Cheddar".  Russell and I set our sights on the grilled cheeses most of the time.  Their's are no ordinary combinations as they use a variety of breads, cheeses, meats and veggies.  Such a simple concept, such outstanding execution. We highly recommend it!

 I spent a lot of time at the Fayetteville Animal Shelter this summer.  Who would've thought I'd ever get so attached?  It all started when Russell and I saw the adoptable dogs at the Farmer's Market.  I thought I'd just run over and see what was going on at the shelter and the next thing I knew I was volunteering everyday and rallying for homes for sweet cats and dogs.  While at the animal shelter I spent a lot of time petting cats, running around with dogs and bathing dogs.  If you're looking for a place to volunteer where you're needed and appreciated, visit your local shelter.  Better yet, if you are looking to add a new pet into your life, consider the shelter.  It's such a great deal.  At the Fayetteville Animal Shelter it's only $60 to adopt a dog and that includes all shots, spay/neuter, microchip and a free bag of food.  When we adopted Hattie she even came with antibiotics for her runny nose!  What a bargain!

Next on the list is BHK Kafe.  The "bhk" is short for "Brick House Kitchen".  The BHK Kafe is located inside Nightbird Books.  The atmosphere alone keeps you coming back for more. Picture shelves of books interspersed with tables, songbirds in the corner, covered porches and the smell of gourmet food filling the space.  This is a great place for a glass of wine or premium coffee, lunch and a long chat on the weekends.  Their menu is small and rotates seasonally so that all of their ingredients are as fresh as possible.  In addition to the seasonal menu, they always carry savory custards, cheesecakes, layered cakes, and an outstanding cheese plate among other things.  Russell and I enjoy BHK because you can tell there is care and time put into creating the menu and the portions are small so you can enjoy multiple dishes.  The best part of BHK is the Sunday afternoon classes offered on various topics.  Russell and I attended the beer tasting and the cheese tasting classes.  We would have gone to every single one this summer but we were often out of town.  The general manager is so knowledgeable about food its crazy!  He LOVES food, its history and the culture surrounding it.  I highly recommend trying one of his classes, they're ridiculously inexpensive and you will walk away with new knowledge, new friends and a stimulated palate!  Oh, and BHK also does monthly dinners at the actual brick house.  You buy tickets in advance, learn about the food your eating, and enjoy a multiple course dinner at a community style table. Russell and I never got to attend one of these because we were never in town during the dinners.  If you're a foodie, BHK Kafe is the place for you!

Here is a very dark and grainy picture of one of my very best friends, Lindsey Porter.  I'm going to miss her so much!  We had a blast hanging out this summer.  It was so fun to have Lindsey over for dinner, hang out at the pool, or just sit around talking.  Come visit Linds!

Greenhouse Grille.  Oh. My. Gosh.  This is probably our number one most favorite place to eat in Fayetteville.  We seriously never ate anything close to unsatisfying at this restaurant.  Greenhouse Grille uses local and organic ingredients in all of their food.  They don't even have artificial sugar on the table or regular soft drinks (not that Russell or I consume either of those).  Their wine and beer list is also organic and there is an herb and vegetable garden that surrounds the restaurant.  We ate here probably 10 times (which says a lot since we were only in town for a short while and had time to try so many other places as well).  They have a standard menu for lunch and dinner but I highly recommend eating from the specials menu which changes weekly.  The chefs at Greenhouse have a way with making an ordinary dish extraordinary.  The flavors are complex and robust in all of their dishes and presentation is always beautiful.  I seriously couldn't find room for improvement in anything that I ate.  Even better than their lunch and dinner- brunch.  Greenhouse serves breakfast everyday and has brunch on Saturday and Sunday.  Their bloody mary mi x is made in house and since tomatoes are my favorite food, I had to have a bloody mary with every brunch.  I can't even begin to describe the awesomeness of their breakfast/brunch foods.  My favorite is probably the huevos rancheros.  I usually am not a huevos rancheros fan because I find it is often bland and mushy- blech.  At Greenhouse they use rich in flavor organic eggs, a crispy corn tortilla, fresh avacado, and best of all- a polenta cake to anchor the dish.  Each week they change up the ingredients of the huevos rancheros to make it exciting but the ones I listed above always stay the same.  I really could go on and on about this place but if you like good people and great food, you'll just have to check it out for yourself!

The Fayetteville Farmers Market was also a favorite.  Russell and I spent many Saturday mornings walking around the historic Fayetteville square.  It was fun to see what I would find and what I could create with my farmers market treasures the following week.  There are tent and umbrella covered booths that surround the whole square filled with fruits, veggies, homemade goods, meats, eggs, bakery items and on every corner there are musicians.  Sometimes the musicians were great and sometimes they were...meh.  Our favorite musicians were some high school (maybe college aged kids) that had a xylophone, ukulele, guitar and some percussion instruments.  People often crowded around them to listen.  It never failed that I would see an old college friend or sorority sister while at the farmers market and our visits to the market weren't complete without a bag of peaches.  I always left the market satisfied with my morning!

This is the Little Bread Company.  It is so cute.  They have breakfast and lunch which is good, but Russell and I usually visited Little Bread Co. for a giant molasses cookie.  They are best when they are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.  All of the cookies at Little Bread are delish, but the molasses is hands down our favorite.  Our visit to Little Bread was always a must-do after farmers market trips!

I will miss my sister and brother.  While my brother's move to Fayetteville only overlapped our stay by a few days, it was really cool that all three of us lived in the same city at the same time as sort-of-grown-ups.  The privilege of seeing my sister pretty much everyday (once she got home from Australia) was one that I will never take for granted.  I had so much fun hanging out with her and being friends.  I think I'll miss this part of Fayetteville the most. 

Orange Leaf, our guilty pleasure.  I know that frozen yogurt is supposed to be "better for you" but I'm pretty sure that's a lie.  Russell and I had Orange Leaf weekly if not more. When I was in charge, our toppings consisted of a variety of fruit.  When Russell was in charge, our toppings consisted of crushed oreos.  How fun is it to build your own yogurt sundae? Orange Leaf was often a great fix for a tough day at work and I'd be happy if this self-serve yogurt trend sticks around for awhile.

The Gamma Nu Kappa Kappa Gamma House.  I lived in this house my sophomore, junior and first semester of my senior year of college.  So many memories made and friendships created.  It was fun to drive by this house often.  The Gamma Nu house is about to undergo a huge renovation beginning in 2012 so I'll probably never see this house as it was when I lived there again.  Although I'm really excited about the much needed renovation I'll miss the Kappa House the way it was before! (If you'd like to donate to the new house fund, click here).

Rick's Bakery is a one-of-a-kind bakery experience!  When you walk in you are overwhelmed by the smell of buttercream frosting and doughnuts.  The smell alone keeps you coming back for more.  Rick's makes outstanding confections but one of my favorite parts is the cake decorating window.  One weekend Russell and I visited, we grabbed some cookies and lemonade and took a seat at the window to watch the cake decorators work.  I spent a lot of time at that window with Annabel Weber (the little girl I used to nanny when I was in college...she's not so little now).  I thought of plenty excuses to buy mini cakes and cookies while we were in town!

Finally, Green Submarine.  This is definitely Russell's most favorite part of Fayetteville.  Green Submarine makes sandwiches that are to die for.  We can't figure out what makes them so good but I think we've settled on their good bread and fresh ingredients.  Luckily this little hole in the wall (connected to a gas station and video store) was about a quarter mile from our apartment.  We made sure that Green Submarine was our last meal before leaving Fayetteville.  Their prices are great and their sandwiches are greater!  They make you feel good about eating junk food :)

It's an understatement to say we enjoyed our time in Fayetteville.  I could go on and on about that place!  Maybe we'll be back soon...

...and that's all!

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