by Kat Robinson
The above picture can only be described one way in Arkansas. That thar is Stoby’s Cheese Dip.
Yeah, it’s sold in little tubs in grocery stores all over the state. Probably out of state, too. But no matter how I’ve served it up, it’s just not the same. There’s something about the dip that requires a visit to one of the two hallowed locations.
The dip is one of those improbable things… the restaurant’s real specialty is The Stoby ($5.95), an evolving sandwich that really can be whatever you want it to be -- your choice of three meats and two cheeses topped by the Stoby special sauce (or not, if you’re so inclined) on your choice of bread with potato chips and a pickle.
In fact, there are a lot of good things that Stoby’s does well -- sandwiches, burgers, that cheese dip, breakfast even. But there’s something on the jump you need to see -- especially if you involved yourself in that discussion concerning Buffalo Grill a short while ago. Seriously.
This here is the Nachos Salad ($5.95), a conglomeration of chili and cheese and jalapenos and lettuce and tomato and such on tortilla chips, reminiscent of Buffalo Grill’s old Tortilla Flats without the run under the broiler. That’s right -- even though Stoby’s is known far and wide for the cheese dip, they don’t drown their nachos in it (yes, it is officially a “nachos salad” but resembles a salad more in the note of, say, chicken salad than a proper greens-and-veggies salad and might as well just be called nachos). Anyway, this conglomeration of hot chili and chips and cool veggies is complimented by Stoby’s own housemade salsa, which is pretty darn good.
There are also about a dozen cake and pie offerings on the menu, including a sugarless blueberry pie that holds its own well against the stout competition.
Two locations -- the little one in Conway that gets most of the press at 805 Donaghey -- (501) 327-5447, or the one I prefer up in Russellville in the train-motif building and cars at 405 West Parkway -- (479) 968-3816. Oh, and right now they have a coupon for a 99 cent small cheese dip on the website. Might save you a little.