by Kat Robinson
Have you ever driven an hour or so for a good meal? I'm not talking about for a night away somewhere or even just stopping by a favorite spot when in a certain town. I'm talking about having the desire to go to one very specific restaurant just for dinner, even though it's not local.
I'm feeling that way right now about Opal Mae's. And it's not just because the Russellville restaurant serves prime rib on Friday nights.
I have to preface this with the comment that I like family style dining. I don't see it very many places any more, outside of the occasional basket of passed rolls. To find it somewhere as an option or alternative to a buffet is pretty darn cool.
They do this option Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- with three or four entrees and a host of side items. Now, you can just eat off the buffet. But if you're wanting a nice sit-down meal, they'll bring the dishes to you family-style at the table. As a parent with a toddler, I am very appreciative of this.
And the menu options vary. For instance, if I were able to get up there for lunch today, I coulda had shrimp scampi, a summer sausage stir-fry, and who knows what else -- served up with all sorts of vegetables and some cornbread or rolls. For $7.50, that's not bad.
But what I'm really craving right now are the mini-desserts. They have full-size desserts if you want them, but the small desserts make a whole lot more sense. For one, you don't have to feel as guilty about what you eat; for two, you can try another one if you manage to have enough room for one. They're $1.50 for things like pie (a myriad of changing flavors) or $2 for a personal cake. I have yet to find one I don't like.
Yeah, I'm craving Opal Mae's. So I'm going to head up to Russellville. Because lucky for me, they're open Friday and Saturday night for dinner. And I know they'll probably have a very tempting dinner special. But for my money, you can't go wrong with the plate-covering Prime Rib ($17.50). Could be the best I've ever had. Of course, I need to go back and make sure.
You'll find Opal Mae's on B Street in Russellville -- that's a block north of Main and two blocks west of Highway 7. Call 'em if you like, (479) 967-OPAL or check out their Facebook page.