by Kat Robinson
*By the way, did you know there’s now an Eat Arkansas Facebook fan page? Go check it out!
I recently asked for breakfast recommendations for Hot Springs, and several readers suggested I try out the Red Oak Fillin Station. Now, first off, it sounded like a convenience store to me. Second, I’d never been there. But I was willing to get up early-early one morning and get down to Hot Springs to check it out. And I’m kinda glad I did — because the place isn’t quite what I expected.
But when you walk through the door it’s a little different. There are several dining room style tables and chairs set up around the south side of the room, and short bar stools at a wall counter, and a menu. And sit-down service — that surprised me.
A young man came and brought me a menu, and I looked through the offerings. The menu claimed it was an “Old Fashioned Good Food Menu.” That’s setting a high standard. The breakfast menu contained pretty much the standards I’ve seen all over the state — flapjacks, omelets, ham and bacon and sausage and biscuits and gravy — though the listing for Pigs in a Blanket ($1.09 each) caught my eye.
I was hungry, and I just wanted something simple, so I went with the Red Oak Omelet #1, a cheese omelet with taters and toast for $5:25. My waiter brought me some iced tea and I sat down to wait.
I did look through the rest of the menu, and decided one of these days I’d make an afternoon of it and come back for lunch and a trip to nearby Garvan Woodland Gardens (about a mile to the north). There’s a 12 ounce Ram Burger that looks interesting, and a grilled black Angus steak sandwich. Of course there’s a Reuben. They also offer things like smothered chicken and fried catfish on their dinner menu — and there’s fried squash, corn nuggets and something called a Bosco stick on the appetizers list.
And they have a Frito chili pie — that’s worth checking out any time.
You’ll find the Red Oak Fillin Station south of Garvan Woodland Gardens on Carpenter Dam Road south of Hot Springs. (501) 262-0400. And they have a Facebook fan page.