Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta

"Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta" explores the richness of the Delta’s food traditions through its most classic restaurants, roadhouses, donut shops and pit stops.

The Arkansas Delta almost cuts the state vertically in half. Much of the food heritage and culture of the Delta was born of the Mississippi River and the highways that connect it with communities across the region and the country. In her latest book, "Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta," released October 2014, author Kat Robinson explores the richness of the Delta’s food traditions through its most classic restaurants, roadhouses, donut shops and pit stops.

Robinson knows the history of the region well – her previous books, Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State (2012) and Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley (2013), are just as well-researched and informative.

Some of Arkansas’ most historic restaurants are organized into four sections (The Lower Delta, The Upper Delta, The Corridor and Out of the Delta), like the $3 pork sandwiches at the James Beard America’s Classics-awarded Jones’ Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna and the fresh, spicy beef tamales at Pasquale’s Tamales in Helena-West Helena, to the hearty Reuben sandwich at Presley’s Drive-In in Jonesboro, fried chicken gizzards at Walker’s Dairy Freeze in Marked Tree and roasted-herbed catfish at Wilson Cafe in Wilson.

Robinson sprinkles in recipes throughout – some from restaurants, others from the Arkansas Farm Bureau, including duck gumbo and green tomato relish. At the end of the book, she includes what she calls “An Incomplete Listing of Classic Restaurants in the Arkansas Delta,” in case the stories and photos leave you wanting to dig into the Delta for yourself.

"Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta" by Kat Robinson, classiceateries.com

Liz Miller is the senior editor of Feast Magazine.