Tom Wilmer reports from the Delta region of Northeastern Arkansas. Listen to NPR.ORG podcast Come along and join a journey of discovery of enchanting old style farm-town cafes as well as a taste of rural culture on the Lowell Thomas NPR.ORG Award-winning Podcast. The odyssey starts at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View where Jimmy Edwards hits the highlights of Arkansas’s rural, traditional culinary offerings. Mimi’s Café, formerly known as the Feedlot Café, in Caraway, Arkansas is situated in a repurposed, grocery store with creaky wood floor and an unrepentant patina of age. Mimi’s Café is grand central for locals who come not only to savor old fashion Arkansas home cooking but also to socialize and sip a cup of Joe and hang out. The closest tourist draw is the Johnny Cash boyhood home and interpretive center in nearby Dyess Colony.
Most all of the tiny crossroads villages and towns in Northeastern Arkansas are like living museums of a time and a lifestyle that’s long vanished in urban America. The late 19th Century and early 20th Century architecture is engaging but it’s the denizens of these villages that make for fond memories. Colt, Arkansas is another barely hanging on Delta town, where locals are as likely to point out an empty lot and tell you about the vibrant business that used to be there. Greg & Jim’s is unabashedly a place where good old-fashioned Arkansas fare is king. And it is the local’s gathering spot for farmers and farm hands who religiously frequent the café as much to chew the fat as the eat the fattening breakfast offerings. Keith Forrester and his wife own and manage Tyboogies Café in Tyronza, Arkansas, located in the heart of the Delta region where cotton, soybeans and rice farming is the economic driver. Tyboogies, just down the street from the Southern Tennant Farmers Museum, serves traditional Arkansas home cooking—baked ham, fried chicken, collard greens, brown beans, home mad pies, cakes, cookies and more. The surprising twist at Tyboogies is the Forrester’s passion for offering organic food, and they grow much of it themselves on their farm that’s been in the family for more than 100 years.Music performed live at Ozark Folk Center by @ClanceyFerguson Check out this episode!