Monday, September 14, 2015

It ain't Texas, but it's getting closer

I love living in Fayetteville. I probably talk about it enough that a lot of people are all, enough already. Having said that, there are still plenty of things I wish we had here that would make it that much better.

One of those would be a professional sports team. I don't hold out a lot of hope that the NFL will put a team here, or that MLB will see NW Arkansas as the next hot spot for America's pastime. The population just isn't big enough, I assume, to support a franchise in any of the major leagues.

The next big category that would make it even better to live here? Restaurants. And breaking it down from there, I would love to have a truly good pizza place; a killer Texas BBQ joint; and, more than anything, legit Tex Mex. Roll that all together, and what I'm looking for is to turn NW Arkansas into a little slice of Texas with a reminder of my East Coast days in the form of New York style pizza.

Taking one step down from sit down restaurants, though, the next best thing that's happened in the local restaurant scene? WHATABURGER HAS COME TO FAYETTEVILLE. Texans rejoice!!
And man, there are a LOT of Texans here. As the local rumor goes, this was the biggest opening of a Whataburger EVER, doing sales of roughly $1Million a day in the opening week. One million per DAY. That's a lot of burgers and fries, y'all. And opening day was when school wasn't even in session; all those Texas kids who go to the University of Arkansas weren't even back yet.

It was pretty crazy; traffic control by off-duty cops, a maze of traffic cones to manage the parking lot flow, and a wait to just get a parking space, much less to order and then sit down. Given the fact that we pass approximately 50 Whataburgers on our drive to Houston each summer, we decided we could wait until the initial craziness passed before we made our way over. I love that similar to the maroon & white motif unique to the College Station Whataburgers, there's a nod to being smack dab in the heart of Razorback Nation on the building.

After going to the Army-Arkansas volleyball game a couple of Saturdays ago, John and I swung into the relatively-not-busy parking lot on our way home to grab a late lunch. I think there are still some kinks to work out; they're so busy, I'm not sure the kitchen has figured out how to keep up yet. Still, Mama and kiddo were pretty happy to have a little slice of Texas right here in our hometown.

The latest rumor is that the first location has been so successful, the company has already purchased a second parcel of land close to the mall - uptown Whataburger, if you will. The more Texas that comes to Arkansas, the more I'm convinced I'll never want to leave. We have fast food burgers covered now, and breakfast taquitos too, for that matter.

Whataburger - check. Next up? Can I get a Pappasito's up in here, please?

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