November is here, and it’s time for the most sublime time of the year. Halloween shenanigans are over, and the pumpkin spice nuts filled to the brim. Now we can start getting ready for one of the most highly-anticipated events all year. That’s right — November is Feast Month. We’re talking about mountains of foods from myriad cultures and locals in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
There is plenty to offer — so much so it would be boring if I shared with you the very long list of my favorite local eats I intend to hit in the coming month. So I’ve done what any Hot Springs local going into Feast Month would do, and I’ve created sublists of my master list. (Have I mentioned I love lists?)
Of all the lists I could have shared with you today, I’ve strategically chosen to share that of the food trucks. Ah, yes. Food trucks are a different beast in experiencing a local area through their food. It gives you a sense of eating local while also helping you experience other cultures.
420 Eats Food Truck Court, located at 420 Malvern Avenue—hence the name—isn’t named after anything other than its address. It is a great place to start your food truck adventure during Feast Month. This court offers a variety of trucks to choose from while also offering a fun experience for the whole family, including the furry family members.
Sit under its covered awning, which includes heaters for those nippy November days or — in the case of Arkansas’s temperamental weather — fans as well. Play a game of ping pong, Corn Hole, or giant Connect-4, or sit and enjoy one of the live bands taking the stage nearly every weekend. There is also a backstage bar available to make the experience complete.
A few of the tasty options to feast among at 420 include:
Taqueria Oaxaquena, where you can have your fill of tortas, burritos, fajitas, nachos and so. much. more.
The much locally loved Rock n’ Roll Hibachi, which serves an actual mountain of food atop a bed of rice. My mouth is watering as I type this.
And, of course, Brina Thai-Laos serves up a vast variety of authentic Thai food, bringing all the boldly loved flavors from southeast Asia to Hot Springs.
Will’s Cinnamon Shop is one of the best eateries in Hot Springs. I’m not biased; I’m simply stating facts. And if you don’t believe my words, believe my actions because I named Will’s the number four best thing to do in Hot Springs in my book, 100 Things to Do in Hot Springs Before You Die. (Also worth mentioning, I named 420 Eats as number 12.) However, previously a brick-and-mortar, then a bulk-order-only window, Will’s has finally found its niche in serving up those giant, fluffy, ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls from the window of their new yellow food truck at 910 Park Ave.
Park Avenue is what I like to call the “quieter side of downtown.” However, numerous locals would be cringing at that statement because Park Avenue is known as uptown historically. Regardless of what you call the area, it has just gotten that much better with the addition of Will’s, and you would be sorely missing out if you didn’t grab breakfast one morning here.
Not into sweet treats for breakfast? No worries, Will’s also has savory rolls and sandwich options. What is a savory roll? I’m so glad you asked. It’s one of those cinnamon rolls I mentioned before, but instead of frosting and cinnamon, they stuff them with breakfast meats, eggs, and cheese. Don’t forget the salsa dip.
It’s tough to beat a good street taco served out of a food truck any day of the week. A few trucks that just know how to curb hunger when the tacos are calling: Tacos Xilitla at 600 E. Grand Ave. and Pupusas Mi Chalateca at 302 3rd St.
These two food trucks offer only the best. We’re talking authentic street tacos (and, honestly, so much more). Get a quadruple order of any of the tacos on these menus. They will always be topped with only the freshest fixings. A few more items unique to Xilita’s menu include the Quesabirrias tacos with a stew broth for dipping, elote in a cup filled with butter, mayonnaise, queso fresco (and more), and refreshing agua frescas in a variety of flavors like cucumber lime.
At Pupusas Mi Chalateca you have to get the pupusas too. Even if you’re only a little bit hungry, there are two things you must make room for here: a street taco and pupusas. This little food truck can transport you to El Salvador in one single bite. I love the sound of the ladies’ hands patting the tortillas here.
Food trucks can take you into cultures worldwide by way of taste buds. And when it comes to Jefferson’s Bar-B-Que, these dishes bring you down even further south than you already are. Get your fill of this savory, smokey home cookin’ with Jefferson’s mouthwatering falling-off-the-bone ribs and pulled pork/beef sandwiches — all made with Jefferson’s signature homemade sauce.
But the southern delights don’t stop at bar-b-que. Grab a juicy burger, a plate of fried catfish (a southern delicacy, don’t you know), shrimp, or savory hot links.
This essential southern experience is all found, served up from Jefferson’s truck located at 1200 Malvern Rd. Just look for the billowing smoke, and you’ll smell the smoked meat that puts your psyche directly into a southern backyard bar-b-que.
And finally, we have another locally-loved favorite: Morrison’s Fried Pies. Fried foods are an integral part of southern culture, which even carries into desserts.
I want you to imagine when you were a child, and you would go to a fast food franchise or convenience store and get a fried pie as a treat. Before your taste buds matured, you likely thought this was the best dessert to enter your mouth. But you got older, and the magic of these processed, lukewarm fried pies served in a cardboard box waned.
Well, Morrison’s has brought the magic of the fried pie back with fresh homemade fried pies served daily at 1333 Albert Pike Road. They don’t only include apple, peach, apricot, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, chocolate, coconut, lemon, and pecan — (pause to regain breath) — but Morrison’s also has cheesecake pies and seasonal pies. Oh! And lest I forget, this pie truck isn’t just a fix for a sweet tooth. Have a meal with one of their meat pies, ranging from Chicken Pot Pies to Cajun Pies.
I already can’t wait to pick the perfect crisp November day to stop by this truck and grab a scrumptious chicken pot pie paired with a chocolate pie for dessert. *Wipes drool from mouth*
And there you have it, guys. I’m officially starving after whipping this up, so I think I will go by a food truck or two today while I’m out on the town. Of all the fantastic eateries offered in Hot Springs, it’s easy to look past some of the best, and these trucks mentioned are the best of the best in our local realm of food trucks. Until next time, and Happy Feast Month!
Cassidy is a Hot Springs-based freelance journalist. She spends most of her time exploring and writing about the city for her online publication The Hot Springs Post, and has recently published her first book, 100 Things to Do in Hot Springs Before You Die. In her freetime she enjoys playing games, skating, walking her dog Murphey and spending time with her nieces and nephews. Cassidy aspires to create a positive impact with her writing, be it fun or informative (or both!).