Mama Max's Diner

Not too long ago, I was back in Arkansas.  Back in Hope.  Back in the home town.  It was a sad occasion - a sad but sweet time, because I got to see a lot of people that are dear to me, but I rarely get to see them.  We've all grown up and found careers and lives that keep us too busy to get together with any regularity. So, yes, I was in Hope.  My sisters and my brother and I all wanted to get together Sunday morning and have breakfast with my dad before we all hit the trail.

It's a little difficult to find a place to have breakfast in Hope, Arkansas, on Sunday.  Your choices come down to McDonald's, Waffle House, or cooking it yourself.  The last time we were there and ran into this little snafu, my sister Sheila took the bull by the horns and just made breakfast for everybody.  But this time we did not want anybody to have to cook or clean up the mess afterward.

After a little consideration, Sister Charlotte presented a wonderful suggestion.  "Let's see if Maxine's is open." Maxine's is a divine eatery in the heart of Prescott, Arkansas, about 15 minutes from Hope.  Prescott is closer to where my dad lives anyway, so we looked up Maxine's phone number. In a phone book. (I know, right?!) I called Maxine's and the perky young lady who answered the phone assured us that they were open from 10:00 until 6:00.

Maxine's is now called Mama Max's Diner.  Whatever it's called - it's a jewel.  We realized pretty quickly that breakfast would not be an option, but who cares when you walk in and see a chalkboard boasting a daily special of "Chicken and dressing"? We took over two big tables in the back room at Mama Max's and looked over the menu while enjoying iced tea.

Peyton Marie enjoying the Mama Max's dining experience.
The menu was full of delicious choices like meatloaf, chicken 'n' dumplings, with eight or ten choices of vegetables you could choose from on the side. Rolls or cornbread.  Brown gravy or cream gravy.

Dad (Ray Bobo) and one of my sweet sisters (Sheila Bobo Baugus).

We had a good Sunday morning visit at Mama Max's Diner.  We tried to eat slowly - so that we could enjoy each other's company as long as possible as well as savor every bite of - everything - on our plates.

Kayla Baugus and my beautiful mom Liz Bobo.
The food was great.  It was basic.  There was no charred squid, no pork belly.  The words "confit" or "braised" were no where on the menu. Still, I'd put a plate of Max's food up against any of those plates of confit foie gras wild boar meatball things out there.

I'm already looking forward to my next trip to visit Max's - - I mean my relatives in Arkansas... Really.  I love getting to see the family in Dallas/Ft. Worth and in Arkansas - or wherever and whenever I get to see them. If it's a visit to the Hope area, lunch or an early dinner at Mama Max's Diner will just be a bonus.

Various family members are already quite familiar with Max's.  If Aunt Vera finds out you've been, she'll need you to recall everything you ate. And then she'll probably want to know why you didn't bring her a pie.  There's a story about Aunt Gail going into the kitchen to learn how they made one of their signature dishes. (I can't remember which one.) And my sister Charlotte has been a loyal and loved customer of Maxine's for years.

Oh, yeah. That little dish/bowl in the background? That's fried corn.

So, gentle reader, if you find yourself driving through Arkansas (a.k.a., The Land Of Opportunity, a.k.a., The Natural State) on I-30 stop in Prescott.  Find Mama Max's Diner.  Eat.  Try to save room for pie.  I dare you.


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