So much so that I’m treading on Eat Arkansas territory. It’s called “The Daily Grind And More.” I’m not wild about the name, and I’ve commented before on the plethora of restaurants in this area that include the phrase “and more” or “and such” in their names. Also, “The Daily Grind” suggests that this unassuming little building on Highway 5, just north of the Highway 89 intersection, houses a simple coffee shop.
Nothing could be further from the truth. And that’s even if you can SPOT the place, because I’ve driven right by it while I was LOOKING for it. The challenge is the steep dropoff from Hwy. 5 down to where the restaurant is, and also its graceful, low-impact design, which blends into the surrounding area. The point is, it’s WORTH looking for, and worth stopping in. This part of the Pulaski-Lonoke County border has needed something like this for a while, and I for one want it to make it, and make it big. We don’t have a great track record for supporting independently-owned restaurants in our area, and this one deserves EVERY chance.
Bella and I first discovered TDG during our immortalized “One Morning in July” excursion, when she was hungry, and I thought, “Well, a coffee shop should have some kind of muffins or danish or something…” WOW, did I underestimate! Pastries? Yes. From cinnamon rolls to scones to bagels to muffins and more…all the way to fresh breakfast burritos, ham & cheese bagels, and good old-fashioned biscuits and gravy. The coffee menu was amazing, and not limited to coffees (which, by the way, are all from organic, fair-trade coffee beans), but also included espressos, lattes, chai teas, “steamers” (steamed milk with any of the flavored syrups added), hot chocolate and more.
Oh, and all those syrup flavors? Can also be added to malts and milkshakes, made with REAL ice cream. Not to mention the enormous variety of other sweet offerings. There’s even a conveniently-bundled 8-oz Coke in a glass bottle (you know, the GOOD kind, made in Mexico, where they still use SUGAR instead of corn syrup?) with a perfectly-sized bag of salted nuts tied to the neck of the bottle. Now, is that catering to your local clientele, or what?
The morning Bella and I stopped in, we had a positively delightful “tea-party” experience, in which she got a “coffee cup” of her own, albeit filled with hot chocolate with marshmallows, and when said beverage was too hot for a preschooler’s tender palate, the proprietress secured for her a tiny silver pitcher of cold milk with which to cool her drink. Needless to say, this child was enchanted by THAT development.
We feasted on a bagel with a schmear (me) and a cinnamon scone (her highness), and could not have been happier. We took home a menu, and it wasn’t 24 hours before I had pressured Alex into going and picking us up lunch from the Grind. I wish I had food pictures for you, but I never could seem to remember to pause and take them before INHALING my food. My favorite so far in the way of sandwiches is their “Birdini,” a delectable sandwich of turkey, swiss, baby spinach, and stone-ground mustard on your choice of bread (wheat-berry for me, thanks), grilled to perfection on a panini-press with a light brushing of garlic-herb butter. Heaven. Hubby opted that first time for the barbecued pork sandwich. Needless to say, it was divine.
When dining in, there is even a little nook for lingerers, with cards, games, books and magazines for all ages.
UPDATE: I’ve just been informed that the wireless internet connection is up and running, so take your laptop and set a spell! There is dining inside, out on the covered porch, and more tables out under the shade of the trees, in the open. Plenty of choices.
It’s been less than a week since we made this discovery, and we’ve eaten there three times so far. I think I could eat at the Grind every day, with their wide variety of soups, sandwiches, salads, barbecue, drinks, side items…and OH, the desserts. Tonight, after a ham & cheese panini and a “Don’t Be An Angus” sandwich with roast Black Angus beef, roasted red peppers, hot pepper-jack cheese and stone-ground mustard, grilled panini-style, we put ourselves into sugar comas with some “ultimate brownies,” and I don’t regret it one bit. Not one bit, I tell you!
In case you’re still unclear, this was a ringing endorsement of Daily Grind n’ More, on Hwy. 5 right on the border of Lonoke County and Pulaski County. If you’re coming from Cabot on Hwy. 89, and turn right (north) on 5, or if you’re coming from 67/167 onto Hwy. 5 North, keep your eyes peeled for these signs, on your left, just past the Hwy. 89 intersection and traffic light: And yes, there IS a drive-through.
Tell ’em that the crazy blogger-lady with the kid in tow and the camera around her neck sent you. Maybe they’ll slip me an extra cinnamon scone sometime.