In the midst of all the burger joints, barbecue places, and seemingly endless deep fried menus that make up most of the Hot Springs food scene, things may seem grim for folks who want a healthy alternative. With a rising trend of healthy eating, people want a place where they can enjoy a great meal and can also choose from vegan and gluten free menu items. Park Island Market and Cafe in Hot Springs is just that type of place.

A good friend told me that the best food in the Spa City was at the North end cafe. So a little while ago I found myself in the neighborhood and decided to give the place a try. Walking inside there’s a feeling if being in an old country store, with shelves of fresh fruits, and vegetables. There are assortments of healthy items and beverages to choose from. But what drew me there was the food.

After asking for menu suggestions, the Club Sandwich was the choice I made. Piled high with Petit Jean ham, turkey and bacon, the club also features locally grown greens and artisan cheeses. It is definitely a mouthful! Not only do they make a great sandwich at Park Island, but on a return trip the staff suggested a stuffed avocado, and it was excellent. Two avocado halves are stuffed with your choice of tuna salad or cashew chicken salad. Can’t make up your mind? Get one half with the tuna and the other with the chicken. No matter the choice, you will not be disappointed.

Park Island also offers gluten, soy, and nut free items. There are even a few items on the menu, the stuffed avocado for instance, can be made vegan at your choosing. No matter the menu selection, Park Island offers fresh flavors and exceptional service.