In January I took a trip to Fayetteville for an eating vacation. Arsaga’s at The Depot, located at 548 W. Dickson Street, was my first stop. Arsaga’s is part of a group of Fayetteville food and coffee locations begun in 1992 by a local couple that still owns and runs the group today. I’ve only spent a little time in Fayetteville, but each time I’ve been, I’ve found my way to Arsaga’s for their great coffee and fun menu.
Arsaga’s at The Depot features one of my favorite things: crepes. For this visit, I went with the Crepe Atlas, a cornmeal crepe filled with roasted chicken, shiitakes, bacon, scallions, white cheddar, and parmesan. I was in the mood for savory, and that is exactly what I got. The roasted chicken was the perfect base to meld the flavors of the rest of the fillings, resulting in delicious, offbeat comfort food at its best. I’m still dreaming about the rich taste of the lightly sautéed shiitakes.
My companion, a vegetarian, picked The Townie, a vegan menu item that includes a tofu scramble with shitakes and red peppers, fruit, tomatoes, herbed potatoes, and house-made vegan maple sausage with a chunk of sourdough toast. The scramble was tasty, and frankly I couldn’t tell it was vegan. The fresh fruit, beautiful tomatoes, and perfectly cooked potatoes were also excellent, but the real star of this plate was the vegan sausage. I don’t say this lightly: I would rather have this vegan sausage than any non-vegan sausage I’ve had to date. It was truly unreal how excellent it was. They called it spicy, but it wasn’t hot, just well-flavored, with maple overtones.
Lately I judge all coffee shops by their latte, and Arsaga’s wins in this category too. Their roast has a distinct flavor that’s quite smooth, and the milk-to-espresso ratio is ideal. Finally, the herbed fries. Regardless what main you go with, it can only be made better by adding a side of these bad boys. The flavor explodes in your mouth, and I think you could order a plate of these to split for an afternoon snack and be well satisfied.
Arsaga’s has another location that serves their signature coffee and varieties of toast. Yes, toast. Toast with avocado, toast with raspberries and cream, toast with goat cheese, toast with walnut spread and bacon. It’s number one on my list to try the next time I’m up that way. I’ve yet to have something from Arsaga’s I didn’t think was worth ordering twice. If you’re in Fayetteville needing a snack or a coffee, give them a visit. You won’t be sorry.