The south edge of Conway, before you hit Mayflower, has long needed a restaurant, and it lucked out getting Taylors’ Made Cafe, which opened in spring of 2015. Located at 283 Highway 365 in Conway, Taylors’ Made describes the atmosphere as reminiscent of the television show “Cheers.”
On a recent night I grabbed a couple of friends and bade them come along for a meal. Driving by the nondescript exterior of the cafe induces a series of questions, not the least of which is, “What the heck is in there?” As it turns out, the interior is attractively decorated, simple, and clean. The patio is large and boasts a screen for watching big games, and the full bar doesn’t hurt a thing.
It’s seat-yourself at Taylors’, and on the night in question there was a gentleman playing an eclectic mix of tunes on a stage toward the front, the usual for a weekend evening. A waitress came along quickly and got our drink order, leaving us to peruse the menu options. I selected the Chicken Tenders, while my friends’ choices included a Taylors’ Made Burger and the Chicken Fried Steak. Our food arrived quickly, and the waitress was particularly careful to make sure everything was to our liking.
I have an on-going relationship with chicken tenders, and Taylors’ version hits my list of favorites. These hand-breaded cuts of fresh chicken were perfectly cooked, more chicken than breading, and came paired with a large serving of crispy-outside-soft-inside fries. My other side of fried squash was recently a piece of fresh produce that the kitchen sliced and also hand-breaded, resulting in a side I could eat by the plateful.
The burger was a thick patty of medium-well meat and, according to my friend, it had a “nice char.” It came with all the fixings, including crispy bacon. Not too juicy, not dry, and seasoned exactly right, Taylors’ burger is worth trying if you’re a burger lover.
The chicken fried steak was what I’d consider sharable, with two pieces of meat and a huge side of hand-breaded onion rings. The meal also came with a bowl of unexpectedly good sautéed veggies that were lightly seasoned with something barely sweet. The chicken fried steak was tender, and combined with the crispy breading, it paired well with the gravy.
Overall, Taylors’ Made Cafe is a win. Their food is distinctly American-basic, but it’s served with extra care and consistent quality that make the regulars want to keep it a secret. But drive by any night and you’ll see a crowd gathered—with good reason.