We've been spending more time up in Bentonville lately, which is the apex of Walmart Country, mostly because.....well, that's where Walmart Home Office is. Some friends of ours bought a house up there, a few blocks off the Bentonville Square, so we've found ourselves making the half hour drive up to B'ville fairly often in the last several months.
One of those recent adventures was to revel in the glory of First Fridays, a similar town-square event to Fayetteville's own First Thursdays. No idea what the Bentonville event normally looks like, but I can tell you that the first Friday of November, First Fridays is a toy fair extravaganza.
Toy booths were everywhere along with delicious fair foods (cotton candy, corn dogs, fried pickles, etc.). Folks were demonstrating remote control planes, some poor schmuck was dressed up as Barbie taking pictures with kids, they had a Mystery Machine bus you could wait in line to walk through (we didn't), and Batman was there taking pictures near his camouflage Batmobile and Batmotorcycle. There was a stage with perky teens singing Radio Disney songs, a lego tent, a Play-doh tent, and all kinds of other tents with toys to look at and play with. It was a kid's paradise.
Of course, we went with a group of childless-adults (OK, to be fair, one of our party was 8 months pregnant, so there were some impending parents in our midst) and meandered through the throngs of visitors. And it did feel more "throng-like" than any other event I've been to in Walmart Country save the Wild Hog Convention. It was pointed out to me that the Toy Fair makes for excellent people-watching, between the Walmart execs and the "local hillbillys."
Others might have also enjoyed watching us, as we took pictures with the cardboard Disney princesses, the cardboard Bratz dolls, the Scooby Doo gang cutouts, and one very special picture of Doug looking at the One Direction (excuse me, 1D) dolls.
After wandering through the fair, we headed over to Tusk & Trotter, the only restaurant Doug and I have been to on the Bentonville Square (we tried another place but the wait was an hour and we were too hungry for that). It's a great place, good atmosphere if you can ignore the HUGE hog paintings everywhere, and delicious food. As our little Canadaphile, Doug had the Poutine, and I had one of the best burger's I've ever had called the "Charcuterie burger." Description: Housemade sausage patty, duck pate, housemade bacon, pickled vegetables, housemade roasted garlic-red grape cheese, brioche bun. YUM! Oh, and their pub food comes with your choice of salad, veggies, or three kinds of fries. Salt and pepper, truffle or glazed. The glazed fries are delish--slightly sweet but not overpowering.
The Sunday brunch menu looks phenomenal. Perhaps some day we will have a reason to go up to B'ville for brunchy-goodness and have a carrot cake waffle or lemon souffle pancakes or duck pastrami eggs benedict.
Just goes to show that we have some good food and some entertaining culture here in Walmart Country. Time to visit, ya'll, time to visit and give us a reason to go out to brunch. :)