Mountain View’s Bean Fest is a Gas!

Mountain View, AR holds an annual “Bean Fest” and I’ve been going for a few years now. It’s my favorite Arkansas festival, actually. There’s tons of free music, a ridiculous amount of free beans and cornbread, vendors, food trucks, and it closes with outhouse races. I can’t make this stuff up.

This year was particularly crowded. Many running the event said they never expected the numbers of people attending would be higher than ever this year.


I showed up an hour and. a half before noon, when the beans were scheduled to be served. I shopped, got my favorite chai latte from The Old Town Espresso drive-through. It really does have the best hot and iced chai tea I’ve ever had- SO much flavor! A must-try, really.


As we sat and listened to live music with the enormous crowd, at about 11:15, it was announced that the beans were being served now. Thank goodness I showed up early!

We got in long lines at one of the twelve stations where competitors were serving their beans.

You are encouraged to try as many beans as you can and then pay a dollar for a vote stub to vote for your favorite. There’s bowls, spoons, and cornbread at every station.

Drew and I got to try three different types before the bowls, then the beans ran clear out.

We were lucky being there early, as the many people who showed up at noon were told the beans were all gone. All was left was the outhouse races at 1:00. Usually, there are multiple entrances in this race, but this year there were only 6, I believe.

The winners were announced: Daniel Andrews won the best beans and JoJo’s Catfish Wharf won the outhouse race.

This event is really special. Dozens of businesses come together to donate everything (raw beans, propane, pots, etc.) so people can take part in this fun competition. If you’ve never been to Bean Fest, check it out next year….but show up early before the beans are gone.

Food Review: Blue Heaven Benton

I’ve been hearing so many wonderful things about this new restaurant in Benton, Blue Heaven. We went there for my mom’s birthday last night and here is the breakdown:


Wow. The most impressive thing about this place is how absolutely beautiful it is, inside and out. These owners really went above and beyond to make this place feel fancy, clean, while still homey and comfortable.

There are a few rooms inside, but we dined in this beautiful sunroom, which opened up to their outdoor spaces. There was also a large, open dining room adjacent to a stunning bar area that I may have to sit in next time just for the fancy ambience.

However, outside is remarkable.

Our dining room opened up to a covered, outdoor seating area full of many, many tables, decor, plants, outdoor furniture, and great lighting.

This area also has an outdoor bar.

There’s even a coy pond!

Finally, there are two gaming areas, one with ping pong and another with horse shoes and cornhole.



You can find their menu here on their Facebook page. They have lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch menus. There seems to be a little bit of everything from sandwiches, steaks, pastas, and some unique items as well.



Key Lime Pie Martini: $9

Ok, this isn’t food, but it was the only drink ordered and it did taste like key lime pie. It was very tasty and we loved the graham cracker rim.

Fried Green Tomatoes: with remoulade sauce: $7.95

These were good fried green tomatoes, and the homemade remoulade was perfect! However, there were just five tiny tomato slices for $8. I probably won’t get these again for $1.60 per bite. #cheapskate

House Salad that comes with each entrée and your choice of homemade dressing

These came in beautiful bowls and you got to pick from a variety of homemade dressings. The ranch was delicious! While I loved the couple of radishes, tomatoes, and cucumbers, the lettuce was pretty wilted and I was wishing I had some croutons or at least crackers or bread for the table?

Crispy Duck: $26.95
Description: Half of a domestic duck confied then dropped in the deep fryer to a crispy golden brown an drizzled with mojo Caribbean glaze. Comes with one side and a side salad

The two options for sides this evening were sautéed green beans or a baked potato. The green beans were so flavorful. I really enjoyed them. The duck skin was tasty, with a sweet honey-like glaze over it. The meat inside seemed a little tough. Perhaps frying it after it is confied overcooks it a little? I was most excited about this dish, but it ended up being my least favorite.

Cornish Hen: $18:95
Description: Marinated overnight and deep fried to perfection. Comes with one side and a side salad.

Coconut Shrimp: $21.95
Description: Jumbo shrimp battered in coconut shaving mixture fried to a golden brown and served with a rum orange marmalade dipping sauce. Comes with one side (baked potato) and side salad.

I didn’t taste this one! But they looked perfectly cooked. And well, a potato is a potato.

Blue Heaven Signature Burger with added “crispy” bacon: $13.95
Description: All beef patty cooked medium or well done (well done here…my mom’s order, not mine!) served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, with your choice of cheese (American, pepper jack, or Swiss)

I’m pretty sure my mom was not given a salad, but only a choice or fries or chips, like a lunch entree. Either way, the burger was probably the item ordered at the table. My mom loved it and ate every bite of it!

Strawberry Cake: $6

My mom loves strawberry cake, so we got one for the table. I had only one bite because it was so dry. Maybe a day or two old and in its youth it was better? My mom enjoyed it, though, which is what counts! It was her birthday!



I really wanted to fall in love with this place. But at $150 after a 20% tip for 4 people, I guess I’m kind of relieved I didn’t just love it. The ambiance, the whole setting? I loved that! What an epic place to rent out for an event. I just wish all the food was really good. I also think an offering of a little homemade bread for each table would make the dining experience feel even more special. Maybe one day?
Yet, on a Wednesday evening, the entire restaurant was packed, so what do I know? =)