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: Oliver’s Bistro in Mountain View

We spend a lot of time in Mountain View, but hardly eat out because there’s pretty much one theme: Southern cooking. However, the owners of Skylark Cafe in Leslie have recently opened up Oliver’s Bistro (named after their son) in the Iron Works building downtown. Now I have a go-to place to eat in Mountain View! Here’s the breakdown:


While Oliver’s Bistro is an easy to find/ walk to location downtown, that also means that it is busy…constantly.  The first attempt to eat here was a Saturday at 1:30, and the small restaurant was full, with most people waiting on food. So, I had to wait until the following Tuesday to try my luck again. I got the last seat at 2:00. I’m not sure there’s ever a time this place isn’t busy during its hours of 11-4?

The interior is absolutely adorable. With blue wooden floors, plants in the windows, cute pillows and modern furniture and light fixtures, it is so cute!


You can find the menu on their Facebook page here:

While it is small, it has so many delicious options, it was hard for me to decide….so I had to come back a couple more times this week. =)
There are some appetizers, such as delicious sounding truffle pomes frites or a bruschetta skillet. There are 6 different entree salads. There are 8 different sandwich options, which come with a choice of one of 6 sides. There are also 3 brick oven pizza options, which seem to be popular. Finally, there are also daily desserts posted on a chalk board, as well as other daily soup and pizza specials.


House Salad, $6, with added chicken $3
Description: Mixed greens, roma tomato, crimini mushrooms, red onion ,and parmesan cheese, local honey balsamic vinaigrette

The picture does not do this salad justice. It was very large! All the veggies were cut into perfect bite sizes. The homemade vinaigrette was sweet and delicious! There was plenty of it as well, as I used my grilled baguette to sop it up in the end. The added chicken was cooked perfectly, very juicy and flavorful. I loved it.

Mediterranean Salad, $8, with added chicken $3
Description: Mixed Greens, roma tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, red onion, pepproncinis, kalamata olives, roasted chickpeas, Greek vinaigrette.

This salad was set up for failure following the House Salad, so it was a little disappointing….though still delicious. My main issue was the vegetables were not chopped into bite size pieces like the house salad and there was not as much dressing. However, it was still very tasty and enjoyable.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Veggie Slaw, $11.50
Description: Thin sliced roast beef with cheddar, red onion, mixed greens, roma tomato, radish, and garlic aioli on grilled brioche bun.

This sandwich was SO good! I couldn’t put it down, just rapidly ate it. The garlic aoili was plentiful, garlic-y, and delicious! The roast beef was tender and juicy. The brioche bun was perfect….it held together without being too much bread that it took away from the sandwich. The only issue was the enormous stack of red onion and tomato that made this sandwich about 6 inches tall. I had to remove them just to get my mouth around it. But hey, if my complain is there is TOO much on a sandwich, is that really a complaint? Nah!
The veggie slaw had cranberries and local honey and was pretty tasty. It surprisingly had a kick of heat, and I didn’t really taste any honey. However, I love a healthy, unique slaw, and this was definitely one of those.


The service here is very good. Everyone is super nice and make you feel right at home (even if you stink from hiking for hours and have a hole in your tights…woops) I will definitely be coming in for lunches any chance I can while in Mountain View, ready to try more of the menu!