How do you review a restaurant where you cook the food? That's a question I set out to answer after visiting Sisters' Savory Kitchen in Russellville a few times over the past few months.
After all, things like the temperature of a dish and its presentation usually matter. Fortunately, in this case, the food itself and its preparation have managed to elevate this take-and-make place to a must-stop when I'm wanting a grab-and-go dinner for later.
The drive-through and walk-up spot at 220 E. Parkway does offer a single dish that's cooked to order, a lunch special that changes each day. These tend to be comfort foods in the form of casseroles -- a particular week might include chicken spaghetti with a salad or a pulled pork sandwich with baked beans. There's a clientele that comes by every weekday just for whatever's being served.
For those of us on the run, though, Sisters' offers a palate of marvelous choices. For instance, knowing I had a hungry family to feed one day, the chicken enchiladas was recommended -- four oversized chicken enchiladas in flour tortillas covered in cheese. These came out beautifully and were remarkably similar to the sour cream enchiladas my family would dine on often. Pans of chicken and dressing were a big hit, too.
There are also personal meals, which can be heated in the microwave. The Mexican Chicken with refried beans and corn is a good standby, but the Tuscan Chicken? That's just so marvelous -- tender chicken and pasta with a double serving of sauteed vegetables, well-seasoned and just a couple of minutes from freezer to plate.
What I keep coming back for, though, is the pimento cheese -- particularly the jalapeno pimento cheese. The first time I picked up a tub and brought it home, I got -- I kid you not -- one bite. Then it disappeared. Turns out, everyone in my house loves this version of pimento cheese, even over the version I make myself.
There's also the white cheese dip and the chicken salad, two other great choices from the refrigerated case. I like to pick up a tub of chicken salad for car dining when I'm out fishing -- with club crackers, it's just the right balance of salty and sweet to be satisfied for lunch.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the desserts. There's always something on the front table I want to take home, whether it's the oversized brownies, the Key lime pie-lets, or the lemon cake -- the lemon cake! It's delightful and so homey as an addition to a meal. Thing is, there's no telling what's going to be available, so you just have to check. The banana pudding is also an ace choice.
Kat Robinson is the author of "The Great Arkansas Pie Book: Recipes for The Natural State's Famous Dish From Our Favorite Restaurants, Bakeries and Home Cooks," the hottest read of the holiday season. It's available nationwide, or can be ordered signed by visiting store.tontipress.com.