#springdaletacotour

Don Pedro's Carnitas - SCARY Good!

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I like uncomfortable social situations; those idiosyncratic moments when the inner YOU is  suddenly forced to weigh the pros and cons of flight or fight mode...what's it gonna be?  Usually, I chose FLIGHT because, well, I'm a big fat baby and don't really like the idea of endangering the people close to me, or probably more importantly, myself.  Still, those quick, brilliant flashes of fear keep the wheels turning and the heart thump, thumping away; and food is no exception - I like being scared, approaching the great unknown of some small back alley, hole-in-the-wall, greasy spoon, scary restaurant that makes something so sublime, beautiful that it can't help but garner a devoted, cult following regardless of when it's open, and where it's located - because it's THAT GOOD! 

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Chef David Palos of Don Pedro's in Springdale is a badass; as a father, as a husband, and as a chef with an almost superhero knack for using every single part of the pig; in a town where carnitas are undoubtedly the most beloved, consumed food no less.  Don Pedro's is a family affair, Palos' father supplying the whole pig from the butcher shop around the corner, and his strong, hard working wife manning the front of the house...the entire operation is a well oiled, badass machine.  Don't fear Chef David; despite his tough, confident exterior, he's really a sweetheart...always ready to show you his intricate, impressive al fresco smoking design, or just to chew the proverbial fat about his pork cooking skills and passion; and trust when I say that these skills and passions are worth fighting for.       

Don Pedro’s Carnitas

Address:  300 W Sunset Avenue, Springdale, AR 72764

Hours:  Mon-Sun 10am-10pm

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What to expect

Don Pedro’s is the newest “write-in” on the Springdale Taco Tour, promising the most fun, stylized stop of all.  Locally raised whole hogs that are broken down on premise, then prepared in a massive smoker that serves as an olfactory beacon from miles around.  And Chef David welcomes guests with a boisterous “Hello” draped in smiles, black apron, while brandishing giant knife and tongs. 

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What to eat: 

The Carnita Taco and Burrito are worth the trip alone, but don’t forget about the whole smoked chicken served with rice, beans, and a chopped salad.  If you’re lucky enough to arrive when David is carving up his wares, ask for a bite of the pig intestine, coiled, tender, butterscotch-y, divine.

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Charley's Taqueria - Where the Tacos Taste like Tacos, and the Snozberries Taste Like Snozberries

Tacos are quickly becoming America’s favorite food, and why shouldn’t they?  Fast, cheap, filling, and delicious make this authentic cuisine popular with the masses.   On a recent spring day, I was joined by Team Springdale and Little Craft Show founder, Amber Perrodin, as we visited several of the destinations on her beloved Springdale Taco Tour that serves as a cultural and social media vessel for spotlighting the rich, diverse, and delicious edible culture of this great Arkansas city. 

Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

And what can you, the well informed Metro-billy reader, expect from our tantalizing taqueria expedition?  Well, a clear and fun guide into not only what to expect, but also what to order. Loosen your belt, take a deep breath, because you’re about to embark on a journey that will not only enrich your life, but will undoubtedly make you the TACO of the town.  First up in our Springdale series is one on my favorite restaurants in this region of Arkansas:  Charley's Taqueria.

Charley’s Taqueria

Address:  1830 S. Pleasant Street, Suite F, Springdale, AR  72764

Hours:  Mon-Thur 8am-10pm | Fri-Sun 8am-11pm

Scratch, Sniff, and Lick Menus | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

Scratch, Sniff, and Lick Menus | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

What to expect

Charley’s is one of my favorite Arkansas taquerias, boasting a walk up order counter next to a wall displaying scratch, sniff, and lick photos of menu items {the tacos taste like tacos, and the snozberries taste like snozberries; kidding, you may certainly scratch and sniff the menu, but do NOT lick any of those pictures, staff and guests alike don't like it, take my word for it.  But it is helpful to get a visual idea of what you’re ordering, especially if you have kids in tow. 

Sopes | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

Sopes | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

What to eat: 

Beaver Lake Oysters | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

Beaver Lake Oysters | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

The tacos are great, but the chorizo and carne asade sopes are the bomb, especially when devoured near their signature Michelada cocktail made with Corona Mexican beer, tomato juice, peppers, chili spices with garnishes of lemon, lime, fresh shrimp, and a mysterious meat wrapped straw.  Charley’s is also one of the only joints in town that serve fresh oysters, finished with a whisper of minced onions, chilis, and fresh avocado. 

Corona Michelada | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop  Full Citiscapes Article Here:   http://flipbook.citiscapes.com/flipbook_0518/?page=74

Corona Michelada | Photo Cred:  Joe Wittkop

Full Citiscapes Article Here:  http://flipbook.citiscapes.com/flipbook_0518/?page=74