On our recent vacation to the NW Arkansas Ozarks area, we were driving around the Bentonville/Rogers/Springdale area after we checked into our hotel. There's really not a lot to see - there are signs for "Historic Downtown Rogers" and "Historic Downtown Springdale". And, of course, downtown Bentonville is the home of the first Wal-Mart store. But after visiting the supposed historic downtown areas, I didn't think of them to be historic any more than most middle American small town downtowns.
One of the things that caught our attention was the amount of Hispanic laborers in the area. Now, I'm not too concerned about the amount of illegal immigrants in the U.S., there seems to be enough jobs for those who want to work. But, it seemed to us there was an inordinate amount of Mexican laborers in the area.
What that also told us was that there were a large number of Mexican restaurants in the area, as well. We saw a few - some looked like tourist trap places, while others looked like authentic Mexican food joints.
We had a number of options for dinner that evening and Cindy suggested that we try to find a good Mexican food place in the area. We went down to the front desk and I asked the two guys there what they thought was the best Mexican restaurant in the area. They both looked at one another and almost simultaneously they both said, "Las Fajitas."
The one desk clerk explained to me that there were two Las Fajitas in the area, one in Bentonville (closer to our hotel), and one in Springdale (about a 20 minute drive). He said, "If you're up for a little drive, the one in Springdale is excellent."
He gave us directions and away we went. We pulled up in front of the place on N. Thompson in Springdale (see map) about 20 minutes later and Cindy said, "Oh, I remember seeing this place earlier today and thinking that it was interesting."
The building was sort of a non-descript flat-roofed building that looked like it could have been any type of family restaurant years ago. We went in and the decor was typical of a Mexican restaurant - bright colors, Mexican paintings, sombreros, etc. We sat in the middle room of the restaurant (there was a small eating area up front, then a larger middle room, then the bar area was in the back of the restaurant).
And the menu was nothing special - same things you can find at most other Mexican restaurants. But the food did look good, so we thought we'd give a few things a try.
I went with a plate that consisted of a taco, an enchilada and a tostada. Cindy got one with a burrito, enchilada and rice and beans. For good measure, she also ordered a chicken tamale. It wasn't long before the food showed up.
And the food was good - very good, in fact. Cindy thought that the chicken tamale may have been the best one she'd ever had - and we had authentic homemade tamales when we were in Mexico a few years ago. My food was outstanding, the meat was flavorful, there wasn't that rubbery microwave taste that you get at most Mexican restaurants. It was as close to eating in Mexico as you could get in Arkansas.
When we got back to the hotel, I purposely went to the front desk and thanked the guy for steering us to Las Fajitas. It was one of the better Mexican meals I'd had in my life. Two thumbs up from both Cindy and I on Las Fajitas.