Tina’s Place, Monroe County

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As you travel through life, there are some places that you just stumble into by accident and leave very glad you did.  Tina’s Place in Clarendon, Arkansas is one of those places for me.  When my day started in the morning, I didn’t expect to run up on a restaurant like this.  I figured I would find a normal little place to eat like they are all over the country.  Well Tina’s Place is definitely not one of those restaurants.  I was taking pictures of the court house when the Mayor walked down and we started talking.  Toward the end of our conversation, I asked where a good place to eat was.  He listed several and said they were all really good, but I should try this little place down by the railroad tracks.  The mayor told me to turn right and then left.  Go straight till you get to the railroad track and can’t go anymore.  Look over to your left and you have arrived.

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The building reminded me of those good old greasy spoons of my youth.  There was a creaky screen door in which you enter and automatically after you walk in, you realize you are not in a regular place.  There are clothes all along one wall and along the other is a kitchen you might see in your house.  In fact I really think this place may have been somebody’s house at one time.  There is a tiny lady behind a counter that is almost taller than her who welcomes you to her place.  I notice there is only one window air conditioning unit, and it is already a little warm inside.  She is preparing catfish to fry.

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I tell her that the mayor sent me down and told me how good the cheeseburgers were.  She agreed they were really good.  I look at the menu and I say I may get the catfish because it looked good.  Mrs. Tina said “No,  you want the cheeseburger, thats what you need.”  I realized there was no argument, so I said “Yes Ma’am.  She said I wanted everything on it.  I told her no pickles and she agreed and I sat down.  The tables are a mixture of kitchen and whatever else she has chosen.  Its comfortable though.

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When you hear a burger cooking before you smell it, you know its gonna be a good burger.  Thats exactly what happened.  I tried to talk to Mrs. Tina to find out a little more about her place, but she said, ” I can’t talk and walk at the same time, so she would talk later if she didn’t get busy.  The meal was reminding me of going home and your Mother having supper ready. You didn’t know what you were gonna get ahead of time, but it was gonna be good.  When it was ready, I went up to pick up the foam container with my food and she told me to get a pop out of the cooler.  I sat back down after I got my diet dr. pepper and opened up the tray.  Oh my Goodness!!!! What I found.

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I usually don’t take pictures after I’ve starting eating, but I had to this time. The burger was a joy to the taste buds.

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When I was a little kid, my Father would carry me to bars making deliveries and the club owners would cook up burgers for us.  This burger tasted like those old fashioned greasy delicious ones.  Tina’s place is located at this intersection by the railroad track.

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Her menu changes a little depending on business and what she is cooking that day.  A crowd had gathered by the time I was finishing up.  Everybody was nice and many said that I had found their secret.  Workers were coming in for their lunches and others were picking up to go orders.  Yes I was glad I found this place.  It’s one of a kind.  If you are in Clarendon, definitely go by Tina’s place.  You will never forget it.

 

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