RIVER VALLEY EATS: Kat Robinson says save room for dessert at Miss Anna’s on Towson

RIVER VALLEY EATS: Kat Robinson says save room for dessert at Miss Anna’s on Towson

Kat Robinson

River Valley Eats

Pie is what brings new folks in to Miss Anna’s on Towson, a stalwart institution at 5001 Towson Ave. on Fort Smith’s southwest side. But a thick menu packed with family favorites keeps people coming back to this place, where slices of pie are 99 cents every Tuesday, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

And those pies, famous as they’ve become, are various. Chocolate Heaven on chocolate cookie crust, coconut cream on coconut crust, cherry crisp on graham cracker, and an array of ever-changing flavors means it’s almost impossible to get all the way through the dessert menu. Blueberry crisp, Key lime, apple, pecan, banana cream, chocolate peanut butter, lemon cream, double crusted peach, Oreo, chocolate cream — the only limit on slices is what’s been already claimed for the day. And that’s just the pies. There’s always a fresh cake on the counter, be it Italian cream, carrot, lemon, or German chocolate. And if that’s not enough, there’s also cheesecake, cookies and fudgy no-bakes, too.

Because of this famous selection, it would be understandable if people thought this was just a great place for pie. But Miss Anna’s also serves as Fort Smith’s almost-anytime diner, open seven days a week and from dawn til past dusk.

The star of the menu is the Kickin’ Chicken, Miss Anna’s sauced and delightful chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy dressing. You can get your chicken fried or grilled, and then it’s sliced, tossed in sauce and served with two or three sides of your choice. The sides change from day to day — you’ll see them written on the chalkboards around the dining area — cups of hearty peas, beans, greens, mac and cheese, fried squash, zucchini and tomatoes stewed together, grilled vegetables, coleslaw, sweet potato fries, stewed apples, and potatoes available several different ways, a list so long its very existence challenges every other country diner in a 100 mile radius.

Those sort of sides go great with the restaurant’s Home Cookin’ menu, where any day of the week you can have chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken, hamburger steak or roast beef with brown gravy, grilled chicken with onions, mushrooms and cheese or Hawaiian-style with pineapple — and even pulled pork. Two or three sides, plus a roll or cornbread, and you have a satisfying and somewhat oversized repast.

Set alongside a collection of burger options, sandwiches galore and stuffed baked potatoes, that’d be enough for Miss Anna’s — but there’s also a decent steak, and on Friday night you can get prime rib. Fajitas are also popular, skirt steak or grilled chicken breast served sizzling on a cast iron plate with peppers, onions and tomatoes or on a bed of nacho chips or stuffed into a baked potato. Or, if you ask nicely, you can get them as Superfries (or, as we joke, Kat Fries), with a full nacho-style spread atop skin-on fries and a bit of cheese dip.

Breakfast is not to be overlooked, with a fine spread of omelettes, pancakes, and biscuits served with sausage or chocolate gravy on sprawling platters. The Ted’s Big Breakfast, named after owner Ted Cserna, pairs three eggs the way you want them with ham, bacon or sausage and your choice of toast or pancakes for a hefty spread. The chili omelet, packed with housemade chili and cheddar cheese, is marvelous.

Do be warned: Tuesdays are very busy, thanks to the 99 cent slice of pie special. Thursday nights are also hopping, thanks to an all-you-can-eat steak special beginning at 5 p.m. Be patient. It’s worth the wait for such a solidly good experience. And please, don’t forget the pie.

Information: 649-6300 or MissAnnasOnTowson.com


Kat Robinson is an Arkansas food historian and travel writer with 12 books, several television projects and 16 years of articles celebrating the subject available to enjoy. Her latest, “The Great Arkansas Pie Book,” is available nationwide in hardcover, and will be released in paperback this September.

Categories: Food