While we at Rock City Eats tend to focus on the food scene here in central Arkansas, we’ve discovered plenty of great eats all around the state, too. Arkansas’ highways, byways, and small towns are ripe with numerous excellent restaurants, dairy bars, drive-ins, and bakeries of all sort. In this regular feature, we explore some of these places and encourage you to pull over and sample some of the greatest food from “Around Arkansas.” Next up, a classic diner just off the I-530 in Redfield, AR…The Mammoth Orange.
Where: 103 Arkansas Highway 365, Redfield, AR.
Pull Over: If you’re headed to or from Pine Bluff, you could easily drive right through Redfield without even noticing its existence. A small town, just off the highway, most travelers only stop when their gas tank is pushing the “E.” But consider hopping off the road before reaching your destination…Mammoth Orange is an old joint like no other.
The Story: Considered a roadside oddity by many travelers, this restaurant’s interesting shape and color certainly set it apart. The Mammoth Orange was erected in 1966, inspired by another giant orange restaurant in California in the 1950s. Its giant orange dome shape is difficult to miss when you’re driving through a town like Redfield. And despite the similarities in their names, there’s absolutely no relation between The Mammoth and Little Rock’s most popular burger joint, Big Orange.
The Food: This this the go-to spot for many local burger lovers…and for good reason. These classic, thin-patty, dairy-bar style burgers are served hot and fresh throughout the day. They serve them a number of ways…regular, double, jumbo or double-jumbo…based on the amount of meat you prefer to inhale. And of course, they’ll doctor them up with all the fixins’…cheese, bacon, onion rings, etc. Their Frito pies are another popular item, served with hot chili, Fritos, and cheese…they’re a wonderful cold weather option. Hot dogs and chili dogs get some attention, too. They run a regular plate lunch from 11 am to 2 pm most days…where you’ll see things like hamburger steaks with mashed potatoes and green beans, fried catfish baskets, or baked chicken breast with potatoes and corn bread. Lastly, families from miles around assemble at The Orange for their milkshakes and sundaes, which come in all flavors including chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, butterscotch, banana and more.
The Price: It’s cheap. Burgers will run you anywhere between $5-8 based on size. Plate lunches clock in around $7. Shakes and ice cream will set you back around $3, and most other items on the menu slide under the $5 mark. Also CASH ONLY, y’all.
The Verdict: If you want to experience a real retro trip back in time, head on over to Mammoth Orange. Not much has changes in over 50 years…and luckily, the food is as good as it ever was. There’s not many places quite like this big, bright, burger-filled orange ball.
Driving: It’s a mere 25 minute drive from Little Rock
Address: 103 Arkansas Highway 365, Redfield, AR.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 am to 8 pm; Friday – Saturday 8:30 am to 9 pm; Closed Sunday.
Phone: (870) 397-2572