Café Klaser in Heber Springs has much to offer visitors. There are the breathtaking views overlooking the
Little Red River, the excellent hometown service and the menu filled with an assortment of unique offerings.
When Chef Billy Klaser opened Café Klaser in 1998, he already had many years of experience in the industry. He perfected his craft at the famed Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and spent many years at Arkansas country clubs. But, he credits his Aunt Isabelle Mansour for his love of cooking.
On my recent visit, Chef Billy was a gracious host who loves his restaurant. The array of dishes that he and his team presented displayed his diverse culinary skills in a spectacular fashion.
The Let’s Eat visit began with Stuffed Mushrooms and Southwest Spinach Dip.
The mushrooms were a delicious, golden brown stuffed with Boursin cheese. The Southwest Spinach Dip had a spicy kick that made it a step above the traditional version. Both appetizers were homemade and great.
Chef Billy makes many, many loaves of bread each morning. The loaves, made from a family recipe, are served with meals and used as the bun for his Big Billy Burger.
The Big Billy Burger is a large hamburger made with freshly ground round and covered with a slice of pepper jack cheese and other toppings. Since the burger has Billy’s name, you can bet that it was fabulous.
The Reuben on Rye, served with sauerkraut and a secret dressing, featured corned beef that had been boiled for many hours and hand-cut in thick slices. It was served with crunchy homemade potato chips.
I tried the Blackened Chicken Wrap, which was very good. Chef Billy uses a tomato basil tortilla to hold a tender blackened chicken breast that is surrounded by lettuce, tomato, cheese and a spicy, homemade remoulade sauce. Cajun-flavored, homemade potato chips accompanied this wonderful wrap.
Café Klaser’s signature dish is Billy’s Stuffed Steak. Chef Billy created this offering in 1998, and it has been the top seller at the restaurant since. The creation starts with a nice beef tenderloin that is then stuffed with a rice and crawfish mixture. Next, the lean cut of beef is wrapped in bacon and topped with a yummy, creamy crawfish sauce. This is absolutely one of my favorite Arkansas restaurant menu items. The flavors don’t overwhelm each other. The components play perfectly together, with the result being a hit!
Chef Billy’s son, William or L.B., is a chip off the block and has worked with his father in the kitchen for more than 15 years. Chef Billy’s daughter, Ellie, also works at Café Klaser. L.B. created the restaurant’s Chicken William. This menu item features a sautéed chicken breast topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions and bacon swimming in a garlic cream sauce and served over seasoned rice. Two words … must try!
Café Klaser showcases Chef Billy’s wonderful homemade sauces in the Fettuccini Alfredo with Shrimp and the Cajun Penne Pasta with Crawfish. These dishes draw attention to his classically trained culinary pedigree.
The presentation and taste of Walleye Michael were beautiful, a fish lover’s dream. The large, tender white fish filet is served blackened, grilled or sautéed. It is seasoned to perfection with a combination of herbs and served over a bed of pearl couscous and fresh, sautéed spinach. Chef Billy landed a great catch with this one!
The homemade desserts vary from day to day. I sampled the Peanut Butter Pie, Key Lime Pie, Cheesecake, Carrot Cake and Chocolate Pecan Pie. Chef Billy and his team are masters of desserts, as each sweet offering resulted in my fork returning for that one extra taste.
Plan a trip to Café Klaser, where you will always catch a picture-perfect meal and a stunning view of one of Arkansas’ premier trout rivers.