My friends Martha Ellen and Beau Talbot are history aficionados. They bought Scott’s Marlsgate Plantation in 2017, and they acquired a restaurant about a year ago. Today, their creation, Scott Station Restaurant, is popular with locals and has a fast-growing customer base.
Scott is a small, but history-rich community between Pulaski and Lonoke counties, slightly north of the Arkansas River. The area of farmland and oxbow lakes sits near two state parks and several historic spots. The area’s former Cotton Belt Railroad station was originally known as Scott Station, thus the name. Martha Ellen and Beau can discuss the community’s history with great knowledge and many colorful details.
The menu ranges from original appetizers and seafood to barbeque, unique sandwiches and steaks.
For my visit to Scott Station, a group of co-workers joined me, so Beau served us family-style. We were treated like family by the staff of the tastefully decorated restaurant where wall treatments and other touches pay homage to Scott’s history.
The first item delivered to our table was Medra’s Cheese Dip. Beau’s recipe is a winner. It’s not your typical restaurant-grade dip, but rather has a true made-from-scratch flavor and comes with warm, flash-fried tortilla chips. A platter of fresh pork rinds was delivered before the dip disappeared, so I tried dunking a pork rind in the cheese dip, and it was excellent.
Scott Station has successfully mimicked the fried onion rings offered at the legendary Fisher’s Restaurant in North Little Rock. The thin rings of fried goodness are listed as Fisher’s Onion Rings on the menu, out of respect to the recipe’s heritage. My group made a happy basket, as we ate the entire order. Any good Southern food restaurant must have fried green tomatoes, and their version is top-notch. The cornmeal-based breading perfectly balanced the tart green tomatoes. The dipping sauce was very tasty, as are all the made-fresh sauces at Scott Station.
The couple’s Marlsgate Plantation has an abundance of pecan trees, so, accordingly, Scott Station features pecan-smoked meats, including ribs, chopped pork, beef brisket, chicken and ribeye steaks. We were provided with platters of barbecue pork ribs and barbecue half-chickens.
The pork ribs were presented in an outstanding manner, the wonderful pecan smoke flavor trumped the beauty of the ribs. We all raved about the moistness of the ribs, which were fall-off-the-bone good. The chicken was equally tender and delicious.
Fried catfish is a catch that you don’t want to miss; a griddled option is available also. Scott Station offers fresh boiled shrimp year-round. During our visit, it was crawfish season, so Beau delivered a fantabulous platter of crawfish, corn on the cob, red potatoes and Andouille sausage. The mudbugs had just the right amount of heat and flavor. Additional seasoning was offered for my friends who wanted a little more kick.
Scott Station offers wonderful fried pies (also available frozen in the couple’s next-door store, The Curve Market, for those who want to take a taste of Scott home). My group was served a platter of different flavors, and it was fun sampling all of them. I loved them all, particularly the blueberry and apple. If you are a bread pudding fan, try Beau’s bread pudding with praline sauce. I’ve had it on several occasions and thoroughly enjoyed it every time.