IT IS WHAT IT IS. Simple and sans pretense. Without airs or anything affected, here it is: strawberry shortcake, served in a Styrofoam bowl. Fresh Arkansas strawberries, thin-cut, almost wafer thin, a mound of vanilla soft serve, whipped cream and chopped pecans, a sphere of goodness roughly the shape, size and density of a flat-bottomed 16-inch softball, with four homemade biscuits flared out on the sides like the flaps of a box. To look at, as it’s made by teenage workers on the other side of the counter, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the hour drive—braving the rain and post-workday exhaustion. Even if the hand-drawn paper sign out front claims it’s world famous. Even if the older gentleman in front of you, deeply tanned and concerned about his dessert’s portability, had driven up from Little Rock, too. But then, sitting by the window, watching as the sun crests the treeline across the road, you take a bite.
Strawberry shortcake is available from the Bulldog Restaurant in Bald Knob—3614 Arkansas Highway 367—from late March until September.