By Rachel Birdsell
TFW Contributing Writer
I was out at War Eagle Mill last year around this time for the crafts fair. I wanted to eat at the Bean Palace then, but it was a little too crowded. Since it’s cooled down I thought a bowl of beans was necessary, so I loaded up the partner in dine and we headed to War Eagle.
Fair warning: the restaurant is on the third floor of the mill and there isn’t an elevator. If you are unable to walk up the stairs, they will set up a table for up to 6 people downstairs. I viewed the stairs as a way to work up an appetite on the way up and as a way to work off a little bit of lunch on the way down.
Food for Thought
Because I’d driven to the Bean Palace for beans, that’s what I ordered. The beans came with a slab of cornbread and a side of coleslaw. I added a side of fried potatoes, because I’m pretty sure that if you don’t eat fried potatoes with your beans and cornbread, you’ll be eaten by zombies.
The bowl of beans was quite ample. The beans were smoky and had a touch of black pepper in them. They were tender without being mushy. I plopped on a spoonful or two of chopped onion that they had at the condiment bar and the beans went from good to great. When I added some of their Vidalia Onion with Jalapeno Hot Sauce to the beans, I was in Bean Valhalla.
The cornbread wasn’t as sweet as I like, but it was very corny. Maybe I should say that it had a very strong corn flavor. I remedied the lack of sweetness by baptizing it with honey.
The slaw was good enough to pass muster, but the potatoes failed horribly. I think maybe I got the batch that had been sitting under the warmer for awhile. They were kind of like eating potato flavored super balls — a little rubbery for my liking. You’ll be happy to know that I didn’t try bouncing any of them on the floor.
On A Scale Of 1-5 Sporks
Atmosphere: 4.25 vintage sporks with rusted tin handles. The wooden floors look as though they’re original to the mill, and the walls are covered with antiques. If you love antiques as much as I do, you’ll want to make enough time to look around and maybe lust a little bit.
Food: 4.35 deep fried sporks with a cornmeal coating. If I could have just rated the beans and cornbread, the rating would have been much higher. Unfortunately, the Super Ball Potatoes were the underachiever that lowered the spork count.
Staff: 4.80 niobium sporks with light-up tines. Everyone was friendly and they all seemed to be happy about what they were doing.
Dollars Spent: My meal was around $10 which seems to be a little high for such a simple meal, especially considering that I only had water as my drink.
Chance of Returning: I’m not sure I can justify spending $10 on such a simple meal. However, the Bean Palace does offer sandwiches made with meats from Ozark Smokehouse at reasonable prices, and some cobblers that are probably well worth the less-than-$3-price tag.
If you know of a great eating place, drop me a line at email@example.com. I’ll check it out and let you know what I think.