(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

Model trains deliver your food directly to the table at this fun Arkansas eatery

From Sunday, July 21 through Friday, July 26, Sweetums and I drove 2,150 miles from Huntsville, Alabama, to Fort Worth, Texas, and back again. I am posting the stops in order of the trip. Most sites will be included in my upcoming Guide to Southern Oddities.

Stop No. 19: All Aboard Restaurant and Grill

6813 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, Ark. & 20320 I-30 North, No. 170, Benton, Ark.

The 19th and second-to-last post from our trip to Texas in July will be short but cute. On our last day of the trip, we stopped in Little Rock, Ark., specifically to eat at a restaurant I’d heard of called All Aboard Restaurant and Grill.

The interior of All Aboard Diner. Notice the tracks around the top and the trays that wait at each booth to collect the food then lower it to the table, (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)

This fun restaurant, which has another location in Benton, has a unique way of getting your order to your table: It is delivered by a train that runs around the ceiling then drops a box filled with food on a platform above the appropriate table. The platform is then lowered to the table by an elevator-type conveyance. The eatery’s website says it uses locally grown organic foods whenever possible.

While we were disappointed that the restaurant’s exterior was pretty bland – it’s located in a strip mall – the railroad-themed interior didn’t disappoint. Sweetums and his son Groover loved watching the trains come and go above us as they brought food to customers who had ordered before us. It was great fun watching the train drop our food tray into the “elevator” which then lowered it to the table. That part was over all too soon but, still, the food was yummy and it really was worth the side trip. It seems to be a popular place for families with small children.

The YouTube video below shows you how it works:

A train at All Aboard Restaurant. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
The exterior was boring but it was a fun experience. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
A train inside the All Aboard Restaurant. It has a tray attached beneath it where the food tray is placed. It then takes the tray to the correct table and drops it into the “elevator” that lowers it to the table. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
The food was yummy. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
A train at All Aboard Restaurant. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside All Aboard Restaurant. The track runs around the top. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside All Aboard Restaurant. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)

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