High South on a Roll at Crys­tal Bridges

The tastes of the Ozarks are served in the midst of the Chi­huly Ex­hi­bi­tion


Since open­ing on Novem­ber 11, 2011, Crys­tal Bridges Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art has taken Northwest Arkansas by storm with the in­cred­i­ble ex­hibits, spec­tac­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture and in­ter­ac­tive ac­tiv­i­ties for all vis­i­tors to en­joy. It has quickly lived up to all ex­pec­ta­tions and be­come a world-renowned art mu­seum. Lo­cated at 600 Mu­seum Way in Ben­tonville, the 120-acre park has been vis­ited by hun­dreds of thou­sands each year, from Arkansas na­tives to cul­tural tourists from around across the globe.

Many who have toured the mu­seum have likely tasted the de­li­cious food served at the restau­rant Eleven, lo­cated near the main en­trance of the mu­seum. Many are not aware of the re­cent ad­di­tion to the culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence at Crys­tal Bridges. “The food truck it­self has be­come quite pop­u­lar, it is brand new through a part­ner­ship with Coca-Cola, we de­signed and built this food truck, ‘High South on a Roll’ to ac­com­mo­date the kick­off of ‘Chi­huly’. This was our first big out­door ex­hibit,” Case Dighero, Crys­tal Bridges’ Culi­nary Di­rec­tor, said.

The Chi­huly ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures work from artist Dale Chi­huly that can be seen in the mu­seum’s spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion gal­leries and on the North For­est Trail that leads vis­i­tors through the woods pass­ing gor­geous sculp­tures. The trail al­most makes a ‘fig­ure-eight’ with a stop­ping point in the mid­dle. That point fea­tures an in­cred­i­ble food truck sur­rounded by many ta­bles and sculp­tures. Chef Melody “Mel” Lane, was the in­ven­tor of ‘High South on a Roll’, which fea­tures ‘High South’ sand­wiches. The term ‘High South’ may not be a term peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with, but they are fa­mil­iar with the taste.

“High South came about when we opened the mu­seum, we wanted a way to de­scribe the cui­sine that we served. We wanted to be true to the style of food from the Ozarks, this part of the coun­try. So, here at the food truck, we wanted some­thing of High South. What we de­cided to do was cre­ate these hot, but­tered rolls, then stuff them with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent things,” Dighero said.

The pot roast sand­wich that re­minds cus­tomers of their grand­mother’s pot roast, which has a gar­lic aioli on top, or tur­key that has a Di­jon cran­berry sauce, a bar­be­cue pulled-pork sand­wich, a sand­wich for non-meat eaters has heir­loom toma­toes and fresh moz­zarella cheese from the lo­cal farmer’s mar­ket, or a shrimp re­moulade with green. De­li­cious sand­wiches that all have the same base around them, a but­tered roll, but yet all are so dif­fer­ent in taste and bring back dif­fer­ent mem­o­ries. There may be only five sand­wiches, but there is truly one for every­one.

This food truck is dif­fer­ent from other food trucks around the Northwest Arkansas area. To ex­pe­ri­ence this de­li­cious cui­sine in the for­est, cus­tomers must pur­chase a ticket to tour the mu­seum. Ex­pe­ri­ence the fab­u­lous art and taste in­cred­i­ble food, a win-win.

The other culi­nary dif­fer­ence in High South is the side dish. Most cus­tomers would ex­pect a side dish for a food truck such as High South on a Roll to be like wa­ter­melon, chips or potato salad; which are all avail­able as well. But, the se­cret side that ac­com­pa­nies each sand­wich is a fresh car­rot and radish.

“Ev­ery bas­ket that comes out has a car­rot and a radish. That is sim­ply be­cause what is more High South than a radish or a car­rot that comes from your fam­i­lies gar­den or the

lo­cal farmer’s mar­ket. It’s re­ally funny, but it is ac­tu­ally the first thing peo­ple eat. It has been cleaned, but we haven’t taken the skin off, and it is the first thing that peo­ple eat. It is re­ally in­ter­est­ing to see that be­cause we didn’t know how it would go,” Dighero said.

An­other item on the menu that has a lo­cal tie are the ‘Pedal Pops’. Which are all nat­u­ral frozen fruit pops that are, as their motto says, “Sim­ple In­gre­di­ents are Sim­ply De­li­cious”. They come in many dif­fer­ent flavors in­clud­ing an al­co­holic pop. “We serve Pedal Pops, cre­ated by Mike Thomp­son, a lo­cal ven­dor, who makes his own re­ally de­li­cious pop­si­cles,” Dighero said. To go with the Pedal Pops, High South on a Roll also serves lo­cal beer and wine at all times as well as Coca-Cola prod­ucts in a can and bot­tles of Dasani wa­ter.

The ad­di­tion of High South on a Roll, and the out­door ex­hi­bi­tions have added a new as­pect of Crys­tal Bridges for all to en­joy.

“It’s be­cause there is na­ture, there is art, it is com­mu­nity, there is food, it has all of those things and we are in a space where we can ac­com­mo­date over a thou­sand peo­ple if we need to,” Dighero said. “I was here from the be­gin­ning, I have been a part of all the events that go on at Crys­tal Bridges, Chi­huly Satur­day Night is the best event that we do.” Each Satur­day in the Ozark Woods, just past all of the in­cred­i­ble sculp­tures cre­ated by Dale Chi­huly and the High South on a Roll food truck, is a large space where the staff sets up a stage and turns the ex­hibit into a mag­i­cal wood­land am­phithe­ater.

“We just pro­gram this space in a way that is un­like any in Northwest Arkansas,” Dighero said. “There is an open space where we put a stage, and have had duets, Pink Floyd cover bands, we have had funk, and we have had jazz, just all kinds of stuff.” To adapt to the large num­ber of peo­ple that come each Satur­day night, High South on a Roll changes their set-up to help re­duce the lines.

“We set up a large bar to the left of the food truck, so we will have three or four lines there sell­ing beer and wine, then food truck it­self sell­ing food,” Dighero said. To go along with the sep­a­rate bar, Mike Thomp­son of Pedal Pops, also comes out with his own tent to sell his pop­si­cles.

Dighero has been blown away with all of the great feed­back from the High South on a Roll cus­tomers. “The feed­back has been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive, Dighero said. “From the mo­ment that we opened, peo­ple have em­braced the whole idea.” Both the daily vis­i­tors to the ex­hibit and the Satur­day night live mu­sic on the trail have been won­der­fully pop­u­lar.

For more in­for­ma­tion on High South on a Roll, the Chi­huly Ex­hi­bi­tion or who is per­form­ing at Chi­huly Satur­day Night, visit crys­tal­bridges.com.

High South on a Roll is open Sun­day and Mon­day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day from 10 a.m. un­til 9 p.m. and Satur­day 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed on Tues­days.


The High South on a Roll food truck is lo­cated in the midst of the Chi­huly Ex­hi­bi­tion at Crys­tal Bridges with fan­tas­tic sand­wiches


De­li­cious Pedal Pops can be found at High South on a Roll. They are lo­cally made fruit pop­si­cles that come in many dif­fer­ent flavors

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