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Front Porch Family Diner — Southern cooking done right

By: 26 September 2010 3 Comments

A few months ago, Ralph Hudson started the Front Porch Family Diner in Springdale, Ark.

There’s Hudson in the photo over to the left and you’ll find a display ad for the Front Porch Family Diner in the right sidebar of this site. After eating breakfast a couple of weeks ago at the Front Porch Family Diner, I’m even happier that Hudson decided to take out an ad with First Arkansas News. Why? The Front Porch Family Diner is, simply put, a great restaurant and I have no problem endorsing the establishment to anyone.

When I heard that Catfish John’s — a place that was almost legendary in northwest Arkansas — had gone out of business, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss. Fortunately, the old Catfish John’s building located at 669 E. Robinson Ave. in Springdale is now the home of the Front Porch Family Diner.

The Front Porch Family Diner on UrbanspoonHudson’s establishment is a “family diner” in the truest sense of the word. He’s got family running the place and — fortunately — providing a lot of the recipes. You want home cooking? You’ve got it — Hudson’s son David has provided a pulled pork recipe and you’ve got lunch specials built around meals that relatives have perfected over the years. Yes, it’s just fresh, Southern cooking for breakfast and lunch over there and it’s not to be missed.

My family stopped by a couple of weeks ago for breakfast and we noticed a couple of things almost immediately. For one thing, the atmosphere is open and friendly. The restaurant hadn’t been around for long, yet there were already regulars lounging around over their breakfasts, sipping coffee and enjoying taking part in the various conversations around the place.

Second, the prices are low. How low? How about $12 for a 16-ounce sirloin breakfast steak and a couple of eggs? The sirloin was tempting, but I had an omelet (you can fill those with ingredients of your choice) with ham, Swiss cheese and mushrooms. Once my meal arrived, I noticed I got a ton of food and it was all fresh. Canned mushrooms? Phooey on that! When Hudson says the food is fresh, he means it.

Everything arrived hot and absolutely fantastic and no one left hungry. The prep time was a bit on the slow side, but that’s to be expected — meals are made to order and come out just right. If you want quick, head on down to McDonald’s. If you want something that taste great and starts your morning off right, invest the extra few minutes you’ll have to wait and go to the Front Porch Family Diner.

How much did we enjoy the restaurant? Let me put it this way. My family woke up in Benton about 4 a.m. one morning, hopped in our truck by 4:30 a.m. for the express purpose of having breakfast at the Front Porch Family Diner. We weren’t a bit disappointed that we made that spur-of-the-moment trip.

My wife is from northwest Arkansas so we’re often up there to visit family. The Front Porch Family Diner will be a regular stop for us.

Oh, and get this — the restaurant has free Wi-Fi and you can look at the menu in advance by clicking the aforementioned ad and visiting the diner’s home on the Internet. Check it out and plan to pay the Front Porch Family Diner a visit soon.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =


  • Karen Blackstone said:

    I so agree with Mr. Nobles. The Front Porch Diner is the place to go for families and a hearty breakfast. I especially enjoy catfish Fridays for lunch. The Hudson family pictures line the walls and it is almost like I am walking into my grandmother’s kitchen drooling for the great food no matter what is served. Thanks Mr. Nobles for the article and to the Hudson family for keeping my tummy full and happy. :+) Karen Blackstone

  • Ethan C. Nobles (author) said:

    Thanks for the kind words, Ms. Blackstone. Hudson family has a great thing going up there and I do hope the restaurant will stay in business for awhile. It appears they’ve got a good crowd already and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see that grow.

  • Carol Schultz said:

    I, too, enjoy the Front Porch Diner in Springdale. The food is consistently good, prices are unbelievably affordable, and tea or coffee is free with your meal. Hamburgers and Chicken Fried Steak fill the plate. French Fries and Hash Browns are also fresh and delicious. I’m so happy to see a nice family restaurant in Springdale. I’ve already told my friends and neighbors about Front Porch and they enjoyed it.

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