comfort food


This month, AY is bringing you the Comfort Food Bucket List, showcasing some of the best restaurants with food that tastes just like Grandma’s homemade cookin’. This week, AY About You President and Publisher Heather Baker and Nichole Niemann with Arkansas Style try out cuisine from Holly’s Country Cookin’ in Conway!


The ladies start off their meal with a Southern classic: Chicken & Dumplings.




“Everything in here is homemade in-house, so you have got to come here and check all of this food out,” Baker said. “It actually has taste. You taste the pepper and the spices. It is so delicious. This is one of those foods that I would totally indulge in.”


“Lots of love in comfort food and this one does not look like it’s gonna disappoint,” Niemann said. “It just makes me happy. I taste the chicken flavor, the creamy gravy that it’s in.”


The next menu item is a traditional comfort food dish that people either grimace at when they hear the name, or they get excited for it: Meatloaf. At Holly’s, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll like it.




“Mmm, tomato base, ketchup, it’s so good,” Baker said. “It tastes like my grandma made it.”


“When I would go home from college, I would ask my mom to make meatloaf. It just makes your heart happy,” Niemann said. “Mmm! So good! And a side of mashed potatoes?”


Holly’s is only open for lunchtime hours, but one of the perks is you’re able to choose a meat and two sides, which Baker explained as Niemann happily mixed together her corn and mashed potatoes for a delicious bite.


The two then move on to the Country Fried Steak with sides of fried okra and mac and cheese.




“This is the best food in the entire world,” Baker said. “Homemade gravy, breaded in-house. Oh my gosh, that is so delicious. That’s the best chicken fried steak I’ve ever had.”


“Mmm, the breading on that. So buttery, tasty, flaky,” Niemann said.


Next up, the pair try a side of hashbrown casserole, which they both loved, just before digging into some fried chicken with sides of turnip greens and fried potatoes.




“Oh my goodness, this is so delicious,” Baker said.


“Look at the breading. When you talk about something you can’t cook, I can’t do fried chicken,” Niemann said. “Mmm, you don’t even need barbecue sauce on that.”


To conclude their meal, Baker and Niemann try Holly’s delicious dessert pies.




“Oh, wow,” Niemann said after trying the coconut meringue pie, which she’s never had before. “Okay, I get it. That meringue on top – it’s like eating a cloud. The crust is so flaky and light, totally homemade.”




“I’m a chocolate lover and this is homemade chocolate pie,” Baker said. “Oh my gosh, that is divine.”




“Oh my gosh, I could literally put my face in this,” Niemann said after tasting the banana cream pie.


According to Baker, Holly’s Country Cookin’ provided some of the best comfort food she’s ever had. If you’re looking for a home-cooked meal, Holly’s is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.



You can watch Baker and Niemann try out even more local favorites on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. on KARKClick here to view the full list of restaurants on the Comfort Foods Bucket List.


Photos by Ryan Parker
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