Bentonville, AR: Fred’s Is Still Good, But Needs Improvement


Fred’s Hickory Inn

1502 N. Walton Blvd
Bentonville, AR 72712
Phone number (479) 273-3303
I reviewed Fred’s last autumn and gave them fairly high marks. We returned for our Spring 2016 golf outing and to Fred’s, where we eat two nights in a row every trip as stipulated by the event dictators, I mean organizers. Anywho, these two visits were a bit different. On a Friday and Saturday night, when Fred’s should have been packed to the gills as they were in the Spring, you could shoot a cannon through the place without hitting a soul.
Katlin, our server both nights, was superb. Friendly, efficient, and from Chicago, she went above and beyond with one exception (to follow). I had the lasagna again on night one, coming with a side salad which was small, but fresh with romaine and a couple cherry tomato halves with bleu cheese dressing on the side, that was it, plain, simple and underwhelming. The lasagna was as good and bigger than I remember. A few of my buddies ordered it on night two after seeing mine and inquiring about the quality, all raving about the great size and flavor.
The problem arose on night two with my order of Grilled Chicken ($14). Coming with a side of my choice, I chose spaghetti Bolognese once again because someone on night one had said how good it was and had to see for myself if it was better than 4 months earlier. It was not. First, the grilled chicken consisted of a single half of a breast for $14, not a (full) “breast” as the menu indicated. It was small, overwhelmed by the side dish, but grilled well, tender and tasty. The Bolognese sauce had not been sitting in a warmer for hours as it had last time and it was fresh, but it was not like any Bolognese I have ever had. There was little if any ground beef to be found and I was not the only one to notice it. Big chunks of tomato, little seasoning, no milk or pancetta (bacon) and very little meat, not a traditional Bolognese (my Italian mother-in-law who lives in Naples, Italy calls it “Ragu”), not even close.
When we brought our disappointment to Katlin’s attention, she quickly ran to the back to get us more of the meatless sauce, but that did not help and even after sharing our dismay with the quality of the extra sauce, all that she said was “they didn’t use much meat today I guess”. That was an understatement. For a large group that eats at Fred’s four times a year, spending close to $4000.00 on food and drink and tipping very, very well, I would think there would have been an apology and possibly an offer of a complimentary dessert or some other form of remorse. There was not.
Again, nice place, decent prices, good food, although a very limited menu, and very good service. Katlin was big hit with the boys and I am sure she made out quite well in the tip department. The general manager recognized me from our last visit (and review), but never stopped by to greet us, ask how our meals were or apologize for the terrible Bolognese, which I found a bit odd, particularly for a group that drops $600 to $1,000 per visit.

CombatCritic Downgrades Fred’s Hickory Inn To 6 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better! 

Six Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

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Tabelog Reviewer CombatCritic
View my food journey on Zomato!

Read Chris S.‘s review of Fred’s Hickory Inn on Yelphttps://www.yelp.com/embed/widgets.js

Title: Bentonville, AR: Fred’s Is Still Good, But Needs Improvement

Key Words: Fred’s Hickory Inn, Fred’s, Fred, hickory, inn, Bentonville, Arkansas, Bella Vista, bella, vista, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: G2G = “Good To Go”


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Yachats, OR: Drift Inn And Try To Find The Front Desk Or Someone Who Cares … Good Luck!


Drift Inn
124 Hwy 101 North
Yachats, OR 97498
Phone: (541) 547-4477
Prices: $$$$
I found the place on Airbnb and the price was right at $50 per night, but the room was the size of a large closet and the reception I received upon arrival and in the restaurant’s bar was inadequate.

There is no reception for the hotel, so I had to find a server in the restaurant to show me to my room. It was small, but semi-functional with a queen size bed (that took up most of the room), a TV and DVD player, and a small table and folding chairs. When a single chair was unfolded, it was impossible to move or store anything in the room except for under the bed (which I did).

The reservation said “bed and breakfast”, but when I inquired with Gretchen, who I assumed was one of the owners/managers, she said “it was a mistake”, but grudgingly giving me a coupon for coffee and a muffin for ONE of the three mornings I was staying there.

The food in the restaurant was overpriced and the bartender (and co-owner), Ernie, was a rude jerk. Required to sit at the bar even though tables were available (because I was alone I guess), I tried to make conversation and ask a question about the local draft beers to Ernie, but he was either too busy or too important to respond. The guy is a bit of an ass**** and the food was mediocre, so I do not understand why they are so busy. Must be Ernie’s jovial personality!

I stopped for a beer on my way back to the room after eating at Heidi’s Italian Dinners (where the food was good and the reception friendly BTW) one evening around 9:15PM and after being there for about a half hour (it was 9:45PM) I asked for a final draft beer before going to my room, but was told rather rudely by Ernie that they closed at 9:30 and it would not be possible. No “last call”, a crappy attitude, and a bar that closes at 9:30pm … what kind of place are they running?

In all, it was a cheap, very small place to stay, but they obviously do not care about hotel (and I use that term loosely) guests, focusing on keeping locals happy and drunk. Yachats was a quiet, lovely, small town and I had much warmer receptions at other bars and restaurants nearby where I spent most of my leisure time and money.

Combat Recommendation: Call Gordon Ramsey and have Hotel Hell come and give you some tips on how to properly run a hotel, restaurant and bar.

CombatCritic Gives Drift Inn 3 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!

Three Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

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Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Yachats, OR: Drift Inn And Try To Find The Front Desk Or Someone Who Cares … Good Luck!

Key Words: Drift Inn, drift, Inn, Airbnb, in, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, hotel, bar, Yachats, Oregon, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: SNAFU = “Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”

Bella Vista, AR: "Fred’s" Is Back In Business And They Mean "Business"!


Fred’s Hickory Inn

1502 N. Walton Blvd
Bentonville, AR 72712
Phone; (479) 273-3303
Website: fredshickoryinn.net

I will update this review in more detail as time allows, but I wanted to get it on the books ASAP.

Great place, very good food, excellent service and fair prices.

They accommodated our 20-person group without a flinch, just like we were a party of 4 dropping in for dinner. The drinks and food came post haste and with not just a smile, but a story or two and some good humored jabs from our server.

Excellent barbecue, they also have steaks, seafood, and pasta dishes, although their Bolognese sauce on the side of spaghetti I had was the primary reason for the one-star downgrade. On night two I had the lasagna which was pretty good, not quite like my mom, grandma, mother-in-law, and Zia Gina make, but not bad.

Prices range from $14-$35+ for dinner entrees, including soup or salad and a side or two, very fair for food and service of this caliber.

CombatCritic Gives Fred’s Hickory Inn A Very Respectable 8 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Thumbs-Up … More Bombs Are Better … See You In The Fall Y’All! 
Eight Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



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Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: “Fred’s” Is Back In Business And They Mean “Business”!


Key Words: Fred’s Hickory Inn, Fred’s, Freds, hickory, inn, Bella Vista, AR, Bentonville, Arkansas, barbecue, BarBQ, steak, pasta, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: WTFO! = “What-The-Fuck … Over!”

Somerset, PA: Quaint B&B And Superb Hospitality Equates To An Excellent Value


Somerset Country Inn

329 N. Center Avenue
Somerset, PA 15501
Phone: (814) 443-1005
Website: somersetcountryinn.com
Prices: $$$$

If traveling in South Central Pennsylvania, just off of I-70/76 in Somerset, Pennsylvania sits the Somerset Country Inn. Run by Dan and Joyce, a wonderful couple who made us feel welcome from the get-go, this five bedroom Victorian home is decorated in period furniture and as clean as can be. 
Dan and Joyce have obviously put a lot of work, money and love into the property and grounds. The yard is perfectly manicured and the inside of the house is nicely decorated and comfortable. They are some of the nicest people we have met in quite some time and enjoyed chatting with them upon arrival and over breakfast the next day.
Our large bedroom had a comfy queen size bed and private bath ($95/night including breakfast). We also had the first tube television I have seen in quite a while, one small detail that needs correcting. There was plenty of room for us, our two large suitcases, and a couple small bags even without a large closet.
We ended up driving to Rizzo’s in Windber, about 25 miles away, for dinner the night of arrival because it was our anniversary and nothing in town looked that appealing. The next morning we awoke to hot coffee, sweet orange juice, fresh fruit, and delicious French toast stuffed with cream cheese and covered with a fresh blueberry sauce.
We then said our farewells to our new friends and headed off into the cool, drizzly spring morning, looking for some covered bridges and the Flight 93 National Memorial about 20 miles away.
CombatCritic Gives The Somerset Country Inn 8 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!


Eight Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Somerset, PA: Quaint B&B And Superb Hospitality Equates To An Excellent Value

Key Words: Somerset Country Inn, Somerset, PA, Pennsylvania, country, inn, B&B, bed, and, breakfast, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, hotel, accommodation, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Translation for Civilians: WTFO – “What-The-Fuck … Over!”

Luxury? Inn and Suites – Silverthorne, Colorado



The cheapest, I didn’t say “cheap”, lodging in Keystone Resort (Colorado) area is the Luxury Inn and Suites. Located in Silverthorne, Colorado just north of I-70 and one block east of the main drag, the hotel/motel is conveniently located near shops, restaurants, markets, and more.

I paid $69 weekday and $90 weekend on Hotwire, but when I got to the hotel they were advertising $54.95 weekday rates. My payment to Hotwire came to $320 plus tax for four nights, which seems a bit high for a 1 STAR property, but the rooms are clean with a small fridge and microwave, AC, TV with HBO, small indoor pool with Jacuzzi, and continental breakfast included. Even though I paid an average of $80 per night, a value in this overpriced tourist area, I do not appreciate paying $15 more than the advertised rate people simply walking in off the street pay. Hotwire.com should be ashamed of themselves!

Breakfast is “OK”, with hot coffee, bagels, English muffins, and donuts still in the plastic box from the supermarket … classy!  The staff are not very friendly, but helpful when pressed into action.  They seem to care less that you exist, much less being a breathing human being and “valued” customer? Checkout is at 10:00 AM, so do not plan on sleeping in.  I was lucky enough to talk the manager (owner?) into an 11:30 AM checkout on my last day, but it took some persistence and smooth talking to get him to grudgingly agree.

The rooms are moderate in size and fairly clean, although the tile in the bathroom was cracked and some of the furniture looked as though it was purchased at the local Goodwill. Wireless internet is free, but slower than molasses in January…aargh, aargh. The “king” bed I was supposed to sleep in was a few testicles short of kingliness, looking more like a “queen” to me (no disrespect intended to my LGBT audience). It was fairly comfortable nonetheless.
The indoor pool was small, yet clean, with a decent size Jacuzzi that had whirlpool jets with a prostate problem…not a very forceful stream if you know what I mean. 

Exterior doors are open all night with no supervision, so if you are looking for security, keep on looking!

CombatCritic gives the unluxurious Luxury Inn and Suites 4 OUT OF 10 BOMBS for travel value…and they only did that well because everything else is a rip-off in the holiday destination of Keystone (Silverthorne/Dillon/Frisco), Colorado. 

Read more travel, hotel, restaurant reviews … AND MORE on my blog:


CombatCritic … OUT!

Key Words: accomodations, basic, breakfast, clean, Colorado, convenient, disrepair, hotel, inn, internet, luxury, luxury inn and suites, motel, overpriced, security, Silverthorne, suites,