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Blast from the Past with Coy’s Southern Eats


Coy’s Steakhouse in Hot Springs burned in 2009, long before I moved to The Natural State and could experience the iconic restaurant known for its dry-aged steaks. I have no personal history with the restaurant that began in 1945, but by all accounts, it was a beloved spot, as evident by its “Gone But Not Forgotten Award” from the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in 2018. And while the restaurant won’t be making a comeback, you can still get a taste of the past with Coy’s Southern Eats products.

And yes, while Coy’s was known for its steak, the dressing is what most folks still talk about today, says Tracy Manning Brown, current Director of Business Development for Coy’s Southern Eats and whose parents bought Coy’s Steakhouse in 1972.

“If you ask just about anyone what they remember the most about Coy’s, the answer will be our famous house salad dressing. My son, Clay Caffey, was raised at Coy’s in stacked highchairs, watching SpongeBob on television at the bar. As he grew up, he also found a passion for flavor and the grill. In 2018, Clay started a company, RCC Southern. In 2019, after my dad, Jim Manning, passed away, Clay began rebranding and reintroducing the original recipes, flavors, and the legacy of Coy’s to the next generation,” says Brown.

The line of products includes Famous House Dressing, Famous House Seasoning, Garlic Butter Seasoning, Wild Game Breading, and Wild Game Seasoning. I recently ordered the first three items and have been using them ever since. The dressing comes in a packet with easy instructions. It takes about two minutes to make, and the taste will remind you of a better version of Thousand Island Dressing. I recommend adding about twice as much milk than the suggested amount, especially if you are looking for a thinner consistency.

The Famous House Seasoning is great on just about anything. So far, I’ve used it on cod, grilled chicken, and pork loin and have really enjoyed the flavors. I detected a punch of celery salt in there, which I love. The Garlic Butter Seasoning has a nice, buttery flavor with a subtle pop of heat and is perfect on anything from a baked potato to popcorn.

They are all fantastic products, and as it turns out, the family is no stranger to the seasoning game.

“We have sold our house dressings and seasonings for years, and we have also always been in the people business. Those who remember Coy’s have great memories of eating at the restaurant. We still get to hear the stories and people have huge smiles on their faces when they talk about Coy’s. The legacy is something we can still be proud of and want to share, right now, even if there is currently not a Coy’s Steakhouse to visit,” says Brown. She continues, “We want people who remember us to have a smile on their face when they use our products because they bring back great memories. We also want the people who are just learning who we are to be cooking with our seasonings and dressings, experiencing flavors and recipes that are new to them while they create their own memories.”

It is super easy to get the products. I ordered right from the website and everything was delivered within a few days. Coy’s also has items at The Drug Emporium in Little Rock, The Curve Market in Scott and Haskell Hardware in Haskell.

“The response has been incredible. We are already getting reorders, which is even better than a good review,” says Brown.

I plan on reordering myself, which is the ultimate compliment.

Did You Know?

If a famous person came into Coy’s Steakhouse for dinner, it was tradition to have them sign their chair. Guests who knew that would always turn their chairs over to see if anyone fun and famous had sat in that seat.

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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