Just up Highway 7, past Dover and Pleasant View, beyond God’s Little Half Acre and Moccasin Gap, a few miles north of Cowell and Mockingbird Hill, down in a valley carved out by the Little Buffalo River, you’ll find Jasper.
It’s about as close to Mayberry as you can get. And it’s not that far from wherever you are.
When you consider all that the area offers — access to the Buffalo River, the Little Buffalo, an adorable city park, an annual bluegrass festival, historic hotels, bugling elk, bears, unmatched vistas, and then the food — it’s most definitely worth the drive up Scenic 7.
As you drop off the hill and cruise into Jasper’s city square, in the westernmost corner of downtown sits Blue Mountain Bakery and Cafe. There’s a cast-iron stove right in the dining area and the opposite wall features a selection of jarred jams and jellies resting on weathered barn wood shelves. And when you take a seat, and that friendly face comes over and takes your order, get the lumberjack. Trust me.
It’s turkey, roast beef, lettuce, tomato, and purple onion piled on a whole wheat hoagie roll with a house condiment called jack sauce that is plate-licking delicious. Don’t ask about how I came up with that adjective. Sides include a house potato salad or coleslaw made with three kinds of cabbage, kale, carrots and another delicious house dressing. And it all tastes fresh as Ozark morning dew.