Image by Kat Robinson
Emmy's German Restaurant's Deep Fried Cheese is among the stellar German dishes on the menu and is one of its bestsellers.

It started with a love story -- an American soldier stationed in a small town not far from Frankfurt, shortly after World War II.  Al Thome met Emmy Werner in Offenbach.  He fell in love and married her.  

But it wasn't just a pretty German girl he'd fallen head over heels for. He fell for Emmy's cooking, and learned everything he could from her and her mother in the kitchen -- about schnitzels and sauerbraten, spaetzel and streudel. The Thones brought back to America with them these recipes... and when they moved to Fort Smith in 1960, they saw a community that was hungry for new ideas in food.  Two years later, they opened their restaurant at its first site.

Though the Thones have passed on, the son of a family that owns another Fort Smith culinary institution has kept the recipes and the restaurant alive.  Learn more about the history of Emmy's German Restaurant at Tie Dye Travels with Kat Robinson.

This is the first in a series on historical restaurants in the state of Arkansas from Kat Robinson, a food and travel writer based in Little Rock who details her many adventures on the Tie Dye Travels With Kat Robinson blog. For a look at the Arkansas restaurant timeline, click here.