At Restaurant Eugene, we pay extraordinary attention to our source ingredients. From the pantry items, most all of which are homemade, to the vegetables, the grains, the seafood and meats. Right down to the water we pour table-side. We want to showcase the absolute best of everything the south has to offer.
Mt. Valley Spring Water was first bottled in 1871. Chef Linton Hopkins remembers drinking this Arkansas quencher as a young boy on hot days touring farms with his grandfather, Eugene Holeman, the restaurant's eponym. But nostalgia alone wouldn't place it on the menu at Restaurant Eugene. The product has long been appreciated and even celebrated for its good taste. It has twice won the title of “Best Tasting Non-Carbonated Bottled Water in the World” at the prestigious Berkley Springs International Water Tasting Competition.
Bottled at the source near Hot Springs, where it is scrutinized and tested daily, the water is guarded like a museum-quality antiquity. The spring site and the 2000 acres surrounding it have been carefully protected for over 140 years. It really is a precious, ancient thing. Geologists have determined that the cycle beginning with rain water falling on and filtering through the rocks and soil of Cedar Mountain into a deep subterranean aquifer and up again into the spring takes 3,500 years. Along the way, the water collects minerals and special qualities. Some believe it has healing properties. It's relatively low in sodium. High in calcium and magnesium, and even naturally contains fluoride. See for yourself. Perhaps what's most outstanding about this water is that it has a naturally high pH. The alkalinity gives it a wonderful mouth feel and is a great compliment to food and wine which are typically more acidic.
Mt. Valley Spring Water has been served in the United States Senate and enjoyed by multiple U.S. presidents. Calvin Coolidge was the first American president to serve Mountain Valley Spring Water in the White House. Following a heart attack in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower drank the water on the advice of his physician. Bill Clinton enjoyed the water, and even spoke at the re-dedication of historic company headquarters and visitor center.
Other notable connoisseurs of the water included Elvis Presley and boxing champions Joe Louis, Gene Tunney, and Sugar Ray Robinson. Rodney Dangerfield even sang it's praises on Larry King Live. Consumption of the water has not been limited to humans: thoroughbreds such as Secretariat, Nashua, Kelso, Bold Ruler, and Sunday Silence were trained on this famous spring water.
Most importantly, this water really is a southern treasure --- a taste of the place and the land, which is the most compelling reason of all to include it on the list of fine products we serve to our guests.