Archive for category Buzz Word

Buzz Word: Gumbo with Cheese Grits at Maddie’s Place

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BUZZ WORD … each month a word is posted over on The Mighty Rib Facebook page, followed with a request for reader suggestions centered-around the term. One of the suggestions is randomly picked, dish is eaten, and a review is written.

This month’s BUZZ WORD was “cheese.”

The cheese grits at Maddie’s Place, suggested by Dc, was chosen, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I had recently stole a few bites of Maddie’s shrimp and grits and was more than delighted with the outcome.

Dc recommended I order a bowl of gumbo, but instead of the inclusion of the standard rice, ask for a scoop of cheese grits. Cheese grits … in gumbo?!? Never heard of it, but this is Buzz Word, and if you suggest it, I do it.

And here’s how the conversation went down with our server.

Me: “I would like the gumbo, but instead of rice, I’d like some cheese grits.”
Server: (pause…stares at me) “That can be done.”

Boom!

Well, I honestly couldn’t be more delighted with the suggestion. Heck, I may never order gumbo any other way. The slightly spicy gumbo base had that classic burgundy/brownish hue, along with a deep richness imparted by the flavorful sausage. The creamy grits, once mixed into the gumbo, added a subtle coolness and thicker consistency to the dish. The chopped scallions on top were like icing on the cake.

Kudos, Dc … and thank you to everyone for all your suggestions!

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Buzz Word: Terry’s Cheeseburger Hits the Spot

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BUZZ WORD … where each month a word is posted over on The Mighty Rib Facebook page, followed with a request for reader suggestions centered-around the term. One of the suggestions is randomly picked, dish is eaten, and a review is written.

This month’s BUZZ WORD was “burger.”

The cheeseburger at Terry’s Finer Foods was suggested by Jacquelyn, which was cool, because I had no idea Terry’s even had one on its menu.

Turns out, it’s a pretty damn good representative in the wildly debated burger field. A sizable patty (I’m guessing at least a 1/3-pound) sits atop a soft bun and comes with all the essentials, including: red onion, Romaine lettuce, pickles and tomato. This is a French restaurant, so the cheese options are plentiful, as is the amount of it they layer on your burger. I opted for the Swiss, which proved to be an excellent choice. As you can see, the abundance of cheese really made for a visually appealing burger. I’m guessing this is what originally captivated Jacquelyn.

I asked the burger to be cooked to “medium.” And although it was juicy, I’d say the burger was just a tad overcooked and under-seasoned. Also, I’m not a fan of the bulkier Romaine lettuce as it creates a somewhat messier eating experience.

But these are very slight criticisms, and as a whole, I’d say Terry’s fresh ground beef cheeseburger ($11.50) probably falls in the top 20 range in Little Rock.

The bottom line is that Terry’s cheeseburger certainly won’t blow you away, but it deserves a try. You’ll find that it’s definitely respectable enough to inspire a return visit and a repeat order.

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Buzz Word: Three-Pound Porterhouse at Doe’s

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BUZZ WORD is back! Each month, a word is posted over on The Mighty Rib Facebook page, followed with a request for reader suggestions centered-around the term. One of the suggestions is randomly picked, dish is eaten, and a review is written.

This month’s BUZZ WORD was “steak.”

As expected, many folks weighed-in on this one. Some suggestions would have downright bankrupted me…see Arthur’s.

Thankfully, Doe’s won out.

You know Doe’s, the Little Rock landmark/institution that’s still just as famous as any restaurant in town. But guess what? I’ve only eaten there once, and only ordered the fried shrimp and tamales. Yes, don’t laugh, this was my first time to eat steak at Doe’s. For the past year or so, a buddy of mine has been pestering me to order the steak. “Shalin, just go to Doe’s, order the 3-lb Porterhouse and get it medium rare. Just do it.”

And that’s exactly what I did.

A Porterhouse is a thick-cut, monster-sized piece of meat comprised of a t-shaped bone that separates two sections of the meat—the larger short loin and the smaller tenderloin.

So we ordered the 3-lb. Porterhouse ($19.95 per pound), which came with fries, buttered toast and soaked salad. The steak was served family-style, and, along with the accompanying side dishes, comfortably fed our lunchtime table of four. What stood out was the no-frills simplicity of this steak. It’s as primal of a meat-eating experience as you’re going to get in a restaurant. The slab of meat is broiled and then brought to the table soaking in its own deliciously fatty juices.

One bite and it’s obvious why this steak is so damn popular. That combination of the crispy charred crust and tender, medium-rare meat is what separates this steak-eating experience from so many others. There was just the right amount of fat laced throughout the meat, providing for a rich buttery flavor, and a soft texture throughout.

Truthfully, I’m not a lover of steak. The biggest compliment I can give Doe’s is that I not only loved my Porterhouse, but I honestly can’t wait to go back and do it again.

This Little Rock landmark lived up to the hype.

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Buzz Word: Goin’ Fishin’ at Natchez

Pompano with Lentils & Walnuts

Pompano with Lentils & Walnuts

I will post a “buzz word” on The Mighty Rib Facebook page–then ask for reader suggestions for one dish that includes the word. One is randomly picked, dish is eaten, and review is written.

Our word was fish. Plenty of wonderful suggestions flowed in via the comment box, but in the end, Zara’s “Any fish from Natchez” won out.

You’ll find no complaints from me. I’d been to Natchez just a few weeks ago, even ordered the tile fish, and was blown away by the quality and freshness of their product.

Would history repeat itself? Yes and no.

No, in that the tile fish wasn’t the Catch of the Day last Tuesday. It was pompano. Yes, in that the fish lived up to my prior experience, and may have been even exceeded it.

Natchez’s pan-seared pompano, a firm yet flaky white fish, proved to be just what I was looking for in a nice, light lunchtime option. The mild-tasting fish—which rested on a bed of green lentils—was elevated by Chef Jones’ brilliant use of a brown butter sauce that both added flavor and moisture to the lentils and pompano. Toasted walnuts also gave the dish a nice added layer of texture. The generous portion of lentils resting under the fish were well-seasoned and tender to the bite.

My slight criticism with the pompano dish was with its overall presentation. A contrasting-colored ingredient, such as a sliced roasted red pepper, needed to be on the plate to make for a more visually appealing dish.

But make no mistake, the taste was fantastic…and when it comes to a truly great piece of fish, Natchez is your place.

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