Archive for category The Dish

The Queens Deluxe at NYPD Pizza

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NYPD Pizza has been serving up some of this town’s best pizza for a few years now.

The restaurant gets very little attention, probably in large part because of its far West Little Rock location. Often times, folks in this town just hate driving more than 15 minutes for anything, and that includes good pizza. Sorry, it’s true.

Now, I say NYPD has good pizza, but specifically, I can only vouch for one pie … The Queens Deluxe. It’s so tasty that we never order anything else.

The Queens Deluxe is NYPD’s version of a supreme pizza, loaded with sausage, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and mozzarella cheese. The key to this pizza is the ample, yet not overwhelming amount of toppings that rest on the thin, New York-style crust. Heck, you can even fold each slice and eat it as New Yorkers do. The crust is thin and chewy in the middle with a nice crispiness on the ends. Also, count me a fan of the thinly sliced veggies. I hate when you get big chunks of green pepper on the pie. Same with onions. It’s this attention to detail and meticulous application of the other toppings that separates NYPD’s pizza from much of the competition.

Will you be transported straight to New York after biting into this pizza? No. Absolutely not. But it’s pretty damn good and certainly falls in my Top 5 pizza joints in Little Rock. It’s also worth mentioning that leftover NYPD reheats quite well in the oven. 400 degrees for about 10 minutes should do the trick.

NYPD Pizza
6015 Chenonceau Blvd
Open Daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Area delivery available; Take-out

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The Dish: Chicken 65 at Flavor of India

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Monthly Feature, By Jarred Kibbey

Each month, Jarred highlights one of his favorite dishes from around Little Rock.

I have said it many times and I will say it again, Indian food is my comfort food. There is something about the curries, samosas, and naan that make me just want to eat a big meal and then take a nap. This was particularly damaging to my afternoon work productivity when I worked within walking distance to an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. I can safely say that I have tried almost every Indian dish in town, but there is one dish that stands out above all others.

Chicken 65 at Flavor of India.

I have a love/hate relationship with this dish. I love it because it’s incredibly flavorful with an abundance heat, but it still maintains delicate flavors. I hate it (or rather, myself) because I am convinced that it is the ultimate midnight snack. The instructions for eating this dish are very specific:

1) Order any dish not named Chicken 65 and enjoy. I suggest the Lamb Kadai (spice level medium) with garlic naan.
2) Place a to-go order of Chicken 65.
3) Upon arriving home, place Chicken 65 in fridge.
4) Wait until you are almost ready for bed (but preferably before you brush your teeth) and remove from fridge.
5) Eat the dish cold, directly from the container, while standing in front of open fridge.
6) Hate yourself.

This dish has everything I love in a midnight snack. It somehow gets better when it is cold. It is spicy with a hint of sweetness. It is fried. All of these things make it for a great dish to enjoy right before bed and then wish you hadn’t the next day.

Most Indian restaurants in Little Rock serve Chicken 65, but Flavor of India’s is unlike any other in town. Some establishments drown it in sauce and the breading cannot hold up and turns in to soggy bits of chicken in sauce. Others put way too much breading and it is like eating a spicy chicken nugget. Lastly, no other version in town has the balance of so many spices that Flavor of India is able to accomplish.

Flavor of India is one of my go-to places for take-out and it is specifically because of this dish. Yes, Flavor of India is convenient for me, but no more inconvenient that other Indian restaurants in WLR. It is the Chicken 65 that keeps me coming back to this place, and the main reason I wake up at 3:00 a.m. wondering why I can’t exercise even the slightest modicum of self-control right before bed.

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The Dish: Lox Bialy at Boulevard Bread Company

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Monthly Feature, By Jarred Kibbey

Each month, Jarred highlights one of his favorite dishes from around Little Rock.

There are few dishes that I have found in Little Rock that I can place on a list for “best sandwich,” “best breakfast item,” and “best lunch* item,” but the lox bialy at Boulevard Bread Company is firmly on each of those lists for me.

Lox isn’t something I ran across growing up in rural Arkansas. To be honest, I didn’t even know what lox was for the longest time. Once I found out, the idea of eating fish for breakfast wasn’t something that sounded appetizing – or even a good idea. Where I grew up, there was only one way to prepare fish, deep fried with a cornmeal batter. So I avoided it as long as I could.

When I finally tried lox, it was at Boulevard Bread. I was instantly hooked and had to order another one the next day. The cured salmon goes so well with the chewy onion bialy, briny capers, sliced red onions, cream cheese, mixed greens, and tomato. I am not sure what it is about this specific sandwich, but I have ordered similar dishes at other places and nothing comes close.

I have tried other variations of the sandwich at Boulevard when they were out of the onion bialy. I have tried it on a cheese bialy, but it isn’t the same. It needs the sharpness of the onion cooked in to the bialy. I have tried it on the multigrain bread, and it doesn’t hold up as well as the bialy. I have a friend who swears by subbing the cream cheese for goat cheese, it takes it to a whole other level. I want to try it, but I just can’t bring myself to mess with something I love so much.

I crave this sandwich and come to Boulevard specifically for it. Boulevard has a wonderful, creative brunch menu and I have tried many of the dishes. I say “tried” and not “ordered” because I always bum a bite off someone else at the table, because I am always going to order the lox bialy. Ordering the same dish every time is something I really try to avoid, but I just can’t help it when it comes to this sandwich.

*Note: lox bialy is only served until noon. I was severely disappointed when I tried to order one for a late lunch and subsequently threw a temper tantrum when I got back to the car.

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Green Gumbo Now at Capital Bar and Grill

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Chef Arturo Solis continues tweaking the menu at Capital Bar and Grill, this time with his version of a NOLA classic … green gumbo or gumbo z’herbes.

“I’ve always liked the idea of new things. Honestly, it comes down to sharing new things with our guests. And in doing so, I truly believe this lesser known ‘underdog’ gumbo is fantastic. I would love for CBG to be the place that gets Little Rock hooked on green gumbo,” says Solis.

Primary ingredients in the CBG recipe include: turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, Swiss chard, and Andouille sausage.

I popped into the restaurant for a quick lunch last week to try out this new addition to the menu and was overwhelmingly pleased with both the taste and presentation. It’s lighter than most gumbos, has a nice spice, and definitely filled me up without weighing me down. In short, I loved it and wouldn’t hesitate ordering it again.

As you can see, the presentation—with beautiful, dehydrated okra, thin slices of sausages, and fluffy rice—isn’t too shabby either.

The green gumbo is available on both the lunch and dinner menus. I applaud Chef Solis for breaking something a little different to the table, and only hope the public embraces it.

Capital Bar and Grill
111 W. Markham St.
(501) 370-7013
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m; Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

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