This post is a recap of My Favorite 15 Restaurants that I’ve eaten at over the past 2 months. It’s just a way to briefly highlight some of my recent, positive eating experiences and to hopefully encourage you to check out some off these spots. In no particular order…
It would be scary how much I’d go to Forbidden Garden if the restaurant was closer to my house. I’ve always had a soft spot for quick, no-frills Chinese food and Forbidden Garden is just that. The eggs rolls were divine but so was my order of Chicken Chop Suey. If you’re looking for a quick, reasonably-priced lunch spot in WLR, Forbidden Garden is an excellent option.
Brave New Restaurant
I hear it all of the time. “Brave New Restaurant is neither brave nor new.” That’s true but there’s something to be said for quality and consistency and Brave New hit a homerun on a recent dinner. My tuna was perfectly cooked and I absolutely loved those roasted potatoes. Service was also outstanding, and I’ll definitely be going back to Brave New sooner rather than later.
Star of India
I rarely eat the lunchtime buffet at Star of India, but not because I don’t enjoy it. I just don’t trust myself to exhibit self-control around all of that delicious food served in mass quantites. Instead, I go for dinner, and typically order some Chicken Tikka and Vegetable Samosas. The chicken is so tender and juicy. Heck, I even prefer this dish to its saucier cousin, Chicken Tikka Masala.
Big Orange Midtown
If I go to Big Orange Midtown and order some fries with a Thai Chop Salad, then Big Orange will tend to make a list like this. The salad is a very safe, consistent dish, mainly because of that addictive dressing and the medium-rare rib-eye.
By now, you probably know how much I enjoy Wunderhaus in Conway. Their food is fun, eclectic, and made with love. And a lot of the ingredients are local, which is very cool. My chicken salad, a.k.a. Farmer’s Daughter, is one of the lighter dishes on the menu, but it’s definitely a dish you should consider ordering.
To know Mike’s Café is to love Mike’s Café. My point is this … if you’ve actually heard of the restaurant and have eaten there, then you love it. I seriously don’t know one person who dislikes the food. I think the place is elite. The pho is outstanding but do not forget about the tasty pork banh mi. It’s a delicious sandwich with carrots, jalapenos, marinated pork, cilantro, and mayo … and it only costs $3.
Please make sure to order the pupusas. You won’t regret it. The Plato Rosalinda, the restaurant’s signature dish with thin steak, plantains, and rice and beans, is also a must-order.
Flyway generally serves the best beer in town but also has a bar bites menu that’s been getting rave reviews. Recent orders of Marinated Tofu Sliders, Duck Confit Nachos, and the Pickled Plate were all met with favorable results, and if you see Fried Pickle Chips as a Special, definitely order them as well.
The only criticism with kBird seems to be its limited hours, but other than that, the food is without question some of the very best in Little Rock. While I typically opt for the Green Papaya Salad, I went with a new menu item, the Laap Muu Issan. This spicy and sour minced pork salad is served with some of kBird’s fantastic sticky rice.
My Redfish with Green Beans and Grits was delightful, as were appetizers of Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and the Steak Meat Pies. My tablemates fried chicken also got a thumbs up, although it was left in the fryer a bit long. All and all, great food and attentive service gets Maddie’s on this list.
Never heard of La Poblanita? It’s near the corner of Kanis/Barrow and used to be the old Super 7 Grocery. Not much has changed about the place and that includes the excellent Mexican food. My tablemates choose to partake in the buffet ($11.50), while I went with the Torta al Pastor, a sizable sandwich packed to the gills with seasoned pork.
My previous trip to Boulevard Bistro definitely fell into that “off night” category. Not this time around. My wife’s Reuben looked great and my Pork Banh Mi with house-made sausage proved to be a delightful addition to the menu. The restaurant struggles with consistency during the evening hours, but when on, it’s an excellent option.
Del Campo a la Ciudad
Boy, did this place ever surprise me! We ended up at Del Campo a la Ciudad (University/65th) by mistake last week, but things definitely worked out for us. Made-to-order corn tortillas filled with barbocoa and al pastor tend to put a smile on my face. And do not forget to add a little of the fire hot sauce to each taco.
Mt. Fuji, the original godfather of Little Rock sushi, still has game. It ain’t fancy, but if you’re looking for a quality sushi fix, Mt. Fuji is your place. Last week’s lunch special included a salad, 2 rolls, and 3 pieces of fish and left me full and satisfied. I bet it’s been a while since your last visit. Go check them out.
Rabbit Ridge Farms (in Bee Branch)
I promise you the one-hour each way drive up to Bee Branch for Rabbit Ridge Farms’ Wednesday afternoon lunch (11a-1p) is worth it. I’m still thinking about the massive plate of smoked ham, fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, baked beans, and grilled sausage with onions that I ended up eating for three meals.