B Street Rib Off, Rattle’s Garden Farmshare, and Pie Time at The Root

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Recording Setting Year for B Street
Officials from this year’s B Street Rib Off on April 2nd reported that the nonprofit organization raised $11,000 for the American Cancer Society of Central Arkansas. The funds, which will be used to support cancer patients in Central Arkansas, were raised during the annual BBQ competition.

“We’re really proud of the work we put in this year. Not only did we have a sold out event, but we broke our attendance record and doubled our giving record from past events,” said Jeremy Hinton, president of the B. Street Rib Off. “This is the only competition that forgoes cash prizes to donate funds to a local organization. We’re really proud of that and we believe it contributes to our success,” said Hinton.

In addition to the BBQ competition, the event featured live music, food trucks, local craft beer from Flyway Brewing and a raffle. Event attendees were treated to BBQ by way of the People’s Choice category, which could be judged for a small donation. Here are the results for he BBQ competition: Ribs Category: 1. Drummin’ Up Some Que 2. Team Ninja 3. Southern Gentlemen Chicken Category: 1. Southern Gentlemen 2. Hog Time BBQ 3. Po Boys BBQ People’s Choice Category: 1. Up in Smoke 2. Southern Gentlemen 3. Team Ninja

The Root Cafe’s 2nd Annual Pie Bake-Off
This past Saturday’s pie contest at The Root Café, which was affiliated with the Arkansas Literary Festival, was another huge success. The contest featured 24 entries, with some standouts including the Spicy Sweet Potato, Coconut Cream, Buttermilk, Strawberry, and a delicious Garlic Crème Chicken Pot Pie made by Amy Westerman. Check out this cool video from Amy on how to make the vodka crust. Congrats to all of the winners.

Farmshare Now Available from Rattle’s Garden
I absolutely love the Rattle’s Garden farm. I’ve been buying delicious veggies from them for 3+ years at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and have even been fortunate enough to visit the actual farm. And as of this past Thursday, I’m now a proud member of the Farmshare program. For a total expense of $275 (or $27.50 per basket), I get 10 weeks of baskets filled with fantastic produce (to be picked up at the HFM). Vilonia folks can head straight to the farm to grab each week’s basket for a total cost of $250, which is a dynamite value. Rattle’s Garden even offers an Eggshare for an additional cost. Pick-ups are available from the farm outside of Vilonia on Tuesdays and from the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Rattle’s anticipates starting the first week in May and running through mid-July. For more information, click here or email Tara at rattlesgarden@yahoo.com.

*Photo courtesy of B Street Rib Off

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Food Find: Pozza’s Pasta Now Available Online, At Terry’s Finer Foods

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If you’ve been inside Terry’s Finer Foods recently, you may have noticed a new product on the shelves. Pozza’s Pasta, out of Tontitown in Northwest Arkansas, is now available in several flavors and cuts.

“Pozza’s Pasta is a superior dried pasta, the taste and texture is different than other pasta’s on the shelf. We believe that is because we use regular unbleached flour as opposed to a semolina flour. Most pastas on the market use semolina, which makes the noodle tougher. The semolina is used so that the pasta can be extruded, which is also a big difference. Our pastas are hand cut as opposed to being passed through an extruder,” says co-owner Alison Mhoon.

Pozza’s Pasta is available in 12-ounce packages, including: 100% Whole Wheat, Spinach Spaghetti, Tomato Basil Linguini, Angel Hair, Parsley Linguini, and Traditional Spaghetti and Linguini. If you’re not up for a trip to Terry’s, the pasta can be purchased online (cost $5-6 per box).

Says Mhoon, “Pozza’s Pasta has been around over 40 years. Each new generation has continued to produce pasta the same way our Italian ancestors did when they settled in Tontitown, AR over 100 years ago. We hope that you enjoy eating it as much as we enjoy making it!”

I sampled boxes of the angel hair and parsley linguini and thought each one was absolutely delicious. As you can see from the picture above, I thought the parsley linguini was ideal with a little sautéed spinach, butter, extra virgin olive oil, and Parmesan.

Keep an eye out for Pozza’s Pasta to possibly pop up in other stores throughout the Little Rock area in the very near future. Until then, go check out Terry’s or order a few boxes online.

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News from The Root: Pie Bake-Off This Saturday, Expansion Update

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The Root’s 2nd Annual Pie Bake-Off is this Saturday, April 16th at 4:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bake their best traditional pie for judges and to bring copies of the recipe to swap with other bakers.

I’ll be helping out with the judging this year, along with the Arkansas Literary Festival speaker Harrison Scott Key, baker extraordinaire Zara Abbasi Wilkerson, and the Democrat-Gazette’s Eric Harrison. We’ll be awarding five Blue Ribbons and one Best-in-Show.

Pre-registration is appreciated but not required. To do so, just email: theroot@therootcafe.com for more information.

Admission is free for the contest, and The Root will have beer and other light refreshments for purchase during the event.

You may have also noticed some changes in regards to expansion are going on over at The Root. Says co-owner Corri Sundell, “Four shipping containers have been installed (out of eight total). They will become the new dining room (visible from Main Street) and one in back that will be a new walk-in cooler. The other four will be ready in about a month, and those will become a new kitchen and an office. We’ll be adding a second bathroom as well. Once the expansion is finished, The Root will be doing dinner four nights a week and also expanding our catering, baking, and canning and food preservation programs. In the meantime, we’re doing dinner twice a month–a ticketed prix-fixe dinner the 2nd Friday of each month and a counter dinner every 4th Friday as part of the new neighborhood event SoMa 4th Fridays.”

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Time to Check Out La Terraza Rum & Lounge

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Pernil al Horno

 

Remember Acadia? It was the restaurant located in the heart of Hillcrest off Kavanaugh with the bad ass deck. Well, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, it’s now La Terraza Rum & Lounge—a restaurant specializing in South American dishes, many of which fuse with other flavors from around the world.

The menu is a little different, a characteristic often frowned upon by many Little Rock diners. We love our comfort food dishes, the meat and potatoes, our shrimp and grits … things that have been on menus around here for 30+ years. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, a restaurant like La Terraza not only has a place in Little Rock, but its success, along with other ethnic establishments like kBird and Lulu’s, is absolutely critical for the continued growth of our local food scene.

This is all just a long-winded, soapbox way of saying La Terraza Rum & Lounge is a place you might want to consider checking out.

I did just that on Tuesday afternoon.

My tablemate and I sat outside on the lovely deck and enjoyed some of this springtime weather. Lunch started with a complimentary cup of white bean soup, followed by our order of the beef carpaccio and arepas. We gobbled up both apps and the soup. I was particularly impressed with the beautifully presented carpaccio, which was highlighted by a generous topping of basil aioli. The mini, cheese-filled arepas are purposefully bland (think pupusa) but elevated by a spicy jalapeno jelly. For my entrée, I opted for the Pernil al Horno, a pile of baked, thinly sliced pork, covered in a thin, brown gravy, which came with a pile of black beans and rice and plantains. This dish flat out hit the spot. The pork was tender, and while the plantains were somewhat bland, a forkful with each of the plate’s components was where the dish truly shined. My friend ordered the Stroganoff de Pollo, a creamy concoction of chicken, mustard, and pickles over what were essentially kettle chips. He seemed as pleased with his order as I was with mine.

Overall, the food and service proved to be outstanding, traits that will definitely lead to a return visit. Is La Terraza an elite Little Rock restaurant? It’s still too early to say, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Notes: Menu offers a variety of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Other dishes include: paella, grilled salmon, rib-eye served on a hot, lava stone, and arroz con leche. As the name of the restaurant suggests, the menu features several rum-based cocktails. Wine is also available. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd.

Arepas

Arepas

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Beef Carpaccio

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