Our newly formed three-man Little Rock Lunch Crew is awesome. One week we’re eating waffles out of a truck along Asher Avenue and the next time around we’re in the heart of Hillcrest high society at Terry’s Finer Foods. Ain’t life grand?
And while the food cranked out by the Hot Lanta Food Truck was overwhelming praised by our group, the same cannot be said about Terry’s. This cozy spot located along Kavanaugh specializes in French cuisine, something that’s reflected in its beautiful European-style décor.
I started out with an order of escargots a l’ail et le persil ($7). In simple terms: six small snails in a bubbly butter/garlic/shallots/parsley mixture. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was terrible. The snails were chewy, bland and just plain boring. I’m well aware that every respectable French restaurant must have escargots on the menu, but I’d highly recommend that Terry’s suspends serving until the dish is re-tooled. Fortunately, my small bowl of poblano chowder, which acted as my entrée, fared much better due to its wonderful consistency and proper seasoning. The small chunks of poblano peppers worked well with the bacon and diced potatoes.
My tablemates opted for some of the heavier lunchtime selections. Dan went with the steak frites ($14). My one bite of his ribeye steak yielded some mixed results. The meat was tender and cooked to a perfect medium-rare, but much like the snails, lacked in the flavor department. That said, it was a more than generous lunch portion of steak at a very reasonable value.
Michael’s order of croque monsieur ($10), along with an appetizer of pate de champagne ($7), won him the “Dude Who Knows What He’s Doing” Award. My samples of both dishes left me wanting to steal a few more bites, yet Michael’s stinginess prohibited such an act. The open-faced sandwich (croque monsieur) of shaved ham covered in Gruyere is not to be missed.
Overall, I’d say Terry’s had a good enough showing to inspire a return visit. But with so many options surrounding this French spot, it might be awhile before they see my pretty face again.
Positives: service, atmosphere, prices
Negatives: parking, tiny glasses for water (these confused Dan—he thought they were for washing his hands)