Contrary to popular belief, the NLR area is not a vast wasteland of chain restaurants. That’s BS. While the NLR/Sherwood area does have its fair share of chains, the truth is…who doesn’t? There are chain restaurants all over the place, but if you’re willing to look a little deeper, there are some real hidden gems to be unearthed, especially in Sherwood.
The Sherwood Trifecta, a fun name I came up with over a cup of morning Joe, is comprised of Mama’s Gyros Grill, Zaffino’s, and Chang Thai & Asian Cuisine, three places located within a 6-minute drive. Google it and you’ll find the route for the three restaurants makes a nice right angle “L” shape. Almost too perfect. So, let’s take a brief look at each place. Honestly, I can’t give a real in-depth look, but I’ve eaten enough at each spot to know they are legit.
Mama’s Gyros Grill
I recently checked out Mama’s on a reader recommendation a few weeks back and was very happy with my overall experience. At Mama’s, you can get anything from a cheeseburger to a falafel sandwich to a Greek salad to chicken tenders to baklava. I can definitely vouch for the Chicken Gyro and Salmon Greek Salad, and I’ve had folks tell me the beef/lamb gyro is on-point. Mama’s is a very casual, no-frills, order-at-the-counter spot with fast and friendly service.
3309 E. Kiehl Avenue
(501) 833-0306 (Call-in Orders Welcome)
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 11am-3pm; Closed Sunday
Zaffino’s by Nori
Listen, I’m not gonna beat around the bush here … we don’t have a ton of great Italian food options in Central Arkansas. Happily for the folks of Sherwood and for others who are willing to drive a bit, Zaffino’s is one of those spots that delivers some outstanding Italian fare. The menu isn’t overly expansive, but is filled with reasonably priced, traditional dishes like Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna, Veal Marsala, Fettuccini Alfredo, Caesar Salad, and Tortellini con Fungi. The star of the menu is the Italian Sausage and Mushrooms, which includes chunks of sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms, fresh basil, and a light cream sauce.
2001 E Kiehl Ave in Sherwood
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11am-8pm; Friday 11am-9pm; Saturday 4pm-9pm; Closed Sunday and Monday
Chang Thai & Asian Cuisine
It’s been a minute since my last Chang Thai visit. You can blame kBird and its close proximity to my casa. Anyways, that doesn’t discount the fact that Chang Thai has some damn good food. Once again, we’re talking about a casual spot located in a retail strip. The menu is expansive, but I can only speak to the Por-Pia-Sod (spinach and basil spring roll), Pad Thai with tofu, and the Chicken Rice, which are all tasty and reasonably priced.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm, 4-9pm; Saturday 4-9pm; Sunday 11am-3p; Closed Monday
**NOTE** I can’t vouch for it yet, but I’ve heard some really good things about Feastros, which is just a short distance from these three restaurants. If you’ve been and can rec some dishes, please leave in the comment box below. Thank you!