By Chef Ken Dempsey If you know me at all, you know I spend A LOT of time out in my BBQ pit. Even as I am writing this at 10 p.m., there are two pork butts (pork butts are actually shoulders, often referred to […]
Right off the bat, let me get this out there … this post isn’t meant to be a bitchfest about how things are lacking in the culinary scene around these parts. It’s just meant to create some interaction and dream a little bit about what would be some really cool additions. Alright, maybe I’ll get a tad whiny, but here goes.
This one comes up all the time on the blog. You want. I want. We all want it. Would this town, which sees an overwhelming majority of folks call it a day by 8:30 p.m., embrace such a restaurant? Put it the right place with the right vibe and I think so.
Yes, I know, I know. Restaurant BBQ in this town is lacking, with just a handful of spots churning out quality smoked meats. We need a place like Pecan Lodge in Dallas or Central in Memphis or Franklin in Austin that will make people get in their cars and drive great distances.
Bagel … the inspiration behind this post (thanks Elisa). My goodness, do we need a bagel shop in Little Rock. And I’m talking about real, boiled/baked bagels. How has this not happened yet in this town? Did one used to exist here?
Fine Dining Restaurant
Fine Dining is virtually extinct in Little Rock, and for good reason, it’s expensive. Casual is king. Nationally, there are fewer and fewer fine dining restaurants. Locally, outside of One Eleven and Arthur’s, we really don’t have any fine dining options. I’m talking about anniversary-type spots.
What?!? Yes, I just went from bitching about a lack of fine dining to wanting Taco Cabana to reside in Little Rock. If you’ve never been to Taco Cabana, imagine a really awesome version of Taco Bell that doesn’t give you diarrhea. Taco Cabana is what Taco Bueno should be, but isn’t. The addition of TC would also solve our breakfast taco problem.
New York-Style Deli
Hell, this is another suggestion that could kill two birds with one stone. A New York-Style Deli would also solve our bagel problem, while at the same time ensuring we have delicious delicacies like matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwiches, and knishes.
A Big Butcher Shop
I’m talking about a big damn place that sells every cut of meat, and for a reasonable price. I’m sure the Wal-Marts and Sam’s of the world will ensure this never happens, but a boy can dream. Heck, Hot Springs has a great independent butcher, why can’t we?
We need another Italian restaurant. We only have a few good spots and another one would do wonders for our scene. Maybe a place that makes its own pasta. Seems like something that would put a ton of smiles on faces.
More Pizza and Burgers
Just kidding, we have more than our fair share, but at least I got your attention.
One of these days, someone will come along, hire a human from Texas who knows what the hell they are doing, and open an authentic kolache shop here in town. Nothing special is needed, just a modest place in a retail strip cranking out the best kolaches in the state. It’s a million dollar idea, probably, maybe.
Soup dumplings are probably my favorite food on this planet. It’s an actual dumpling with warm broth inside. You can get them at Mr. Chen’s, but they’re pretty average … so a small place dedicated to making them fresh would be awesome.
Ever wonder what other foodies are thinking? Me too. Special thanks to Steve S. for his answers! 1. How many years have you lived in Little Rock? My wife and I have lived in central Arkansas for eight years, most of it in Bryant. In […]