The name of this food blog, The Mighty Rib, has no special meaning or profoundly deep backstory. It’s just a stupid name I came up with at 5 a.m. on a Monday morning back in 2010. My wife and I had just returned home from […]
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 October, we will be moving to Hillcrest, hopefully permanently.
2. Where do you go when for the absolute best Mexican food in town? While I love Local Lime with a passion, I’m not sure I consider that authentic Mexican. For the best true Mexican experience, I love hitting up the taco trucks. Taqueria Samantha has one of the best burritos around, Taqueria Jalisco San Juan serves up some very good tamales and Taco Mexico makes some amazing chorizo tacos. The taco trucks in Little Rock do not get enough love. Try one, and you will be hooked.
3. How did get into backyard bbq-ing? My father is a native Carolinian, and I grew up in Tennessee and South Carolina. It was all I knew. My dad taught me at a young age, and I’ve been learning and loving BBQ ever since. It’s still my favorite way to cook; there’s just something historically poetic about keeping a fire at 250 degrees, making a rub, creating a sauce and shredding a pork shoulder.
4. What are a few of your guilty food pleasure items? When I was young, my mom stayed at home with me and my four younger siblings. This large family led to some creative menu planning. One day, my mom made a “chili sandwich.” It’s nothing more than bread spread open-faced, slathered with mustard, topped with [canned] chili and smothered with cheese and onions. It’s strange, it’s even a little disturbing, but I still crave it once a month or so.
5. What is your most memorable Little Rock dining experience? I had the good pleasure of dining at Ashley’s just weeks before chef Lee Richardson departed. The seven-course meal (with wine pairings) is still one of the greatest meals I’ve ever eaten. I eagerly await Lee’s next venture, because I can still taste how wonderful that meal was.
6. What cuisine comes up short for you in this city? It’s too easy to say BBQ, but really, it’s amazing how much work can be done here. We are in the middle of Kansas City/St. Louis, Memphis and Texas, yet there is a sore lack of a signature BBQ style for Arkansas, and even more noticeable absence of high-quality BBQ restaurants. It’s a puzzling situation, and one which I would like to see remedied.
7. You have to put together a 3-course meal (app, entree, and dessert) from three different Little Rock restaurants. What would be your choices to create this perfect meal? This is the toughest question here, because so many great Little Rock eateries have sprung up just in the past five years or so. Since it’s Little Rock, it’s almost mandatory for cheese dip to start a meal, and Red Door has my favorite in that department. For the entree, I’ll take the Chicken Mole Enchiladas at Local Lime (seriously, if you haven’t tried them, they’re shockingly delicious). I’m not a dessert person, but the range of desserts at Vesuvio left me speechless, and the star of that dessert menu is the Ricotta Cheesecake.
8. If you could jump in a plane this very second…where would you go and what would you eat? I love Chicago, both as a cultural hub and as a culinary destination. I would have to eat both at chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea and chef Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo. Alinea is a modern, trendy restaurant that serves 20-30 small courses in a wonderful progression, and Topolo is possibly the finest example of Mexican cuisine north of the Rio Grande.
9. Is there a Little Rock restaurant you once loved, but no longer exists? Satellite Cafe in the Heights had a tremendous brunch (it was the only meal I ever ate there). I was truly stunned when it closed its doors; it always seemed like business was doing well there.
10. What is one Little Rock restaurant you’ve never eaten at that may surprise people? The Mighty Rib himself will drop his jaw at this one. I have never eaten dinner at The Pantry. I have been for after-work drinks on a couple of occasions, but I have never actually eaten a meal there (though from what I have heard, I shouldn’t even call myself a Little Rock foodie until I try the stock pot or the lasagna there). I solemnly swear I will address this shortcoming soon.