Posts Tagged Capeo

100 of the Best Appetizers in Little Rock

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Skillet Bread at South on Main

 

Save this list, bookmark it, print it out … do whatever you have to do to file it away and use it as the ultimate reference guide for the best appetizers in Little Rock. Below is a combination of reader response and personal favorites. If there are any glaring omissions, please add them to the comment box. Also, make sure to check each restaurant’s current menu, as some of the appetizers are seasonal items.

Bruschetta, Hummus, or Baba Ganoush at YaYa’s
My Take: A friend once told me about the magnificence of YaYa’s baba ganoush and she was absolutely right.

Brussels Sprouts or Fried Hummus Bites at North Bar

Bacon Wrapped Dates, Truffled Deviled Eggs, House Made Ricotta, Cheese Spaetzle, Pomme Frites, Brussels Sprouts at The Pantry
My Take: In retrospect, I probably should have typed “See the entire Starters menu at The Pantry.”

Crawfish Dip with Fried Wontons at Skinny J’s
Crab Au Gratin at Cajun’s Wharf

Skillet Bread, Fried Chicken Livers, Pork Rinds, Fried Oysters or Smoked Oysters at South On Main
My Take: South on Main got a ton of love on this post, as it should, the appetizers are all fantastic. But my personal favorite is the Fried Oyster Steamed Bun, which is listed below.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip at Saddle Creek Grill
Cheese Fries at Rebel Kettle

Pimento Cheese, Bread & Butter Plate, or Smoked Jalapeño Pimento Cheese, or Black Eyed Pea and Poblano Hummus at Lost Forty

Burgundy Mushrooms or Cheese Dip at Dizzy’s
Quail Lollipops, Poutine, or Foie Gras at Table 28

Fried Shrimp at Doe's

Fried Shrimp at Doe’s

 

Fried Shrimp or Tamales at Doe’s Eat Place
Grilled Oysters, Meat Pies, BBQ Nachos, or Truffle Fries at Maddie’s Place

Fried Black Eyed Peas or Spiced Pecans at Capital Bar and Grill
My Take: Those spiced pecans are crazy addictive and an absolute must-get on any visit to CBG.

Spicy Pimento Cheese with Soft Pita Chips at Taziki’s Mediterranean Café
The Caprese at Deluca’s

Shrimp Tchoupitoulas, Rose’s Hot Red Pepper Shrimp, Stuffed Mushrooms, Rose’s Fries, Fried Artichoke Hearts, Fried Green Tomatoes, or Cajun Popcorn at The Faded Rose
My Take: Good gracious was TFR mentioned a lot on this thread. All great choices, but give me those wedge fries with the buttermilk dressing any day.

Baba Ganoush at Layla's

Baba Ganoush at Layla’s

 

Onion Rings or Fried Green Tomatoes at Cotham’s in the City
Cheesesteak Egg Rolls at Del Frisco’s Grille
Crab Cakes at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room
Yellowtail or Hamachi Nigiri at Kemuri
Burrata at Raduno
Cheese Fries or Quesadilla at Buffalo Grill
Hummus or Baba Ganoush at Layla’s
Hummus with Pita Bread at Mama’s Gyros Grill
Fried Mozzarella Sticks at Dugan’s Pub

Baked Pimento Cheese at Boulevard Bistro
My Take: I’ve written about this appetizer several times in the past and it really is a unique and delicious spin on a Little Rock classic.

Fried Gulf Oysters or Crispy Chicken Livers at Red Door
Calamari Fries, Tuna Tataki, Spinach Dip, Queso Fundido, or Hot Crab Dip at Trio’s
Salsa Trio at Local Lime
Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp at Samantha’s Tap Room and Wood Grill
Tamale Pie at Heights Taco & Tamale Co.
State Fair Fries (with Side of Jalapeño Ranch) at Big Orange
Crab Stuffed Artichoke at Capers
Tortilla Soup at Casa Manana
Heirloom Tomato Plate, Goat Cheese Moouse or Baked Camembert at Brave New Restaurant
Cheese Dip at Reno’s Argenta Cafe
Ceviche Tostadas at El Porton
Crab Cake at One Eleven at the Capital
Grilled Meatballs and Stuffed Eggplant at Ristorante Capeo
Bread and Butter at Bruno’s Little Italy
Fried Portobello Slices or Shrimp & Brie Quesadillas with Mango Salsa at Loca Luna

Leeks at One Eleven

Leeks at One Eleven

 

Falafel, Tabouleh, Hummus, or Baba Ghanouj at Zam Zam Grill
My Take: I’ve heard good things about this place, probably time to check it out.

Cheese Dip at Riviera Maya
Calamari at Zaffino’s
Tuna Tataki at Hanaroo
Fried Green Tomatoes at The Main Cheese

My Personal Favs
Smoked Trout Nachos at Flyway Brewing
Chicken Nachos at El Palenque
Ceviche at Local Lime
Pupusas at Rosalindas
Fried Oyster Steamed Buns or Cauliflower Popcorn at South on Main
Fried Yuca at La Terraza Rum & Lounge
Pimento Cheese (Toast) or Radishes at The Root
Ceviche at Kemuri
Leeks at One Eleven at the Capital
Triple Dipper at Baja Grill

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25 Places to Eat in North Little Rock Area

Mr. Chengs

Mr. Chengs

 

I hear it all of the time on the blog, “There are no good restaurants in North Little Rock. It’s a wasteland of chains.” Not true. Here are 25 places to eat in the area … most local, a few regional chains, but all of them reader suggested. Just click on the links below for more restaurant information, and check out my quick takes on the places I’ve actually dined at (1-25, in alphabetical order).

1. BJ’s Market Café

2. Bobby’s Café

3. Ceci’s Chicken N Waffles

4. Chang Thai & Asian Cuisine
My take: The food here is outstanding, and, depending on who you ask, its the best Thai food in the area. For me, kBird is still better, but that’s taking nothing away from the food at Chang.

5. Chinese Pavilion Hunan Restaurant

6. Cilantros Grill

7. Flyway Brewing
My take: I’ve written about Flway pretty extensively over the past year, mainly because it’s my favorite brewery in town. No matter your preference, Flyway almost assuredly makes a beer that you’ll enjoy. Just save some room for food. The tofu sliders, assortment of soft pretzel offerings, and smoked trout nachos are all outstanding.

8. Gadwall’s Grill

Rosalinda

Rosalinda

9. Guadalajara Mexican Grill

10. Hideaway Pizza
My take: Certainly not in my top 10 pizza joints, but Hideaway is a nice place to go with family and friends for good food and a warm atmosphere. The pizza is a bit doughy for my liking, but Hideaway certainly has a loyal following, as evident by its expansion into Arkansas.

11. La Casa Real
My take: This restaurant used to be located off Rodney Parham. I ate there once and remember really enjoying it. I haven’t made it up to the new location, but I’ve heard nothing but good reports. If you adore refried beans, like I do, this is the place for you.

12. Lindsey’s Hospitality

13. Littlefield’s Cafe

14. Mama’s Gyro Grill

15. Mr. Chengs
My take: I’ve only eaten at Mr. Chengs once and it was a few years ago, but I remember the food being very good. With not a lot of quality Chinese food restaurants in the area, this is definitely a nice option.

16. Mugs Cafe
My take: I haven’t been to Mugs since new ownership, but if things are business as usual, then it’s a great spot for coffee and breakfast items. I’ve also been told they serve one of the better brownies in town, although I can’t personally confirm it.

17. North Bar

18. Ristorante Capeo
My take: If you’re looking for quality Italian food served in a cozy, yet elegant setting, Capeo is a wonderful choice. The Hunter’s Board is a nice start to the meal, and I especially enjoy the pork chop or lasagna entrees.

19. Rosalinda
My take: One of the better restaurants in the area, anything and everything is great at Rosalinda. The pupusas, shrimp soup, fried chicken, and skirt steak with fried plantains are all elite dishes. And if whole, fried fish is your thing, then check out this restaurant.

20. Saddle Creek Woodfired Grill

Capeo

Capeo

21. Santo Coyote

22. Skinny J’s
My take: I’ve only been once to this regional chain located in Argenta, but I thought the food was solid.

23. The Garden Bistro

24. Whole Hog

25. Zaffino’s by Nori
My take: The drive up to Sherwood is definitely worth the fantastic food coming out of Zaffino’s kitchen. Casual and family-friendly, Zaffino’s is an Italian food gem. Definitely order the Italian sausage with mushrooms.

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An Almost Complete List of the Very Best Soups in Little Rock

Gumbo with Cheese Grits at Maddie's Place

Gumbo with Cheese Grits at Maddie’s Place

 

It’s getting cold outside … and that means only one thing … we want soup! So I’ve taken the time to come up with a list of my very favorite options here in the Little Rock area. Now, don’t get all crazy on me. As you’ll read, I am very lenient with my definition of “soup.” If it’s warm and somewhat liquefied, it lands on this list. I hope you enjoy, and if you see a soup you want to try, please make sure to contact the restaurant and make sure it’s available. Soups come in go on menus and many of them are daily specials. Finally, this isn’t a complete list of the very best soups in Little Rock.  That’s why I put “Almost” in the title. If you have more suggestions, please let us know.

Ramen at The Southern Gourmasian
As far as I can tell, this is the only ramen in Little Rock worth a damn, but boy it is fantastic. The broth is rich and flavorful, and while the noodles are the centerpiece of any bowl, the star in the dish are the chunks of pork shoulder scattered throughout the broth.

Green Chile Stew At Local Lime
If you held a gun to my head and made me pick just one, this is my favorite soup/stew in Little Rock. I’m addicted to green chiles and this seasonal special is a can’t-miss.

Chicken & Dumplings at The Faded Rose
Thicker than most versions with smaller, rolled dumplings, TFR’s chicken and dumplings are a Friday favorite of long-time Little Rockers.

Gumbo at Maddie’s Place
As you know, Maddie’s Place is right next door to TFR, and to no one’s surprise, they do a darn good gumbo. Pro tip: ask them to add a scoop of cheese grits right on top. A reader told me about this brilliant suggestion a few years. Just spreading the word.

Shrimp Soup at Rosalinda’s
Everything at Rosalinda’s is fantastic, but this time of year is ideal for trying out a heaping bowl of shrimp soup. The rich, tomato-based broth is filled with veggies, shrimp, and even whole, hard boiled eggs.

Pho at Pho Thanh My
While I don’t think it’s the best pho in town, I do think it’s a nice option for people in the WLR-area. You’re talking about a pretty standard pho (get the rare beef) that is sure to hit the spot on a cold day.

Pho at Mike’s Cafe
This is absolutely, positively the best pho in Little Rock. It’s the real deal … the beef-based broth is filled with noodles, cilantro, jalapenos, and chopped green onions.

Pho at Pho and More (Jacksonville)
Three phos in a row!?!? Yup. What can I say, I love me some pho. And guess what? This is the best one of all. A reader told me to drive up to Jacksonville and try out Pho and More. She was 100% correct. I promise it’s worth the drive.

Chicken and Dumplings at Trio’s
I’ve only had these once (and they are only available on Thursday’s lunch service) but you’re talking about a very simple, traditional, rolled version of a Southern classic.

Torn Wonton Soup at Chi’s (Shackleford location)
This is a combination of wonton and egg drop soup that leans more towards wonton. Does that make sense? Good, now go try it because although it sounds a little odd, it’s actually very good.

And the reader picks…
Tomato Gorgonzola at Capeo, Ramen Bowl at Kemuri, Lentil Soup at Layla’s, Tortilla Soup at Casa Manana, Chicken Soup at El Porton, Cheese Soup at Scallions, Tomato Bisque at Zaffino’s, Gumbo at The Faded Rose, Hot and Sour Soup at Fu Lin, Tom Yam at Kbird, Chicken & Dumplings at Homer’s (East Roosevelt location on Thursdays), Lemon Chicken Soup at Taziki’s, Chicken Tortilla Soup at Taqueria Karina, Veggie & Dumplins at South on Main, White Bean and Ham Hock at Maddie’s Place, Roasted Red Pepper at Cafe Prego, Roasted Pepper & Crawfish Bisque at Mike’s Place (Conway), Tortilla Soup at Riviera Maya, Mulligatawny at Big Orange Midtown, Poblano Cheese Soup at Trio’s, Red Curry at Zangna Thai, Turkey Black Bean Chili at Capers, and Mushroom Bisque at Ciao, Chicken Caldo at El Palenque (Saturdays), Shrimp Curry at Kbird, Hearts of Palm Soup at Bossa Nova, Polentina at Boulevard, Tortilla Soup at Loca Luna

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Unique Randomness: Stop Your Whining, NLR

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Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…

One complaint I often hear from many NLR readers is how there are no good restaurants in the area. That’s bullshit. Make no mistake, the NLR-area is chalk full of chains, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll find some of the better restaurants in Central Arkansas are right there in Dogtown. Mugs Café, Good Food by Ferneau, and Capeo in the Argenta District are all good. You’ve got Flyway Brewing and Diamond Bear right down the street. Head north and you’ll find Mr. Chengs, Chang Thai, Zaffino’s, and Rosalinda’s. I’ve heard really good things about Scoop Dog, Ira’s Park Hill Grill, and Guadalajara. And these are just a few…there are many more. Hell, you have one of the best donut shops in the country in Mark’s. Could things be better? Yes. Could they be a hell of a lot worse? Absolutely.

Anyone else get a little depressed when you drive by the old Packet House? What a structure…what a location…what potential. I don’t know the logistics on why it just sits there, but I really wish someone would buy the property, lure an awesome chef from a place like Austin, and make it into an elite dining destination.

Eggshells has some really good cooking classes coming up in the very near future, with names like Capi Peck, Scott Rains, and Sarah DeClerk ready to expound on some food knowledge.

You really should be following local pie-maker Honey Pies when you get a free sec. I tried out one of Sharon’s pies at a holiday party and was blown away by her Gingerbread Apple. And this is coming from someone who tends to frown upon eating apple pies. I know…that’s a topic for another day. Anyways, go follow Honey Pies and please consider ordering a pie from Sharon.

Looks like we have ourselves a new food truck. Thanks to Little Rock Soiree for breaking the story on Roxy’s Twisted Sandwiches. Frankly, I know absolutely nothing about this food truck, but I give mad props to the folks for creating something that looks quite unique. Here’s hoping it tastes great as well.

A reader wanted to know if any place(s) in town serve chicken spaghetti. All I could find from my research was that Diane’s Gourmet sells it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any actual restaurants. If you have some suggestions, we’re all ears.

I often wonder how some restaurants stay open in this town. I won’t name names, but I drive by several places all of the time and often see 1-2 cars in front of them, yet the restaurant stays open…for months, hell, years. How is this possible?

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