Posts Tagged Flyway Brewing

Top 10 Restaurants to Take Out-of-Towners

South on Main

South on Main

 

Living in Little Rock for almost five years has allowed me to build up a strong list of restaurants to bring my out-of-town guests. These places aren’t necessarily serving the absolute best food in town, but they are restaurants with an excellent combination of food and atmosphere, while also truly reflecting the essence of Little Rock.

South on Main

I’ve said it for a few years now, but South on Main’s unique offering of dynamite, elevated Southern food and cocktails in a setting that also hosts amazing concerts makes it one of our top restaurants to take out-of-towners. Simply put, it’s the entire package … all in a casually cool setting with consistently excellent service. It’s a good idea to keep up with the concert schedule on their website and be sure to make reservations/purchase tickets in advance. South on Main is also open for Sunday Brunch, serving popular items like biscuits, breakfast tacos, and fried oysters eggs Benedict.

What to Order: Old Fashioned with The Double: Two All-Beef Patties, Comeback Sauce, Pimento Cheese, Bacon Jam, Fries and a Soaked Salad

Doe’s Eat Place

The place where Bill Clinton hung out will always be a cool draw to non-locals, making Doe’s inclusion on this list a complete no-brainer. Oh, and Doe’s also happens to serve one of the best steaks in town at a fairly reasonable cost. While I’m not a huge fan of the Delta-style tamales, they should be the start of any meal, along with the deliciously addictive fried shrimp. Save room for soaked salad and buttered Texas toast, perfect for dipping in the meat juice from your medium-rare, 3-lb Porterhouse. Doe’s is no-frills but absolutely charming and one of the most historically relevant restaurants in town.

What to Order: 3-lb Porterhouse (make sure to call ahead and reserve on busy nights)

The Root Cafe

The Root Cafe

 

The Root Cafe

Little Rock’s only true farm-to-table restaurant is now open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While it has long served the best breakfast in town, this charming SoMa District cafe recently started serving dinner as well, which is great news, especially if you enjoy dishes like pork belly, arancini, and beef tenderloin. While a grant allowed ownership to double the size of the restaurant and create a kitchen area that is better suited to handle bigger crowds, The Root maintains a quaint, down-home feel that has made it wildly popular with locals.

What to Order: Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast; hamburger for lunch

Flyway Brewing

Flyway Brewing, located in North Little Rock’s Argenta District, played a large role with Little Rock’s craft beer scene catching up with the rest of the country. There are usually about 9-10 beers on tap, so even your pickiest beer connoisseur should be able to find something that suits their palette. Stouts, IPAs, brown ales, and wheat beers … Flyway has it all and the food isn’t too shabby either. The limited menu is filled with several hits, like smoked trout nachos, soft pretzels, and marinated tofu sliders. Flyway’s atmosphere is casual and unpretentious, a true reflection of Little Rock mentality.

What to Order: Bluewing beer (blueberry wheat) with Duck Confit Nachos

Capital Bar and Grill

CBG has been through some ups and downs over the past few years, but there’s still no denying its importance to Little Rock’s dining scene. More importantly, located inside The Capital Hotel, CBG is a restaurant many out-of-towners will actually check out. And that’s a good thing, because Capital Bar and Grill has gotten its groove back, serving the classics in a sophisticated setting with just the right amount of Southern charm and elegance.

What to Order: Pimento Cheese (appetizer) and Duck Pot Pie

Lassis Inn

Lassis Inn

 

Lassis Inn

It isn’t fancy and may not be in the nicest area of town, but the old-school setting and insanely small booths at Lassis Inn will leave your guests with lasting memories. And so will the fried catfish and buffalo ribs. If you’re really feeling crazy, order one of the ice cold 40-oz beers. Does Lassis serve the best fried catfish in town? In my opinion, no. But it’s still damn good and the history and charm behind this restaurant make it a must-stop for folks looking to get a true taste of Little Rock.

What to Order: Fried Catfish, Buffalo Ribs, Fries, and Tomato Relish

The Pantry Crest

Restaurants and food can be so damn subjective, but The Pantry Crest is one of the very few restaurants that’s beloved by all. And let’s face it, when you have out-of-towners, sometimes you need a sure thing with a restaurant. The Pantry Crest is a sure thing. European comfort classics never tasted so good, at least not in this town. With a beautiful decor, elite service, and a menu that includes such dishes as lasagna, truffle deviled eggs, and charred Romaine Caesar Salad, The Pantry Crest is a perfect spot to take non-locals. And I have … many times. FYI, the original location in WLR is just as nice.

What to Order: The Pantry Board and Cheesecake 

kBird

kBird

 

kBird

Much like Lassis Inn, kBird isn’t much to look at, but hole-in-the-walls are my thing and I’m a firm believer they are the backbone to any city’s dining scene. kBird is the best Thai food you will find in this area, or, for that matter, any area. It’s that good, and if your guests are more concerned about where the locals are eating, as opposed to trendy spots with overrated food, kBird is an excellent option. The menu is quite small, which means everything is great. Side note, if you see a jar of ginger cookies sitting by the register, order at least one, if not all of them. It’s probably the best cookie you’ll eat in Little Rock.

What to Order: Green Papaya Salad

One Eleven

One Eleven

 

One Eleven

Truthfully, I feel a little foolish putting two restaurants (CBG being the other) that are located under one roof. One Eleven, located inside The Capital Hotel, is as fine-dining as you’ll get in Little Rock, and sometimes out-of-towners are in search of elegance. Make no mistake, One Eleven is more than just a beautiful setting. The food and service are absolutely elite, and while the restaurant may not view itself as a “special occasion only” type of place, for most of us, it is.

What to Order: Seared Diver Scallops with Potato Gnocchi

The Faded Rose

Little Rockers love New Orleans and folks around here just can’t get enough of the food associated with this city. The Faded Rose has been serving up Cajun & Creole-influenced dishes for almost 35 years … all in a casual setting that seems to always be full. The menu rarely changes and includes staples like shrimp and grits, thin fish, and a blackened rib-eye. The food is consistently good, as is the service, making it a perfect place to take out-of-towners.

What to Order: Crawfish Etouffee 

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Quick Hits: Biscuits, Ramen, Lollipops, and Some Darn Good BBQ

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Thoughts on my recent eating experiences around Little Rock…

Kudos to Arkansas Heart Hospital on the delicious $5.55 bowl of ramen it cranks out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sorry if that sounds like a promotion on my part, but people get pissed at me when they go on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, only to find out the ramen isn’t available those days. Chef Smith does a nice job of rotating the protein included with each bowl, so whether it’s seared scallops, pork belly, or a slab of beef, I really think you’ll be satisfied with any version. My latest bowl, which included a pile of veggies, along with a sous vide egg and beef short ribs, was fantastic.

I sampled some V-Day cookies a few weeks back from Kelso’s Cakes and was not only impressed by their look but also the taste. I don’t know a lot about Kelso’s, but it’s definitely a baker you should follow on Facebook and consider ordering from in the future.

It sounds crazy, but the marinated tofu sliders at Flyway Brewing really are legit. Yes, I not-so-secretly love tofu, and what the folks at Flyway are doing with it is fun, and, above all, delicious. Those little pickled, spicy carrots served alongside the slider don’t hurt matters either. Damn, those things are absolutely addicting. Anyways, wash it all down with a nice brown ale and call it a day. Even though it’s tofu, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Speaking of beer, I did something very fun a few weekends ago … partook in a sour beer tasting at Flying Saucer in downtown. Kudos to my friends Wes and Leighanne for setting it up and selecting the beers. My knowledge of sour beers is quite limited, but I did enjoy the taste of the ones I’ve tried in the past. My favorite this time around was the New Belgium 2016 La Folie Sour Brown Ale, but honestly, I enjoyed them all. Props to Flying Saucer for carrying such a nice selection.

Shocker alert!!! El Palenque is kinda good. Don’t roll your eyes … you know I heart the place. Suggestion: order the huevos rancheros. It’s a small plate of over-easy eggs topped with rancheros sauce, along with rice, beans, and tortillas.

David’s Burgers is still one of the better options in town, but damn, ease off the salt shaker. Salt lick aside, the service is still some of the best in town. Having a guy ready at all times to dump a pile of steaming fries on your table is a wise move on the restaurant’s part.

HB’s Bar B.Q. is the best restaurant barbeque I’ve had in Little Rock. It’s that simple. The sliced brisket is nothing to write home about, but the pulled pork sandwich certainly is, as are the sides of potato salad and beans. And I love the casual, down-home atmosphere of the place. The only disappointment is that it took almost five years for my dumb ass to finally check out HB’s. Good things happen when I actually listen to folks.

Go check out Table 28’s Happy Hour. It’s Monday-Friday from 4-6:30 p.m. and features an assortment of reasonably-priced small plates like quail lollipops ($6), fried Brussels ($3), and pork belly sliders ($8). Domestics are $2, drafts $5, house wine$5, and well drinks $5. After the redesign, the place has such a nice vibe, making it a perfect spot to anchor down on an late Friday afternoon. It doesn’t get much better than a nice beer and some quail lollipops.

I’m sorry, I just can’t get on board with King Cake. Granted, most of what I’ve tried in the past is the grocery store variety, but I wasn’t even all that impressed with the one from Boulevard Bread Co. It was much better than what you’d find at Kroger, but, tradition aside, it’s just not a dessert I’ll ever crave.

And finally, something I WILL crave in the future … the chicken biscuit from Delta Biscuit Co. The owner, Hayne Begley, did a pop-up event last week at Honey Pies, and I got to try out his much anticipated food. Color me impressed. The biscuit itself is solid, but combine it with a piping hot, perfectly fried (and enormous) chicken breast and sweet honey, and you have a damn near perfect sandwich. It’s early and I still have no idea what to expect from Delta Biscuit Co., but the food is definitely worth getting excited about.

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End of the Bar: Coffee Cake Stout and Free Range Brown Ale at Flyway Brewing

Coffee Cake Stout

Coffee Cake Stout

 

Monthly Feature, by Mallory Burns

Mallory will be here bringing you something fresh every month about her favorite spot in any restaurant, the End of the Bar.

If you find yourself aching for a local brew after a long and taxing (or even a short and easy) Monday, snag a barstool in the Argenta-located gem we call Flyway Brewing. Named after the largest bird migratory route in the Americas, this microbrewery is dedicated to locally sourced and inspired brews and bites.

We wandered into the taproom cornered on Maple and 4th on a chilly Monday evening to find the 8-seat bar already filled with patrons happily sipping away. The place was humming with conversation and an easy playlist (think Shakey Graves and Alabama Shakes). It’s the prime atmosphere for winding down from your day. The staff is perfectly friendly and attentive.

Worth noting: on Monday nights, Flyway offers $1 off pints and ½ off their soft pretzels. I couldn’t resist, and neither should you.

If you’re looking for a beer that pairs better with cooler weather and doesn’t require an immediate 2-3 week hibernation period after consumption, look no further than the Free Range Brown Ale from Flyway Brewing. Sure, the color of the beer makes you think of an old cigar lounge decked in mahogany furniture (this is a good thing, for the record), but don’t let that fool you into thinking this beer is too heavy for you. It’s relatively light and oh so drinkable, which I find is a really good thing when it comes to beer. Cocoa and caramel notes carry it, and the hops come through subtly without overwhelming you. Our table consisted of a hop-lover (present) and a hop-hater, and both of us were pleased with the way it hit our palettes. It clocks in at a 5.9% ABV and runs $3 for an 8-ounce pour or $5 for a pint (or just $4 for the pint if you hit on a Monday). Pairs nicely with the Free Range pretzel if you’re in the mood for a snack that soaks up the alcohol and also has BACON SALT.

Know what is better than a beer? Two beers.

My second research project for the evening was my motivation for even writing this piece: the Coffee Cake Stout. I encourage you to drop the notion that this beer is too sweet or too heavy for you to try. Branch out and be amazed if this isn’t normally your bag. Y’all, it is aged with cold brew coffee, cacao nibs, and bourbon-soaked vanilla beans. Need I say more? All of those elements come together perfectly to balance it from swinging too far in the “sweet” or “bitter” direction. It’s rich and thick and full of flavor, but it doesn’t overshoot. This stout is 8.5% ABV and will cost you $8 for a 12-ounce pour, but I promise you’ll want to give them more money after your first sip. Order this one at the end of your night.

Flyway offers a pleasing variety that will suit any beer-lover’s needs, unless you’re just impossible to please. Don’t be that guy.

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Food and Drink Fun Throughout October & November

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There are so many really cool events and dinners coming up in the very near future around Little Rock. Check out all of the details below…

The Inaugural Flyway vs Diamond Bear Cornhole Tournament is tomorrow, October 13th from 7-11 p.m. at Diamond Bear (600 N. Broadway in NLR). Top prize collects $200.

The Root Cafe’s Dinner in October,  a 5-course communal meal put together by Chef Jonathan Arrington and his crew, is on this Friday, October 14th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Click here for ticket info.

On Monday, October 17th from 6-9 p.m.,  The Capital Hotel hosts the Thea Foundation’s revamped and renamed event … Blue Plate Special. Formerly known as the Governor’s Culinary Challenge, this year’s event is chaired by South on Main’s Chef Matthew Bell and will combine the talents of ten touted chefs and two mixologists in support of Thea Foundation’s scholarship program. Chefs include: Matthew Bell, South on Main; Capi Peck, Trio’s Restaurant; Payne Harding, Cache Restaurant; Zara Abbasi Wilkerson, private pastry chef/dessert consultant; Gilbert Alaquinez, Forty Two; Marc Guizol, Capital Bar and Grill; Brian Kearns, Simply the Best Catering; Jeff Owen, Ciao Baci; Stephen Burrow, Skye’s Bistro at Stratton Market; and Shiem Swift, The Veg LLC. Mixologists are David Burnette, of South on Main, and Luiggi Uzcategui, of BIG ORANGE :: Midtown. For tickets, click here.

Also, there are two other cool events taking place at The Capital Hotel. First, Duckhorn Wine Ducktails Tasting is on October 19 from 5-6:30 p.m. Also, on Friday, October 28th, check out Soul Food Love Dinner from 6:30-9 p.m.

HarvestFest in Hillcrest is one of my absolute favorite events in Little Rock … there’s just so much to walk around and see, do, buy, drink, and eat. October 22 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. is when things go down. From FB: “HarvestFest in Hillcrest is a one-day event each fall in the historic Little Rock neighborhood of Hillcrest designed to bring friends and families together in celebration of the season. We have a wide array of activities for kids and adults alike, vendors selling their wares, food, fashion, music and much more. Come join the fun. We know you won’t be disappointed. A portion of the proceeds from this event goes to support The Allen School.” Here’s hoping for great weather.

The mighty chicken wing has been a hot topic on the blog of late … and if you’d like to get your wing eating/competing on … make sure to check out the Wingin’ It for Alzheimers on October 22 from 1-3 p.m. at the Diamond Bear Brewery. For tickets or competition information, click here.

And don’t forget about the World Cheese Dip Festival on October 22.

The Arktoberfest Craft Beer Festival and Catfish Cookoff is also on October 22. For all the FAQs, click here. From the looks of it, there will be no shortage of food and drink, and if you love local craft brew, this is the place for you. Should be a great line-up of brewers.

The Arkansas Times Whole Hog Roast is on Sunday, October 23rd from 1-5 p.m. at the Argenta Farmers Market. Tickets are $18 in advance.

The Arkansas State Fair is October 14-23. I leave it up to you to seek out the details … including concerts, food, drink, rides, etc. There’s a lot to cover.

Chef Matt Bell of South on Main will host the Little Rock No Kid Hungry Dinner on Monday, October 24. This multi-course dinner starts with a reception at 6 p.m. and features guest chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris and The Second Line in Memphis and Levon Wallace of Cochon in Nashville. For ticket info, click here. For more information, contact Emily Roth at eroth@strength.org or 512-551-3470.

I really like chili. In a smart move, Chili Fights in the Heights was scheduled for Saturday, October 29. Click here for all of the details.

Also on October 29, save some room for cornbread and head down to SOMA for the Arkansas Cornbread Festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. This is always such a well-run event. Folks can eat and compete … and this year’s top prize is $1000. Eat chili in the Heights and then some cornbread in SOMA … not a bad day.

Lots going on at Lost Forty Brewing as well on October 29th. Head down to the brewery from 4-9 p.m. for the Nighty Night Release Party. There’s a ton of information on this event so click here for all of the details.

On Thursday, November 3rd, Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals (CARE) will host Paws in the Vineyard from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Trapnall Hall. “Paws in the Vineyard will be the PURfect combination of wine and whiskers! Guests will enjoy delicious food, bold beverages, a silent auction, a wine pull, and live music while meeting a few of CARE’s adoptable dogs. Tickets are $60 and can be purchsed at centralarkansastickets.com or by calling CARE at (501) 603-2273.” I’ve been told Trio’s is heading up the food for the event.

The Central AR Asian Festival is set for November 5th from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at 6221 Colonel Glenn Road. Here are the details: “Join us for the largest community festival in Central Arkansas celebrating Asian-Pacific Islander cultures! Free Admission, Authentic ethnic food vendors, food trucks, patio dining, live performers & demonstrations, indoor/outdoor activities.”

Rock City Eat’s Food Trucksgiving event will be on November 5th from 4-8 p.m. at FUMC Bryant (508 N Reynolds Rd) in Bryant. No sure of who or how many, but there should be plenty of food truck options for guests.

The Next Course, the annual fundraiser dinner benefiting Youth Home, Inc., will be held in the Great Hall of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on November 3 at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the evening will be used to benefit the teens in Youth Home’s Residential Treatment Program in Little Rock. “This unique culinary dining experience includes a wine reception and five courses with chef’s tips and instruction on how to prepare the next course. Wine will be served with each course and seating is limited.” For ticket info, click here.

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