Posts Tagged Flyway Brewing

Thoughts on Deluca’s, Lost Forty, The Root, and Flyway Brewing

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Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…

Sadly, it had been about 10 months since my last visit to Deluca’s, my favorite pizzeria located in Hot Springs. I’d heard rumors about some slight changes to the dough, so anticipation was pretty high heading into Saturday’s visit. Long story short, the pizza, which was already some of the best I’ve eaten anywhere, is now even better. The crust is lighter, thinner, and has a crispier texture. It now leans more towards a classic NY-style pizza, with fold-able slices and fewer toppings. Our table opted for the classic cheese pizza, along with a Consigliere, the latter of which was topped with peppadews, fresh basil, and chunks of meatballs. The soft, tender meatballs, also a relatively new addition to the menu, were every bit as impressive as the crust, which is really saying something.  I should also mention our meal-starters … the Caprese Salad and a beautiful meat plate, both of which were excellent, although the Caprese would have definitely benefited from a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Service was stellar and our pies hit the table in a timely fashion. The entire experience was exactly what you look for when carving out a good chunk of a Saturday for a highly anticipated meal.

We hit Lost Forty Brewing on Friday night for a friend’s birthday party, one which was located in the brewery area just across from the main dining/drinking hall. If you’re thinking about having a party in this space, I highly recommend it. Being surrounded by thousands of beer cans, while eating and drinking for a few hours makes for a fun time. I tried two different beers, and while I was impressed by the my super cold and crisp Saison, I was equally unimpressed with the Hefeweizen, a wheat beer that just had a pedestrian taste to it.

Flyway’s Coffee Cake Stout is back, and as I found out last week, it really is better than ever. In fact, it’s one of the top 2-3 beers I’ve had in Little Rock. It’s dark, rich, and full of chocolaty, coffee flavor, thanks in large part to the brewery’s collaboration with Izard Chocolate and Mugs Café (cold brew from Onyx Coffee Lab Coffee). The food at Flyway is also progressing quite nicely. Although it might not be the most popular item on the menu, I highly recommend getting the Marinated Tofu Bahn Mi sliders ($8). The dish is a little small for the price, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in taste. I’m secretly a big fan of tofu and Flyway’s version hits the spot.

I love stopping at The Root in the morning for a cup of Mountain Bird Coffee and a house-made doughnut muffin. If you’ve never tried one of these “muffins,” you may want to consider doing so in the near future. It’s really a guilty pleasure, as the entire thing is covered in sugar. And here’s the best part … the coffee/muffin combo is only $3.88.

Speaking of sugar, have you been following Just Desserts by Zara? She has upped her game, adding fancier decorated cakes to her already strong arsenal of confections. I ordered a lemon curd cake for my wife’s birthday that was absolutely gorgeous, and, of course, tasty. Zara just posted that she’s now booked with private orders through March, but if you’re in need of a cake, you may want to still reach out to her, as openings sometimes become available.

Finally, a quick shout out to Sarah over at Ann Potter Baking who is teaching cookie classes on Tuesday, October 11 (5:30-7:30pm) and Wednesday, October 12 (6-8pm). For more information, contact her at annpotterbaking@gmail.com.

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Your Favorite Bar to Grab a Drink in Little Rock

South on Main

South on Main

 

In recent weeks on the blog, there have been several mentions regarding our lack of variety as it pertains to food and drink in Little Rock. It got me to thinking … is there an area or, dare I say, multiple areas, where we have an embarrassment of riches? Maybe, maybe not, but “bars” popped into my head right off the bat. So I posed this question on Facebook…

“What is your favorite bar to grab a drink in Little Rock?”

We had 50 comments, with more than 34 different bars being mentioned. As always, these are very informal polls, so please treat this post as just a nice resource for quality bar options in our area.

Many times, choosing your favorite place to grab a drink is about more than if the bar serves bad ass cocktails or has local beers on tap. The atmosphere, the music, and the bartender(s) can all play such critical roles in choosing your favorite watering hole. For me, nothing beats South on Main. It’s got that amazing combination of stellar bartenders, a great list of cocktails, and inviting atmosphere that almost always puts it at the top of my list, and apparently, yours too. It finished second only to the iconic Capital Bar and Grill in voting.

The Pantry Crest and Big Orange Midtown were only a few votes short of South on Main and CBG, and for good reason. Both places are gorgeous, carry an excellent selection of beer, and often deliver some of the best cocktails in town.

The Pizzeria, Ciao Baci, Local Lime, and Flyway Brewing were next up. Local Lime serves the best margarita in town and Flyway, which usually offers 8-10 of their own beers on tap, is such a nice and relaxing spot to unwind.

The Fold, Trio’s, Rebel Kettle, The White Water Tavern, and Heights Taco & Tamale Co. also received multiple votes. In this group, the bartending skills of Merrick Fagan at Trio’s really stand out. Merrick is really starting to make a name for himself through his craft cocktail creativity.

Other places receiving votes include: Raduno, Baja Grill, YaYa’s, Four Quarter, Cache, Stickyz, Lost Forty, SO, One Eleven, The Faded Rose, JJ’s Grill, Zack’s Place, Pizza D, The Hillcrest Fountain, 109, Samantha’s, Stone’s Throw Brewing, By the Glass, Reno’s, Oyster Bar, and Boulevard Bistro. This is another excellent group of bars. I love the beauty of One Eleven and Samantha’s, enjoy grabbing a beer at The Faded Rose, and am looking forward to checking out JJ’s Grill.

Thank you to everyone who participated…we’ll try to do one of these each week for the immediate future. I’ll leave you with some more reader comments…

Lisa Prince Thomas: “I work in the Little Rock River Market and Cache Restaurant is in the same building and Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack is across the street. So that’s my easy two picks, both with completely different atmospheres and excellent places for a little after work ‘wet-your-whistle.'”

Mallory Burns: “South on Main, Capital Bar and Grill, Heights Taco. All are so happy and comforting in their own way.”

Alicia Tuggle: “For just drinks the new JJ’s grill in LR has good drink prices and happy hours and daily specials and also crafty hour and then there is the some minutes every hour for domestics too.”

E.W. Swan: “My wife and I had a couple of amazing cocktails at Ciao Baci a few weeks ago.”

Mason Hargett: “I have only been twice, but I really like going to Rebel Kettle Brewing Co.”

Amber Smith: “I have to give a shout out to the bars I’ve enjoyed due to the awesome bartender…Dylan when he was at Big Orange, The Fold…I don’t know your name, but you’re always accommodating, especially when my husband is on call and can’t drink but wants a watermelon drink, and Hunter when she was at Boulevard.”

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April Offers a Ton of Events in Little Rock

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At the Bernice Garden Farmer’s Market

 

April is an insanely popular month for food and drink events here in Little Rock. And for good reason … everyone wants to take advantage of this fabulous weather. Here’s a rundown of (almost) everything that’s going on, inside and out.

Jazz in the Park is this Wednesday, April 6th from 6-8 p.m. at the River Market. This free jazz concert series will be held in the History Pavilion (at the base of the Junction Bridge) in Riverfront Park on Wednesday nights in April and September. Limited seating is available and lawn chairs are welcome for this family (and leashed pet) friendly event. No coolers, but beer, wine, soft drinks and water are available for sale. This week’s performer is Acoustix with Rod P.

The Good Earth Garden Food Truck Meet-Up is this Thursday, April 7th from 5-8 p.m. at 15601 Cantrell Road.

The West Little Rock Food Truck Festival will be on Saturday, April 9th from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at 6400 Divide Parkway. Click here for event updates.

Flyway Brewing is having its Blues, BBQ, & Beer Fundraiser this Saturday, April 9th from 2-10 p.m. The brewery is partnering with Championship Pitmaster Tony Graham and Head Chef of the Clinton Foundation Gilbert Alaquinez to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Pulled pork and smoked chicken bbq plates will be sold for $10 each. All food proceeds and a portion of beer proceeds will be donated to assist Arkansas families with travel and treatment expenses.

The 2016 Jewish Food and Cultural Festival is on Sunday, April 10th from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium. The festival will include “traditional Jewish foods such as old fashioned corned beef sandwiches, lox, bagels and cream cheese, kosher hot dogs, rugelach and many more wonderful Jewish delicacies.” Admission is free.

The Bernice Garden Farmer’s starts back up this Sunday, April 10th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.. This is a fabulous farmer’s market, so please consider making it down there on Sunday.

Big Orange Midtown offers you the opportunity to have dinner with Tom Schlafly, founder of Schlafly Brewing in St. Louis, on Thursday, April 14th at 6:30 p.m. It’s a 4-course, 5-beer, off-menu dinner. Tickets cost $65. Yellow Rocket does a great job with these types of dinners, and I’m sure this one will be no expection.

CARTI’s Ragin’ Cajun Bash is also on Thursday, April 14th from 6-9 p.m. at War Memorial. Tickets are $45 in advance, $55 at the door. Click here for tickets or call (501) 296-3406.

Wildwood’s 18th Annual Wine & Food Festival is on April 15th from 6:30-9 p.m. inside the Cabe Festival Theatre Center. More than 100 specially selected wines and beers are paired with chef’s edibles. For tickets, click here.

The Root Café is throwing its 2nd Annual Pie Bake-Off & Recipe Swap on Saturday, April 16th at 4:30 p.m. “Bake your best traditional pie for our panel of judges. Bring copies of your recipe to swap with other pie bakers. Judges will award 5 Blue Ribbons and one Best-in-Show award.” This is super fun, laid back event with tons of great pie.

Also on April 16th, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese is looking for “Any Excuse to Party.” Click here for all of the details.

Pulaski Tech’s signature fundraising event has a new name and format. “Diamond Chef Arkansas: Recut” is comprised of a preliminary and final competition, all held on the same day (April 21st from 6-9 p.m.) at the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute. In previous years, the two stages were held months apart. Event-goers can now also expect heavy hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening instead of a sit-down dinner. Tickets are $125 per person. For more information, click here.

The Dogtown Farmers’ Market gets going on Saturday, April 23rd from 7-10 a.m. at 420 Main Street in Argenta. Chef Matt Bell of South on Main will have a cooking demo and there will be live music by The Salty Dogs. That’s a good combo.

April 23rd is also the date for the International Food Festival at the Islamic Center of Little Rock (3224 Anna Street) from 12-6 p.m.

The Turkish Food Festival will take place Saturday, April 30th from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at The Little Rock Raindrop Turkish House (1501 Market Street). The festival will feature delicious food, culture exhibits, folk dances, music, whirling dervish, children’s area, crafts and more. For tickets, click here.

“90th at Night!” Wild Wines is on April 30th from 7-10 p.m. at the Little Rock Zoo (which turns 90 this year). This is one of the state’s largest food and wine events with food from 50 restaurants and more than 200 high-quality wines to sample donated by O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor. General Admission are $75 in advance and $90 at the door. The Reserve Room Experience is $150 in advance and $200 at the door. Must be 21 or older to attend. Please bring ID. For tickets, click here.

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Time for Samantha’s to Step Its Game Up, Rosalinda On Point, a Flyway Pop In

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Thoughts from my recent food adventures around Little Rock…

So Much Potential
Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill has several wonderful attributes going for it, like a cool, hip atmosphere that rivals any in town, a prime location in the heart of downtown, fantastic service, and an extremely impressive beer and wine selection. But when it comes to food, my two experiences have been quite average. I haven’t eaten anything bad, mind you, but outside of the shishito peppers (which the restaurant was out of on my most recent visit), nothing has blown me away. That’s a shame because Samantha’s isn’t far off from being a real destination restaurant, a place to take out-of-towners as a true showcase of what our town has to offer.

Rosalinda Does it Right
Rosalinda is the best restaurant in NLR. There, I said it. Deal with it. I’m just thankful we even have a Honduran restaurant in the area worth a damn, much less one that’s churning out some of the best food of any cuisine. I recently ordered the Plato Rosalinda, a plate filled with beef steak, sweet roasted plantain, avocado, and a rice and bean mixture that could rival any. Our tablemates ordered #53, which as far as I could tell was a fried chicken covered in a pile of cabbage slaw and mustard-based sauce. It was a gigantic plate of food … definitely best shared between two people. The cheese pupusas were also their usual bad-ass selves. If you haven’t been to Rosalinda (new location), please go try it out and let me know what you think.

Checking Out the New Flyway Brewing
Go figure…we got ourselves yet another really good local beer company. Flyway Brewing is no stranger to beer aficionados, as their stuff has been on a few restaurant taps around town, but the general public is just now learning about the area’s latest microbrewery, located across the river in NLR’s Argenta District. Listen, I’m not great at describing beers, but I do know a good one when I drink it, and Flyway has several excellent beers available at the new tasting room. One beer I was particularly fond of was the Free Range Brown Ale.

Sidney and Son Bread Company
It was pretty cold last Saturday morning, but I hadn’t been to the Hillcrest Farmers market in a few weeks, so I wasn’t about to let a little chilly weather hold me back. Glad I went. One of my purchases came at the Sidney and Son Bread Company’s booth, where, for $7.50, I purchased a loaf of 7-grain French braid (two white/two wheat braided together). I baked it in the oven with a few pats of butter at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and the exterior came out perfectly crispy. People…this is fantastic bread!

Tercos is Where It’s At
If you’re looking for a great tasting wine at a reasonable cost, might I suggest the Tercos Malbec (red) and Torrontes (white) from De Nux Distributors, which is carried at Colonial (and most retailers around Little Rock). Each bottle of this Argentinian wine is in the $12-$14 range, making it perfect to buy in larger quantities for say, a small party. I think you’ll also find each wine will appeal to a great number of folks.

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