Posts Tagged Honey Pies

Around Town: V-Day is Coming Up, Wine Dinners and Cooking Classes Galore

Food news and notes from around the Little Rock area…

Chef Burrow over at Stratton’s Market at Dugan’s Pub is looking to fill a few more seats for tomorrow’s wine dinner. Here’s a look at the full menu, The dinner is reservations only, call (501) 791-6700 to book your seat(s). From Burrow, “I have conceptualized and will be executing the entire service. I really want to fill about 10 more seats, it’s a hell of a deal. And if you’re a foodie it’d be foolish to miss it. We even have an ambassador from Beckstoffer in Cali to come talk up the wines.”

One of our most popular events, Little Rock Soup Sunday, is this Sunday at the Statehouse Convention Center from 4-7 p.m. Tickets are now available to purchase. Regular admission adult tickets are $25 in advance – $30 after 5 p.m. on Friday, January 27th. Tickets for children 5-17 are $10 and children younger than 5 are free.

Lost Forty Brewing is hosting an Oven + Tap Pop Up Brunch this Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Chef Luke Wetzel from Oven & Tap plans to team up with L40’s John Beachboard and Cash Ashley for a menu “inspired by southern fare & hints of Italian flair.” Keep an eye on this page for a menu announcement.

When’s the last time you’ve taken a cooking/baking class at Eggshell’s Kitchen Co.? Well, that’s too damn long. Take a look at the upcoming schedule of classes … and sign up. January 25: V-Day baking with Kelli Marks of Sweet Love Bakes, February 3: Making Chocolate with Ashton Woodward of Cocoa Rough, February 9: Wine glass seminar with Buzz Whelan of Riedel, Febraury 21: Zac David of The Faded Rose, Febraury 27: Scott Rains of Table 28. Also, Alexia and I will be having Lindsey Gray (owner of Eggshells) on the Vive la Vie Show this Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. on KABF 88.3. Please tune in.

Speaking of classes, Honey Pies is hosting its first cake decorating class on Thursday, February 23 from 6-8 p.m. “Our talented team will answer all of your cake questions and provide secrets for success. You’ll go home with a delicious 6-inch drippy cake (chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla).” Cost is $50 per person. Please call to reserve your space: (501) 613-7950. Private classes also available.

V-Day is quickly approaching. If you want to make reservations at your favorite restaurant, now is probably the time to do it. Table 28 has but together a giveaway that you may want to check out. Even if you don’t win, T28 is a great place to be for Valentine’s Day. Here’s a look at the menu.

Another great restaurant, Kemuri, is also taking reservations for V-Day … as is Arthur’s.

Capeo’s monthly wine dinner is February 13 this month, making it a perfect V-Day gift. Hell, just celebrate a day early. Ristorante Capeo’s 3-course wine dinner is $55 per person (grat not included) and includes 3 full glasses of wine. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and features Italian Cured Meats, Truffled Eggs, Stuffed Mushrooms, Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Marinated Asparagus, Roasted Peppers, Grilled Eggplant and Assorted Cheese, Gnocchi Alla Bolognese, Veal Scallopini. Call (501) 376-3463 to reserve a spot.

Get ready for Valentine’s Day with another edition of South on Main’s heART of the Bar: a Handmade Holiday Market. The event takes place on Saturday, February 4 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Shop art, crafts, jewelry, cards and more from local artisans to find that perfect something for that special someone. Free entry … with craft cocktails as well as brunch bites available to purchase. Keep an eye on this page for vendor announcements.

La Terraza Rum & Lounge is having a Bacardi Rum Dinner on March 1 from 6-10 p.m. Click here for full details.

SO Restaurant-Bar is starting its monthly wine dinners for the year “with a fun taste of what Italian wines are” on January 31 for The Italian Experience. Starting Prosecco will be at 6 p.m. with first course hitting the table at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $85 per person for the 4-course pairing. Call ahead for reservations.

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Quick Hits: A Progressive Dinner, Thoughts on Layla’s, Mt. Fuji, and Big Orange Midtown

Fried Shrimp at Doe's

Fried Shrimp at Doe’s

 

I haven’t been to Layla’s in a very long time (maybe over a year), due in large part to it being located in the same parking lot as El Palenque. I tend to lean towards Mexican food when faced with such food dilemmas. Any who, the food has always been outstanding at Layla’s (see: yogurt plate and Yazoo pizza), but Tuesday night’s gyro sandwich was just lacking in taste. The meat was a tad dry and the sandwich needed more than just meat, Tzatziki sauce, and onions. The addition of tomatoes and/or lettuce would do wonders for this sandwich.

Have you ever participated in a progressive dinner? There are many variations, but basically, you have drinks/apps at one restaurant, entrees at another, and desserts at a third spot. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to experience different cuisines, all in one evening. Last Friday night, we started out at La Terraza Rum & Lounge in Hillcrest with some fantastic mojitos, as well as a plate of yuca frita and a meat and cheese board. The mojitos, alone, make La Terraza a place worth checking out, but our food was just as impressive. The raspberry, coconut, and black spiced mojitos are all can’t-miss, and combined with the great food, and personalized service, La Terraza is a place that should be packed on a Friday night. Next, we hit Kemuri for our main course. I choose the Red Dragon Roll and an order of ceviche, the latter of which was a wonderful combination of squid, shrimp, and avocado lightly dressed in a spicy sauce. Service was great and especially impressive, considering Kemuri had a packed house. Kemuri proved yet again why it’s one of our very best restaurants in Little Rock. We finished the night off with desserts and coffee at Trio’s. I had a few bites of a deliciously rich peanut butter and chocolate cake and my tablemates partook in the tres leches. In the end, the night was a total success, with all three restaurants shining with regards to both food and service.

Mt. Fuji gets almost no attention. That’s a shame because it’s really one of our better quick sushi-fix, hole-in-the walls in town. The spicy tuna roll was a hit, as was my pork ramen, and my kid’s chicken teriyaki. The restaurant isn’t fancy, and it won’t be the best sushi you’ve ever eaten, but the food is quality and an excellent value.

Go to Honey Pies for a cup of coffee. I can’t speak to some of their “fancier” java creations, but a regular cup of pour over Leiva’s Coffee is outstanding.

There’s just something so comforting about devouring six fried shrimp, a plate of fries, some toast, and a small bowl of soaked salad at Doe’s. Sure, the steak gets a lot of attention, but I’ve always been a big fan of fried shrimp and Doe’s is my go-to spot for them. And that soaked salad! Did I mention the soaked salad?

It was a mixed bag during yesterday’s lunch at Big Orange Midtown … the sweet potato fries were their usual awesome selves, but our order of truffle-garlic-herb fries were woefully salty, to the point where we just had to stop eating them. My Thai Chop with chicken was outstanding, and while I definitely prefer the steak that accompanies the salad, the chicken was also a nice option.

About twice a year, my daughter and I do the chef’s tasting at South on Main. It’s a truly personalized, 4-6 course dining experience that’s developed and executed by Chef Matt Bell. Give him a week or two of notice, but other than that, I recommend staying out of the way and letting him do his thing, which the other night were dishes like Oysters 3 Ways, Duck Confit with Greens, and refined execution of “Steak and Potatoes.”

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Thanksgiving Orders Get Going, a WLR Closure, & News From Rock Town

Will Thanh give Gus's another shot?

 

Food news and notes from around the Little Rock area…

ICYMI, the WLR Gus’s Fried Chicken closed on November 7th. Here’s the statement left on Facebook: “After much consideration, beginning November 7th, we will convert our Bowman Curve location from a restaurant to a hub for our expanding catering operations. We want to sincerely thank you for having joined us, over the last few years, for your lunches and dinners, and bringing Gus’s chicken into your homes. Unfortunately, we have not been consistently satisfied with either the level of service or high product standards we set for ourselves. We are confident consolidating back to one full service restaurant in the River Market will better equip us to offer you the best experience; every meal; every time.” Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me at all. I love Gus’s but the product coming out of this location was just missing the mark. Heck, I drove past the place at least 4 times a day and never had a desire to stop in (after the first few visits). People will blame the location, just like they always do, but the bottom line is that a quality product wasn’t coming out of the kitchen.

It’s still a little early, but keep your eyes peeled, because now is the time of year when Thanksgiving announcements start coming out from various eateries. If you’re looking for homemade pies at your holiday festivities, Honey Pies has and will continue to take orders. “Place your order today by calling (501) 613-7950 or stopping by The Colonnade Shopping Center at 315 N. Bowman Road, Suite 14.”

The Humble Crumble Bakery out in Sherwood is also taking orders until November 21st. Check out their FB page for full details.

@ the Corner is also all over your pie needs … “‘Tis the season for pies, lots of pies! Our team @ The Corner is ready to rock your holidays with our Rock Town Bourbon Pie featuring Hardin Farms Pecans & Rock Town Distillery Bourbon! To place an order please call 501.400.8458 or email atthecornerlr@gmail.com. For Thanksgiving pies place orders by the 22nd for pickup by the 3PM on the 23rd. For Christmas pies place orders by the 21st for pickup by 3PM on the 23rd.

Also, for those looking for a restaurant to take over the duties for Thanksgiving, you may want to check out what Arthur’s  has to offer…“Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Thanksgiving brunch buffet, Thursday, November 24, 2016. Dinner will be served from 10:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. The menu will feature: Fresh Rolled sushi by Chef Alex Guzman, Oysters and raw bar, Dijon Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib, Smoked Whole Turkey, Bourbon Peach Glazed Ham, Cream Corn, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes, and Cornbread and Sage Dressing. Prices are $40 per adult, $19.50 for children 8-12, $12 for children 3 – 7, children under 3 eat free.”

Big news from our local distillery … “Rock Town Distillery is pleased to announce three of its whiskeys have scored the rating of “Liquid Gold” in Jim Murray’s 2017 Whisky Bible. Rock Town’s Arkansas Rye Whiskey received a “brilliant” 95.5/100, while its Barley Bourbon from the Flavor Grain Series received a “fabulous” 95/100 and its Single Barrel Bourbon received a “superb” 94/100.” Stop by the distillery to check them all out.

In late September, it was announced that Petit & Keet Bar & Grill (in the former 1620 Savoy at 1620 Market St) had hopes of a mid-November opening date. By the looks of it–from my quick drive-by–they still have some work to do. But the good news is that there does seems to be a lot going on over there.

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Dinner at The Southern Gourmasian, Lunch at The Pantry, and Other Ramblings

Sauerkraut Panini at The Pantry West

Sauerkraut Panini at The Pantry West

 

Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…

Going to The Southern Gourmasian for dinner isn’t something I do very often, and that’s a shame, because I’ve said for years now that Chef Justin Patterson is one of our very best chefs in town. This is a long, rambling way of saying our meal on Friday night was fantastic. My daughter and I split orders of ramen, Balinese Chicken Steamed Buns, and Shrimp Fried Rice. Fans of good ramen know the popular dish is hard to come by in this town. TSG’s version, although a smaller portion than many others you’ll find around the country, is priced right ($9) and quite tasty. The broth is rich and flavorful, and while the noodles are the centerpiece of any bowl, the star in the dish was the tender pork shoulder chunks scattered throughout the broth. The shrimp fried rice, with it’s meticulously-cut veggies and plump, perfectly cooked shrimp, proved to be an ideal compliment to the soup. Great service and delicious food at a reasonable cost will have me back at The Southern Gourmasian sooner than later.

If folks sometimes forget The Southern Gourmasian does a dinner service, they may also forget that The Pantry West does a mean lunch service. The Pantry doesn’t get much credit for serving one of the better lunches in town, highlighted by a stellar offering of sandwiches, including my Sauerkraut Panini with Smoked Turkey from Friday’s patio lunch. Comprised of grilled whole grain bread, tangy kraut, fontina cheese, Russian dressing, and shaved turkey, this sandwich is small and simple, but perfect for lunch. For an additional $1.50, I substituted an order of pommes frites for house chips, bringing the total cost to $11.95 … still any excellent value.

Trio’s rotates part of its menu every few weeks, something, as far as I can tell, no other restaurant does in Little Rock. The Blackened Tuna with Soba Noodles, created by Chef Shanna Merriweather, is currently on the menu and is a must-order. Ahi tuna is pan seared for what must be no more than 30 seconds per side and is seasoned to a subtle, spicy perfection. The finished product is this soft, rare piece of tuna that is just wonderful with the accompanying noodles and mixed veggies (Napa cabbage, snow peas, and bok choy). It’s all tied together with a nice ginger-mustard beurre blanc, proving once again that butter is always a great addition to any dish. My only knock on this plate? The portion of noodles and veggies was a little light.

Healthy eating and Maddie’s Place don’t typically go hand-in-hand, but it may surprise you to learn that the Riverdale restaurant does a fantastic salad of house-smoked salmon, candied walnuts, red onion, tomatoes, Romaine, and lemon herb vinaigrette.  The full order costs $9.75, and given the heavy hand of salmon, this salad is an excellent value.

Quick Hits: Honey Pies is taking a stab at kolaches, and admittedly, I am very picky when it comes to these little breaded pockets of joy. Simply put, HP’s version needs some slight re-tooling. The sausage was pretty dense, making it somewhat hard to bite through and the dough needed a little sweetness to it. The Acai Bowl at Juice Bar in Midtown is not cheap (upwards of $12 after tip) but I’m hooked. I just hope that darn thing is relatively healthy. I popped into the Pop Pop Shoppe (like what I did there?), our newest and I guess only specialty popcorn store in Little Rock for a quick gift. I didn’t try any of the popcorn, but the store was bright and beautiful and the service was fast and friendly. I hope they make it, but given the store’s large size … seems like there needs to be more product being displayed. The place struck me as being little empty.

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