Posts Tagged La Terraza

8 Hidden Gems in the Little Rock Area

Beef Milanesa Torta at Super 7

Beef Milanesa Torta at Super 7

 

It’s all pretty much semantics … so whether you want to call each of these restaurants below a hidden gem or underrated or a hole-in-the-wall, one thing is for certain, they don’t receive a lot of attention and they should.

Brewsters 2 Soul Food Café & Lounge
We love our fried catfish in Little Rock, and I’m here to tell you Brewsters serves up the very best I’ve eaten in town. The sweet potatoes, greens, and peas are also fantastic, but don’t rest on the cheeseburger. It’s so simple but so freaking delicious. Location: 2725 S. Arch Street

El Torito
Remember when El Palenque was this obscure restaurant that not many folks knew about? Those days are long gone. I bring up El P because I firmly believe El Torito is very similar. Most people think it’s just a grocery store, but there’s a little café adjacent to the store that serves up some dynamite Mexican food. The shrimp and beef fajitas come out sizzling and are some of the best I’ve had in Little Rock. The tacos are simple but well-executed. Get the carnitas, barbacoa, or al pastor tacos with flour tortillas along with a pile of rice and refried beans. El Torito is also a great take-out option. Location: 303 Bowman Road

Super 7 Grocery Store
You talk about a place that gets absolutely no attention. That’s a shame because the chicken and beef milanesa tortas are divine. As the name suggests, this small eatery is actually inside a grocery store. And I can’t personally vouch for it, but they have a lunch time buffet for around $10 that seems quite well-received. Location: 1415 John Barrow Road

La Terraza Rum & Lounge
If you follow this blog, you know I’ve been singing the praises of La Terraza this past week. And while it’s certainly not a hole-in-the-wall (smack dab in the middle of Hillcrest), it doesn’t get much attention. I think the restaurant must have gotten off to a shaky start (according to some reader feedback). All that said, I really believe you may want to give La Terraza another try…or a try. Hell, just go for the mojitos. They have 8 or 9 different flavors, all fresh and quite flavorful. The meat and cheese board is a winner, as is the arepas and the beef carpaccio. Location: 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd

Sandy’s Homeplace Café
This lunchtime spot is tiny but oh so good! If you’ve been, then you know what I’m talking about. Sandy’s rotates two items each day (like chicken fried steak and chicken livers) paired with a small selections of sides. It’s simple, stick-to-your ribs Southern cooking. And did I mention it’s a buffet? And did I mention it costs like $8 or $9 bucks? You even get a dollar off if you pay in cash. Location: 1710 E. 15th Street

Pho and More
Do you love pho? I mean … do you REALLY love pho? Then make the 35-minute drive up to Jacksonville to Pho and More. It’s the best pho in Central Arkansas. Yes, even better than Mike’s Café (and I love Mike’s). Should I bore you with all of the details about what makes this pho so special? No? Good, I won’t. The vermicelli bowls are also outstanding, and I hear the sushi isn’t too shabby either. Location: 123 S. Jeff Davis Street (Jacksonville)

Milford Track
By now, many of you have heard about Milford Track, the tiny deli located in an office building in the Westlake business park, so why have you still not gone? MT serves up the usual quick-lunch items, but the real reason to go is the hand-made pasta. Few places in town even make their own pasta, much less from scratch right after you place an order. If you do get the pasta, be patient … greatness takes a few extra minutes to arrive at the table. Location: 10809 Executive Center Dr # P2

Smoke Shack Bar-B-Q
If you live in Maumelle or are just a bbq-seeking maniac who’s always on the prowl for good ‘cue, I really think you’ll enjoy Smoke Shack. While it won’t blow you away as some award-winning bbq, it will deliver good food at a great price. I recommend the chopped beef sandwich with a pile of fries, as well as the smoked chicken and the addictive tomato relish. The prize of the establishment, however, is the sweet & spicy bbq sauce. Location: 20608 AR-365 (Maumelle)

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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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