Posts Tagged Local Lime
Whether it’s by myself or with a friend or two, one of my favorite things to do is sit at one of our local bars, have a drink and/or bite to eat, and just take in the scene. Last week, Mallory’s new feature got me thinking about which places I like to hang. Here are my 10 of favorite bars, almost all located inside traditional restaurants. Are they the best bar areas in town? Maybe, maybe not … it’s very subjective, but for a variety of reasons, they definitely suit me.
Big Orange Midtown
Visually speaking, this, or the bar at One Eleven, are the most appealing. The bar at Big Orange Midtown is absolutely gorgeous and is stocked with some of the best liquors in town. From a diner’s perspective, it’s a wonderful place to have a meal and a nice beer or cocktail. The restaurant is never too loud and during the evening hours has a very nice, mellow vibe around the bar. Service is always attentive and drink specials tend to be quite creative.
What to order: Thai Chop Salad w/ Steak and a Lost Forty Honey Bock
It’s not big, and it can get a tad loud, but if you can find a seat, the bar at Pantry Crest is a great spot to watch a game, have an appetizer or two, and down one of the restaurant’s seasonal cocktails or local beers on tap.
What to order: Truffle Deviled Eggs and Stone’s Throw Beer (whatever’s on tap)
Most folks wouldn’t think to hang at Trio’s for its bar, but as you probably know by now, I love the restaurant, and that includes the very underrated bar area. Head Bartender Merrick Fagan is a wizard with his cocktail creations and just an overall good guy to chat with (when he isn’t too busy). The bar is quiet, has a big television to watch a game, and is usually occupied by a few folks, which inevitably leads to fun conversations.
What to order: Shrimp Spring Rolls (or any appetizer special) with a Pineapple Rum Daiquiri
I should go to Raduno’s more often, especially because I really do enjoy the bar. It’s long, can accommodate a large amount of people, but never feels uncomfortably hectic. For all you beer lovers, the on-tap selection is one of the best in Little Rock. There’s also a big, beautiful television, perfect for watching a game.
What to order: Caesar’s Salad and a beer flight
South on Main
Probably my favorite bar in Little Rock. It’s just a cool place to hang, and for lack of a better term, it has that Cheer’s vibe to it. With more and more shows going on, it can get loud in the restaurant, but even then, it’s still nice to hang at the bar. Head Bartender David Burnette is the best in the business, and whether you’re in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail or a nice wine pairing, David always has some great recs.
What to order: Fried Oyster Steamed Bun and Old Fashioned
Heights Taco and Tamale Co.
HTT is often very loud, but I do enjoy finding a seat at the bar (btw, the seats are very comfortable) and having a quick cocktail. I say quick because HTT is very popular, and I hate taking up a seat for too long. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the drinks, whether its a beer on-tap or a cocktail, are usually spot-on.
What to order: Tamales and a Frozen Mojito
Did I say South on Main was my favorite bar? Well, then Flyway is my second favorite. For some reason, I just feel at home there. The bartenders are always super friendly, the beer is outstanding, and the food just keeps getting better and better. The place is never a madhouse, but always seems to have a steady stream of neighborhood friendlies. The massive television right above the bar doesn’t hurt matters.
What to order: Smoked Trout Nachos and a beer flight
This is a bar’s bar. It’s no frills and somewhat dark, but just a perfect place to grab a beer. And Maddie’s seems to always have a nice beer selection. If you’re rolling solo, it’s also a great spot to grab a quick lunch or dinner.
What to order: Grilled Oysters and Bubba’s Brews Arkie Ale
Boulevard on Main Street
Hey, it’s not all about the booze. Boulevard is my favorite coffee bar. I’m there each Friday morning and love spending about 20 minutes on my phone, while enjoying a great cup of coffee. Blvd is another place that has a steady stream of customers, and because this is Little Rock, there’s a good chance you’ll know 1 out of 10 people who walk in.
What to order: Small cup of coffee and a slice of bread-of-the-day
Don’t worry, West Little Rock, I didn’t forget about ya. We all know that Local Lime has the best bar in the area … another Yellow Rock Concepts creation that’s easy on the eye and warm on the soul. Ok, that was a little sappy, but you know what I mean. Local Lime’s bar just feels cool and is a perfect place to hang, especially if you don’t feel like waiting on a table on a busy Friday night.
What to order: Chips and Salsa and a Frozen Margarita
We’re back at it again, trying figure about what some of your favorite culinary delights are here in Little Rock. This time around, let’s look at another subjective food item … tacos. Here’s the question posed on Facebook…
What restaurant in the Little Rock area serves your favorite tacos?
We had 58 comments, with 26 different places being mentioned and 60 total votes. As always, these are very informal polls, so please treat this post as just a nice resource for quality taco options in our area.
Fives places really stood out in terms of votes. El Palenque received the most votes with 9, followed by Local Lime (7), The Fold (6), Guadalajara (5), and Heights Taco & Tamale Co. (5). I thought this was a nice mix of hole-in-the-wall spots with some of your more bigger, popular restaurants. Personally, I’ve enjoyed tacos at 4 out of 5 places… sorry Guadalajara, I’ll get to visit you in the near future. Specific standouts include: the Beans & Greens Taco at Local Lime, the Pollo y Poblano at The Fold, and the Pickled-Fried Chicken Tacos at HTT. Don’t get me wrong, I love El Palenque, but often find myself passing on tacos in favor of burritos, enchiladas, or the caldo.
The second tier of top taco spots included: Taqueria Jalisco San Juan (food truck in the Colonial Liquor parking lot), Chuy’s, Taqueria Karina Cafe, and Eliella. For me, Eliella really stands out in this group. The tacos there are small and simple, but pack big flavor. I’m not surprised to see Chuy’s this high up the list … it’s a very popular spot and they do make their own tortillas. Is it one of the better tacos in town? In my opinion, no, but the chicken soft tacos are very solid and reasonably priced. Karina, on 65th Street, is a hidden gem, and is certainly worthy to receive this many votes.
What really stood out about this particular poll was the number of single vote mentions. Seventeen restaurants received one vote. They include: El Alamo Grill, Cinco de Mayo, Fonda, Maddie’s Place, El Torito, Samantha’s, Senior Tequila, Taco Bueno, Taziki’s, EJ’s, La Regional, Tacos 4 Life, El Porton, Mexico Chaquito, SO, Baja Grill, Taco Beer Burrito. To me, the real surprise here was Baja Grill receiving only one vote. There are some really good, eclectic tacos (Pig Sooie and Cuban) being served up at Baja. Cinco de Mayo is very underrated, as is El Torito off Bowman Road. The chicken tacos at El Porton are excellent, as are the tacos at La Regional. One place that didn’t make the list but I feel deserves a mention is South on Main. They do a fantastic breakfast taco with chorizo on the brunch menu.
Finally, a few reactions from readers…
Daniel Ford: “Not sure if they’ve got overall best, but the Diablo Shrimp at The Fold is my favorite single taco.”
Brandon Olvey: “For my money, nothing touches the chorizo and carnitas tacos at Local Lime.”
Johnna Jaynes Feldman: “I really just love a basic taco crispy, ground beef and cheese at Senior Tequila.”
Tom Allen: “Not well versed in tacos, but I do like The Fold and was surprised by the fish tacos at EJ’s.”
Stephanie Baker Brock: “It will be Tacos for Life when it gets here. For now, I have to drive to Conway to get them.”
Alicia Tuggle: “Never been to El Palenque yet, still on the list though. Baja Grill, Taco Beer Burrito, and Local Lime are my favs.”
Last week, we checked out what was going on over in Midtown … and now Little Rock Restaurant Month starts in West Little Rock. Remember, instead of participating restaurants from all over the city offering specials throughout the entire month, different areas of the city each get a week of specials. August 15-21 marks WLR’s turn. Below, you’ll find a complete listing, as well as a few of my takes…
$1 off chicken salad & fresh fruit
Big Orange (west location)
Free cheese dip or hummus with purchase of burger
Bobby’s Country Cookin’
$1 off dinner & drink
My take: Nice opportunity to check out Bobby’s if you’ve never done so … the food is solid and the service is fast.
Cantina Cinco de Mayo
Free kid’s meal with purchase of 2 entrees at regular price
My take: This is a very underrated restaurant and a perfect place to take the kiddos to enjoy a good deal … and meal.
Prix fixe, $33 three course meal; starter, entrée, dessert
Casa Manana (west location)
$13.95 pollo chiltepin with Michelada
My take: I’ve never had this dish, but the Michelada, alone, makes it a good deal.
½ off off select appetizers with purchase of entree. Choose from: artichoke & spinach dip, bayou broccoli, Al’s favorite popcorn shrimp, onion mum or crab beignets.
Corky’s Ribs & BBQ
$2 off off Cajun shrimp dinner. Bring this coupon in.
Del Frisco’s Grill
Prix fixe 2-course lunch for $20 or 3-course dinner for $35.
Bogo – buy 3 casseroles, get 1 free.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Free award-winning fries with the purchase of a bacon cheeseburger & drink
My take: The fries are pretty damn good … there’s no denying that.
Fonda Tequila Bar
$12 chicken mole plus 1 Dos Equis
My take: The service can be inconsistent at Fonda, but the food is good, and I’m guessing this mole might be worth a visit.
Grady’s Pizza & Subs
25% off a salad or our fresh & delicious pasta dishes. 1 per table, 1 per visit.
$10 sweetie pie – mini pie baked fresh using highest quality seasonal ingredients, topped with house-made fresh whipped cream.
My take: You know I love Honey Pies, so I would definitely recommend taking advantage of this deal. If you’ve never been to the newly opened shop, this is a perfect opportunity to try out the goods without committing to an entire (bigger) pie.
$14.95 – 14” pizza up to 3 toppings with a side of Razorback sticks with cheese
Layla’s (west location)
$7.25 gyro sandwich with fries and drink
My take: You already know Layla’s is great, and this is a solid deal.
15% off any sandwich or entrée.
My take: Here’s another very underrated restaurant that doesn’t get a ton of publicity. The wings here are some of the best in town.
Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some
$10 hotiyaki wings & beer
$14.50 candied bacon & peach pancake with fresh-squeezed orange juice mimosa
Free cheese dip or salsa trio with purchase of an entrée or salad.
My take: While the cheese deep is nice, in my opinion, the salsa trio is definitely the way to go. And make sure you get the chipotle, tres chiles, and zucchini.
$10 14” pizza* (Monday)
Additional offers: Tuesday: buy one/get one* Wednesday: pasta specials* Thursday: kids eat free* *see server for details.
My take: Some of the better pizza in Little Rock, but probably doesn’t get a ton of attention because of its far WLR location.
Ocean at Arthur’s
Bogo – buy any 2 entrees or specialty sushi, get 1 dessert. Valid up to $9. Dine-in, dinner only.
Bogo – buy one small cheese dip with dinner, get a second cheese dip free.
Bogo – buy 1 entree at regular price, get the second 1/2 price. Not valid with other specials.
Sky Modern Japanese
Bogo – buy 1 appetizer, get 1 half off. Also: $5 featured cocktails
Taziki’s Mediterranean Café
Free child’s feast with purchase of adult entree. Dine-in only.
My take: My kids love Taziki’s … probably one of their top 5 spots in town.
The Butcher Shop
$19.95 12-oz. ribye dinner with salad & potato
My take: Solid seems to be the overwhelming theme of this post. The Butcher Shop gives you a nice bang for your buck with this $20 steak deal.
The Main Cheese
25% off total bill. Lunch & dinner
My take: I’ve never been to The Main Cheese, but 25% off your total bill makes this one of the best deals of the week.
Free appetizer. Mention “Little Rock Restaurant Month” to receive offer. 1 per table, dinner only.
My take: I’m not sure if this is a specific, pre-selected appetizer, but they’re all great, so it’s worth it.
The Purple Cow
Free soft drink or tea with any of our new menu items. New items include: supreme cheeseburger, turkey pesto burger, & black bean burger, just to name a few.
The Tavern Sports Grill
$15 half rack ribs, coleslaw & baked beans with Flyway Migrate
My take: The Flyway Migrate makes this a solid deal.
Even though Arkansas is a landlocked state, good seafood can be had here in Little Rock. You just need to know where to find it. Here is a nice rundown of my top seafood dishes in the area that I’ve eaten over the past 3+ years.
Shrimp a la Plancha at El Palenque
Here’s a little secret you may or may not know… Chef David Martinez is one of the best cooks in the city. Judging by the always packed restaurant, you do know. Order the Shrimp a la Plancha, a beautiful plate of grilled shrimp and onions with refried beans, rice, and avocado.
Thin Fish at The Faded Rose
If you are a lover of fried catfish, I just don’t think you will find any better than what The Faded Rose is cranking out with this super thin, fried-to-perfection version.
Black Cod Samfaina at The Terrace
A beautiful piece of pan-seared cod is accompanied by a deliciously salty ragu of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and onions.
Specials at Trio’s
It’s really difficult to narrow it down to one dish, so I’ll just recommend that you keep an eye on Trio’s rotating fish specials. I recently had the glazed salmon, which was amazing, as was my cioppini, a bowl of mixed seafood of scallops, mussels, grouper, and shrimp.
Catfish at South on Main
The first thing I ever at South on Main, this seared catfish is still a staple on every seasonal menu. Chef Bell is a master at pairing it with other ingredients, making this fairly light dish a must-order.
Salmon at The Pantry Crest
When you look down at your plate of salmon with a side of asparagus, couscous, and spinach, you think “What the hell is so special about this dish?” And then you take a bite of the most perfectly cooked, simply seasoned salmon in town … and it all makes sense.
Crawfish Etouffee at The Faded Rose
A hearty portion of mildly spicy, slightly thickened, blond roux with a plentiful supply of small crawfish tails is topped with a pile of seasoned rice.
Bouillabaisse at Boulevard Bistro
Check to make sure it’s on the menu, as I think they rotate the bouillabaisse in and out. This dish is a seafood lover’s paradise.
Walleye at Brave New Restaurant
It’s been a few years for me, but I do remember the walleye being quite delicious and a signature Little Rock dish. To not include it on this list would be a travesty. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but you know what I mean.
Fried Shrimp at Doe’s
Doe’s does some pretty mean fried shrimp. The soft, lightly fried crust is what I enjoy most about these jumbo-sized bad boys.
Redfish at Maddie’s Place
I love red fish. Maddie’s seared red fish with garlic grits, green beans and crawfish etouffee sauce is as beautiful as it is tasty.
Ensalada del Sol at Heights Taco & Tamale
This beautifully presented salad includes skewers of medium-sized, well-seasoned shrimp resting atop a bed of crisp, chopped romaine lettuce. Perfectly ripe slices of avocado and mango sit on the edges.
Shrimp Soup at Rosalinda’s
Admittedly, the actual shrimp in this dish are average at best, but they impart such a wonderful flavor to the broth, making it a must-order on any visit to Rosalinda.
Shrimp and Grits at Ciao Baci
Ciao Baci’s version of shrimp and grits isn’t on the regular menu, so keep an eye out of it. Chef Owen uses top-notch shrimp, which make all of the difference.
Scallops at One Eleven
I rarely order scallops in Little Rock, but One Eleven has an excellent supplier, so if you’re hankering for some sweetness of the sea, this is it.
Green Shrimp Curry at kBird
Sweet, a little sour, and a tad spicy … the green shrimp curry really has it all to ignite your taste buds.
Shrimp Diablo at El Palenque
This dish is probably the spiciness plate I’ve ordered while living in Little Rock. That said, I’m a little bit of a wimp, but if you like hot, order the Shrimp Diablo.
Shrimp and Grits at The Faded Rose
Much like the delicious crawfish etouffee, TFR’s shrimp and grits features a delicious blond roux and plump, perfectly cooked shrimp.
Sushi at Kemuri
Any of Kemuri’s numerous sushi rolls are a hit. Like its sister restaurant, Oceans, if you’re in the mood for the best sushi in town, expect to find it at either of these two spots.
Tilapia Assada at Bossa Nova
I know most folks are down on tilapia right now, but Bossa Nova’s version, a pan-seared piece of fish with basil pesto, is pretty damn good.
Fried Catfish at Flying Fish
It’s Little Rock … you know I had to mention fried catfish a few times on this list. Like most everything at Flying Fish, the catfish is consistently good.
Crispy Squid Filet (or Calamari Snitzel) at Table 28
Tender, meaty strips of squid filet are beer-battered, fried, and then served with cocktail sauce. This is not your run-of-the-mill calamari.
Shrimp Tacos at Baja Grill
The shrimp tacos aren’t necessarily my first choice when dining at Baja Grill (Pig Sooey is), but that’s not to say they aren’t great. They are … mainly because the shrimp are a tad blackened and a little spicy.
Citrus Tuna Ceviche at Local Lime
This redesigned ceviche at Local Lime includes chunks of Ahi tuna, avocado, along with cucumber, lime, cilantro, and a ginger citrus jalapeno vinaigrette.
Boiled Crawfish at The Faded Rose
Hey, it’s crawfish season (until about mid-late May). On Wednesday nights starting at 4 p.m. (and until they run out), you can grab yourself a platter of the mud bugs. Just make sure to order a beer, as they tend to be spicy, but in a good way.
Buffalo Ribs at Lassis Inn
Eating Buffalo ribs at Lassis Inn is something every Little Rocker should do at least once in their life. This bottom-dweller fish is definitely an acquired taste, but if you enjoy yourself a meaty, hearty fish rib, these are for you.
Grilled Oysters at South on Main
Oysters, check. Butter, check. Parmesan cheese, check. What’s not to love?
Stock Pot at The Pantry
This dish is changing constantly, but no worries, it’s only a matter of if it will be “really good” or “great.” Delicate white fish, broth, and root veggies often provide the foundation of one of my all-time fav Pantry dishes. Keep an eye out as I don’t see this dish currently on the menu at either restaurant.
Mama Chi’s Spicy Fish at Chi’s
Delicate pieces of white fish rest in a thick and spicy sauce, making Mama Chi’s Spicy Fish a must-order each time I’m at this Chi’s location.
Shrimp Po’boy at Table 28
This po’boy doesn’t get near the attention as some of the other around town, but it’s just as good. Chef Rains loads it with fried shrimp, kale slaw, and pickled peppers.