Posts Tagged Mugs Cafe

My Favorite Dishes from Summer 2016

IMG_4844

It’s been a nice summer, and, per usual, I’ve done my fair share of dining out. Soooo… in no particular order, here are some of my favorite dishes from the past few months.

Thai Chop Salad at Big Orange Midtown: It’s now between this salad and the Peck Salad at Trio’s for my favorite in town. The blending of sweet and salty flavors certainly stands out with the Thai Chop, as does the plentiful portion of medium rare chunks of ribeye.

Doughnut Muffin at The Root: One of the very first things I ate in Little Rock, and as far as baked goods go, still one of the best. The cinnamon/sugar exterior is what makes this muffin so very good. Just make sure you pair it with a cup of Mountain Bird Coffee.

Poutine at Table 28: Let’s get one thing straight … the lack of cheese curds eliminates this from being authentic poutine, but that’s where my negativity begins and ends. Pork, mac and cheese, and fries make for a quite unhealthy, albeit delicious dinner starter.

Green Papaya Salad at kBird: I won’t say this is the best dish in Little Rock because I haven’t eaten every dish in town, but I will say that it’s one of my absolute favs. Be forewarned, this salad can get a little spicy (some days more than others), but if you can handle it, I assure you the freshness of the papaya and the crunchiness of the peanuts will make you order this salad again and again.

Farmers Market Splendor at Trio’s: Waaaay back in 2015, this dish made me first fall in love with Trio’s. What’s not to love about local, fried okra, purple hull peas, squash, corn on the cob, and sliced tomatoes?

Fried Catfish at Brewsters II Café: Simply put, this is the best fried catfish I’ve come across in Little Rock. Not that I’m an aficionado on the subject, but if you find better, please let me know. The super crunchy cornmeal crust and hearty catfish filets make this dish shine. Brewsters is such a hidden gem.

Smoked Trout Nachos at Flyway: Honestly, with just a single piece of fish on each chip, these nachos don’t look all that impressive, but they are very tasty bar food. Flyway has slowly gotten better and better over the past several months with its edibles. The nachos are a perfect example of why this NLR craft brewery has more than just good beer offerings.

Breakfast Tacos at Mugs Café: I’ve written about these tacos in the past and them falling on this list is a testament to their consistency. I’m not typically a fan of breakfast tacos made with corn tortillas, but these somehow work, due in large part to an excellent chorizo.

Dumplings at China Wok: Thank you, Mr. Pinter, for this fantastic recommendation. Whether steamed or panned fried, China Wok’s pork dumplings (8 for $4.50) are absolutely delicious and an amazing value. The wrappers are soft, thick, and downright addictive.

Cinnamon Roll at PattiCakes: Hey, Conway is only about 30-40 minutes away…and the cinnamon rolls at PattiCakes are definitely worth the drive. I love how they are gooey, but not too gooey, and, like everything else at PattiCakes, are super fresh.

Jagerschnitzel at The Pantry: I go back and forth whether this or the green papaya salad at kBird is my favorite dish in Little Rock, so that alone should tell you about my feelings towards the jagerschnizel. It includes four of my favorite things on earth: fried pork, mushrooms, gravy, and greatness.

Mess o’ Greens at South on Main: These greens were a nightly special when I was at South on Main for a concert. How does a pile of mixed greens topped with cured, shaved egg yolks, sound? The answer … pretty damn good.

Wafflewich at Arkansas Fresh Cafe: At 39, you tell yourself not to eat waffles when they are served as the main component of a breakfast sandwich. And then you walk into Arkansas Fresh Cafe and all hell breaks loose. You win, Arkansas Fresh, you win.

, , , , ,

No Comments

Pie Hole: Social Media Eludes Many Little Rock Restaurants, But Not All

kshalinCommentary

Can someone please explain to me why so many Little Rock restaurants continue to resist implementing social media into their marketing plan? I wrote about this issue last year, and sadly, not much has changed for the better.

Having an adequate website, along with maintaining a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook, are absolutely essential for a restaurant these days. But why aren’t most places doing all three? Is it a lack of awareness/knowledge, outright laziness, or a combination of both? Whatever the reason(s), it seems many places throughout the Little Rock area are missing a golden opportunity to increase exposure and potentially sales (at a fairly low cost).

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Here are some establishments who seem to be handling their social media business quite well.

Mugs Café: The fairly new café in NLR maintains a clean, simple, and beautiful website. This certainly echoes the vibe you get when having a cup of coffee inside Mugs. And although Twitter and Facebook follower numbers are still somewhat low, due in large part to its newness, Mugs regularly updates both mediums with messages and pictures. I suspect these figures will rise steadily in the future.

Hot Dog Mike: I couldn’t stand that ridiculous “Until We Meet Again” campaign (fueled in large part by social media) and I wasn’t a fan of his Kickstarter (not big on any business doing it), but there is absolutely no denying his social media magic. Dude has 6,400 Facebook followers and just as many on Twitter. He’s constantly posting location updates and pictures, as well as interacting on a regular basis with his legion of fans. Hot Dog Mike’s website reads more like a blog roll, but that’s really splitting hairs…it’s there and serves its purpose.

South on Main Brings It

South on Main Brings It

South on Main: The coolest spot in Little Rock has only been in existence for a few months, but is there any other restaurant doing a better job on social media? No. Hell, they’ve almost reached 4,000 Facebook fans, an insane number in such a short period of time. SoM’s Twitter numbers are much lower, but they do an excellent job of going back and forth with the followers they do have, many of which are avid local foodies. With a gorgeous website, excellent musical event promotions, and fantastic food pics, it’s easy to see why South on Main is currently king.

Big Orange: Right up there in the social media world with SoM, Big Orange has an elite, user-friendly website, equipped with testimonials and pictures, as well as solid numbers on both Twitter and Facebook. Both accounts, Big Orange West and Big Orange Midtown, excel at promoting events, specials, and giveaways, while also exhibiting a warmth towards customers.

The Southern Gourmasian: This is Little Rock’s #1 food truck, due in large part to Chef Patterson’s creatively tasty creations, but also because of a consistent social media presence. The numbers won’t jump out at you, but followers can always expect regular locations updates, along with a well-maintained website. I wish chef would engage his loyal fans more often on Twitter, but it’s understandable why he doesn’t. I can only imagine how difficult and time-consuming it is to run a food truck.

Notes on some other spots worth mentioning:

Waffle Wagon: Fairly new food truck in town. Great on Twitter—funny and really engages followers. Growing Facebook presence. No website, but not absolutely crucial.

The Pantry: Continues to do a solid job…would enjoy more tweets.

Local Lime: Wait, no website? What’s the deal with that? Great on Twitter, always quick to respond.

The Faded Rose: One of the better Facebook accounts in Little Rock. Adequate website. Technically, they have a Twitter account (almost never updated).

What are you thoughts on my list? Agree or disagree? Any major omissions? Would love to know.

, , , , ,

15 Comments