Posts Tagged Red Door
Save this list, bookmark it, print it out … do whatever you have to do to file it away and use it as the ultimate reference guide for the best appetizers in Little Rock. Below is a combination of reader response and personal favorites. If there are any glaring omissions, please add them to the comment box. Also, make sure to check each restaurant’s current menu, as some of the appetizers are seasonal items.
Bruschetta, Hummus, or Baba Ganoush at YaYa’s
My Take: A friend once told me about the magnificence of YaYa’s baba ganoush and she was absolutely right.
Brussels Sprouts or Fried Hummus Bites at North Bar
Bacon Wrapped Dates, Truffled Deviled Eggs, House Made Ricotta, Cheese Spaetzle, Pomme Frites, Brussels Sprouts at The Pantry
My Take: In retrospect, I probably should have typed “See the entire Starters menu at The Pantry.”
Skillet Bread, Fried Chicken Livers, Pork Rinds, Fried Oysters or Smoked Oysters at South On Main
My Take: South on Main got a ton of love on this post, as it should, the appetizers are all fantastic. But my personal favorite is the Fried Oyster Steamed Bun, which is listed below.
Pimento Cheese, Bread & Butter Plate, or Smoked Jalapeño Pimento Cheese, or Black Eyed Pea and Poblano Hummus at Lost Forty
Fried Black Eyed Peas or Spiced Pecans at Capital Bar and Grill
My Take: Those spiced pecans are crazy addictive and an absolute must-get on any visit to CBG.
Shrimp Tchoupitoulas, Rose’s Hot Red Pepper Shrimp, Stuffed Mushrooms, Rose’s Fries, Fried Artichoke Hearts, Fried Green Tomatoes, or Cajun Popcorn at The Faded Rose
My Take: Good gracious was TFR mentioned a lot on this thread. All great choices, but give me those wedge fries with the buttermilk dressing any day.
Onion Rings or Fried Green Tomatoes at Cotham’s in the City
Cheesesteak Egg Rolls at Del Frisco’s Grille
Crab Cakes at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room
Yellowtail or Hamachi Nigiri at Kemuri
Burrata at Raduno
Cheese Fries or Quesadilla at Buffalo Grill
Hummus or Baba Ganoush at Layla’s
Hummus with Pita Bread at Mama’s Gyros Grill
Fried Mozzarella Sticks at Dugan’s Pub
Baked Pimento Cheese at Boulevard Bistro
My Take: I’ve written about this appetizer several times in the past and it really is a unique and delicious spin on a Little Rock classic.
Fried Gulf Oysters or Crispy Chicken Livers at Red Door
Calamari Fries, Tuna Tataki, Spinach Dip, Queso Fundido, or Hot Crab Dip at Trio’s
Salsa Trio at Local Lime
Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp at Samantha’s Tap Room and Wood Grill
Tamale Pie at Heights Taco & Tamale Co.
State Fair Fries (with Side of Jalapeño Ranch) at Big Orange
Crab Stuffed Artichoke at Capers
Tortilla Soup at Casa Manana
Heirloom Tomato Plate, Goat Cheese Moouse or Baked Camembert at Brave New Restaurant
Cheese Dip at Reno’s Argenta Cafe
Ceviche Tostadas at El Porton
Crab Cake at One Eleven at the Capital
Grilled Meatballs and Stuffed Eggplant at Ristorante Capeo
Bread and Butter at Bruno’s Little Italy
Fried Portobello Slices or Shrimp & Brie Quesadillas with Mango Salsa at Loca Luna
Falafel, Tabouleh, Hummus, or Baba Ghanouj at Zam Zam Grill
My Take: I’ve heard good things about this place, probably time to check it out.
My Personal Favs
Smoked Trout Nachos at Flyway Brewing
Chicken Nachos at El Palenque
Ceviche at Local Lime
Pupusas at Rosalindas
Fried Oyster Steamed Buns or Cauliflower Popcorn at South on Main
Fried Yuca at La Terraza Rum & Lounge
Pimento Cheese (Toast) or Radishes at The Root
Ceviche at Kemuri
Leeks at One Eleven at the Capital
Triple Dipper at Baja Grill
I hear it all the time … “We really lack in breakfast options here in Little Rock .” It’s a fair assessment, and while the food scene would be much improved with more quality breakfast spots, for this post, I wanted to focus on what we do have … and break things down into various groups.
Group 1 – Places I’d Highly Recommend (3)
Details: These three places are the three elite breakfast options in town. At the Corner and The Root both have great pancakes, but the go-to items are the breakfast burrito at At the Corner and the biscuits and gravy at The Root. The smoked salmon bialy and The Breakfast Sandwich are the stars at Boulevard.
Group 2 – Places I’ve Never Had Breakfast At, But Would be Shocked if it Wasn’t Great (2)
Details: Granted, One Eleven is a pretty upscale place for breakfast, something many of us just aren’t looking for. But if you’re in the area and want to treat yourself to something special, I imagine the breakfast at One Eleven is pretty fantastic. In terms of atmosphere, Leo’s is the complete opposite of One Eleven, but if the breakfast is half as good as their cheeseburger, then we’ve got ourselves a winner.
Group 3 – Places I’ve Never Been To, But REALLY Want to Try (2)
Details: I give folks shit all the time for not getting in their cars and literally driving the extra mile to eat at different restaurants across the city. But I can be a hypocrite at times, because the reason I’ve never been to either Guadalajara or Gadwall’s is directly related to distance. From the looks of it, Guadalajara has a limited, 4-item breakfast. Gadwall’s does biscuits with chocolate gravy, from what I’m told.
Group 4 – Places I Know Nothing About, But Were Mentioned on the Blog (4)
Details: As stated, I know nothing about the breakfast at these places. Maybe you do … and maybe they are great.
Group 5 – Place That is Just Plain Solid, But Not Spectacular (1)
Details: Mugs Cafe has changed ownership and I haven’t been there in several months, but the place always served a very solid breakfast, including dishes like an egg-white omelet and breakfast tacos. The service has always been consistent, and although the menu won’t wow you, I’ve never left Mugs disappointed.
Group 6 – Places I Know Exist, But Ain’t Knocking Down the Door to Try (6)
Details: I haven’t heard many good things about Ozark, and while I’ve had good lunches at Homer’s East, the dinner at Homer’s West didn’t inspire a return visit. Truthfully, I’ve eaten breakfast at DownHome once, right when it first opened, but didn’t care for the food. That said, it was early in its existence, and it wouldn’t surprise me if things got a lot better. Frontier Diner makes a mean patty melt for lunch but is a difficult location for me to get to in the morning.
Group 7 – Places to Grab a Quick Donut, Pastry, Smoothie, Etc. (3)
Details: Of course there are more than three of these types of places in town, but these are the three I recommend for a quick bite. The chocolate banana muffin at Mylo is elite and donuts at Mark’s are the best you’ll find in this area. Get the Acai Bowl at I Love Juice Bar … you’ll be good ’til lunch.
Admittedly, I order steak in a restaurant about twice a year. Don’t get me wrong, I love steak, but it always seems like such an extravagance, and I tend to opt for pork, chicken, or fish. But enough about me.
Here’s the question I posted on The Mighty Rib Facebook page:
“What is your favorite restaurant steak in the Little Rock area?”
We had exactly 100 comments, with more than 25 different restaurants being mentioned. Please, take this very informal poll with a grain of salt. Some of the comments were from either restaurant employees or family members from the actual restaurants. Rather than treat this post as an end all, be all, please look at it as a nice resource for quality restaurant steak options in our area.
The Faded Rose, Doe’s Eat Place, and Arthur’s all finished at the top, with each restaurant receiving 13 mentions. This comes as no surprise … all three places have been around forever and do an amazing job. Personally, these are also my top steak spots. The 3-lb Porterhouse at Doe’s is still the best steak I’ve eaten in Little Rock, and the blackened rib-eye at The Faded Rose, and Australian Wagyu filet at Arthur’s aren’t far behind.
Maddie’s Place, Riverfront Steakhouse, Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, and Trio’s led the second tier of voting. Here’s what some of the commenters had to say … From A.B. Naylor, “Maddies Place when there’s a strip on. He can do medium-rare like nobody’s business.” And from Amy Bradley-Hole, “Any answer other than Maddie’s Place is incorrect.”
The next tier of vote-getters comprised of several restaurants with about the same number of mentions. These include: The Butcher Shop, Loca Luna, South on Main, YaYa’s, Red Door, Table 28, Saddle Creek Woodfired Grill, The 1836 Club, SO Restaurant-Bar, Black Angus, Cache, Toad Suck Buck’s!, Cheers in the Heights, The Pantry, and Samantha’s. Even chains like Texas Roadhouse, Del Frisco’s, and Longhorn got mentioned. A few other personal favorites that weren’t mentioned, include: Lulu’s Latin Rotisserie and Grill, Ciao Baci, and Kemuri.
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…
Pam Smith: “YaYa’s has an awesome filet that is free when it’s your birthday. But if I’m paying, it’s Red Door ribeye on Wednesday night! Best steak for my hard earned money.
Claudia Fields: “Doe’s for Porterhouse and Riverfront for filet….they are both one of our favorite places to take out-of- town visitors.”
Courtney Bennett: “The Red Door filet is consistently perfect. South on Main does a fantastic rib-eye.”
Mario Montenegro: “I’m actually surprised that no one has mentioned SO Restaurant-Bar. Steaks there are always spot on, never disappoints!”
Mary Johnson: “I had a great steak at Cache Friday night.”
John Keller: “So far the best steak I’ve had here is from Arthur’s. The two other best steaks I’ve had were from Sonny Williams and Doe’s.”
Ryan Phillips: “Sonny Williams and it’s not close.”
Cindy Scott-Huisman: “I always love the filet mignon at Faded Rose!”
Thoma Thacker: “Nobody mentioned Black Angus. It’s definitely not black tie, but back when I used to go, their ribeye was the best! Plus the green beans were always seasoned perfectly.”
Oh, that often overshadowed side dish—always taking a back seat to the main entrée. But make no mistake, a great side dish can be memorable in its own right. In Little Rock, we certainly have our fair share of fantastic options. Here are my Top 10 Side Dishes (in no particular order):
Lentil Salad from Hillcrest Artisan Meats
At H.A.M., you have the choice of chips or the lentil salad with your sandwich. I always go with the lentils. In fact, if you ever see me not going with them, permission is granted to drop-kick me in the nuts. Subtle amounts of ingredients like red onion, parsley and olive oil make this dish a perfect companion to any of their sandwiches.
Brussels Sprouts from Table 28
Table 28 is able to take their Brussels sprouts right to the edge of deep fried disaster without falling over the cliff. The end product yields a ton of crispy, charred leaves that eat almost like popcorn.
Braised Red Cabbage from The Pantry
Sweet and slightly tangy, The Pantry’s braised red cabbage is the perfect accompaniment to several dishes at the restaurant. Order a side bowl and watch it disappear within minutes.
Mango Carrot Slaw from The Fold
This seasonal dish has such fresh flavors, along with bright and vibrant colors. Beautiful strings of mango and carrot sit in a bowl with oranges and springs of cilantro. What’s not to love?
Wedge Fries from The Faded Rose
Technically, this is an appetizer…but dammit, this is my list and The Faded Rose’s wedge fries are just too good not to mention. Super thick and fried to perfection, these fries are best dipped in ranch dressing…then ketchup.
Mashed Potatoes from Table 28
Yes, Table 28 is the only restaurant with two representatives on this list…and for good reason. The mashed potatoes laced with Boursin cheese and buttermilk, then piped into a bowl, are borderline magical. I unashamedly almost polished off an entire bowl by myself the other night.
Wrinkled Green Beans from Chi’s
Chi’s (on Markham) is my favorite overall Chinese restaurant in Little Rock and these green beans always find their way onto our table, right next to a plate of beef chow fun and Hunan beef.
Sweet Potatoes from Brewsters 2
All of the sides at Brewsters are wonderful, but I especially enjoy the thick-cut chucks of buttery sweet potatoes. Add some fried catfish and the purple hull peas to the mix and just call it a day.
Grilled Veggies from Milford Track
I will never know how Kay from Milford Track gets an assortment of mixed veggies to taste so fabulous, but she does…and you’d be wise to order them with some of her fresh, handmade pasta.
Eggplant Casserole from Franke’s
Did you really think I’d leave this iconic Little Rock dish off my list? Hells no. Eggplant, bread crumbs, tomatoes and an assortment of other ingredients meld into a vat of goodness that’s both hideous to the eye and sheer ecstasy to the taste buds.
These were my absolute favorite sides dishes in Little Rock…but I also heard from you! Here are some reader suggestions:
Truffle Fries from Big Orange (multiple votes), Andouille goat cheese grits from Trio’s, Onion Rings from Cotham’s, Creamed Greens from South on Main, Roasted Red Potatoes from The Pantry, Gnocchi from Natchez, Greens from Gus’s, Sweet Potato Fries from Big Orange, Brussels Sprouts from E’s Bistro, Eggplant Fries from The Root Café (multiple votes), Drunken Beans and Rice from Local Lime, Bleu Cheese Slaw from Maddie’s Place, Greens from Sims, Broccoli Salad from Palette Catering and Cheese Grits and Tuscan Beans from Red Door.
Did we miss any? If so, please let us know in the comment box below!