Posts Tagged Table 28
Thoughts on my recent eating experiences around Little Rock…
Kudos to Arkansas Heart Hospital on the delicious $5.55 bowl of ramen it cranks out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sorry if that sounds like a promotion on my part, but people get pissed at me when they go on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, only to find out the ramen isn’t available those days. Chef Smith does a nice job of rotating the protein included with each bowl, so whether it’s seared scallops, pork belly, or a slab of beef, I really think you’ll be satisfied with any version. My latest bowl, which included a pile of veggies, along with a sous vide egg and beef short ribs, was fantastic.
I sampled some V-Day cookies a few weeks back from Kelso’s Cakes and was not only impressed by their look but also the taste. I don’t know a lot about Kelso’s, but it’s definitely a baker you should follow on Facebook and consider ordering from in the future.
It sounds crazy, but the marinated tofu sliders at Flyway Brewing really are legit. Yes, I not-so-secretly love tofu, and what the folks at Flyway are doing with it is fun, and, above all, delicious. Those little pickled, spicy carrots served alongside the slider don’t hurt matters either. Damn, those things are absolutely addicting. Anyways, wash it all down with a nice brown ale and call it a day. Even though it’s tofu, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Speaking of beer, I did something very fun a few weekends ago … partook in a sour beer tasting at Flying Saucer in downtown. Kudos to my friends Wes and Leighanne for setting it up and selecting the beers. My knowledge of sour beers is quite limited, but I did enjoy the taste of the ones I’ve tried in the past. My favorite this time around was the New Belgium 2016 La Folie Sour Brown Ale, but honestly, I enjoyed them all. Props to Flying Saucer for carrying such a nice selection.
Shocker alert!!! El Palenque is kinda good. Don’t roll your eyes … you know I heart the place. Suggestion: order the huevos rancheros. It’s a small plate of over-easy eggs topped with rancheros sauce, along with rice, beans, and tortillas.
David’s Burgers is still one of the better options in town, but damn, ease off the salt shaker. Salt lick aside, the service is still some of the best in town. Having a guy ready at all times to dump a pile of steaming fries on your table is a wise move on the restaurant’s part.
HB’s Bar B.Q. is the best restaurant barbeque I’ve had in Little Rock. It’s that simple. The sliced brisket is nothing to write home about, but the pulled pork sandwich certainly is, as are the sides of potato salad and beans. And I love the casual, down-home atmosphere of the place. The only disappointment is that it took almost five years for my dumb ass to finally check out HB’s. Good things happen when I actually listen to folks.
Go check out Table 28’s Happy Hour. It’s Monday-Friday from 4-6:30 p.m. and features an assortment of reasonably-priced small plates like quail lollipops ($6), fried Brussels ($3), and pork belly sliders ($8). Domestics are $2, drafts $5, house wine$5, and well drinks $5. After the redesign, the place has such a nice vibe, making it a perfect spot to anchor down on an late Friday afternoon. It doesn’t get much better than a nice beer and some quail lollipops.
I’m sorry, I just can’t get on board with King Cake. Granted, most of what I’ve tried in the past is the grocery store variety, but I wasn’t even all that impressed with the one from Boulevard Bread Co. It was much better than what you’d find at Kroger, but, tradition aside, it’s just not a dessert I’ll ever crave.
And finally, something I WILL crave in the future … the chicken biscuit from Delta Biscuit Co. The owner, Hayne Begley, did a pop-up event last week at Honey Pies, and I got to try out his much anticipated food. Color me impressed. The biscuit itself is solid, but combine it with a piping hot, perfectly fried (and enormous) chicken breast and sweet honey, and you have a damn near perfect sandwich. It’s early and I still have no idea what to expect from Delta Biscuit Co., but the food is definitely worth getting excited about.
We’re less than 14 days from Valentine’s Day, which is the perfect time to start looking at menus and making reservations. I’ve scoured the internet to find local menus, specials, and places that are taking reservations. I’m sure there are many more specials, but these are the ones I could find thus far. Also, this is not to say these are the only restaurants you should consider going to on V-Day. If prix fixe menus aren’t your thing, many restaurants are open for business and offering their standard menu. In short, if going out on Valentine’s Day is your thing, check out the info below and click on the links for more details. Finally, if you’re a restaurant who is offering a special that I failed to include below, please message me and I’ll be glad to update the post.
The Southern Gourmasian
South on Main: available 2/10, 2/11, 2/14
One Eleven: V-Day hotel package also available
Table 28: V-Day hotel package also available
Cache: available 2/10, 2/11, 2/13, 2/14)
Capeo: 3-course wine dinner, available 2/13 (click the link and scroll down for info)
Heritage Grille, Steak and Fin
Del Frisco’s Grille
Canvas at the Arkansas Arts Center
Flyway Brewing: The Flyway Bouquet
Rocktown Distillery: Whiskey and Chocolate Pairing, available 2/12
Izard Chocolate: So Hoppy Together, available 2/12
Cocoa Belle Chocolates: Pop Up Shop on 2/10
Cocoa Rouge: Per 1/30 FB update, has delivered fresh chocolate to Eggshells and Colonial Wine and Sprits
2017 Chocolate Fantasy Ball
Blue Cake Company
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.”
Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…
Chef Scott Rains at Table 28 hosted our latest TMR dinner and proved once again why he can hold his own with any chef in this region. Every dish from the 6-course Italian dinner delighted, with highlights including the Warm Tripe Alla Parmigiana, the Grilled Octopus with Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette, and the crowd favorite Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads, Sweet & Sour Onions, Duck Bacon, Brussels, & Vinaigrette. Kudos to Rains and the entire staff for a delightful evening.
Is it just me or is that area off Rodney Parham (near Franke’s) experiencing somewhat of a resurgence? With Al Seraj, Flavor of India, Taj Mahal, and what looks to be an almost open Asia Buffet … it’s time to dub that area Buffet Row. And I mean that in a good way.
What will happen to the old Savoy space? Do you think another high-end restaurant will go in there? Would it succeed? It’s a little bit of a funky location, but not any crazier than Table 28, which is just down the block.
We did a poll over on Facebook this week about the best French fries in Little Rock. A quick scan of responses had Big Orange as the favorite with Maddie’s Place a close second. Hard to argue with that.
As previously stated on Twitter, what is up with so many places dumping mac & cheese on a perfectly good hamburger? Doesn’t this seem ridiculous or am I being overly critical? Probably the latter.
I stumbled upon another fantastic local baker, this time at Sunday’s Bernice Garden Farmers Market. Twiggy’s Treatery, based out of Sherwood, does all sorts of sweet treats, like strawberry tarts, oatmeal cream pies, banana bread, and chocolate chunk cookies (with Izard Chocolate). It was my first time trying them out, so I can only vouch for the oatmeal cream pie, but it was fantastic and definitely will inspire future purchases from Twiggy’s.
My buddy Rob over at WaterVeg has ramped up production of his aquaponic lettuce. For $12 a basket, you get four plants of living produce, one each of red and green Romaine, and red and green Bibb. I just received my first basket the other day and couldn’t be more pleased with the quality and taste. You can order the basket on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis, and each one is delivered right to your front door.
Lost Forty is set to up its bbq game with the addition of some monster smokers. This is potentially great news for a city lacking in top-notch bbq. I think the main question now becomes who will run and oversee these bad boys?
Doesn’t that former FRESH Eatery space near the Capitol seem like a wonderful opportunity for someone? While it may not be the ideal dinner destination, it strikes me as a perfect spot for lunch.
Finally, Sharon Woodson over at Honey Pies recently announced that she’ll be going brick and mortar with a WLR location. Sharon is so passionate about what she does, works her tail off, and is determined to make the very best pies around. All the best to her!