Posts Tagged Table 28

Quick Hits: Thoughts on My Recent Dining Out

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Fried Chicken at Table 28

I missed this regular post entry last week, so here’s a recap of about 2 weeks of my food experiences…

Checked out District Fare, the old HAM space and latest venture of Tomas Bohm. You can tell Bohm has sunk a ton of dollars into a re-model, and it all looks fantastic. The number of seats have doubled and everything is clean and sleek. I split one each of a pastrami and roasted cauliflower sandwich with a friend, and while neither blew me away, the food and service were quite commendable for a soft opening. The pastrami, although tender, seemed a bit overcooked. But the star of the lunch was the house-made mustard, which I think you can actually purchase. All and all, it was a successful first experience at District Fare and I have no doubt this place will quickly be a hit.

The Thai Chopped Salad with steak at Big Orange Midtown is a must-order. You’ve probably seen me write about it many times on the blog, so my glowing endorsement comes as no surprise.

Dinner at Table 28 was pretty damn fantastic. My perfectly cooked, medium rare duck with the signature Brussels sprouts and bacon was a hit, as was the fried chicken and shrimp scampi, but the best dish of the evening was the goat tostadas with mole and black beans. My daughter ordered it, and, at first, I thought she was crazy to do so. With all the other great options on the menu, why would someone order goat tostadas? She obviously knew more than I did, as that mixture of tender, shredded goat and mole was amazing. Hope this dish stays on the menu. One more thing … our server, Jeffrey, provided stellar service. He was attentive, knowledgeable of the menu, and just a flat-out class act.

Get the Roasted Chicken with Fried Potatoes at YaYa’s. Seriously, that dish is crazy good. Yeah, yeah, I know … it’s roasted chicken, but it’s swimming in garlic, has a little heat from the peppers, and is just a massive plate of tasty food for $19. Kudos to YaYa’s on great service on a Saturday night. It’s a massive restaurant, and the place was packed, but they still managed to get the food out in a timely manner.

Have you ever tried the fried catfish at Burge’s? If you’re anything like me, you’ve concentrated on the smoked turkey salad and forgotten about everything else on the menu. Well, my fried catfish sandwich was really good, with the only downfall being a heavy amount of tartar sauce that did its best to overwhelm the fish. No worries, I just scraped it off. The fish itself was small, thin, and crispy with a nice cornmeal batter.

I love Mt. Fuji but the Fried Tofu Udon Bowl is a pass. It’s kind of boring and the tofu is just too sweet.

Speaking of sweet, my Soy Sauce Fried Chicken at the new Kimchi (old Van Lang space) was wildly addictive, but way too sweet. That said, I ate most of the $15 plate of food with relative ease, and while the bulgogi and ribs were average at best, the chicken and good service is what will inspire a return visit. There’s certainly enough to like about this spot to go back and try out some other dishes. That said, $15 for a plate of fried chicken thighs swimming in sauce is just too expensive.

I know Terri-Lynn’s has been around forever, but it’s a spot that rarely gets much attention. They make solid, reasonably-priced food that’s served up within minutes. Simply put, it’s a quality lunch spot. Get the deviled eggs, a pair of egg halves that are as traditional as it gets. My “Sharon” sandwich with smoked turkey and a pile of creamy cole slaw, however, was a miss. The slaw just overwhelmed everything else on the sandwich. No biggie, I’ll just try another sandwich next time.

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The Market Street/Rodney Parham Area is on the Rise

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This week’s announcement that Petit & Keet Bar and Grill, a new “polished-casual” restaurant and bar located at 1620 Market Street, will be opening on May 18th got me to thinking.

Is this area around Market Street/Rodney Parham suddenly one of Little Rock’s culinary hot spots? Before you start giggling, think about it for a second.

With city limits now extending way into the Chenal, this area is pretty much Midtown. And sure, it’s still not considered a trendy area of town (like a Hillcrest or Heights), but look at all of the eateries within a few blocks of each other. Some are old and some are new … but one thing is for certain, there’s a ton of variety.

Just a stone’s throw from Petit & Keet is Table 28, one of our more upscale restaurants in town, serving up anything from bone marrow to seared scallops to quail lollipops.  Sure, Flavor or India just went belly-up, but the renovated Market Street Shopping Center just down the street from Table 28 is home to the iconic Franke’s Cafeteria, as well as take-home meal specialist Diane’s Gourmet, and Mickey’s Cakes & Sweets.

There’s even a Starbuck’s, but, hell, there’s a Starbucks on every corner.

In the mood for breakfast? B Side is on Market Street … and just across the road on Rodney Parham is Delicious Temptations.

For those digging buffets, Asia Buffet recently opened and the ever popular Al Seraj is only a 1/4-mile away.  While The Pantry West isn’t on Market Street, it too is extremely close by, and, as we all know, rivals any restaurant in town. Heck, don’t forget about Taj Mahal, a place many consider to be the best Indian food in Little Rock. There’s even Indian Grocers right by the aforementioned Franke’s.

My point is this … there’s a wide range of culinary offerings in a 3-4 block radius in a very centralized area of town. To me, that’s something to get excited about.

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Quick Hits: Biscuits, Ramen, Lollipops, and Some Darn Good BBQ

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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.

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20 Suggestions for Valentine’s Day in Little Rock

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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.

Menus…

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)
Vesuvio Bistro
Heritage Grille, Steak and Fin
Del Frisco’s Grille
Canvas at the Arkansas Arts Center

Taking Reservations…

The Pantry and The Pantry Crest
Arthur’s Steakhouse
Kemuri

Other Specials…

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

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