Posts Tagged Taj Mahal

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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Unique Randomness: BBQ News, Buffets Galore, & Table 28 Shines at Italian

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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!

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