Posts Tagged The Fold

Comprehensive List of the Best Cheese Dip in Little Rock

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I rarely eat cheese dip. It’s not that I don’t love melted cheese, it’s just not a dish I seek out. That said, I do understand and respect how important cheese dip is to the identity of our local food scene. So, last week I posted this question on Facebook: “What is your absolute favorite cheese dip in the Little Rock area?”

In all, 43 different restaurants were mentioned in the thread, an extremely high, albeit, not surprising number given the extreme popularity of this dish in Little Rock. Here are how the results broke out…

Top 5 Vote Getters

Heights Taco & Tamale Co. (23)
Mexico Chiquito (16)
Big Orange (15)
Local Luna (14)
Dizzy’s (11)

My Take: Commenters have mentioned the dynamite cheese dip from several of these restaurants before on this blog, so I’m not surprised to see so much love and support for these top five. Dizzy’s and Loca Luna are not places in my regular rotation, so I can’t personally attest to them–but it gives me a “no-fail” app to try when I check out these places.

Other Popular Cheese Dips

Local Lime (10), The Fold (8), Lost Forty (7), El Porton (6), La Hacienda (6), Baja Grill (5), Buffalo Grill (5), Senior Tequila’s (5), Canon Grill (4), Casa Manana (4), El Palenque (3), The Faded Rose (3), Gadwall’s (3), Cheers in the Heights (3), Cantina Laredo (3)

My Take: From this list, I’ve had the cheese dip at El Porton, Baja Grill, Local Lime, and The Fold. All were quite enjoyable. Can you believe I’ve never even been to Buffalo Grill? What should I order, besides the cheese dip? Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the food at Canon Grill, Cantina Laredo, or Senior Tequila’s, so I don’t see those cheese dips happening in my immediate future.

Others Receiving Mentions

Purple Cow, Alley Oops, Izzy’s, Super 7, Tacos 4 Life, Taco Pronto, Red Door, Taqueria Karina, Chuy’s, Trio’s, North Bar, Prospect Bar, On the Border, Santo Coyote, Town Pump, Blue Coast Burrito, Samantha’s, Boudreaux’s, Markham Street Grill, Gypsy’s, Cactus Jack’s

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Reader Poll: Favorite Tacos in Town

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We’re back at it again, trying figure about what some of your favorite culinary delights are here in Little Rock. This time around, let’s look at another subjective food item … tacos. Here’s the question posed on Facebook…

What restaurant in the Little Rock area serves your favorite tacos?

We had 58 comments, with 26 different places being mentioned and 60 total votes. As always, these are very informal polls, so please treat this post as just a nice resource for quality taco options in our area.

Fives places really stood out in terms of votes. El Palenque received the most votes with 9, followed by Local Lime (7), The Fold (6), Guadalajara (5), and Heights Taco & Tamale Co. (5). I thought this was a nice mix of hole-in-the-wall spots with some of your more bigger, popular restaurants. Personally, I’ve enjoyed tacos at 4 out of 5 places… sorry Guadalajara, I’ll get to visit you in the near future. Specific standouts include: the Beans & Greens Taco at Local Lime, the Pollo y Poblano at The Fold, and the Pickled-Fried Chicken Tacos at HTT. Don’t get me wrong, I love El Palenque, but often find myself passing on tacos in favor of burritos, enchiladas, or the caldo.

The second tier of top taco spots included: Taqueria Jalisco San Juan (food truck in the Colonial Liquor parking lot), Chuy’s, Taqueria Karina Cafe, and Eliella. For me, Eliella really stands out in this group. The tacos there are small and simple, but pack big flavor. I’m not surprised to see Chuy’s this high up the list … it’s a very popular spot and they do make their own tortillas. Is it one of the better tacos in town? In my opinion, no, but the chicken soft tacos are very solid and reasonably priced. Karina, on 65th Street, is a hidden gem, and is certainly worthy to receive this many votes.

What really stood out about this particular poll was the number of single vote mentions. Seventeen restaurants received one vote. They include: El Alamo Grill, Cinco de Mayo, Fonda, Maddie’s Place, El Torito, Samantha’s, Senior Tequila, Taco Bueno, Taziki’s, EJ’s, La Regional, Tacos 4 Life, El Porton, Mexico Chaquito, SO, Baja Grill, Taco Beer Burrito. To me, the real surprise here was Baja Grill receiving only one vote. There are some really good, eclectic tacos (Pig Sooie and Cuban) being served up at Baja. Cinco de Mayo is very underrated, as is El Torito off Bowman Road. The chicken tacos at El Porton are excellent, as are the tacos at La Regional. One place that didn’t make the list but I feel deserves a mention is South on Main. They do a fantastic breakfast taco with chorizo on the brunch menu.

Finally, a few reactions from readers…

Daniel Ford: “Not sure if they’ve got overall best, but the Diablo Shrimp at The Fold is my favorite single taco.”

Brandon Olvey: “For my money, nothing touches the chorizo and carnitas tacos at Local Lime.”

Johnna Jaynes Feldman: “I really just love a basic taco crispy, ground beef and cheese at Senior Tequila.”

Tom Allen: “Not well versed in tacos, but I do like The Fold and was surprised by the fish tacos at EJ’s.”

Stephanie Baker Brock: “It will be Tacos for Life when it gets here. For now, I have to drive to Conway to get them.”

Alicia Tuggle: “Never been to El Palenque yet, still on the list though. Baja Grill, Taco Beer Burrito, and Local Lime are my favs.”

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Your Favorite Bar to Grab a Drink in Little Rock

South on Main

South on Main

 

In recent weeks on the blog, there have been several mentions regarding our lack of variety as it pertains to food and drink in Little Rock. It got me to thinking … is there an area or, dare I say, multiple areas, where we have an embarrassment of riches? Maybe, maybe not, but “bars” popped into my head right off the bat. So I posed this question on Facebook…

“What is your favorite bar to grab a drink in Little Rock?”

We had 50 comments, with more than 34 different bars being mentioned. As always, these are very informal polls, so please treat this post as just a nice resource for quality bar options in our area.

Many times, choosing your favorite place to grab a drink is about more than if the bar serves bad ass cocktails or has local beers on tap. The atmosphere, the music, and the bartender(s) can all play such critical roles in choosing your favorite watering hole. For me, nothing beats South on Main. It’s got that amazing combination of stellar bartenders, a great list of cocktails, and inviting atmosphere that almost always puts it at the top of my list, and apparently, yours too. It finished second only to the iconic Capital Bar and Grill in voting.

The Pantry Crest and Big Orange Midtown were only a few votes short of South on Main and CBG, and for good reason. Both places are gorgeous, carry an excellent selection of beer, and often deliver some of the best cocktails in town.

The Pizzeria, Ciao Baci, Local Lime, and Flyway Brewing were next up. Local Lime serves the best margarita in town and Flyway, which usually offers 8-10 of their own beers on tap, is such a nice and relaxing spot to unwind.

The Fold, Trio’s, Rebel Kettle, The White Water Tavern, and Heights Taco & Tamale Co. also received multiple votes. In this group, the bartending skills of Merrick Fagan at Trio’s really stand out. Merrick is really starting to make a name for himself through his craft cocktail creativity.

Other places receiving votes include: Raduno, Baja Grill, YaYa’s, Four Quarter, Cache, Stickyz, Lost Forty, SO, One Eleven, The Faded Rose, JJ’s Grill, Zack’s Place, Pizza D, The Hillcrest Fountain, 109, Samantha’s, Stone’s Throw Brewing, By the Glass, Reno’s, Oyster Bar, and Boulevard Bistro. This is another excellent group of bars. I love the beauty of One Eleven and Samantha’s, enjoy grabbing a beer at The Faded Rose, and am looking forward to checking out JJ’s Grill.

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…

Lisa Prince Thomas: “I work in the Little Rock River Market and Cache Restaurant is in the same building and Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack is across the street. So that’s my easy two picks, both with completely different atmospheres and excellent places for a little after work ‘wet-your-whistle.'”

Mallory Burns: “South on Main, Capital Bar and Grill, Heights Taco. All are so happy and comforting in their own way.”

Alicia Tuggle: “For just drinks the new JJ’s grill in LR has good drink prices and happy hours and daily specials and also crafty hour and then there is the some minutes every hour for domestics too.”

E.W. Swan: “My wife and I had a couple of amazing cocktails at Ciao Baci a few weeks ago.”

Mason Hargett: “I have only been twice, but I really like going to Rebel Kettle Brewing Co.”

Amber Smith: “I have to give a shout out to the bars I’ve enjoyed due to the awesome bartender…Dylan when he was at Big Orange, The Fold…I don’t know your name, but you’re always accommodating, especially when my husband is on call and can’t drink but wants a watermelon drink, and Hunter when she was at Boulevard.”

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Little Rock Restaurant Month Hits Midtown

Baja Grill

Baja Grill

 

As many of you already know, Little Rock Restaurant Month is in full swing AND has taken a new approach with things this year. Instead of participating restaurants from all over the city offering specials throughout the entire month, different areas of the city each get a week of specials. August 8-14 marks Midtown’s turn. Below, you’ll find a complete listing, as well as a few of my takes…

American Pie
Free appetizer up to $6 with purchase of a large pizza

Arkansas Burger Co.
$5 hamburger
My take: Solid deal on a good-to-great burger.

Baja Grill
20% off food purchases
Mention restaurant month to get your discount (Alcohol not included)
My take: Another great deal here and Baja does some very good food, especially the Pig Sooie and Cuban tacos. The Triple Dipper appetizer is also a winner, as are the burritos.

Big Orange Midtown
Free cheese dip or hummus with a purchase of a burger or salad

Boulevard Bread Company
$12 Harissa and honey wings served with lemon, cilantro & buttermilk
My take: I’ve never had these wings, but I love Boulevard and can’t imagine this being anything but awesome.

Cafe Bossa Nova
$3 off menu price – deep fried mahi­ mahi strips encrusted with Panko bread crumbs, served on corn tortillas. Topped with napa cabbage, pink chipotle sauce, a mango radish salsa and fresh cilantro with a side of rice and beans.
My take: Bossa Nova doesn’t get a ton of press, so I guess it could be considered underrated. The food is fantastic.

Cajuns
$33 3-course prix fixe: starter, entrée, and dessert.

Cantina Laredo
$17.99 all-day 3-course set menu per person. Includes starter, entrée, and dessert.
My take: True story…I’ve never eaten at Cantina Laredo, but have heard solid reports.

Casa Mañana
$9.99 Fish ceviche with michelada

Cheers
$13 fried green tomatoes with grilled shrimp and remoulade.
My take: I love fried green tomatoes. I love grilled shrimp. And I love remoulade. This seems like a no-brainer.

Ciao Baci
$25 3-course dinner 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
My take: Jump on this one because it’s a great deal on great food. If you’ve never been to Ciao Baci for dinner, this is a perfect opportunity at a lower cost.

Damgoode Pies (2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. & 6706 Cantrell Rd.)
$5 off any 18” pie and half off any appetizer

Graffiti’s
$18 jumbo crab cakes with remoulade sauce over field greens with a side of avocado slices and roasted chicken salad.

Heights Taco & Tamale
Free cheese dip or salsa trio with purchase of an entree or salad

Hillcrest Artisan Meats
$1 off any sandwich order
My take: I’m pretty sure every human living in Little Rock loves H.A.M. and getting a $1 off any sandwich this week might inspire another visit.

Homer’s West
15% off total ticket – mention Restaurant Month to get discount (excluding alcohol)

Juice Bar
1/2 off happy hour 7 AM -9:30 AM Monday-Friday: buy one item, get second item of equal or lesser value half-off (includes smoothie, juice, or food. Excludes smoothie bowls.)

Kemuri
Bogo – buy any sushi roll, get one free (of equal or lesser value)
My take: Best sushi in town, and honestly, this is one of the best deals on the page. The Crazy Monkey Roll is tops. *Update* this deal applies to traditional rolls only.  So no Crazy Monkey Roll. :(

La Terraza
20% off off lunch or dinner. Also: chef’s choice — free appetizer for lunch with purchase of one entrée
My take: Have only eaten at La Terraza once, but I came away impressed. Nice folks and good food.

Layla’s Gyros and Pizzeria (9501 N. Rodney Parham)
$7.25 Gyro sandwich with fries and drink

Leo’s Greek Castle
$9.99 Gyro platter

The Oyster Bar
$3 off 1 lb. shrimp

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Free milkshake with purchase of a “big” size pastrami sandwich

Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema
$15 chicken tenders, fries and beer of the day.
My take: You can get chicken tenders at a movie theater? Go figure.

Taziki’s (8200 Cantrell Rd.)
Free child’s feast with purchase of adult entree. Dine-in only. Monday- Wednesday 5 PM – 9 PM
My take: Taziki’s is a regional chain serving solid, consistent food. And my kids love it, so I love it.

The Fold Botanas Bar
Free queso with the purchase of any taco plate. Limit one per table.

The Purple Cow (8026 Cantrell Rd.)
Free soft drink or tea with any of our new menu items. New items include fried green beans, supreme cheeseburger, and turkey pesto burger, just to name a few.

Town Pump
$1 off our topsy turvy nachos
My take: The ultimate dive bar serves better-than-expected food.

Trio’s
30% off in celebration of our 30th anniversary. Lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch! Dine-in only. Mention Restaurant Month for discount.
My take: 30% off your entire meal puts this deal right at the top. Get the Farmers Market Splendor.

Zaza
$1 off gelato

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