Posts Tagged The Root

There’s Plenty to Do Around Little Rock in the Next Few Weeks

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There are so many really cool events and dinners coming up in the very near future around Little Rock. One is even tomorrow. Check out all of the details below…

Bring your best and most inventive dish using tator tots to the 2nd Annual Naterator Tots Cooking Contest on September 17 from 6-8 p.m. at Dunbar Community Garden (1800 Chester Street). 100% of all donations will go to the Naterators JDRF OneWalk team. There’s a $30 entry fee for contestants and just $5 per person to come sample and vote on your favorites. Click here to enter. I love this event, even had my own entry last year, and can tell you that creating a dish around tater tots is a ton of fun.

On Wednesday, August 17 from 6-9 p.m., Boulevard Bread Company is hosting a class featuring Summit beers with house-made charcuterie. Cost is $45 per person and space is limited. Call the restaurant for reservations. I went to one of Blvd’s wine and cheese events a few months back and had a fantastic time … and am guessing this one will be as well.

For Lost Forty Brewing’s next #FreshCutMonday on August 15 from 4-9 p.m., come try the Hoppy Lager … a collaboration brew in support of Ales for ALS. This beer was brewed at Rebel Kettle using a proprietary hop blend provided by YCH Hops in collaboration with Lost Forty Brewing, Stone’s Throw, Flyway, Vino’s, Bubba Brews, Moody Brews, Leap of Faith, Damgoode Pies and Blood Eagle. Lost Forty will donate the proceeds of each pint of Hoppy Lager to ALS Research.

It’s no secret I love kBird, the tiny eatery serving fantastic Thai food in Hillcrest.  Lovers of the restaurant will be happy to know they will be hosting a series of Khantoke dinners held at the restaurant on Friday, August 26, September 9, and September 23. Reservations can be made starting tomorrow at 2 p.m. by e-mail only to kbirdlittlerock@gmail.com. Seats will be assigned based on the order that e-mails are received … and a confirmation will be sent to you by return e-mail. From kBird: “Please let me know the specific date you wish to attend, and how many spots (up to 6) you are reserving. also, please list a second “fallback” date if another one would work also. If you want to attend more than one dinner, let me know that in your e-mail. if by there are unreserved seats at 10 pm on Monday, August 15, you will be added to the additional dates. The cost will be $40, tax included, BYOB. Will start around 7 p.m.. Food will be served family-style and pretty much all at the same time. No substitutions.”

Another one of my favorites, The Root Cafe, is hosting a locally-sourced, 5-course, communal table dinner prepared by Chef Jonathan Arrington and crew tomorrow, August 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. For tickets, click here.

Chef Matt Bell of South on Main will host the Little Rock No Kid Hungry Dinner on Monday, October 24. This multi-course dinner starts with a reception at 6 p.m. and features guest chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris and The Second Line in Memphis and Levon Wallace of Cochon in Nashville. Tickets cost $175 and table hosting opportunities are available. For more information, contact Emily Roth at eroth@strength.org or 512-551-3470.

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News from The Root: Pie Bake-Off This Saturday, Expansion Update

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The Root’s 2nd Annual Pie Bake-Off is this Saturday, April 16th at 4:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bake their best traditional pie for judges and to bring copies of the recipe to swap with other bakers.

I’ll be helping out with the judging this year, along with the Arkansas Literary Festival speaker Harrison Scott Key, baker extraordinaire Zara Abbasi Wilkerson, and the Democrat-Gazette’s Eric Harrison. We’ll be awarding five Blue Ribbons and one Best-in-Show.

Pre-registration is appreciated but not required. To do so, just email: theroot@therootcafe.com for more information.

Admission is free for the contest, and The Root will have beer and other light refreshments for purchase during the event.

You may have also noticed some changes in regards to expansion are going on over at The Root. Says co-owner Corri Sundell, “Four shipping containers have been installed (out of eight total). They will become the new dining room (visible from Main Street) and one in back that will be a new walk-in cooler. The other four will be ready in about a month, and those will become a new kitchen and an office. We’ll be adding a second bathroom as well. Once the expansion is finished, The Root will be doing dinner four nights a week and also expanding our catering, baking, and canning and food preservation programs. In the meantime, we’re doing dinner twice a month–a ticketed prix-fixe dinner the 2nd Friday of each month and a counter dinner every 4th Friday as part of the new neighborhood event SoMa 4th Fridays.”

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Q to the A: Dinner With Johnny Cash and Maya Angelou

H.A.M's Burger

H.A.M’s Burger

Ever wonder what other foodies are thinking? Me too. Special thanks to Beth Bryant-Claxton, PhD for her answers!

1. How many years have you lived in Little Rock? I have lived here since 2008, but came to visit my mom (and eat!) several times a year since 1990.

2. Where is your favorite place to eat in Hillcrest? I think what the folks at Hillcrest Artisan Meat (HAM) are doing is brilliant. My favorite sandwich (on my rare “bread” days) is the Georgie. Just a “ham and butter” sammie, but made with the most impeccable ingredients that you need nothing more. Their Friday HAM burgers are grass-fed, iron-skilleted perfection, and their house-made bacon gruyere sausage is hands down my favorite link in the world.

3. Which restaurant in town has the best service? Oddly, I can’t answer this. I tend to engage my server wherever I go, and have found many places with friendly, responsive staff. Honestly, I get so into my food and my companion that I only truly notice if service is poor, or my server is rude or appears not to like people in general. That’s always surprising to me!

4. What are a few of your guilty food pleasure items? Well if it’s “guilty” because it’s off my food plan (I control my diabetes without meds by eating mostly grain- and sugar-free), then it would be fresh baked bread with real butter, or a bite of an eclair, creme brûlée or similar decadence. Otherwise, I believe that just about any food can be made more delicious by the addition of bacon, avocado, an over medium egg, and/or Hollandaise sauce.

5. What is Little Rock’s signature restaurant dish? I love and seek variety, and so this kind of question is very tough for me to wrap my head around. The Little Rock food scene is diverse enough to support many signature dishes! I think that some of the restaurants that are doing updated southern classics are likely to fall in that category. Like the fried chicken with pepper jelly at South on Main, and the offerings at the Capital Bar and Grill. I am also rooting for the emerging local, whole food movement that is being showcased by places like The Root.

6. What Arkansas celebrity (past or present) would you want to have dinner with? Johnny Cash. Or Maya Angelou. Maybe both together!

7. You have to put together a 3-course meal (app, entree, and dessert) from three different Little Rock restaurants. What would be your choices to create this perfect meal? I would have to begin with a house-made Bloody Mary with extra olives at the Town Pump…yes, you heard me! My appetizer would be the amazing short rib bao and slaw from the Southern Gourmasian food truck. The porcini-rubbed branzino at Lulav (not there anymore, sad face!) for my entree. And a slab of tres leches (three milk) cake with Brazilian coffee at Cafe Bossa Nova to round things out.

Rosalinda's...a NLR Favorite

Rosalinda’s…a NLR Favorite

8. If you could jump in a plane this very second…where would you go and what would you eat? I would go to Cape Cod and eat whole lobster until I fell over. Or hit the food carts in downtown Manhattan. I am apparently incapable of giving just one answer for anything!

9. What is your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant? Until just recently, it was the White Water Tavern. My favorite wait staff (esp. Lizzie and her dimples!) The food that Jonathan Wilkins was putting out over there was some of the best I have ever had. Standouts were duck-fat fries, Arkansas burgoo, and a cilantro slaw I wanted to buy by the bucket. And of course, the iconic “Double Wide” with thick sliced smoked bologna, local cheddar cheese, fried egg, and sriracha mayo. Current favorites that have a low profile and great food are Rosalinda’s on JFK and Layla’s on Rodney Parham.

10. What is one Little Rock restaurant you’ve never eaten at that may surprise people? Ah come on, you know I can’t just give one! But given the fact that I mostly eat meat and veggies these days (cavegirl grawrr!), my friends might be surprised that I haven’t eaten at Sonny Williams’, The Butcher Shop, or the Little Rock Doe’s Eat Place.

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