Posts Tagged Zara Abbasi Wilkerson

It’s All About Beer, Cake, Soup, and a Burger

Zara's Cinnamon Roll Cake

Zara’s Cinnamon Roll Cake


Thoughts on my eating escapades around Little Rock…

Josiah Moody’s latest creation, an Oatmeal Pale, is now available at Vino’s and is an absolute winner. I purchased a growler of the new beer before attending a house party and everyone who tried it gave it a thumbs up. This comes as no surprise … most any beer Josiah creates is met with rave reviews.

A Thai soup called Gway Teeow Muu is currently on kBird’s menu. I have no idea how long the soup is available, so don’t procrastinate on this one. The broth is damn near perfect, with a tinge of sweet and sour flavors that are only surpassed by these crispy slivers of pork belly. With a pile of rice noodles, cilantro, and green onions, this soup eats like a Vietnamese pho but is far better than any of those you’ll find in town. And the best part, as with all dishes at kBird, you can manipulate the level of heat with accompanying tableside condiments.

Zara Abbasi Wilkerson is a dear friend, so sometimes I forget she is actually running a highly successful cake business. Truth be told, I tend to forget to order cakes from her. But a weekend trip to Oklahoma City for a visit with the in-laws provided a perfect opportunity to order her new Cinnamon Roll Cake, thus keeping me in good graces with my wife’s folks. Mission accomplished. This cake, which was Zara recommended, is everything you are envisioning it to be … simply put, it’s a spot-on cake version of our beloved cinnamon rolls. A cream cheese based frosting and a heavy hand of cinnamon and sugar, along with a wonderful caramel sauce topping, are the signature elements of a cake which will soon be one of the more popular ones in town.

Props to At the Corner, the modern, downtown breakfast/lunch diner, on its Big Damn BBQ Burger. The burger consists of a sous vide-cooked beef patty topped with house-made bbq sauce, pickles, cheese and fried onion rings. ATC also uses that signature Arkansas Fresh brioche bun, which is super ideal for a burger with this many ingredients. A side of hand-cut fries finishes off the plate of high caloric goodness.

South on Main was up to its creative tricks last week for a Lee Edwards’ bar invasion night. I enjoyed a delicious cocktail concocted by the former Little Rock bartender, along with the night’s special, a Yock Box—spaghetti topped with pulled pork, Carolina gold bbq sauce and fermented black beans. The Yock Box is bar food at its finest … simple, rustic, and wildly addictive. Give it a go the next time it’s on the menu.

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Mighty Good Recipe: A Perfect Pot Roast


I’ve been pretty open about my disdain for pot roast. It’s never been a dish that’s overly impressed me, but much of that could be attributed to my upbringing. My mother was a fantastic cook, but honestly, pot roast wasn’t her strong suit. She didn’t make the dish very often, and when she did, I wouldn’t say it was her strong suit.

So as a kid, I didn’t eat it much at home … which meant I rarely ordered it at a restaurant … which is also means why 30 years later, pot roast is just not my thing.

Until now.

Thanks to a recent dinner with Zara Abbasi Wilkerson in which she prepared oxtail, I was inspired to give slow-cooked beef another shot. It also didn’t hurt that I’d just received a beautiful 3-lb roast in my Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative meat-share package.

While I rarely watch the Food Network anymore, I do tend to bounce around its website when searching for a quality recipe. The recipes are often well laid out, user-friendly, and include comprehensive reviews, as was the case with this Perfect Pot Roast.

This ten-ingredient, one-pot recipe is not only supper easy, but also yields any amazing pot roast, with a post clean-up that’s easy to manage. I followed the directions precisely (although I did add some mushrooms) and was 100% pleased with the results. For me, using a good Dutch oven, along with a quality piece of meat and a nice, bold red wine were absolutely essential elements.

I ended up serving the super tender beef over mashed potatoes and a side of roasted Brussels sprouts. That’s a tough dish to beat when it comes to comfort food.

Some would even say it’s perfect.

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