Monthly Feature, By Jarred Kibbey
Each month, Jarred highlights one of his favorite dishes from around Little Rock.
Pretty much everything that can be said about The Pantry has already been said. Yes, it is delicious. Yes, it is one of the most consistent restaurants in Arkansas. Yes, it is a great value and ran by a great guy. But you already know all of that. What you may not know is that one of the least appreciated dishes in Little Rock is served there and they served with every meal – The Pantry cookies.
They may not look like much and are easy to overlook. A small, unassuming cookie for each patron that is brought with the check. They are no bigger than your thumb and most people think of them as an afterthought, but these cookies are fantastic (which took me many years to actually find out).
My wife and I have been going to The Pantry since we moved to Little Rock six years ago. On our first visit I knew that this was a place that we would be coming back to regularly, but I was completely uninterested in the two boring looking cookies at the end of our meal. So my wife kept eating them on each visit. What she didn’t bother to tell me was how great they are. She just kept hiding this fact from me and eating these “boring” little cookies after each meal. It wasn’t until one visit many years later when they forgot to bring the cookies out that she showed her hand and mentioned to me that they forgot the cookies. It was at this point that I realized there must be something more going on here. They are a simple shortbread cookie with a mixture of finely chopped nuts. Even writing this, it doesn’t sound exciting or even like something I would enjoy, but they are really great. A perfect ending to what is usually a fairly heavy meal (because you have to start with the Pantry Board).
What many people don’t realize is that you can order these cookies on the dessert menu. At $2.50, they are a great value and a much lighter option than the cheesecake or chocolate salami (both great, but you likely already knew that).
So next time you are at The Pantry, pay closer attention to these wonderful little bites at the end of the meal. They are truly a fantastic end to what was likely already a fantastic meal.