We have a family friend who comes to Little Rock about once a year for a visit, and while she does enjoy seeing us, eating good food is a top priority. Knowing that, we wanted to give her a small food tour throughout the weekend. Here’s how it played out.
Friday Night at Flyway
Tricia (that’s our friend) loves Flyway Brewing. Hell, I think she might love Flyway more than I love Flyway, and that’s saying something. So, guess what? We went to Flyway right when she got off the plane. The place was near capacity but we were able to find a table for 5. The beer began to flow and the bites of bar food quickly followed. We ordered the Marinated Tofu Sliders, Duck Confit Nachos, a pretzel, and the Weekend Special…fried pickle chips. They were chicken fried pickle deliciousness! Perfectly fried, thin chips of pickle were paired with a side of ranch. IMHO, these bad boys need to go on the regular menu, like yesterday. I washed it all down with a Shadowhands Stout and our small group bolted within an hour. We were in a rush, as we had to hit Three Fold by the 9 p.m. closing time for a few orders of to-go dumplings. Mission accomplished. Is it possible that the veggies dumplings are even better than the pork? Discuss.
Saturday Morning in Conway
My oldest daughter had a History Fair on Saturday morning in Conway, so afterwards we hit Stoby’s for some cheese dip, sandwiches, and quesadillas. Everything was solid, the hallmark of Stoby’s … solidly consistent food and great service. The highlight was the orders of spicy and regular cheese dip. I preferred the white, spicy version, but, from the looks of it, both dips went over quite well with our table. I immediately posted a pic of the dip on Facebook, which set off a small sh*tstorm of emotions, as melted cheese tends to do in this state. Anyways, after Stoby’s, I got a tip to check out a small food truck called Rubis Mexican Food. It’s located in a trailer park just off Oak Street and specializes in the most delicious Mexican tamales I’ve come across in this state. Specifically, I was impressed with the pork variety, but I also give the thumbs up to the chicken. Both had a perfect masa-to-meat ratio and were so flavorful. The cost was $14 per dozen, which is an excellent value.
Dinner at Maddie’s Place
We headed home from Conway, rested our stomachs a bit, and then had dinner at Maddie’s Place. Most folks love Maddie’s, and I thought it would be a nice, casual restaurant to take her for dinner. For the most part, the food was outstanding. Our appetizers of Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and the Meat Pies (filled with beef) were spot-on, as was my entrée of Redfish, Grits, and Green Beans. Redfish tends to be mild and Maddie’s did an excellent job with the seasoning. I insisted that Tricia order the Fried Chicken, which has pretty much become the restaurant’s signature dish. It ended up tasting great, although it was probably left in the fryer a bit too long. The chicken’s imperfection was overshadowed by the creamy mac & cheese and Brussels sprouts (substituted for greens). Service was outstanding, per usual.
Sunday Brunch at South on Main
We hit South on Main for Sunday brunch, which I haven’t done in quite some time. I ended up ordering this fresh, vibrant Edamame Energy Bowl, which also included spinach, cucumber, benne seeds, and pickled onions. Think of it as a poke bowl without the fish. Kudos to the restaurant for offering a few healthy menu items for brunch. This is something you don’t see very often in the restaurant brunch world. My wife’s breakfast tacos with chorizo, eggs, cheese, and diced pepper and onion were also a hit, although I’m just going on what she told me, as I was never offered a bite. Zing. To finish off the food weekend, we got some take-out dinner from El Palenque. That should come as no surprise, as I love the restaurant with all my heart. Get the shrimp burrito and let me know what you think.