Ever wonder what other foodies are thinking? Me too. Special thanks to Evan H. for his answers!

1. How many years have you lived in Little Rock? My whole life, so 34 years.

2. Where do you go for the absolute best fried food in town? This may sound odd, but Star of India. They have some of the best samosas and pakoras. I’m an absolute disciple of that place and if I’m not eating there at the very least once or twice a month something terrible had happened to me.

3. Who makes the best cocktail? I really like what they do at The Pantry. They’re extremely knowledgeable there and always keep things fresh. Though I must admit the area of cocktails is an area in which I’m not as well versed as I’d like to be.

4. What are a few of your guilty food pleasure items? In n Out Burger and Taco Cabana. Two fast food chains that very sadly are not in central Arkansas but I always make a point to eat when I’m around it. Double doubles with animal fries and the breakfast burritos remain to this day some of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten!

5. What is your most memorable Little Rock dining experience? It’s tough to pick. On the finer dining side of things there was a restaurant a few years back called Vermillion Water Grill that had the best seafood I’ve eaten in Arkansas. But another old restaurant called Diego’s Hogs Breath Cantina introduced me to the buffalo wing as a young man, and I’ve yet to find a wing that could touch it since. Sadly it, too, closed.

6. What dish are you just plain tired of seeing on menus in Little Rock? Sliders. I just don’t get them. It seems like a pointless food fad and they’re everywhere. I must admit I have a lot of irrational hostility to sliders in general. It’s a problem, really. If its not White Castle, just make the whole darn burger. If you’re not making a small burger, call it tapas. I could go on and on…

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? They wouldn’t go well together but I’d say the bio mushrooms at The Pantry as an appetizer, the chicken shai korma at Star of India (made extremely spicy) for the main course, and I’d hate to go back to The Pantry for their cheesecake or chocolate salami (because they really are fantastic), so I’ll say Mylo’s Kouign Amman. Since they’re opening a store I’d say that counts and those things are absolutely incredible.

Time for a Natchez Visit

Time for a Natchez Visit

8. If you could jump in a plane this very second…where would you go and what would you eat? It’s probably cliche, but I’d go to Yountville, California and eat at the French Laundry. That is absolutely my dream meal. That, or Babbo in NYC. I really believe Mario Batali is an absolute genius, and is really the person who spearheaded the locavore, farm to table stuff we see today. He was pushing that as true Italian cuisine way back on Molto Mario (which, incidentally, is the greatest cooking show of all time, in my opinion).

9. What is your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant? Other than Star of India (recurring theme there) Pho Thanh My is fantastic, and Layla’s, if that counts.

10. What is one Little Rock restaurant you’ve never eaten at that may surprise people? Well, I haven’t eaten at Natchez or South on Main yet, so I guess those would be the places. Dying to try both, though. What might surprise people, however, is I never eat at Big Orange. People always look at me like I have three heads when I tell them I don’t like that place. They’ve definitely carved out a great niche for themselves, though, and they clearly know what they’re doing.

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Lisa September 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

so, so with you on Big Orange. They are pros for sure, but it’s just not my thing.

    The Mighty Rib September 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I gotta admit, my first experience with BO was just average. Really didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I went back and just got a regular classic cheeseburger and it was fantastic. Next time, I ordered a ground turkey burger and it was the best of those I’ve eaten. But burgers are so subjective…I can certainly understand how BO’s take may not appeal to everyone. David’s is still my fav.

Louis Vasquez September 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

On Big Orange, honestly my favorite menu Item there is the Fried Chicken Sandwich…and one of my favorite foods are burgers.

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