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Food Feedback Friday

Posted by Daniel Walker on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

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Well, the weather outside is getting frightful, it’s far too frigid to be outdoors for long. Therefore, you’re better off spending your time indoors, surrounded by the folks you love and hot plate of food. Once again, we bring you Food Feedback Friday, the single greatest opportunity for eaters to sound off and let the world know what’s going on in the food community in Arkansas.

Perhaps you’ve got some favorite cold weather destinations…a place you go to escape the snow (if we ever actually see any this year). It’s perfect weather for soup, so why not share where you like to grab a bowl when you need some defrosting? Pho sounds fantastic right now, chili would be charming, I could jump into some jambalaya, and Chinese hot and sour soup would warm the heart of Jack Frost himself. Got any favorite cold weather dishes worth elaborating on? I've got family in town for a week and we've got an extensive list of restaurants to patronize including Dowtown Cookery, ZaZa, Delicious Temptations, David's Burgers, Rocky's Pub, Mylo Bakery, The Southern Gourmasian, and H.B.'s BBQ. In our family, we don't fool around when it comes to food.

At our last Food Feedback Friday, we discussed the fate of The Heights Café, breakfast offerings at Route 66, the imminent arrival of another Papa John’s in the Heights, more love for Taqueria Karina, sipping chocolate from Loblolly Creamery, and the coming of a second Pizza Café location to west Little Rock. Now’s your chance to tell us where you’ve been feeding your pie-hole. We’d all love to hear about it.

Comments (24)

Showing 1-24 of 24

You asked.

I treated myself to a holiday lunch at Ashley's in the Capital Hotel today after finding a crowd too big to wait out at the bar. First disappointing meal I've had at the Capital in the "new" era.

Fried oysters with fennel was a single fried oyster, topped with a bit of fennel, floating in a pool of fennel-scented cream soup. Soup was lukewarm. The pan-fried oyster was fried so quickly that the oyster itself was cold enough at the core to earn a compliment for iciness on a plate of raw ones, but not for the fried version, which should explode with hot essence of the sea.

The main course, house-made fettucine with mushroom, asparagus and heirloom tomato, turned out much different than I expected. Decent pasta, a few shards of crunchy asparagus, a few slices of mushroom, a tomato bit or two and a sprinkling of parmesan. But it was all awash in what, by any other name, would be called tomato soup. And a not very flavorful, acidic one at that.

The setting, the service, the iced tea and a free dish of the nonpareil pimiento cheese with a nice pile of cracky homemade crackers redeemed the experience. As did the bag of world-class seasoned pecans I bought to take home.

Again: This was a real outlier for me in my personal experience at the Capital, but given all the raves I've bestowed over the years, it seems only fair to pass this along.

And I also note this down-home touch: The fellow who owns the place, Warren Stephens, came in with a small party, their necks craning around the room for a spot to light. The bar was packed and Ashley's nearly so. But it didn't appear he got moved to the head of any line on account of his considerable eminence. He seemed like one of us. I hope he didn't order the oyster.

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Posted by Max Brantley on 12/21/2012 at 1:51 PM

Unless they've tanked, you are really going to like HB's. Off-the- beaten-path gem.

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Posted by cecil on 12/21/2012 at 2:37 PM

Honestly, the best thing last week were some frozen potstickers I bought from the freezer case at Mr. Chen's. Pork with cabbage and leek -- delicious.

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Posted by Michael Roberts on 12/21/2012 at 3:01 PM

Frostop in North Little Rock... closed due to fire, Mr. Joe says.

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Posted by Kat Robinson on 12/21/2012 at 4:21 PM

Wife's birthday dinner Tuesday at Brave New, where it seems you really can't go wrong. Per usual, we went for the fish specials -- walleye for her, scallops for me, both topped with the signature blueberry beure blanc, which is much "beure-ier" than it is "blueberry." Those classic roasted new potatoes -- yum. Nice glass of chardonnay, which we finished on the deck (was not too cool) with our homemade ice cream: mint chocolate chip for her, butterscotch for me. Through the glass we saw Peter walking the floor greeting folks. Was a glorious, relaxing meal and overall experience.

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Posted by Big Fun on 12/21/2012 at 6:27 PM

The Combination Chow Fun at Mr. Chen's is not to be missed. I also went to David's Burgers (yet again) and am never, ever disappointed with the #1.

PS...I've had those frozen potstickers MR speaks of...addicted.

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Posted by (Kevin) The Mighty Rib on 12/22/2012 at 6:29 AM

@Cecil, H.B.'s is still wonderful. I'd say it's the best pulled pork I've had in LR.

@Kat, that's too bad. Hope they reopen...for the root beer's sake at least.

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Posted by Daniel Walker on 12/22/2012 at 7:09 PM

We had Larry's Pizza brought in for an office luncheon. It was disappointing because I've had Larry's pizza before and enjoyed it (the vegetarian). Maybe because it was delivery and not fresh from the oven, but the thin crust was soggy and the toppings were way over-salted.

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Posted by Arkhobbit on 12/22/2012 at 7:30 PM

Larry's is disgusting. Just terrible.

We had US Pizza tonight, and it was tasty...but for a buck twenty per extra topping, I really would have liked there to be more feta on what we ordered. Also a little disappointed there was no Diamond Bear on tap, but the Schlafly's we had was good and cold.

@Big Fun -- I think Brave's stuffed quail is one of my favorite dishes in Little Rock. It's just a delightful little bird.

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Posted by Michael Roberts on 12/22/2012 at 8:03 PM

I took the family to Delicious Temptations yesterday, I thought it was great. Their yogurt pancakes are divine. They do an "eggs benedict" with sausage, peppery sausage gravy, buttery biscuit, and a perfectly poached egg with golden yellow runny yolk. Really a great southern play on the benedict.

Tonight we went to David's Burgers. Just an excellent all-American classic. Everyone felt it was in the styling of 5 Guys and Mooyahs, but better than both. And endless hot fries? Yes please.

Everyone is already planning out their orders for Zaza on Monday. Merry Christmas to us.

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Posted by Daniel Walker on 12/22/2012 at 8:32 PM

Walked into Zaza tonight for about 3 1/2 minutes. Saw they had 3 of their draft beers covered up (including the Scrimshaw, one of my favorites) and figured that I could drink Bud Light anywhere so no reason to stay.

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Posted by Michael Roberts on 12/22/2012 at 8:41 PM

Here's a shout out to the butchers at Edwards Food Giant in Tanglewood. Their homemade sausages are super and are priced right; they willingly cut up whole fresh chickens for you; they spiral cut your ham; the meat is fresh cut and, unlike some supermarkets, they are friendly, knowlegeable and helpful! For you old timers, it reminds me of the Corder's Market that used to be on Kavanaugh where Boulevard is now.

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Posted by cecil on 12/23/2012 at 4:45 AM

Daniel, can you identify where the sandwich in the picture came from??? It's making me very hungry and I want one!!

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Posted by Mother Earth on 12/23/2012 at 6:49 AM

Dang it! I officially think Cecil is cool. This does not sit well with me.

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Posted by (Kevin) The Mighty Rib on 12/23/2012 at 8:30 AM

@mother earth, sorry it's the ZaZa Grinder from ZaZa (of course).

I wrote a little piece about them a while ago:

http://www.arktimes.com/EatArkansas/archiv…

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Posted by Daniel Walker on 12/23/2012 at 10:17 AM

The House---really disappointed by brunch at The House. The poached eggs were over cooked on both dishes we ordered. The potatoes were cold, in fact everything on my plate was cold. The cheese wasn't even melted. I double checked the menu because the dish wasn't anything like what was described. From the wrong kind of cheese to missing ingredients, overall a fail. The table next to us complained about the spiciness of their Bloody Mary. They were brought a glass of orange juice to dump in the Bloody Mary to tone it down a bit? Sounded disgusting me to and they weren't impressed.
Is brunch that difficult to get right? The House seems to be plagued by mixed reviews, but we figured we would give them another chance after a mediocre dinner experience several months ago....big let down.

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Posted by drsabateur on 12/23/2012 at 2:24 PM

Had brunch today at Yaya's and enjoyed it, as always. Love the jazz 2-man band that plays there and am always pleased with the food and service. They do a good job of keeping food coming out fresh and hot, and I love the salads and other cold options offered as well. The waffles are always great!

Had brunch at B-Side last Saturday and while the food was good, I'm not in a hurry to go back. Expected to wait to be seated, but not to wait to at least get some drink orders filled. By 10:15, they were out of certain items but you did not find that out until you ordered it and then several minutes later, the server showed up to say it was gone. Rather than give me a menu to make a change, the server just stared at me. Hmmm...requested the menu, made a change, server left, then showed up again a while later to say friend's order was out, so another change was made. We did finally get food and it was good, but all of our group ended up wishing we'd gone to Delicious Temptations instead.

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Posted by numbernine on 12/23/2012 at 2:57 PM

I'm still curious if the Chicken and Waffles at B-Side are worth returning for.

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Posted by Daniel Walker on 12/23/2012 at 3:22 PM

We had our company Holiday Party at Tokyo House. Many were skeptical, since they "didn't like that type of food". But everyone left happy. Not only is their Sushi top notch, but their hot items, and their other cold items, are superb. I'm not really a buffet kinda guy, but wow, Tokyo House knocks it outta the park. The lunch buffet is the best value in town at $10.50 in my opinion.

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Posted by 50to49 on 12/23/2012 at 7:31 PM

Five Guys for lunch today: burgers were passable, fries were a soggy mess. Sure, they load you up with them, but I would have preferred a smaller order with some actual crispness.

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Posted by Michael Roberts on 12/23/2012 at 8:36 PM

Went to Loca Luna for brunch and I have to say it was the best brunch experience I've had in LR. The service was spot on and the food was great. I had the old fashioned Ark breakfast with two sausage balls, eggs over easy, two strips of peppered bacon, cheesy grits, roasted potatoes and scratch made biscuits. Really good food in a comfortable setting.

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Posted by Raven on 12/24/2012 at 11:20 PM

That sounds good Raven and more to the point, it sounds NEW. I like Loca, but it always feels like I've had everything on the menu over and over. It doesn't make me excited about going. Sounds like I need to get over that!

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Posted by EY on 12/25/2012 at 10:24 AM

Good news for catfish fans, there has been a resurgence of sorts for the Georgetown catfish. The one-stop closed this past summer, but a place in Searcy called The Lunch Box has advertised being open Thursday-Saturday 11am-8pm, and having JoAnn from Georgetown cooking up White River catfish. I went last Saturday and its legit, the same non-uniform, lightly battered fish, delicious. Ordered by the ounce, not pieces, prices were about 6-7 for 4 ounces and 13-14 for all you can eat. It came with that same coleslaw, and some damn good brown beans. The crinkle cut fries took a backseat to the other gloriousness on my plate. For those interested in checking it out its at the old A&W on Race Street, near harding campus.

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Posted by What'sthat? on 12/25/2012 at 10:27 AM

The Lunchbox is fabulous... good burger, fantastic fried pie, divine strawberry icebox pie and I love their Southern vegetable buffet. My new favorite place in Searcy. Must try the catfish next time.

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Posted by Kat Robinson on 12/28/2012 at 11:33 AM
Showing 1-24 of 24

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