Over the last year, Little Rock has been a hotbed for the young, entrepreneurial culinarian. We’ve seen an impressive amount of growth within local producers and artisans in central Arkansas—people willing to take chances on food, creating things they know and love. There’s a certain confidence in these folks that pushes them forward, as the food culture in this state is perhaps at one of its most fertile moments in years. People are enthusiastic about food, willing to step outside their comfort zones, looking to actively support local producers and restaurants.
What’s with the name? Jeremy tells me (coincidentally, in perfect Klingon), “I look to Wil Wheaton (former cast member of Star Trek: The Next Generation) when people ask me about being geeky…it's about being honest and passionate about things that you love and not afraid to show how much you adore them.” He goes on to say, “I'm really geeky about board games and about food…I started sharing my creations with my friends and family over board games.”
One of these friends was Stephanos Mylonas of Mylo Coffee Co. “We had Stephanos over for dinner one day; I had made some hummus. After he tried some, he was like, ‘Dude, you could totally sell this stuff.’ That was enough for me.” Shortly thereafter, Geek Eats was born.
Geek Eats specializes in only a handful of foods (currently), but what they do produce, they do exceptionally well. Hummus is at the crux of their operation and they are dishing out a variety of interesting flavors, keeping the crowds coming back for more. They’ve got a classic “original” flavor and a roasted garlic, but they’ve also ventured into more exotic territory with flavors such as lemon-cilantro, black bean-sriracha, and rosemary-black bean. I picked up some of their splendid “carrot curry hummus,” and was struck by the quality and intriguing blend of flavors in the dip. This was a smooth, creamy amalgam of chickpeas and olive oil, a touch of lemon juice, and minced garlic. It’s finished with beautiful sweet notes of fresh carrot and curry. Wonderfully done—alongside some pita chips, the stuff didn’t last an hour in our home.
Before leaving their stand, I was able to sample a bit of their delightful granola. Sweet, nutty, and crunchy—the mixture comes chock full of pecans, oats, sunflower seeds flavored with maple and honey. I dreamt of throwing a handful of the stuff on my morning yogurt and determined to pick some up at my next visit to the market.
The Geek Eats folks are determined to bring a new flavor of pesto or hummus to every market, so there’s essentially no way to get bored with these guys. They’re committed to partnering with local producers, already incorporating fresh produce from Bussey-Scott Urban Gardens and Laughing Stock farms into their products, and using locally made cheeses from Kent Walker Artisan Cheese.