Because I have family that lives there, I find myself in the town of Glenwood several times a year. It's a quiet town on the banks of the Caddo River known for its history as a sawmill town and for the Arkansas cultural treasure that is Billy's House of Guitars. What the town isn't known for is its food, but I'm here to tell you that while options in small town might be limited, there are some pretty good things to be had if you know where to look. I've talked before about how I think Glenwood is home to some of the best barbecue in the state, but if 'cue isn't your style, you might try the Italian. Yes, that's right, Italian.
The eatery in question is Ari's Little Italy, and while it might not stack up to some of Little Rock's finer Italian establishments, it also won't break your pocketbook like them, either. I've been eating at Little Italy for years now, and it's always been pretty good eats. So if you find yourself hungry in Glenwood, here's a rundown of what you should eat at Ari's:
*Pizza: I'm not the pizza snob that my colleague Dan Walker is, but I think even he could find something nice to say about the pizza at Little Italy. The crust is light and airy, able to stand up to the ample toppings but thin enough not to overpower. The toppings are standard — I'm a fan of the basic pepperoni and beef, but my in-laws always get the works. If I had one small complaint about the pizzas at Little Italy, it would be that the toppings need just a touch longer in the oven to brown (especially that supreme), but having just recently polished off half a pie by myself, that's obviously a small criticism.
*Spinach Ravioli: Tasty little pockets of spinach and ricotta swimming in pink sauce? Yes, please! This was the first pasta dish I ever tried from Little Italy, and what's impressive about it is that it was part of a take-home plate that Jess brought me that stayed in the fridge for several hours. Reheated pasta? Usually terrible, but in this case, it was fantastic. The ravioli had fresh is, of course, quite a bit more awesome.
*Veal Parmesan: I know in these enlightened times that it's not cool to eat veal, but I love it. The veal at Little Italy is tender, lightly breaded, and dressed just right with cheese and sauce. The sweet, mild flavor of the veal is tantalizing, and the savory breading makes the entire dish a pleasure to eat. A must for veal lovers.
In addition to these tasty entrees, Ari's has a full line of sandwiches and calzones to fit any taste, as well as seafood of all sorts cooked up just right. It's a gem of a restaurant, and well worth a visit if you're out that way. Ari's Little Italy is located at 180 Highway 70 E. #13 in Glenwood, and they're open for lunch and dinner daily.