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1981 - Let the people decide (burp)

We ask readers to name their favorites.

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Thought it seems like everyone in town has some form of Reader's Choice awards for restaurants these days, we're proud to say that we were on the forefront of that belly rumbling bubble. In 1981, we launched a thousand arguments when we asked readers to name their faves in twenty categories. The Grand Prize that year went to the legendary Jacques and Suzanne, which also garnered Best French. And speaking of that great disappeared haunt, it's a testament to the finicky palates of Little Rock diners that most of the other eateries on our list have gone the way of the nickle cheeseburger as well, including Best Overall winner, That Little Restaurant, Best New winner, The Black-Eyed Pea (though it actually lives on as the Dixie Café), Best Pizza, Slice of Life, Best Plate Lunch, Bard's, and Best Business Lunch, Buster's. Let's have a moment of silence for those fallen warriors. Our tummies barely knew ye. Like the Times, however, there are a few survivors from those days of yore, the old war-horses of the culinary wars. Still around: Best Italian, The Villa, Best Mexican. Browning's, Best Oriental, Fu Lin's, Best Barbecue, McClard's in Hot Springs, and Best Steak, Coy's of Hot Springs.

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