Dining » What's Cookin'

What's Cookin, Oct. 7


Little Rock native Nick Castleberry has returned to town after earning raves as a chef in Seattle over the last 15 years. Castleberry's done time in fine dining spots, but more recently he was at the vanguard of the "pop-up" restaurant movement in Seattle, where young chefs set up restaurants-within-restaurants (or bars), taking over on off nights or in spots where food is an afterthought and running a one-man-show: prepping, cooking, cleaning and even, Castleberry told Seattle Weekly, "killing the pig and sticking it in the back of the truck."

Castleberry's picked up where he left off in Seattle with Castleberry's at White Water Tavern. His weekly menus emphasize local ingredients — "You'll never see a Sysco Truck dropping off anything for me," he told me last week — at a price point he says working-class folks can afford. This week, he's serving on Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. until midnight. Follow him on Twitter @nickcastleberry to get his schedule in the future.

Brothers Jason and Tyler Rogers and chef Jeffrey Palsa — a vet of Alouette's, Graffiti's, 1620 and big name restaurants in D.C., Atlanta and Charleston, S.C. — have started serving meals out of TheFoodTruck, a mobile restaurant akin to the slew of gourmet, Twitter-happy food trucks popping up in bigger cities all over the country.

"Really good sandwiches and salads" is how Jason Rogers describes TheFoodTruck's menu, which you can see on Eat Arkansas. Also, breakfast was scheduled to begin this week and Rogers said a late night menu could be coming in a few months.

Last week, Rogers said the crew was still scouting regular locations, but hoped to establish a routine of semi-permanent spots in different parts of Little Rock for each weekday, save Wednesday, when the theme will be "can you catch us?" Rogers said, with a new location every week that the guys hint about on Twitter (@foodtrucklr) and then reveal, Wednesday morning, with a Tweet.

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