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What's cooking/Capsule review, March 29

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 What's cooking

There’s not a Starbucks on every Central Arkansas street corner, but in a couple of short years there has been a big invasion of the Seattle-based coffee franchise, and the latest Starbucks in the market opens Friday in Maumelle. The newest Starbucks, a 1,750-square foot retail location with drive-through and outdoor patio, is at 105 Coammons Drive. Besides its drink offerings, the full-service location will sell specialty coffee beans, pastries and other merchandise. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Starbucks is also currently building another Little Rock location at Broadway and Interstate 630.

Capsule review

UPDATE: CHINA INN Competition can encourage change and China Inn has answered the challenge of many new restaurant openings in the McCain Mall area. They’ve knocked out a few walls, added new flooring and lighting and expanded the buffet choices. They have added more American food choices like pizza, regular vegetables and kid friendly hot dogs. And something we couldn’t get enough of, hot flaky apple turnovers, with a dab of ice cream of course. One dare we tried, garlic octopus. Not bad. But it’s hard to beat out sesame chicken and peanut butter chicken. And the new sticky rice served from a rice cooker was a welcome change. Sushi is still available. The bargain $5.45 lunch price is good on Sundays, too, while most places charge more for the church crowd. Go to www.arkansasweb.com/chinainn for a discount coupon. 2629 Lakewood Village, 771-2288, Beer and wine, CC, LD, 7 days a week, $-$$.

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