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What's cooking/Capsule review



What's cooking

Joe Jackson has opened Fish and Wings and Things at 1820 Izard St. The restaurant, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, will offer catfish, wings, buffalo ribs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, ice cream cones and more. “We’re really small, keeping it simple,” Jackson said.

The restaurant will deliver to businesses if there are at least 10 orders. If a diner wanted to order a large amount of chicken wings, Jackson said they would deliver. Wings will be available in various order sizes, from a meal to 100-piece wing packages. “We want to accommodate whatever and whoever we can.”

Fish and Wings and Things opened on Monday. The telephone number is 374-8494. There is no alcohol, and Jackson said he wanted to wait to see if he’ll also open on Sundays.

Capsule review

UPDATE: CHILI’S GRILL AND BAR While Central and Northwest Arkansans may think they know all there is to know about Chili’s, in Southeast Arkansas a Chili’s is like a godsend. Finally, one opened here this past year, and it draws not only from Pine Bluff but points south, being as its conveniently located where I-530 meets Highway 63 (Olive Street). And if you check out Chili’s enough, you find that all Chili’s menus are not identical, which brings us to another interesting point: This Chili’s may be almost brand new, but it looks like they shipped the menus in from somewhere else, where they had been in use for a while. No matter, it featured everything we were looking to chow down on when we stopped in on a hot Sunday afternoon. Sadly, Pine Bluff barely managed to put in a mixed drink law several years back, and Sundays haven’t been dealt with like they have in Little Rock. So, no margarita to go with our fajitas or ribs this day. We started with the Triple Play, which gave us a good sampling of the restaurant’s best appetizers: the Southwestern egg rolls, the boneless buffalo wings and a beer-battered chicken strip, which was our favorite with a tender-as-could-be strip of moist chicken breast. The egg rolls weren’t really egg-rolled, but had more of a pastry shell, then they were cut in half. The black beans, corn, cheese, chicken and more made for a delightful starter. Boneless buffalo wings aren’t much fun for the manly bone-twisters like us, but they tasted just fine. The dipping sauces complemented nicely. For entrees, the “spicy citrus” fajitas of shrimp and chicken had the citrus part down, but like all of our meal, Chili’s seemed to play it safe with the Pine Bluff crowd in spiciness. We also had the “Sizzle and Spice” combo of baby-back ribs and margarita chicken (one margarita you CAN get on Sundays). A little squeeze of lime over the pica de gallo on the chicken made for flavorful bird, while the baby-backs weren’t really meaty enough to compete with the better rib joints around the state, and weren’t smoky enough, either, but had a nice crispiness. The plate was packed with loaded mashed potatoes and enough broccoli to feed a family of four, and the plate even resembled the menu photograph. Service was great, and the place was packed well after the lunch hour. We got out of there spending $50 for all that food, and tea and tip. It looks like Pine Bluff loves Chili’s. 5511 Olive St., 870-534-9763. LD daily. $$. Full bar (no alcohol on Sun.).

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