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What's cooking/capsule reviews

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What's cooking Boscos in the River Market District is offering a daily “cask conditioned ale” during its 3:30-6:30 p.m. happy hour on weekdays. One customer is chosen at random to tap the cask and becomes a Boscos “Cellarman,” is entered into the Boscos Cellarman Hall of fame, receives a free glass and drinks the first beer from the cask. n CORRECTION: Ashley’s Restaurant is temporarily closed, but the Capital Hotel bar is open to serve drinks, though the bar is not currently offering dining service, a spokesman said. The bar’s status was incorrectly reported in this column last week. The Capital Hotel’s main kitchen is being redone, as well as some dining room decor. Capsule reviews BURGE’S Smoked ham, smoked turkey and fried catfish are big here. So are fried pies, and old-fashioned fountain drinks like cherry limeade. A ham and Swiss on rye toast (a nice touch) with a soft drink and a package of potato chips was right at $10. A crispy and ample catfish sandwich, similarly accompanied, was about the same. Some might find the baked beans too sweet. We liked them. 5620 R St. No alcohol CC $-$$ 666-1660 LD Mon.-Fri. (closes 6 p.m.) L Sat. NEW CHINA This particular reviewer’s dentist is in Conway, so we have to make a trek here twice a year. In celebration of the whole family having no cavities on our recent visit, and since the whole family loves Chinese, we stopped at New China. The name “New” China is a misnomer. It has been in Conway for three years, but you couldn’t tell by looking. The restaurant is pleasant, clean and bright with seven gleaming shiny buffet islands of assorted Chinese appetizers, entrees, salads, fruits and desserts. The owners have really put some thought into the layout of the place. There’s plenty of walking space around the islands. There is also a large smoking section room built away from the spacious dining area. And, instead of the traditional Mongolian grill setup, New China has a modern industrial size stainless steel grill in an area right off the buffet area. The grill service comes with the all-you-can-eat buffet. Of course, a regular menu is available, too. The food was as good as any we’ve had in other central Arkansas Chinese buffets. By the time we left, it looked like half of Conway was in there. And this was on a Monday night. 2104 Harkrider Ave., 501-764-1888, LD daily, $-$$. CC.

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