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What's cooking/capsule reviews

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What's cooking Rolando’s has opened at 210 Central Ave. in Hot Springs, across from the Arlington Resort Hotel parking deck. The site housed a branch of the Little Rock-based Faded Rose up until Christmastime. This is a new branch of a popular Latin-flavored eatery in Fort Smith owned by Rolando and Sherri Cuzco. Rolando Cuzco is a native of Ecuador and is a chef and artist; Sherri is a native of Prescott. Though there are items on the menu that would make you think “Mexican,” the flavor is more Cuban, Puerto Rican and southern Mexican, with a grilled tilapia among the favorite entrees. Seafood, pork and beef dominate the choices. Rolando’s in Hot Springs is open daily for lunch and dinner and has a full bar and patio dining. The Chili’s Bar and Grill we recently hinted will open on Main Street in Jacksonville just off U.S. 67-167 apparently will have a private club license and charge a nominal fee, to get around the city’s no-liquor laws. Wild Oats Natural Marketplace in West Little Rock has begun selling fresh Alaskan Copper River salmon, which according to a press release is the top choice of leading chefs and food connoisseurs. The Alaskan wild salmon season runs from May to September. Capsule reviews SATELLITE CAFE The menu announces frankly that they do things a little differently here, such as cooking everything to order, and that as a result your order may be a little longer reaching the table and the check may be a little bit more than at other Little Rock lunch spots. We found the food worth the wait and the price, but we had time to kill and company money to spend. People differently situated might be more critical, but this seems a popular place in the upscale Heights neighborhood. Sandwiches (“specialty sandwiches”), salads and soups are the things here — and breakfast, which is served all day and includes huevos rancheros, omelets and pancakes. One of us had the tilapia sandwich (“fresh tilapia rolled in our spicy herb rub, pan-seared and served on toasted Italian bread with green leaf lettuce, crispy red onion and spicy citrus tartar sauce”). She found the fish good and crisp, the sauce perhaps a touch sweet, the bread perhaps a bit excessive for someone watching her carbs. But it was easy to disassemble the sandwich. A wide variety of side orders are available with Satellite sandwiches. All agreed the cole slaw was first-rate — not too sweet, not too creamy, not too much mayonnaise. The grilled New York strip steak with chopped sage and sliced brie in the other diner’s sandwich was plenty robust enough to stand up to the toasted and trimmed Italian bread. Nothing left on the plate here. But the soup of the day (onion) was creamier than we’d expected, not as strongly onion-flavored, and a little sweet. Including a glass of iced tea and a cup of decaf (not including tip), the bill was $25.48. Outdoor dining is available. N. University Ave. and Kavanaugh Blvd., 663-6336. Full bar CC $-$$ BL 7 days. TORTILLAS MEXICAN GRILL This new fast-food Mexican place is the lead-off hit in a new franchise opened by Bentonville resident Jason Pullman. You order at a counter, get salsa and such from a bar, and sit in the big open dining room or outside at cafe tables. The food was pretty darn good, considering the speed with which it came to the table. The guacamole was real, fresh, just as good as any you’ll get anywhere. We had an enchilada platter covered in a homemade chili sauce with excellent rice on the side and a soft drink for $7.35. The grill also offers grilled mahi mahi and beer-battered fish tacos, a Baja dish, and a cilantro-based chicken Caesar salad. 1401 S. Walton, Bentonville, 479-271-0660. BL Sun.-Thu., L Fri. $$ No alcohol.

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