Around the Rock: Mixed Bag at Forty Two

My weekly views…

Lunch at Forty Two (inside the Clinton Library) was met with mixed results. My tablemate and I split a small plate of toasted brioche, and, beautiful presentation aside, the dish’s overall execution left a little to be desired. Slivers of local shiitakes, along with chunks of toasted brioche, waded in a pool of red wine reduction. This proved to be a fancy, somewhat awkward version of French toast … with mushrooms. My salad entrée of Steak Fritz was solid, yet unspectacular. The flank steak was a perfect medium rare and rested alongside some greens with lemon vinaigrette, as well as a pile of potato sticks. A quick bite of my friend’s hearty, buttermilk breaded chicken breast proved to be the best bite of the lunch.

The Jagerschnitzel is back on the menu at The Pantry. Kudos to the folks over there for bringing back this delicious dish of comfort food; it’s comprised of thin, pan seared pork laid over a bed of spaetzle and drowned in mushroom brown gravy.

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I’d classify this year’s Food and Foam Fest as mildly disappointing, due in large part to a shortage of food. Note to organizers, if you’re expecting that many people paired with that many beer vendors, please step it up in the nibbles category.

I finally found a damn good veggie burger in Little Rock. Solfood Catering’s version is a formed patty filled with mixture of predominately potatoes, millet, lentils, and oatmeal. It’s topped with house made barbeque sauce and fried onion, and the entire creation is served on a surprisingly awesome gluten-free bun. All for $6. Check them out at the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Saturday morning and follow them on Facebook for updates.

And the news…

Natchez pastry chef Zara Abbasi will host a “Classic Baking” cooking class at Eggshells Kitchen Co. on April 24. Cost is $50 and the class starts promptly at 6 p.m. Details are on our calendar

A new Newk’s is about to officially open in Little Rock. The midtown eatery (just off of University) encourages patron to check out one of the free training events held at the restaurant this Friday and Saturday.

In case you missed it last week, the Bernice Garden Farmer’s Market started back up! The market is on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Governors Culinary Challenge, benefitting the Thea Foundation, is set for April 28 at the Capital Hotel. Tickets are $100 and “the evening promises gourmet bites from 8 of Arkansas’s most touted chefs, a signature cocktail from the innovative genius of 2 local mixologists, and the cool, jazzy tunes of Dr. Danny Fletcher and company.”

Check out the new Spring Dinner Menus at South on Main and Ciao Baci!

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Around the Rock: Mixed Bag at Forty Two