Around the Rock: Taqueria Karina Does Not Disappoint

My weekly views…

My first visit to the unassuming Taqueria Karina in SWLR was a positive one. I ordered the fajitas pollo, a plate consisting of marinated strips of chicken breast resting alongside chunky refried beans and Mexican rice. While every component of the plate was delicious, the real hit was the paper-thin flour tortilla used to wrap everything into a fajita. Made fresh right next door at Tortillaria Brenda, I’d venture to say these are the best tortillas Little Rock has to offer. Another hit was the chicken tostada, which included many of the same ingredients as the fajitas pollo, but served on top of a denser, fried tostada chip. Excellent service and a pleasant atmosphere sealed the deal for a return visit.

Good food trumped disappointing service at a recent Big Orange Midtown dinner, where I enjoyed a delicious “Ruby’s Summer Plate Special.” This vegetarian plate, featuring several local produce products, consisted of fried green beans, pone bread, sautéed corn, pinto beans and sliced tomatoes. The food was every bit as delightful as the service was unimpressive. Our server seemed overwhelmed by her tables, possibly the product of a bigger than expected dinner crowd for a Thursday evening. Also, when I (not the server) suggested the Special, I received a look like “you must be part of a secret club.”

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Diamond Bear’s Arkansas Alehouse still has plenty of kinks to work out, but there’s a ton of potential at the brewer’s new digs in North Little Rock. My veggie sandwich (grilled zucchini, onions, goat cheese, olive and fig tapenade, and Arkansas Fresh baguette) was satisfying, as was our table’s brat appetizer.

Congrats to Lauren Harrison over at Little Rock’s newest food truck … The Pie Hole. I sampled some of her Boston cream pie, which proved to be a traditional take on a classic. It did not disappoint. In fact, it was absolutely wonderful. Go check the truck out!

My goodness … between the turkey salad at Burge’s and the chicken salad at Scallions, the Heights is quickly becoming my favorite area for lunch.

And the news…

Go sign up for the July 19th (6p-8p) cooking class at Eggshells, featuring the wonderful and talented Jacquelyn Pittman from The Pie Shop in Terry’s Finer Foods. For more details, click here.

The Heights’ Annual Sidewalk Sale starts this Thursday and runs through July 19th. Eggshells, along with several other businesses, will be offering massive discounts on tons of merchandise.

On Saturday (11a-4p) and Sunday (11a-2p), Hot Rod Wieners will be set up at the tennis competition at the Burns Park Tennis Center. Open to the public.

Natchez has a new summer menu.

And so does Ciao Baci. This from chef Jeffrey Owen: “We look forward to BBQ ham shanks brined in-house, with apple celery and blue cheese slaw and sweet potato puree, along with a half roasted chicken with beans and cheddar polenta, and a killer swordfish with romesco and zucchini ragout. We have a bunch of new salads and appetizers, featuring house made bacon cheddar stuffed tots, and corn fritters. And, for a limited time, we even brought back everyone’s favorite … chicken sliders!”

ARfoodjobs.com is having its first Industry Night on Thursday from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. at South on Main.

Finally, special congrats to Waffle Wagon on its one-year anniversary! Also, this from owner Matt Clark: “Block party (4p-9p) this Saturday on Main Street … birthday celebration for The Root and The Green Corner Store. Waffle Wagon and The Beast will be there.”

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Around the Rock: Taqueria Karina Does Not Disappoint