Around the Rock: Those Devilish Eggs at The Pantry

How in the world has it taken me almost two years to order the truffle deviled eggs appetizer at The Pantry? The execution on this American picnic table classic, with its light, smooth piped-in filling, is both beautiful and delectable. Add just a slight crack of salt and pepper over the top and enjoy yourself one of the more enjoyable starters in town.

I’m not saying The Southern Gourmasian is the best food truck in the country, but I have absolutely no doubt Little Rock’s finest mobile eatery can hold its own with just about anyone in the land. And if you question that, I encourage you to go check them out for Chef Patterson’s unique spin on brunch. The Loco Moco—a variation of a Hawaiian classic, with sticky rice, gravy, fried egg and shredded pork—is not to be missed. Neither is chef’s take on biscuits and gravy, a slightly spicier version than you’ll typically find in most eateries throughout the South.

By now, you’ve probably read numerous accounts of last week’s food adventure to Marianna, Arkansas, when 13 local foodies ventured out for some of that James Beard Award-winning Jones BBQ. So many aspects of the day–from the 2-hour pilgrimage, to the juicy, tangy pulled pork, to the fist-bumping and hugging of the proprietors—made for a truly memorable experience.

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Ever been to El Torito, the half grocery store, half taqueria, located off Bowman? I checked them out for a quick lunch and was quite pleased with my order of tacos. At $1.40 each, the value is certainly there, as is the taste and quality. Pass on the lengua in favor of the steak and/or pork tacos. All are topped with chopped onions and cilantro and make for a quick, fairly light lunch.

Here’s my tip for the week: head down to the Hillcrest Farmers Market and find the Freckle Face Farm table. Purchase one pound each of the ground veal and ground pork. Go home and use this combination as your base for a deliciously moist and flavorful meatloaf. And if that’s not your thing, form some meatballs and dip them into that Bonta Toscana sauce.

Another week and another trip to my beloved Vino’s. My buddy and I split a pitcher of my favorite beer, the Six Bridges Cream Ale. Afterwards, we ordered two pizzas to-go, one with meatballs and mushrooms, the other just a plain meatball. They both held up quite well on the drive home and were immediately devoured by my hungry crew.

The Food & Foam Fest 2014 is just around the corner. The event, which helps raise awareness and funds for the Arthritus Foundation in Arkansas, will be held April 5th from 6-9 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. Festival goers will partake in a variety of samples, including over 250 different kinds of craft beer, wine and cuisine. I attended last year’s event and had a fantastic time. For more info, check out foamfest.org.

Just as a reminder, The Faded Rose will begin their 2014 crawfish season on Fat Tuesday, March 4th at 4:00 p.m. Go check them out for some mudbugs.

Finally, Quapaw Quarter United Method church is hosting a fundraiser dinner on Tuesday, March 4th at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner, then sing along to all the ABBA classics in Mamma Mia! Any amount donation will be accepted and proceeds go towards A/V equipment for the Fellowship Hall.

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Around the Rock: Those Devilish Eggs at The Pantry