Rock City Review: kBird and The Pantry Crest Stalwartly Delicious, Checking Out Ira’s, Breakfast at South on Main and Leo’s

Perhaps it’s because during my lunch hour I feel rushed, but I end up going to the same few places over and over when I get the chance to eat out. Since I’ve moved from Hillcrest, I end up staying downtown simply for the convenience factor. Luckily, I broke the habit recently and headed over to kBird. I can’t get over how much I love the place, hole in the wall and all. Once you enter the threshold it’s like the whole world slows down, and you’re in a different dimension. I didn’t get too adventurous on this go-round, just stuck with my usual: the Pad Thai with Tofu. I love the crispness of the veggies mixed with a hint of nuts, spice and excellently prepared tofu. The thing about kBird is, no matter what you order, your taste buds are bound to thank you. Don’t forget to chat with owner Richard Glasgow, as he’s whipping up the day’s specials he’ll likely unload some food tidbit you didn’t know. A delicious lunch and some food knowledge makes kBird a win-win.

Last week I found myself out late every night, dinner-less, because I was covering the film festival. Eleven p.m. is a rough time to need to eat dinner in Little Rock, especially if you want to eat out. Thank goodness for The Pantry Crest. It’s always a treat for me to eat there, and this last time was no exception. At that hour you most likely need an appetizer, and while I love the Truffled Deviled Eggs that the eatery offers, I’m also a huge fan of the Bacon Wrapped Dates. You already know how delicious The Pantry Crest’s Bratwursts are, but I’ll say it, if you haven’t had them, head on down, sit at the bar, and have one alongside one of their beers.

I’ve been wanting to head over to Park Hill for a spell now to check out Ira’s Park Hill Grill. I’ve heard great things about the burgers so I wanted to try it out for myself. I made the trek on a Friday during lunch rush with a friend. I ordered the salmon off the entrée list – a grilled beauty topped with maple syrup, balsamic reduction atop mashed potatoes and sugar snap peas. My friend ordered the burger, which included a caramelized onion jam and bacon atop Ciabatta bread. The burger was wonderfully cooked at a medium temperature, not overdone or too rare, and the salmon was juicy in all the right ways. The lunch was almost perfect, save for the general pacing of the service. While our waitress was extremely nice, there must have been a problem in the kitchen as the lunch rush thinned out and we still hadn’t received our meal. The management offered us a comped dessert to make up for it, and overall, I thought they handled the hiccup quite graciously. I’ll definitely head back.

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Bacon Wrapped Dates at The Pantry Crest
Bacon Wrapped Dates at The Pantry Crest

To celebrate Mother’s Day, I took my mom to South on Main’s brunch. It’s been since Valentine’s Day that I’ve sampled their brunch offerings, and I have to say I was impressed and left stuffed, as always. I loved the Fried Oyster Benedict I ordered, as eggs benedict is one of my favorite brunch dishes. The Hot Chicken Biscuits were as good as ever – deliciously juicy and filling. (South on Main simply does hot chicken right, all the time. If you don’t believe me, order the Hot Chicken Sandwich at lunch. You’ll be so glad you did.) Also, even though I was apprehensive, I thoroughly enjoyed the Bloody Mary, which sported celery foam and a pork rind. I think it’s definitely one of the best in Little Rock at the moment.

As breakfast is my favorite meal, I thought I wouldn’t let one more delicious mention go unnoticed. I often go to Leo’s Greek Castle for breakfast on Sundays, even though they offer it all week. Leo’s must have heard my battle-cry for brunch, as they offer mimosas these days. While any breakfast plate I’ve had is always on point, my go-to is the Greek Omelet which includes their delectable gyro meat with veggies and eggs. Give me that on any morning, even without a mimosa, and no rain can dampen my sunshiny day.

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Rock City Review: kBird and The Pantry Crest Stalwartly Delicious, Checking Out Ira’s, Breakfast at South on Main and Leo’s