Three black-owned businesses have the honor of making up the inaugural class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, Lassis Inn in Little Rock and Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales in Lake Village were inducted in a ceremony at the Ron Robinson Auditorium Tuesday evening. The three beat out more than 300 nominees and nine other finalists for the award. The Continental Cuisine Partnership (Café Prego, Purple Cow, Graffiti’s) was honored as proprietor of the year, the Cave City Watermelon Festival won for food-themed event, and The Grotto in Eureka Springs won the people’s choice award. This is the first year for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. Three honorees will be inducted every year going forward.
Buenos Aires Grill and Café has the week of March 13 set for its grand opening. The Argentinian restaurant is going into the River Market building that was once home to Juanita’s. Buenos Aires has been working up its menu, which includes plenty of South American grilled meats, empanadas, cheese bread and even pizza. The restaurant is still hiring staff. You can apply in person at the restaurant Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Terry’s Finer Foods in the Heights neighborhood abruptly closed its doors (and its Facebook page) on Friday. The closure appears to be temporary, as Terry’s has a new owner who is looking to reopen the business this week, which will be a relief to the locals who shop there routinely. Terry’s has already lost The Pizzeria to relocation and The Sidecar restaurant to closure.
In what promises to be one of the more enjoyable parties of 2017, Rebel Kettle Brewing Company has announced its first birthday party. Called “Beer and Loathing in Little Rock,” the one-year anniversary celebration will be held April 1 on Collins Street in front of the taproom. Rebel Kettle will be hosting plenty of local food trucks as well as preparing a whole hog roast. In addition, the brewery will have a barrel-aged booth with some of its more popular aged brews from its first year. There will also be live music and events for the kids. Admission is free, but you can get an all-you-can-eat ticket to the hog roast for $30.
Tacos 4 Life is ready to open their first Little Rock store. The Shackleford Crossing location will officially open today. This is the Conway based group’s 4th location after they expanded to Fayetteville last year. They plan to open locations in Benton and Springdale later this year as well.
And Honey Pies on Bowman Road has hired a new executive chef. Mindy Mitchell has already hit the ground running at the bakery; when I tried to speak with her, she was pushing out king cakes as fast as possible. We’ll catch up with Mitchell in the future. Mitchell originally hails from Louisiana and comes to Honey Pies from the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in North Little Rock.
Speaking of king cakes, one brewery in town has a drinkable version of the Mardi Gras treat. We reviewed the Flyway Brewing King Cake Brown Ale, which was entirely designed and brewed by the taproom employees.
We’re just a month away from District Fare, the new restaurant replacing Hillcrest Artisan Meats. Tomas Bohm walked us through his plans this week, including selling bread from Arkansas Fresh and bringing over a couple of favorites from The Pantry.
Oh, and the end of February means crawfish season is in full swing. We took a look at some of the restaurants around town selling the delicious crustacean.