For Arkansas, the most wonderful time of the food year is upon us with the return of tomato season. The last week, Little Rock restaurants and farmers markets have brought heirlooms back on the menu and in your shopping bag. There are far too many to list here, but some area restaurants putting out their annual tomato specials include Big Orange, Trio’s, So Restaurant, South on Main, Kemuri, Boulevard Bistro, Capital Bar and Grill, Deluca’s, Forty Two … I mean, chances are, if your favorite restaurant likes using fresh produce, you’re going to see some great tomatoes on the menu. It’s possible there’s no better time to get to the farmers markets as well. Either way, make sure you get out there and take advantage of this too-short season while supporting our local businesses.
La Hacienda on Cantrell Road is just weeks away from finishing a massive overhaul of the restaurant and reopening its doors. The popular Tex-Mex joint closed early this year for what was billed as typical renovations. Instead, crews stripped the building down to its studs, ripped up and repaved the parking lot and basically built a brand new restaurant over the past few months. La Hacienda management doesn’t have a firm opening date yet, but says it should be back in business before the end of June.
Speaking of rebuilding progress, two beloved Little Rock institutions destroyed by fire are both close to making a comeback. Three Sams BBQ Joint is finished with everything but some restoration work in the kitchen. This after a fire that started in a back smoker destroyed it more than a year ago. And hugely popular dive Midtown Billiards missed its June 1 grand reopening, but is working on getting the doors open any day now. Midtown burned in a fire that started due to some bad wiring back in the fall. Both businesses have been sorely missed and will be enthusiastically welcomed back upon their return.
Today, Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles completes its move to Conway in a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for this morning. The excellent soul food restaurant was open in North Little Rock for a year and a half before moving to Dave Ward Boulevard into the space once held by Bleu Flame Burgers. Better facilities, increased space and the ability to stay open later were just some of the reasons owner Ciceley McDowell moved to Faulkner County.
And for the first look at what the new Bubba Brews taproom in downtown Hot Springs will be putting out, make sure you grab a ticket to the brewery’s “Tap-Room Tag-Team” event on Tuesday. The event is $50 and will be held at Surfas Culinary District. The Bubba Brews team will put out a number of the dishes that will be served when the taproom is open, including pork belly corn dogs and brie and bacon baguettes. Tickets are on sale now by calling 501-276-6438 or 501-321-1882. Seating is limited, so move quickly for this preview event.
Going out to eat with kids doesn’t have to mean heading to yet another fast food restaurant. Here’s our guide to the best kids menus in the city at restaurants that mom and dad can also enjoy.
One of my favorite things about craft beer? The excellent can art! Check out our breakdown of some of the wonderful artwork gracing the cans of the state’s best beermakers.
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its specials for the month of June:
- Big Orange: Native Burger, made with products from Arkansas
- Local Lime: Chicken-Fried Pork Chop Tacos with lime slaw and hatch green chile sauce
- Zaza: Hot Honey Capicola Pizza and Vietnamese Chicken Salad (will go on the permanent menu)
Ristorante Capeo’s weekly special is Veal Braciola. The risotto of the week is made with scallops, shrimp and calamari.