Rumbles: Ceci’s Coming to Little Rock, World Cheese Dip Festival, Deli & Donuts Open

Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles will open a second location in Little Rock next year. Chef and owner Ciceley McDowell posted on Facebook last week that she is bringing Ceci’s to her hometown in 2019. Right now, she isn’t saying where her second location will be or what her target due date is. Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles started in a small restaurant in North Little Rock back in 2016 and quickly gained a cult following. The chicken and waffles, chicken gizzards and (my favorite) the hot sauce had people coming back day after day. Last year, McDowell moved to Conway after running into some issues with the North Little Rock building. She’s been making folks in Conway happy at her location on Dave Ward Drive for over a year. We will keep you posted on where and when Ceci’s opens in Little Rock in the coming months.

Like it or not, the food most people associate with Arkansas is cheese dip, and this weekend is the biggest annual celebration of melted cheese the state has to offer. The eighth annual World Cheese Dip Championships is Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center downtown. Last year, the festival saw Tacos 4 Life take the top prize in the professional category. Last year saw 14 participants across both the professional and amateur divisions, this year that number has jumped to 30 hitting the participant capacity, with a waiting list in the off chance someone drops out. That should mean a lot of cheese dip available for you to enjoy and vote on. Advance tickets are $10 online; that price goes up to $15 the day of the World Cheese Dip Championships. Proceeds from Saturday’s event go to support Harmony Health Clinic, a free clinic supporting the uninsured in Central Arkansas.

Deli & Donuts, a new restaurant on Main Street in downtown Little Rock, is holding a soft opening today. The restaurant’s Facebook page says that Deli & Donuts will be open for a few hours today with a very limited menu. Deli & Donuts is located at 308 Main Street, in the small space where Bruno’s Little Italy briefly ran a lunchtime eatery. When it’s finished, the restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch during the week. Breakfast will feature donuts, of course, but also kolaches, cronuts, muffins and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch, Deli & Donuts will focus on deli-style sandwiches, salads and a small daily run of burgers. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more soft opening news. Deli & Donuts is still targeting Oct. 28 for its official grand opening.

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There are all sorts of restaurant and bar happy hour promotions around town, but the new version at Loblolly Creamery seems too good to pass up. It’s called Buddy Scoop, and it’s only on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The concept is simple: buy one scoop, and your friend gets one free. It’s called Buddy Scoop for a reason; you can’t just go in there by yourself and get two scoops for the price of one. So grab a friend after work and go enjoy the best ice cream in Arkansas for a really generous discount.

And we wrote about this one in our Growlers feature this week, but it is worth repeating here. Saturday at Lost Forty Brewing is the Festival of Darkness, where the brewery will debut the 2018 version of Nighty Night. For those who don’t know about Nighty Night, this is basically Lost Forty’s own version of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, in that it’s a barrel-aged beer that only comes out once a year in limited quantities (and I like Nighty Night better than BCS). Get your tickets for the festival for $20 (VIP tickets for $30); the party starts Saturday at 4 p.m. at Lost Forty.

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Rumbles: Ceci’s Coming to Little Rock, World Cheese Dip Festival, Deli & Donuts Open