Rumbles: Greek Food Festival, Cypress Knee Closes, Project Swim Pool Party

The city’s best annual food festival is back this weekend in West Little Rock. The 35th Annual International Greek Food Festival is Friday through Sunday at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. All of your favorite food and activities are back from previous festivals, including some new menu items:

  • Gyro salad: A healthier take on the famous sandwich with lamb, beef and seasonings on a bed of lettuce with diced tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce
  • Improved” Greek salad:Lettuce topped with generous portions of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, purple onion, olives and pita bread
  • Lamb dinner:Traditional lamb recipe with roasted potatoes, Greek-style green beans, Greek salad and pita bread
  • Olympic Sundae: Yarnell’s vanilla ice cream topped with loukoumathes (i.e., Greek doughnut holes) and honey syrup
  • OPAtizer plate:A sampling of keftedes (i.e., Greek meatballs), dolmades, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, sliced tomato, cucumber and pita bread
  • Ouzo cake: Famous Greek sponge cake with Ouzo, a dry anise-flavored aperitif
  • “Vegeterranean” plate: A platter of seasoned rice, Greek-style green beans, Greek salad and pita bread

Admission is $3 or three canned food items to be donated to local charities. This year’s beneficiaries include the Arkansas Foodbank, Centers for Youth and Families, Humane Society of Pulaski County and others. The festival is 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Longtime Arkansas food truck Cypress Knee has closed its doors for good. Owner Benjamin LaFoon says he is leaving the restaurant industry and is putting his food truck up for sale. He is maintaining the Cypress Knee brand in case an opportunity to revive it in the future comes up. Cypress Knee was a solid New Orleans-themed truck, with menu choices like gumbo, shrimp and grits, and red beans and rice.

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This warming trend in the weather came just in time for Tuesday’s big charity event at U.S. Pizza in Hillcrest. It’s the 8th Annual Project Swim Patio Pool Party, benefiting Project Swim at Our House. U.S. Pizza, Lost Forty Brewing and Our House team up for the event, which features a fun swimming pool right on the patio at U.S. Pizza. Visitors are encouraged to bring swim donations, like floaties, towels, flip-flops and goggles. There’s a full list of needed items on the Facebook event page. What’s more, a dollar of every Lost Forty beer sold at all U.S. Pizza locations for the month of May will go to Our House and Project Swim. The party goes from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday at U.S. Pizza in Hillcrest.

And we mentioned this in our Growlers feature, but it bears repeating: you need to be at Rebel Kettle this Saturday for the brewery’s third birthday. Beer and Loathing in Little Rock is back for a third year, featuring beer yoga starting at 10 a.m. and the main party kicking in at 11 a.m. Rebel Kettle’s barrel-aged booth is back and includes Black Reign bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout, among others. The brewery is also welcoming food trucks Katmandu Momo and the pizza truck from Sauced Bar and Oven. And of course, there will be plenty of live music on the stage. Admission to Beer and Loathing in Little Rock is free; you will need to buy beer tickets for $5 each to get a brew. This year, a portion of the proceeds from the party will go to The Brooklyn Legacy, a foundation that supports children fighting cancer.

It’s the story that broke our website yesterday. Little Rock is getting a Trader Joe’s location. Here’s the story of what we know and what information is still to come.

And a homegrown talent is bringing her restaurant back home. Check out how soon you’ll be able to get Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles again right here in Little Rock.

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Rumbles: Greek Food Festival, Cypress Knee Closes, Project Swim Pool Party