Rumbles: Ozark Restaurant Fire, Ramen Food Truck Debut, Zara Made It Coming Soon

Nobody was hurt at yesterday afternoon’s fire that badly damaged Ozark Country Restaurant off Cantrell Road. The fire occurred toward the end of the day for the restaurant, which only serves breakfast and lunch. It apparently started on the back deck and quickly spread, burning the walls and roof and a few trees behind the restaurant. Less than half a dozen people were in the building when the fire started, and all made it out safely. The Little Rock Fire Department did not release a cause for the fire. It’s unknown how long it will take Ozark to clean up the damage and reopen.

Today is opening day for Arkansas Heart Hospital’s “Food From the Heart” food truck. You can find the truck today from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at The Food Truck Stop at Station 801 on Chester St. Chef Coby Smith is scheduled to be on hand dishing out his now nationally known ramen to customers. We don’t know what else will be on the menu, but let’s face it, the ramen is well worth making the trip all on its own. It’s believed that Food From the Heart is the first hospital-owned food truck in the country. Chef Smith gained some national attention when his ramen was featured earlier this year on CBS This Morning.

You can expect to see more of Zara Abassi’s food around town over the next few months. Abassi has changed her business name from Just Desserts by Zara to Zara Made It. She says the name change reflects the direction she wants her business to take. Don’t fret, desserts are still on the menu, including her excellent cakes and cookies. Abassi is also planning her own line of hot sauce, cake and cookie mixes, and even packaged to-go meals for children. She compares the meals to Lunchables, but fresh and homemade instead of processed. You can get your first glimpse of what’s to come by Zara Made It at Handmade in the Heights this Saturday and Sunday (though she could sell out by Saturday). Abassi says she has a few surprises for the first shoppers Saturday morning, so make sure you get there early.

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And there’s no shortage of Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend for you and the family to enjoy. One of the best promises to be at The Fold in Riverdale, where they’ll be celebrating the restaurant’s fifth birthday party. The Circo en el Fold celebration starts at 11 a.m. Saturday with a brunch yoga event and goes well into the night. Breweries Rebel Kettle, Flyway and Stone’s Throw will all be there, and Little Rock rap artist Big Piph will perform live at 8 p.m. There’s also plenty for the whole family to enjoy, like a photo booth, face painting and even live circus performers. There is no admission fee, and The Fold will be serving its full menu inside.

Arkansas’ beer scene is expanding so quickly that there’s already a book about it. We sat down with Arkansas Beer author Brian Sorensen for a discussion about the state’s beer history and its future.

It was another memorable and enjoyable Taste of Little Rock at UA Little Rock. Here’s our recap of the event that featured food and drink from dozens of Arkansas restaurants.

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Rumbles: Ozark Restaurant Fire, Ramen Food Truck Debut, Zara Made It Coming Soon