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Three days in Little Rock.......

Hi fellow chowhounders!

Could use a little help.

I'm gonna be in Little Rock for a three day weekend. Whenever I travel, I try to hit up as many must-eat places as possible. My question is this......if I only visit Little Rock once in my life, where should I eat?

Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated! I'm not looking for any specific kind of cuisine, just places that make (and serve) great food.

cheers!

-noah

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  1. Don't leave LR without having dinner at Doe's Steakhouse.

    Doe's Eat Place @ 1023 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 376 - 1195.

    Whole Hog Cafe near the river is a good BBQ restaurant. Ashley's at the Capital Hotel is a fine dining restaurant highly recommended. The Capital Bar and Grill is very pleasant for cold drinks and bar food. You will enjoy a cold drink there. Sonny Williams Steak Room is nice and has a piano at night.

    Whole Hog Cafe @ 2516 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock, AR. 501 - 664 - 5025.
    http://www.wholehogcafe.com/
    Ashley's @ The Capital @ 111 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 370 - 7007.
    Sonny Williams Steak Room @ 500 President Clinton Avenue #100, Little Rock, AR 501 - 324 - 2999.
    http://www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com/

    Flying Fish in the River Market is a good seafood restaurant. River Market is an indoor mall with food shops and a farmer's market.

    Flying Fish @ 511 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 501 - 375 - 3474.
    http://www.flyingfishinthe.net/
    http://www.rivermarket.info/

    Copper Grill and Grocery is a great lunch/dinner place. Buy some of their gourmet foods to take home. Cotham's serves the best burger's in LR. Mr. Mason's BBQ serves excellent BBQ.

    Copper Grill and Grocery @ 300 East 3rd St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 375 - 3333. LD.
    http://www.coppergrillandgrocery.com/
    Cotham's @ 1401 West 3rd St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 370 - 9177. BURGERS.
    http://www.cothamsinthecity.com/
    Mr. Mason's Pit Bar B Que and Catering Co. @ 915 W Capitol Ave, Little Rock, AR. 501 372 4227.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Thanks for the recommendations!!!

      Whole Hog seems to be particularly popular.

      1. re: motorcityhound

        Don't leave LR without having dinner at Doe's Steakhouse. Let me know if you need some more help. Good luck.

        Doe's Eat Place @ 1023 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 376 - 1195.

      2. re: Littleman

        Thanks to all of you for the suggestions on this thread. My husband and I went this weekend - here's how we did:

        Our favorite place of those we tried: Whole Hog. We loved trying the 6 different kinds of BBQ sauce on the table. (We hear there is a 7th "volcano" sauce available at the counter.) We went to Memphis after Little Rock and had BBQ at two other places (Corky's, Central), but Whole Hog was our favorite.

        Loca Luna - go and get the crab cakes. The sauce on the side is worth the price of admission. We also liked the cheese dip with salsa. They claim to have the best margaritas in AK. We tried the premium ones on the rocks (and thought they weren't great). We finally tried the frozen - THAT was the good one. Brie and shrimp quesadillas were lackluster, and their very hyped tortilla soup was the worst I've had. Soft shell crab was very good.

        Flying Fish - loved the atmosphere, loved the fried oysters. Thought the rest of the food was just standard (fried shrimp, hush puppies, french fries, gumbo over grits, bbq shrimp po boy.) Key lime pie was particularly lime-y (very good). Bread pudding was just ok.

        We stopped by Trios for dessert one night - the banana delight was fantastic. Worth a trip for that.

        Copper Grill - this was ok, too. I had the mac and cheese balls and some mushroom soup. Mac and cheese needed some umph; mushroom soup was terrific. My husband had the egg rolls and said they were ok. Peach and bacon-wrapped pork was decent. We weren't really excited by the place, on the whole.

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        Loca Luna Restaurant
        3519 Old Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72202

      3. I second the Ashley's and Doe's recommendations. More of LR's best include Brave New Restaurant, Loca Luna, Faded Rose, Ciao Baci, Ferneau, and Trio's. I also love The Pantry and The House.

        For BBQ, a lot of people like Whole Hog, but personally I would recommend Sim's. It's a different kind, though, more vinegary, and served on white bread (nominally it's a sandwich but I dare you to pick it up and eat it!)

        For seafood, I'd recommend the Oyster Bar over Flying Fish, and for catfish, Cock of the Walk or Grampa's. A lot of people like Flying Fish, though; it's especially popular with tourists.

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        Ferneau
        2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72205

        Faded Rose Restaurants
        400 N Bowman Rd, Little Rock, AR 72211

        Brave New Restaurant
        2300 Cottondale Ln Ste 105, Little Rock, AR 72202

        Loca Luna Restaurant
        3519 Old Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72202

        1 Reply
        1. Ashleys at the Capitol Hotel (Downtown) - $50 3 course meal, best in city (compares with food in many other cities), great service, little stuffy, probably should get a reservation (new american with southern influences). Also you can order 2 first course and skip dessert to make your 3 course meal if you like savory more than sweet. Had a duck breast/duck confit dish in September 2010 that was one of the best dishes I have had ever, anywhere.
          Capital Bar & Grill (also at the Capitol Hotel)– have not had dinner but the bar snacks are great (the pimento cheese is the best I have ever had), as are the cocktails
          Ferneau’s (Midtown)- Good food in Hillcrest (expensive for what you get and quality, cost will be about the same as Ashleys, but not as good or unique)
          The Pantry –(West Little Rock) good take on Czech food – especially some of the pork dishes and a good beer selection
          Steak places - I don’t recommend any in LR, but I hear that Arthers in Chenal is good (but pricy), a lot of people also recommend Doe's, but I have found them to be hit and miss (although the tamales are good)
          Whole Hog Barbeque – award winning BBQ – great potato salad - Little Rock does have good BBQ so this or others would be a good pick for a feel of Little Rock
          Sushi cafe - good sushi in the heights (but if you travel much, i dont think it would be better than good sushi in other major cities)

          Forty Two - if you go to the Clinton Library go to the restaurant, good food, not overpriced, if the weather is not too hot, then it is nice to sit outside (good paninis, burgers, etc)

          Pizza - US Pizza (thin crust), Dam good pies(thicker, they do have a chicago style), za za’s(closest to real roman/italian you will get in LR)

          Coffee - guellermos (west little rock), rivercity (hillcrest/midtown), boulevard bread (rivermarket and Heights locations)

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          Ferneau
          2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72205

          US Pizza
          710 Front St, Conway, AR 72032

          2 Replies
          1. re: tdterry

            I'd agree with all the recommedations that tdterry suggests above except that I've never had a bad experience at Doe's and I eat there a lot. They consistently have great porterhouse steaks and the tamales are fabulous.

            I don't know why, but I'm just not a big Whole Hog bbq fan. The pulled pork sandwiches are good if you want a bbq fix but for a transcendent bbq experience, I go to Sim's. I prefer a sweeter thicker sauce than they serve but for some reason, their sauce pairs perfectly with the smokiness of their ribs and I don't complain one bit. The meat is tender and juicy. I love their sides as well, particulary the greens with cornbread. Whole Hog's potato salad just isn't my cup of tea. It has a waxy texture and is dressed with Ranch. I get tired of Ranch on everything.

            Definitely try Ashley's. If you could pick just one place to go, this would be it. Everything is carefully prepared, fresh and delicious.

            1. re: tdterry

              good call on The Pantry. love that place.

              I've also been enjoying ZaZa quite a bit lately!

              1. Since we don't seem to have a Little Rock thread, I'm adding a couple of suggestions here, even though Noah came and went long ago! Fantastic China on R Street does a nice job with classic Chinese food. Nearby Boulevard Bakery has wonderful sweets and breads -- haven't eaten a meal there, so can't comment on their sandwiches. The Purple Cow, with two locations, features "adult milkshakes," i.e., a milkshake with a shot of booze. Their chocolate malts are excellent!
                Finally, my husband did the hot sauce BBQ challenge at The Mean Pig, which was featured on Man Vs. Food. In four years of marriage, I have never seen him so sick! He said the "Shut Up Juice" wasn't spicy so much as it was caustic -- it hurt his throat. So consider yourselves warned!

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                Purple Cow Restaurants
                8026 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72227