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Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

Selected restaurants

This article was published November 22, 2012 at 12:29 a.m.

— Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. Restaurant reviewers’ visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Bargain means a meal (without beverage or dessert) is typically less than $12. Moderate is $12 to $25. Expensive is $25 and up. Visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Catfish

CATFISH CITY & BBQ GRILL

1817 S. University Ave., Little Rock, (501) 663-7224

This veteran serves catfish as tasty as ever — fried or grilled — plus shrimp, frog legs, hot wings, chicken tenders and barbecue.

Lunch Mon-Sat, dinner Mon-Sat. Reservations (large parties). Bargain.

DENTON’S TROTLINE

2150 Congo Road, Benton, (501) 315-1717

Satisfying Saline County catfish devotees for decades has earned heavy traffic for this buffet eatery that dishes up shrimp, chicken, gumbos and — for an extra charge — snow crab legs.

Dinner Tue-Sat. Full bar (private club). Reservations. Moderate.

FLYING FISH

511 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, (501) 375-3474

The seafood shack still serves up fine fish, fried and otherwise, including some of the town’s best (and best drained) catfish (all-youcan-eat on Wednesdays, $14.99).

Lunch, dinner daily. Beer, wine. Bargain-moderate.

GRAMPA’S CATFISH

100 Shadow Oaks Drive, Sherwood, (501) 834-5400

The Sherwood restaurant, behind Fort Thompson, is staying open despite a recent bankruptcy filing, still serving crisp, golden, allyou-can-eat catfish plus a variety of steak, chicken and seafood selections.

Lunch, dinner daily. Beer, wine. Reservations (six or more). Moderate.

Barbecue

CAPITOL SMOKEHOUSE AND GRILL

915 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, (501) 372-4227 Doug and Candy Wilkerson, who once upon a time ran the Lucky 7 on East Sixth Street, have supplemented their award-winning barbecue (top notices from publications as diverse as Sync and Maxim for the ribs and pulled pork, respectively) with their topof-the-line plate lunches. Lunch Mon-Fri. Bargain.

CORKY’S RIBS & BBQ

12005 Westhaven Drive, Little Rock, (501) 954-7427; 2947 Lakewood Village Drive, North Little Rock, (501) 753-3737 This nice, polite, suburban Memphis-based franchise barbecue operation, which serves well-smoked ribs, wet and dry, and some of the best baked beans, takes no risks but also threatens few surprises.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar. Reservations (eight or more people). Bargainmoderate.

SIMS BAR-B-QUE

2415 Broadway, Suite B, Little Rock, (501) 372-6868; 1307 John Barrow Road, Little Rock, (501) 224-2057; 7601 Geyer Springs Road, Little Rock, (501) 562-8844

Old-school Sims can always be counted on for serving solid, messy and no-frills barbecue.

Lunch, dinner Mon-Sat. Beer. Bargain.

UPDATE! WHOLE HOG CAFE

2516 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, (501) 664-5025; 12111 W. Markham St., Little Rock, (501) 907-6124; 5107 Warden Road, North Little Rock, (501) 753-5228

Sweet and sticky ribs, savory beef brisket and plush sourcream potato salad are some of the rewards awaiting diners at this award-winning barbecue restaurant.

Lunch, dinner Monday-Sunday on Cantrell and West Markham, Monday-Saturday in North Little Rock. Beer, wine. Bargain.

Weekend, Pages 48 on 11/22/2012

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