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Selected restaurants

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published December 12, 2013 at 2:47 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. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, 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.

COCK OF THE WALK

7103 Cock of the Walk Lane, North Little Rock, (501) 758-7182 More than a year after the death of founder/owner Bryan James Burkhalter, the attraction at this folksy family restaurant, with somewhat reduced hours, continues to be substantial dinners of grilled and fried catfish, shrimp and chicken served on metal pie pans, show-stealing sides of hush puppies, skillet bread and coleslaw served family-style and appetizers like the slick, salty fried dill pickles.

Lunch Sun, dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Full bar. Reservations (10 or more people). 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-you-can-eat on Wednesdays, $14.99), and has sped up the clunky order process. Lunch, dinner daily. Beer, wine. Bargain-moderate.

UPDATE!!! GRAMPA’S CATFISH

9219 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, (501) 407-0000 The next generation has taken over as the son-in-law of former owners has reopened this Otter Creek establishment (there’s also a franchise operation on Airport Road in Hot Springs), which serves blond, fresh, smartly seasoned U.S. farm raised catfish, top-notch fried appetizers and homemade pie. Lunch Tuesday-Sunday, dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Beer permit pending. 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, continue to supplement their award-winning barbecue (top notices from publications as diverse as Sync and Maxim for the ribs and pulled pork, respectively) with their top-of 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 at its two central Arkansas locations Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar. Reservations (eight or more people). Bargain-moderate.

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; the ribs are your best bet. Lunch, dinner Mon-Sat. Beer. Bargain.

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 sour cream 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 41 on 12/12/2013

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