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Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 11:46 p.m.


Top Picks - Capture Arkansas


By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published May 9, 2013 at 2:48 a.m.

The first Arkansas outlet of the Louisville, Ky.-based J. Gumbo’s franchise opens today in the Centre at Ten shopping center, 12911 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. The restaurant offers “fast cuisine with a Cajun accent,” says franchisee Amber Hudson, who says she hopes eventually to open 10-12 locations around the state, at an average rate of one a year. When the proper license comes through, they’ll serve bottled beer (no draft). Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily and the phone number is (501) 916-9635. Check out the menu and other details at

Cantina Cinco de Mayo is open in the former Gaucho’s space, upstairs and on the back side of the first building of the Village at Rahling Road, on Rahling just off Chenal Parkway. (The revolving-door space over the years has also housed short-lived Italian, pizza, and other Mexican restaurants.) Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 821-2740.

And speaking of new Mexican restaurants, Mamacita’s Bar & Grill, in the one-time Satellite Cafe space, 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, did not open by Cinco de Mayo and we still hadn’t gotten anybody to answer the listed telephone number, (501)916-2421, by deadline. Still no details whatsoever on the opening of the Mamacita’s on Prince Street in Conway. We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you posted.

As you know, or should know, by now, Sunday is Mother’s Day, and everybody and, well, their mothers, will be looking for places to have brunch. So call already, and make reservations. And at least two places that are not normally open for Sunday brunch have let us know they will be serving moms, etc:

Mark Abernathy’s Red Door, 3701 Old Cantrell Road, will be serving 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; call (501) 666-8482. Abernathy’s next-door Loca Luna, which usually is open for Sunday brunch, will start serving a half-hour earlier than usual, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Call (501) 663-4666.

Victorian Garden Bistro, 4801 North Hills Blvd., North Little Rock, will be serving Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Check out the Mother’s Day menu at; call (501) 758-4299 or e-mail .

And speaking of Mother’s Day, Sunday is the SoMa Mother’s Day Strawberry Festival, featuring fresh berries from Barnhill Orchard and North Pulaski Farms, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Bernice Garden, 1401 Main St., Little Rock, coinciding with the normal Sunday farmers market. Nearby Boulevard Bread Co. will also be dishing up strawberry shortcakes, whoopie pies and other strawberry treats. You pay for the berries, of course, but admission is free. Call (501) 617-2511.

Krispy Kreme locations across the country, including the one on Shackleford Road in Little Rock, will be dispensing free doughnuts for National Doughnut Day, June 7. One free doughnut of any variety per person, no purchase necessary. The Salvation Army established National Doughnut Day in 1938 to raise money for folks in need during the Depression, and it has been observed on the first Friday of June ever since. Visit

Krispy Kreme is also adding salted caramel to its flavor palette for a limited time, June 24-Sept. 1, featuring Caramel Chocolate Chip Cake and Dark Chocolate Caramel Kreme doughnuts (the former topped with Ghirardelli chocolate chips) and the Chocolate Caramel Pretzel.

And two new restaurant-related tidbits from the El Segundo, Calif.-based personal finance website

A recent study suggests that it really is now cheaper to eat out than to cook at home. “In the last decade, the cost of cooking and preparing meals at home has increased by a whopping 38 percent,” according to a news release. “The cost of feeding a family of four has risen from $601.50 in February 2003 to $830.30 in February 2013, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.”

After weighing rising food costs, low prices on fast-food value menus and special offers from restaurants: “Eating out is surprisingly cheaper than cooking.” However, the site notes, “home-cooked meals are often more nutritious and healthful.” Read the entire article at

And the site has “discovered” that making some crafty menu substitutions and some ordering tricks will allow you to save money on some fast-food menu items. For example, McDonald’s Big Mac, which costs, on average, $4.59 plus tax, is considered a premium burger at that price point. However, if you order the McDouble for $1.29 plus tax and swap out the pickles and ketchup for the Big Mac’s special sauce, lettuce and extra onions (all for free), “the result is a copycat version of the original Big Mac for over $3 off.”

Meanwhile, there’s this money-saving tip, courtesy of “the guys at Thought Catalog.” At Chipotle, where you would normally pay extra (“an incredible $2.35”) for extra meat, you’ll save money if you order in fractions - asking, for example, for half steak and half chicken. “The argument is that the measuring scoop servers use isn’t a precise measurement of a half portion, so more often than not you’ll get some extra meat for free. This option may not guarantee a specific amount of extra meat, but you can’t beat free.”

While at Starbucks, instead of buying a $3.55 grande iced latte, make it yourself by buying a double-shot espresso in a full cup of ice for $1.95 “and head over to the milk and sugar bar to top off the cup with the dairy item of your choice. The result is exactly what you’re craving - an iced latte - for a savings of$1.60.” Has a restaurant opened - or closed - near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite eatery have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Call (501) 399-3667 or (501) 378-3513, or send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 121 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, Ark. 72201. Send e-mail to:

Weekend, Pages 38 on 05/09/2013

Print Headline: TRANSITIONS


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