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Dining Out
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Restaurant Transitions: IHOP at Markham and University, Capers, Tacos 4 Life opening soon

posted: 02/23/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

The target reopening date for the IHOP, West Markham Street and University Avenue, Little Rock, is April 3. You will recall that Golden Cakes Inc., which manages 10 of the 15 Arkansas IHOPs, is rebuilding the place from the ground up; the new place will have a "contemporary look, reflective of the warm and inviting atmosphere characteristic of IHOP restaurants nationwide," according to a corporate marketing statement; "special design touches include whimsical 'bubble' screens, porcelain wood-like tile flooring and the beloved banquette seating associated with the brand since first opening in 1958." Part of the building has a distinctly visible second story, which Susan North, franchisee/partner/owner, says will be an employee-only space, not a party room or overflow seating.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Paninis & Company plates a pretty package

posted: 02/23/2017 1:57 a.m. Discuss

Woman doesn't live on wheatgrass-kale-spinach-cucumber-parsley-lemon-and-celery juice alone. Or at all.

Selected restaurants

updated: 02/23/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Weekly 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.

Restaurant Transitions: Three Fold moving; North Bar opened; changes planned for Bray Gourmet, Slick's

posted: 02/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. is moving from 215 Center St., Little Rock, where it has been vending authentic Chinese noodles, dumplings and buns, since December 2014, to the Fulk Building (which, by the way, was the original home of the Arkansas Democrat), 615 Main St., sometime in mid-August. Owner Lisa Zhang says she anticipates staying open as they move, though there is a possibility it may have to close for a week to complete the transition.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Baja style suits Fuzzy's just fine

posted: 02/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Fuzzy's Taco Shop calls its cuisine Baja-style Mexican, fashioned after food of the Baja California peninsula, where seafood takes a prominent position in many restaurants. The chain's newest location is on John Harden Drive in Jacksonville.

Restaurant Transitions: Capers repairs; La Hacienda renovations; Buenos Aires looks to open at month's end

posted: 02/09/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Progress is being made in the repairs at Capers, 14502 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, where last month a cold snap resulted in a burst pipe in the fire suppression system in the attic and caused quite a bit of damage. Co-owner Mary Beth Ringgold says they're shooting to reopen next week -- Wednesday at the earliest -- but it's a "moving target." Much of the interior work is done -- wiring, ductwork, new Sheetrock and the flooring. Among the items still pending: new chairs. Ringgold and colleague Marilyn Greene have, in the meanwhile, been working on some new menu items, "true to our style," with plans to "ramp up the appetizers" and add some entrees. During the down time, Capers' subsidiary market has remained open. And the phone number has remained active: (501) 868-7600.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: So far, So good, and brunch even better

posted: 02/09/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

They're not doing anything special to celebrate as far as we can tell (and it's possible the current management isn't aware of the milestone). But as you read this, it has been exactly 10 years (plus a month) since So Restaurant/Bar opened in what had been a cozy-coffee-shop-cum-lunch-and-brunchery called The Living Room on Kavanaugh Boulevard, just as the artery starts its ascent from Hillcrest to the Heights.

Spork Report

posted: 02/09/2017 1:48 a.m. Discuss

Taco Bell regularly introduces limited-time-only menu items. Some are hits, some are misses. Its newest production, the scandalously named Naked Chicken Chalupa, falls somewhere in the middle.

Selected restaurants

posted: 02/09/2017 1:47 a.m. Discuss

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.

Restaurant Transitions: Restaurant at Terry’s Finer Foods closes; Main Cheese to reopen

posted: 02/02/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Just two weeks after it started serving lunch, The Restaurant at Terry's Finer Foods, aka The Sidecar at Terry's, 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, has closed. Permanently. "Issues abound" is co-owner Lex Golden's only and official on-the-record explanation.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Food's fine at B-Side; tab's on the e-side

posted: 02/02/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Plenty of Little Rock diners were "B-side" themselves when restaurateur Nancy Tesmer announced she was moving out of state and therefore closing her west Little Rock restaurants Lilly's Dim Sum Then Some and B-Side in November.

Restaurant Transitions: New downtown Little Rock coffee shop; Bruno's to offer lunch pizzas; Rita's Italian Ice in Conway

posted: 01/26/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Conway-based Blue Sail Coffee Roasters will open a 1,222-square-foot coffee shop on or about March 1 on the first floor of Phase 1 of the Little Rock Technology Park project, 417 Main St. It will offer lattes, cold brews and pour overs, plus "signature brunch items such as quiche, croissant sandwiches and baked goods," according to a Tech Park news release. Hours are, tentatively, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays with possible Saturday hours. Blue Sail has two stores in Conway, 1028 Front St. and in the Donaghey Center, 250 Donaghey Ave., fronting the University of Central Arkansas. Check out the website: bluesail.coffee.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: David's Burgers: Here's the beef

posted: 01/26/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

It'd be easy to be lazy and say "a burger is just a burger" and move on. Let's pause, though, because that's not true.

Restaurant Transitions: Bruno’s reopening; Ira's moves to Main Street in Little Rock; Petit & Keet Bar & Grill delayed

updated: 01/19/2017 11:58 a.m. Comment 1

If you've been on the edge of your culinary seat awaiting the opening of Petit & Keet Bar & Grill sometime in February, you might as well settle back for a much longer wait. Restaurateur Jim Keet says the scope of his collaboration with Little Rock culinary legend Louis Petit, in the former Restaurant 1620/1620 Savoy, 1620 Market St., Little Rock, has expanded from a six-week, "couple of hundred thousand-dollar" to a six-month, "million-dollar project." He's now projecting an opening in late April "if we're lucky, around the first of May if we're not."

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Renovated Shogun rolls out sushi, hibachi

posted: 01/19/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Imagine our surprise the other day when we popped into Shogun Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar on Cantrell Road in Little Rock's Riverdale neighborhood and discovered Michael Choi in charge.

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