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Dining Out
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Restaurant Transitions: La Hacienda being remodeled; Hillcrest Market & Nosh looks to open by end of March

posted: 01/12/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Hillcrest Market & Nosh is what Tomas Bohm is calling his newest enterprise, going into the former location of Hillcrest Artisan Meats, 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, which co-owners Brian Brown and Tara Portiva-Brown closed Dec. 31. Bohm, who brought you The Pantry and Hillcrest's Pantry Crest, says he's hoping to get the place open by the end of March. It will not, as it was originally described, be quite a deli because Bohm doesn't like the term, but it will vend cured-in-house meats and house-made cheeses, soups, panini and other sandwiches, grab-and-go salads and possibly some larger scale, more exotic meat items (including cooked-to-take-home lamb shanks, pork shanks, rabbit and duck breast). The market end of things will sell Pantry pates and brats and, in pasteurized jars, sauerkraut and cabbage, drinks and some of the Arkansas Fresh Bakery's breads.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Pizzeria's pies a slice above

posted: 01/12/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Pizza is like politics. It's personal. It's passionate. It's certain to cause factions (Team New York vs. Team Chicago). And it's certain to cause fights (#ImWithExtraCheese vs. #MakingAmericaMeatyAgain) -- at least over who gets the final piece.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Sidecar at Terry’s Finer Foods on new track

updated: 01/05/2017 12:01 p.m. Discuss

It's all a bit hazy. Starting with just what to call the place.

Restaurant Transitions: Taco Beer Burrito closed but Blue Canoe expanding; Stoby’s being rebuilt

posted: 01/05/2017 1:45 a.m. Discuss

In case you missed the Arkansas Online report last week, Blue Canoe Brewing Co., 425 E. Third St., Little Rock, has shut down its next-door Tex-Mex operation, Taco Beer Burrito, 419 E. Third St., Little Rock, and has expanded its Blue Canoe taproom into the 1,500-square-foot space. Marketing coordinator Carrie Mellinger says the new, bigger taproom will continue to serve TBB's appetizers and Blue Canoe-beer-infused street tacos, adding a few burgers, sandwiches, quesadillas and nachos; the Sunday brunch menu will expand to include egg plates, fruit plates, a breakfast quesadilla and a "hangover burrito." They're also adding games -- shuffleboard, darts and, still en route, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game. Taproom hours will now be 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. And on the first Tuesday of every month, Rock City Rescue will have dogs available for adoption. The phone number is (501) 492-9378.

Restaurant Transitions: Dairy Queen opening in central Arkansas; Bruno’s Little Italy Deli move; new Taco Bueno?

posted: 12/29/2016 5:45 a.m. Comments 4

A DQ Grill & Chill, central Arkansas' first Dairy Queen franchise in a long time and the first of several planned such outlets, opens at 10 a.m. Saturday -- yes, New Year's Eve -- at 1550 Country Club Road at Heritage Lane, Sherwood. Todd Denton, Nelson Lively and Blake Lively (who previously managed 21 DQ restaurants in Texas) are the three managing partners of owner-operator-franchisee You Scream I Scream Inc. They plan to employ approximately 70 full-time and part-time workers. The Sherwood location seats 72 indoors, 30 more on the covered patio (complete with a fireplace). The menu includes grilled hamburgers and chicken baskets served with white gravy, DQ Blizzards and customized ice cream cakes. The first 100 people to buy a cake will get one free Blizzard a week for an entire year. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 834-1300. The franchisees' second outlet, on University Avenue near 12th Street, has a spring target to open and there are more locations in the planning stage "throughout central Arkansas," according to a news release. (The first Dairy Queen opened in 1940 in Joliet, Ill.)

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Little Rock's Bossa Nova dishes out delight

posted: 12/29/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Cafe Bossa Nova has been around for eight years in Little Rock's bohemian Hillcrest neighborhood, where, despite its being one of the area's most underappreciated restaurants, it continues to do well.

Selected restaurants

posted: 12/29/2016 1:49 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. Bargain means a meal (without beverage or dessert) typically less than $12. Moderate: $12-$25. Expensive: $25 and up. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Restaurant Transitions: List of places open for Christmas in central Arkansas

updated: 12/25/2016 11:02 a.m. Discuss

Few restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, there's a chance more places will at least be open for brunch that are not on this list, and because Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday, some places that might otherwise have closed might remain open. Check before you go. And we strongly recommend making reservations at places that take reservations; we've provided phone numbers for that purpose.

Jimmy's menu deserves a hand

posted: 12/22/2016 1:59 a.m. Comment 1

Jimmy's Serious Sandwiches is serious about sandwiches ... very serious.

No-tip policy causes big change at cafes

posted: 12/22/2016 1:54 a.m. Discuss

The owners of Huertas, a cheerful Spanish small-plates restaurant in the city's East Village, knew they would have to raise prices when they abolished tipping in December last year. But when the octopus plate rose from $16 to $21, they looked at the plate and realized another adjustment was needed.

Selected restaurants

posted: 12/22/2016 1:48 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. Bargain means a meal (without beverage or dessert) is typically less than $12. Moderate is $12 to $25. Expensive is $25 and up. Read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety: arkansasonline.com/restaurants. With it being Christmas weekend, be sure to call for hours before visiting.

Restaurant Transitions: Hillcrest Artisan Meats closing; David’s Burgers open in River Market

posted: 12/15/2016 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

The Browns have sold the space to Tomas Bohm of The Pantry and the neighboring The Pantry Crest, who plans to open a deli-style restaurant, the name of which he is choosing at this point not to reveal, explaining that he's not yet 100 percent certain what he's going to call it. ("Pantry Artisan Meats" was among the suggestions he's considered and discarded.)

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Fish off the hook at Lassis Inn

posted: 12/15/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Lassis is like another Arkansas culinary legend -- the James Beard Award-winning Jones Barbecue in Marianna -- in that it sets out to do one thing really well. If you want to waste your life poring over a menu, head elsewhere.

Selected restaurants

updated: 12/15/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. 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.

Restaurant Transitions: The Root Cafe expansion nears completion; Loblolly Creamery moving

posted: 12/08/2016 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

The Root Cafe, 1500 Main St., Little Rock, is nearing the completion of its multimonth expansion, says co-owner Jack Sundell. The new dining room has opened -- "It looks great and feels great," Sundell says -- expanding by 40 seats the indoor seating to 50. "There's lots of space, and it's nice and cozy and toasty, just in time for winter," he adds. The second bathroom is also open. "And we're plugging away at the kitchen, which we hope to have completed by end of the calendar year" -- sometime in January by the absolute latest, he says. That's the last step before the restaurant starts serving Wednesday-Saturday dinner. In the meanwhile, the once-a-month Friday dinner has expanded to weekly, ticketed, five-course meals through Dec. 23 (seating for 30, $40 with beer and wine additional; visit centralarkansastickets.com), with what Sundell says will probably be an open, table-service dinner on "New Year's Eve eve," Dec. 30. The restaurant's current hours are 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday; it'll be closed Christmas and New Year's Day. The phone number is (501) 414-0423; email theroot@therootcafe.com.

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