Guy Fieri's Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives finally made its first tasty trek to Arkansas last week.
But it won't be the last, the bleach-blond and goateed personality pledged. He tweeted: "Little Rock, what a town! We WILL be back."
Despite efforts to keep filming quiet, FoodNetwork.com gave away clues to locations in episode summaries for the show's 29th season. Those blurbs, plus interviews and social media snooping, helped us pinpoint the eateries Fieri and team visited. So far, two Little Rock episodes are scheduled to debut at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 and Oct. 26. (Keep up with the show schedule at tinyurl.com/fieriguy).
Here are Fieri's featured restaurants:
• Flyway Brewing, North Little Rock
Evidence: An episode description identified a microbrewery serving "scratch pretzels and a gumbo-cheese fry mashup" -- two item's on the brewery's menu. Also, a friend shared a pretzel with Fieri there, calling him "super friendly." Finally, a staff member confirmed filming to ArkansasOnline.com, making all doubt Flyway.
• The Root Cafe, Little Rock
Evidence: Owner Jack Sundell told me, "We can neither confirm, nor deny" participation, but an episode description of "a funky farm-to-table spot piling up a pimento cheese burger and crankin' out their own homemade brats" left no Root of uncertainty.
• North Bar, North Little Rock
Evidence: An episode description of "a funky joint pairing their craft brews with all kinds of on-the-bun creations" fits North Bar, which serves Blueberry Bacon and PBJ & Bacon burgers. Also, a Wednesday Facebook post ("North Bar will be closed today for a private event") suggested they hoped to Bar the general public during filming.
• Bruno's Little Italy, Little Rock
Evidence: A passer-by's Facebook photo of Fieri outside the downtown restaurant. An episode with "Little Italy" in the title and a description of "two brothers putting out real deal Italian, like homemade lasagna and raviolis." When we presented this case to owner Gio Bruno, he confirmed their selection was more than a pastability.
• La Terraza Rum & Lounge, Little Rock
Evidence: A friend was there during filming. And friends of friends who work across the street saw a camera crew at the Venezuelan restaurant -- plantain as the noses on their faces.
• The Fold Botanas & Bar, Little Rock
Evidence: The restaurant posted this mysterious notice on Facebook: "We are sorry for any inconvenience, but we will be closed Sunday, Aug. 26th through Tuesday, Aug. 28th. We will reopen for regular business on Wednesday. Thank you for understanding." And manager Macie Fellows told me this much about Fieri: "I will say that he was here." So now we've all been brought into the Fold.
SundayMonday on 09/02/2018
Print Headline: PAPER TRAILS: Guy Fieri's central Arkansas food finds: Let's dish!