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story.lead_photo.caption There's a boat on the wall, complete with fishing rod, behind the bar at Lucky Lou's, on the south (East Third Street) edge of Little Rock's River Market District. A trolling motor on the end of the bar keeps things moving. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison

Lucky Lou's started out life as a taproom, and to a taproom, basically, it has returned.

Blue Canoe Brewing briefly expanded into the next-door East Third Street space to create the short-lived Taco Beer Burrito in what has now become a poke place. More recently, Blue Canoe's founders were involved in an internecine lawsuit that resulted in the Blue Canoe operation in Little Rock's River Market District closing earlier this year.

Lucky Lou’s

Address: 425 E. Third St., Little Rock

Hours: 3-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday

Cuisine: Hot dogs

Credit cards: V, MC, AE, D

Reservation: No

Take-out: Yes

Wheelchair access: Not through the front door

(501) 246-5315

Blue Canoe partner Laura Berryhill has joined Laura Butler in taking over the Blue Canoe space to create Lucky Lou's (based on a childhood nickname they shared), a sort of nice little hole-in-the-wall neighborhood bar with a handful of tables, one of which sits on the fair-weather balcony extending onto the Third Street sidewalk, and a bar with a boat on the wall behind it.

It's lucky that Lucky Lou's can rely on the full-service bar because we wouldn't really recommend going there for the food.

The Lauras have ditched their original light food menu of tacos and quesadillas for an even more limited bill of fare that includes hot dogs, nachos, a build-your-own s'mores dessert and cheese dip and beer pretzel appetizers.

The only trick to the Tricky Dicky Dip ($7) was keeping the runny stuff on the oversalted commercial round tostada chips. The dip lacked zip, and the seasoned beef and pico that "topped" it promptly sank to the bottom of the bowl. (The other starter option: two beer pretzels with a side of cheese dip, $6.)

Gallery: Lucky Lou's

There was nothing wrong with the Boar's Head hot dog that forms the basis of the Basic Dog ($4). It tasted fine. It comes with a choice of ketchup, yellow mustard or mayonnaise. For an additional 50 cents per, you can add pickle relish, cheese dip, jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream or pico de gallo. For another 50 cents you can add a side pickle spear or "bag o' Fritos." For another $1, you can get the "Premium Dog," topped with chili and cheese. Recommendation: Save the dollar. The chili and cheese topping, while generously applied, was sloppy and needed a fork. It'd be hard to say which was blander — the cheese or the chili. The supposedly toasted pretzel bun on which it came was hard to negotiate. We couldn't cut it, and we had a hard time chewing it.

Also for $1 more, though the menu doesn't mention it, you can substitute a bratwurst, for which spicy mustard, also not listed on the menu, is a worthwhile choice. The brat wasn't as browned as we'd have liked it, but we enjoyed it. The pretzel bun was as much of a challenge here as it was on the dog. The 50-cent pickle spear was the high-point of our meal.

Wheelchair access isn't possible through the front door — there's a couple of steps leading up to that. There's a maze of corridors in the back that Lucky Lou's shares — along with the restrooms — with Alibi, a pub (formerly Zin Wine Bar) that fronts onto River Market Avenue, and that's apparently how folks in wheelchairs would be able to get in.

We got decent service from the very friendly bartender/server, except that we wish she'd delivered the napkins before she served the dip. We were lucky that we didn't have any gooey mishaps.

Weekend on 08/15/2019

Print Headline: Cheap Eats


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