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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/MITCHELL PE MASILUN --2/8/2018-- Jeff McCourt with Sellers Electric works on lights at Doe's Eat Place in Little Rock Thursday, February 8, 2018.

The Department of Arkansas Heritage has named the finalists in four of the five categories for the 2019 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, recognizing Arkansas restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events.

• Arkansas Food Hall of Fame: AQ Chicken House, Springdale; 4-Dice Restaurant, Fordyce; Bruno’s Little Italy, Little Rock; Burge’s Restaurant, Little Rock and Lewisville; Craig Brothers Cafe, DeValls Bluff; Doe’s Eat Place, Little Rock; Keeney’s Food Market, Malvern; Kream Kastle, Blytheville; the Ohio Club, Hot Springs; Star of India, Little Rock

• Proprietor of the Year: Capi Peck, Trio’s, Little Rock; Loretta Tacker, Tacker’s Shake Shack, Marion; Peter Brave, Brave New Restaurant, Little Rock; Sami Lal, Star of India, Little Rock; Scott McGehee, Yellow Rocket Concepts, Little Rock

• Food-Themed Events: Hope Watermelon Festival; International Greek Food Festival; Our Lady of the Lake Church’s Annual Spaghetti Dinner; Tontitown Grape Festival; World Championship Duck Gumbo Cookoff

• Gone But Not Forgotten: Klappenbach Bakery, Fordyce; Mary Maestri’s Italiano Grillroom, Springdale; La Scala Italian Restaurant, Little Rock; Uncle John’s, Crawfordsville; The Shack Barbecue, Little Rock

The winner in the fifth category, the People’s Choice Award, is chosen solely on the basis of the number of nominations for a particular restaurant, and will be announced at the induction ceremony, Feb. 25 at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock. Tickets are $20. Call (501) 324-9346, email or visit by Feb. 8.

The public submitted 650 nominations from all 75 Arkansas counties during October. A panel of 13 food professionals and “foodies” selected the finalists.

Gallery: Restaurant finalists in the 2019 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

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  • seitan
    January 10, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.

    Definitely Capri Peck, Star of India, and the Greek Food Festival.

  • hah406
    January 10, 2019 at 5:50 p.m.

    Having grown up in NWA, I have to throw a pitch in for AQ Chicken and Mary Maestri's! I will throw in another vote for Bruno's Little Italy and Doe's, as I love steak and pasta! That is what made Mary Maestri's great.