RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Tamalcalli opens softly on Main St.; Thanksgiving list — dine-in or pick up

Tamalcalli, the Tamale, Taco & Cerveza Stand, 308 Main St., Little Rock, soft-opened on Tuesday. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
Tamalcalli, the Tamale, Taco & Cerveza Stand, 308 Main St., Little Rock, soft-opened on Tuesday. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

Tamalcalli, the Tamale, Taco & Cerveza Stand, which has been operating as a food truck, opened Tuesday in its new shotgun storefront at 308 Main St., Little Rock. (It's next door to Bruno's Little Italy, which once operated a lunch deli in that space, the most recent occupant of which was TOPDOG Hot Dogs and Beer.) They're doing a lunch-and-dinner soft opening for the time being; a grand opening date is still to be determined. The Facebook page ( provides menu details: "Tamales, Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, Flautas, Ramen Birria, Quesabirrias," asada fries and desserts. The word "cerveza" indicates beer. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 916-2310.

The grand opening of Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken, in the former Burger King at 2505 Arkansas 161, North Little Rock, will be Dec. 2, with a promotional free two-piece leg and thigh for the first 50 customers. Menu photos on the Facebook page ( show you can buy chicken, fish and tenders by the piece or by the bucket, plus fried shrimp, fried okra, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, gumbo and fried rice. The page and also the website ( confirm it is part of "an American fast food chain that started in 1976 in Los Angeles." We were unable to reach anybody at the listed phone number: (501) 353-1581.

And speaking of chains, the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers outlet at 1025 S. Amity Road, Conway, has closed — according to a reader, it shut down in the middle of an afternoon a week or two ago. The listed phone number, (501) 585-6600, has not yet been disconnected but returns no answer during business hours. The Facebook page ( confirms it is permanently closed. The location's web address,, turns up a blank page; the chain's locator page for Arkansas,, shows only the outlets in Benton, Fayetteville and Rogers. (There was at one time a potential/rumored outlet in North Little Rock north of McCain Mall, but it never actually materialized).

If you have a spare half-hour, check out "Elevated: How Jacques & Suzanne Lifted Little Rock's Cuisine," a mini-documentary produced by Drake Mann and Tony Poe, directed and edited by Chris Cranford with original music by Hudson Bell. It's a look back at the extraordinary history and legacy of Restaurant Jacques & Suzanne, the legendary Swiss-French establishment that essentially introduced haute cuisine to the market, and features interviews with much of its original staff, many of whom went on to operate restaurants, legendary and otherwise, of their own. Visit

  photo  Cypress Garden, off Maumelle Boulevard in North Little Rock, is offering a Thanksgiving feast for pick-up. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Here's all we have for restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving Day, and for restaurants and other institutions offering Thanksgiving meal pickup options. We'll reprint the open list on Thanksgiving Day with any additions — if your establishment isn't on this list, rush your information by Friday to the email address at the end of this column. Make sure you include a phone number and/or web address, especially if folks need it to make reservations.


◼️ Arthur's Prime Steakhouse, 16100 Chenal Parkway, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Thanksgiving feast, featuring shrimp cocktail, sushi, tuna bites, smoked hamachi, Caesar, pasta and mixed green salads; entrees — choice of turkey breast with giblet gravy and cranberry relish, cola-brown sugar glazed ham, beef tenderloin with a mushroom demi-glace or wild-caught Atlantic salmon in a Dijon peppercorn sauce; nine side items and nine desserts. $80, $35 for children 11 and younger. (501) 821-1838;

◼️ The Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock, is offering a Thanksgiving buffet on its mezzanine, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., $75, $35 children. (501) 374-7474.

◼️ Black Bear Diner, Lakewood Village, 2724 Lakewood Village Drive, North Little Rock. Open regular hours, 5 a.m.-7 p.m.; starting at 11 a.m., prix fixe three-course meals — choice of prime rib, roasted turkey or ham — while supplies last. Carry-out and delivery orders start Monday at (501) 812-0393.

◼️ Bobby's Cafe, 18505 MacArthur Drive, North Little Rock, will be open 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., first-come, first-served, fixed-price ($15) Thanksgiving dinner, including dessert and drink. (501) 851-7888.

◼️ Sullivan's Steakhouse, 17707 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, will serve a three-course turkey dinner with all the trimmings, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., $49 ($24 kids) plus taxes and gratuity, while supplies last, as well as the existing dinner menu. (501) 817-3971;

◼️ Denny's, IHOP and Waffle House locations are, mostly, open; some IHOPs close early on holidays. Hours can shift or shorten. Check in advance to make sure.

◼️ And once again, Verona Italian Restaurant, 190 Skyline Drive, Conway, is serving a complimentary Thanksgiving lunch (pasta, salad and bread), and they're "excited to give back to our community by giving out free meals to everyone," 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (501) 358-6801;


◼️ The restaurants under the aegis of JTJ Restaurants — Waldo's Chicken & Beer, Cypress Social, Petit & Keet and Count Porkula — are offering Thanksgiving holiday specials:

◼️ Count Porkula on the Boulevard, 10840 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock, (501) 246-5669. Small feast, $89, includes turkey breast, two quarts of sides, 12 rolls or 6 cornbread muffins, feeds 4-6. Large Feast, $199, feeds 10-12, includes turkey or ham, three pans of sides, 12 deviled eggs, 24 rolls or 12 cornbread muffins. Sides and meats are also available separately. All meals come ready to heat and serve with reheat instructions included. All orders must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday — Pickup: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Boulevard location only.

◼️ Waldo's Chicken & Beer, 4221 Warden Road, North Little Rock., (501) 313-2390. Family-size sides, starting at $40, serves 10-12: white beans, mac & cheese, collard greens, cheddar biscuit dough (makes 12 biscuits — "buy four sides, and we'll throw in cheddar biscuit dough at no extra charge), banana pudding. Holiday bundle, $160, includes collard greens, white beans and mac & cheese (cheddar biscuit pack at no extra charge.) Order at least three days in advance (order by Monday to pick up for Thanksgiving):

◼️ Cypress Social, 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane, North Little Rock, (501) 916-2670. Create your own Thanksgiving order: House Smoked Turkey (12-14 pounds, $85); sides (except as noted, 2 pounds, $19) sweet potato casserole with toasted pecans and brown sugar, Granny's Green Bean Casserole, classic cornbread stuffing, panko-crusted macaroni and cheese; homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest and ginger, 1 quart; giblet gravy, 1 quart, $14; Chef Sara's handcrafted apple or pecan pies, $32. Cypress Feast, $165, includes all of the above and a choice of pie. Order by 4 p.m. on Monday:; pickup, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving Day).

◼️ Petit & Keet, 1620 Market St., Little Rock, (501) 319-7675. Thanksgiving Feast, $195, includes smoked Perdue turkey breast, baby spinach salad, (32-ounce pan), Southern cornbread dressing (2 pounds), PK's Butter and Cream Mashed Potatoes (2 pounds), French green beans with caramelized onions, smoked applewood bacon (2 pounds), smoked cheddar macaroni & cheese (2 pounds), Sister Schubert dinner rolls (12), apple cherry crisp (32-ounce pan). Order by 4 p.m. on Monday November 21:

And if you're looking for a locally made alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Porch Swing Farms in Bigelow is offering a honey-glazed pork shoulder meal kit ($50), including a 5- to 6-pound pork shoulder with instructions for preparation, brine rub and a glazing packet; an appetizer bundle, ($30), 12 ounces of pimento cheese, 16 ounces of pickles and a half-pound of sweet-and-spicy pecans; and a turkey sandwich upgrade bundle ($26), consisting of a pound of pickles, a pound and a half of Porch Swing Farms hickory-smoked bacon and 12 ounces of pimento cheese. Order at; spend $25 and you can get free Saturday delivery in Little Rock and Conway.

Has a restaurant opened — or closed — near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite eatery have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Send email to: