Rock City Review: South on Main’s Brunch, Pizza at Deluca’s and a Visit to TSG

Giving you the skinny on recent eating experiences
YaYa’s Euro Bistro is the definition of a solid restaurant. That is to say it’s never a dining experience that will blow your socks off, yet it rarely, if ever, disappoints. My salmon with Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes proved satisfactory, although I thought the dish lacked a light sauce to tie everything together. A quick bite of my wife’s flat-iron steak also delighted, as did my glass of Pinot noir. All and all, another positive visit to YaYa’s.
If you haven’t heard, South on Main now offers a Sunday brunch service, which officially kicked off this past Easter at 10 a.m. By 10:05, the restaurant, which didn’t accept reservations, was totally full. Overall, it was an impressive showing for SoM, as service was prompt, the food and drink came out fast, and most importantly, the dishes were quite tasty. My smoked Sunburst trout with two fried eggs and home fries was a winner, as was our table’s S.E.C., a delightful sandwich consisting of a fried egg, cheddar, and spicy sausage. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with my Bunny Mary cocktail. This playful take on a traditional Bloody Mary included house-made mix, vodka, and a beautifully creative topping of celery foam, along with a garnish of honey baked ham and a beet-dyed egg. While the ham and egg were both tasty, their sweetness didn’t pair well with the drink’s other components. I also thought the Bloody Mary mix needed to be spicier. That said, there’s a ton to be excited about with this brunch menu, and I’m already planning to partake in the fried oyster eggs Benedict on my next visit.
I finally dined at The Southern Gourmasian’s new brick-and-mortar restaurant and left feeling confident it will be a fantastic addition to the downtown food scene for years to come. My order of spicy chicken and dumplings tasted great, as it always does. The space is modern, fresh and inviting, although my slight criticism had to do with the ordering board, which is located a little awkwardly close to where folks stand in line, making it difficult to take in the full menu.
I did some writing one afternoon from Mugs Café and was once again happy with my cup of drip coffee. Also worth noting was the steady flow of customers during the lunch hours. Mugs has such a great vibe, and it’s nice to see happy customers file in and out of a true, local neighborhood joint.
A quick lunch pop-in to Franke’s Cafeteria (WLR location) saw me switching things up a bit from my usual order of fried chicken tenders. I instead opted for the broccoli and cheese topped chicken breast with pinto beans and Brussels sprouts. The chicken and beans were delightful, but I’d definitely pass on the boiled sprouts. They were just not good … at all.
A small bowl of pho at Pho Thanh My is where it’s at. The price is much more tolerable than a large order and its formidable size will surely fill up most lunchtime appetites.
While I usually get take-out at Chi’s (Markham location) due to convenience, to no surprise, the food there tastes so much better as a dine-in customer. No dish is more reflective of this than the wrinkled string beans. Crisp, slightly salty, yet spicy, these green beans provide the perfect vegetable compliment to a carb-heavy dish like the barbeque pork chow fun.
If you’ve read my expounding on the greatness that is Deluca’s Pizzeria and still haven’t been, it’s time to make the drive down to Hot Springs and find out for yourself. I can’t say it’s the best pizza in all of Arkansas because I haven’t eaten at every pizza joint. But I will say this … it’s the best pizza I’ve eaten so far in this state.

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