The Arkansas Department of Heritage has announced its 12 finalists for the inaugural induction to the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. Among the notable names are Jones BBQ in Marianna, Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales in Lake Village, Bruno’s Little Italy and Sim’s Bar-B-Que. A panel will select three of the finalists for induction at a ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock. To be eligible for induction, the restaurant must have been open for at least 25 years and owned/operated in Arkansas for that time. Other categories include Proprietor of the Year, for which Trio’s Capi Peck and Yellow Rocket Concepts’ Scott McGehee are finalists, and Food-Themed Event, which includes the World Cheese Dip Championship and the Gillett Coon Supper.
Capers Restaurant on Cantrell Road is still recovering from a pipe burst earlier this year that forced the restaurant to close. The damage was so extensive that the ceiling and walls had to come down and be replaced, so Capers used the opportunity to overhaul the entire building. Capers has hired Angelfish Studios, who worked on the interior décor at The Pantry Crest, to help give a new look to the place. Nobody was hurt in the original incident. Capers hopes to have the renovation complete in the next few weeks.
Just down the road from Capers, The Main Cheese has celebrated its grand reopening under the ownership of The Clean Eatery’s Ryan Merritt-McGehee. The dining room has been redesigned, as has the menu, which now features healthier entrees and desserts from Dempsey Bakery and Honey Pies. This is the third time The Main Cheese has switched owners in its short history. Currently, it is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Merritt-McGehee tells me once the liquor license is approved, he will start a weekend brunch as well.
Mickey’s Cakes and Sweets has moved locations to one that will be more convenient for its clients. The bakery is now located in the Market Place Shopping Center, about a quarter of a mile from its previous location. Mickey’s is still taking orders for Valentine’s Day sweets, but you had better hurry if you want to get your cake or cookies on time.
A reminder for those who are craving Thai food right now that kBird is set to reopen on Monday after owner Richard Glasgow returns from his long trip to Thailand. If you haven’t been following kBird on social media the past month, you’ve been missing out. Glasgow has toured several towns and villages, and the food pictures he has posted should have you excited for next week to get here very soon.
And Central Arkansas is losing yet another food truck to the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Conway-based Roxy’s Twisted Sandwiches is packing up its business and heading to Texas later this month. Roxy’s follows The Pie Hole in departing Little Rock for the Dallas area. If you want to catch Roxy’s one more time, they will be set up at 8th and Main in downtown Little Rock for lunch on Feb. 17.
This week, Rock City Eats has been highlighting and celebrating black-owned businesses in Little Rock’s food scene. You can catch up on reading about the family legacy of K. Hall and Sons Produce, the against-the-odds success of Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles, and the bold vision behind The Veg, LLC. Check back with us tomorrow and Friday as we continue this series.
Valentine’s Day is less than a week away! If you haven’t made your dinner reservations yet, get on that now with our V-Day guide to Little Rock dining.
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Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its specials for the month of February:
- Big Orange – Frito Chili Pie Burger and Lucie’s Shake, which benefits the nonprofit Lucie’s Place
- Local Lime – Swordfish Fajitas with Tomato-Tequila Butter and Watermelon Radishes
- Zaza – Vietnamese Chicken Salad and Muffuletta Pizza
Ristorante Capeo’s weekly special is Seared Scallops with Ratatouille. The risotto of the week is chicken and mushroom.