Rumbles: Banana Leaf Second Location, Honey Pies Turns 2, Beer at Mugs Cafe

Fans of Banana Leaf who don’t feel like heading downtown for lunch will have another option starting this weekend. Husband-and-wife team Shan Peth and Purni Muthaian will be starting up a second location inside Asian Groceries on Rodney Parham Rd. The new location should be open this coming Saturday and will specialize in South Indian cuisine, including dosas and vada pav. Most of the Indian options in Little Rock cover the northern part of the country, so a new take on Indian food is a welcome addition. Banana Leaf currently operates year-round in the Simmons Bank building downtown. They first opened as a food truck in 2011, and while the truck is not open on a daily basis, Peth and Muthaian still bring it out for special events. Asian Groceries is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
It feels like its been around for much longer, but Honey Pies on Bowman Road is turning two years old. To celebrate this weekend, the best pie shop in town is giving away free slices of cake all day long Saturday. Honey Pies started making cakes this year and will be giving its fans slices of triple chocolate and celebration cake from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Also on Saturday, Honey Pies will be signing people up to its newsletter. Everyone who signs up will be entered into a drawing for unlimited free coffee, tea or espresso for a month. In addition to its fantastic pies, Honey Pies offers a daily breakfast and lunch menu, as well as cakes and banana pudding for both dining in and to take home.
Fans of Mugs Café can now find locally made beer on the menu of the Argenta staple. Mugs opened its beer menu with Flyway’s Bluewing and Lost Forty’s Day Drinker and Love Honey Bock. Expect to see even more offerings from Mugs in the coming months. In Arkansas, a license from the state to serve beer also means a restaurant can sell wine; no word on whether Mugs will take advantage of that opportunity in the future.
One of those brews Mugs could be selling soon is the Great American Beer Festival silver medal winner Easy Tiger Mexican Lager by Lost Forty Brewing. The brewery has its cans in house and will be selling them starting Thursday, Aug. 16. To celebrate, Lost Forty is hosting a “brewhouse bash” called Release the Tiger from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Lost Forty will be canning Easy Tiger live on site and selling fresh from the canning line. There will also be a couple of brewery tours, some chicken tinga tacos to enjoy, and a live mariachi band. What’s more, the first 50 people in line will pick up some Easy Tiger swag for free. If you can’t make it to the party, don’t fret. Easy Tiger should be available in grocery stores around the city soon after the party.
When it first opened, John Daly’s Steakhouse in Conway was supposed to be the first of several locations in Arkansas and other states. It looks like that’s all going away now. The Conway location has closed down after less than a year in business, leaving a massive 5,000-square foot restaurant on Front Street vacant. Given Conway’s surging food scene, it won’t be a surprise if the building owners find a new tenant soon.
Your dog’s favorite bar is celebrating its first birthday. Check out how we stopped by, made our own hot dog and raised support for one of the city’s most important charity organizations.
One of the city’s newest food businesses can only be found at a farmers market. We stopped in with Southern Jewells and came away impressed by the creative jellies and delicious pastries.

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