Amazingly, a new Central Arkansas restaurant is opening right on schedule. Canvas at the Arkansas Arts Center will hit its target opening day of this Thursday and be open for lunch at that time. Canvas is the name of the overhauled Best Impressions bistro that closed earlier this year for renovations. Simply the Best catering company and owner Brian Kearns are behind this updated restaurant, which will be open for lunch Monday through Friday. Kearns says he will also prepare special dinner events for Canvas and the arts center occasionally during the year.
Central Arkansas now has a second business that delivers restaurant meals to your home. IShuttleU got its start a couple of months ago. Currently, the young business only has eight restaurants to its name, but included in those are the excellent Core Public House in Argenta and Four Quarter Bar. The delivery service is based out of Ward and is working on adding more restaurants to its rounds.
It appears the Little Rock area is getting a Brews Cruise franchise location. Arkansas Brews Cruise has started up its website and Instagram account. Right now, the business is still working out details with local breweries and is hoping to start running tours this fall. Brews Cruise works with breweries in cities around the United States to set up bus tours that shuttle visitors from brewery to brewery. At each stop, visitors get a tour of the brewery and some samples to enjoy. Brews Cruise buses also have coolers to keep take-home growlers and cans cold while you visit. Keep an eye out for them, this could be a great way to enjoy Little Rock’s beer scene in the coming months.
All you amateur chefs out there have plenty of chances to flex your creative muscles at Little Rock food competitions next month. At least four festivals will feature cooking contests that amateurs can compete in. On October 22, you can sign up to compete in the World Cheese Dip Championships, or if that’s not your thing, you can show off your best gumbo recipe at Harvestfest’s Gumbo Cookoff in Hillcrest. Then on October 29, you’ll have a tough time deciding whether to compete in the Arkansas Cornbread Festival or flex your creative skills at Chili Fights in the Heights. Oh, and beermakers aren’t getting left out either. Arktoberfest in Arkadelphia is holding a homebrew competition on October 22. Space is limited at all festivals, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible.
Core Brewing Company just got its full food menu last month, and already chef Greg Wetzel is freshening things up a bit. Check out this wonderful-looking new fall menu, which doesn’t include a single item over $13.
You simply can’t have enough good coffee in a city. Conway is getting another quality roaster and brewer in the upcoming Round Mountain Coffee, previewed this week by our own Becca Bona.
People in the food industry don’t get much nicer than Nori Fryar of Zaffino’s by Nori in Sherwood. We had a blast getting to know her in this week’s Food Insider.
October 2nd Little Italy’s 89th Annual Spaghetti Dinner – In what has to be one of Arkansas’ longest-running food events, the community of Little Italy will serve up spaghetti and Italian sausage along with several different traditional desserts. The event will also include some old-fashioned carnival games, silent auctions and Bingo.
October 3rd Come Together: A Benefit for Midtown Billiards – Three area bands will play a concert at Bernice Garden Monday evening from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. All donations will be given to help employees affected by the fire at Midtown Billiards. Southern Salt Food Company will be on hand to serve dinner.
October 15th La Terraza Anniversary Fiesta! – La Terraza is turning one year old, and to celebrate, the Venezuelan restaurant is throwing a party. The event will include live music, drink and tapas specials, and a Halloween costume contest. Event is intended for adults only.
October 17th Blue Plate Special – Formerly the Governor’s Culinary Challenge, this year’s fundraiser for the Thea Foundation will be held at The Capital Hotel from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Some of the city’s best chefs and bartenders will be preparing food and drink for the event. Tickets are on sale now for $75 each.
Octboer 22nd Harvestfest – More than 15,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival in Hillcrest, featuring vendors and musicians from all over the state. Little Rock brewers, including Lost Forty and Flyway Brewing, and food trucks such as Katmandu Momo and The Southern Gourmasian, will be there all day.
October 22nd World Cheese Dip Championships – This year’s festival is back at the River Market pavilion area, where dozens of teams will compete to see who makes the best version of Arkansas’ unofficial state food. Tickets are $8 if you buy online and $10 at the gate. Children ages 10 and younger get in for free.
October 22nd Arktoberfest 2016 – It’s the second year for Arkadelphia’s own craft beer and catfish festival, which takes up most of the real estate in the downtown area. There are a variety of ticket types that are on sale now, including food-only versions.
October 29th Arkansas Cornbread Festival – The festival moves to SoMa for 2016 and will feature dozens of competitors in the cornbread cookoff vying for a $1,000 grand prize. Proceeds from the festival go to benefit the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.
October 29th Chili Fights in the Heights – Every year, the Heights neighborhood shuts off part of Kavanaugh Blvd. for this unique chili competition. There will be live music and plenty of chili for everyone. Proceeds from this festival benefit Arkansas Foodbank and The Hat Club.
October 29th Nighty Night Release Party at Lost Forty – Lost Forty Brewing’s most anticipated brew of the year is getting a fun, Halloween-themed party and night time bike ride to accompany it. Nighty Night is Lost Forty’s Imperial Stout aged in three barrels and will only be available for a limited time.
Raduno Brick Oven & Taproom is offering some specials for football fans. On Thursday nights, Sunday afternoons and anytime the Razorbacks play, Raduno is serving all draft beer and wine for $1 off. In addition, there will be food specials each day there is college or NFL football, so be sure to ask your waiter. Of course, you’ll be able to watch the game on Raduno’s big screen.
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its September specials:
- Local Lime: It’s back! The excellent Hatch Green Chile Pork Shoulder Stew returns this month.
- ZAZA: Curry-Cashew Chicken Salad and Banh Mi Pizza
- Big Orange: Ratatouille Burger