Rumbles: Casey's Set to Open, Taste of Little Rock, Wild Wines This Weekend

Tomorrow is the final inspection, and potentially the opening day, for Casey’s Bar-B-Q on Cantrell Road. The longtime Little Rock favorite closed its Reservoir Road location in 2005, but found new life when Arkansas Burger Company closed. Managing owner David Henry says his final inspection is tomorrow morning, and he will open the doors as soon as he can get prepped. Whether that’s immediately after inspection or a day or two later, we’ll have to wait and see. Right now, Casey’s only online presence is an unofficial Facebook page, though you have to think that is going to change soon. After its grand opening, Casey’s Bar-B-Q will be open seven days a week: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
It’s another busy food weekend in Little Rock, and it kicks off tomorrow evening with the Taste of Little Rock at the Jack Stephens Center at UA Little Rock. Your ticket gets you in to sample food from dozens of Little Rock restaurants, including can’t-miss names like Kemuri, Petit and Keet, SO Restaurant, Star of India and many more. There will also be beer from Rebel Kettle and Core Brewing, and desserts by Loblolly Creamery. Tickets are still available for $75; the tables are already sold out. Proceeds from Taste of Little Rock go to support the UA Little Rock Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, which awards several different scholarship worth up to $5,000.
The busy weekend continues Friday and Saturday night with Wild Wines, probably the most popular annual wine event Central Arkansas offers. Friday is VIP night and features some premium wine, live music, a commemorative wine glass and plate, and one free month of O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor’s Shamrock Selections. Shamrock Selections is a monthly program that gives members two or three bottles of sommelier-selected wine, tasting notes and suggested food pairing. Then Saturday night is the “Mane Event,” with more than 250 wines and food from more than 40 restaurants. Both events are at the Little Rock Zoo, and proceeds go to benefit the Arkansas Zoological Foundation. Mane Event tickets are $75; VIP tickets are $150.
Also Saturday is the Little Rock International Food Festival near the UA Little Rock campus. This festival is free to attend and includes foods from many different cultures, including Bengali, African, Indian, Puerto Rican and others. Vegan and gluten free diners will certainly find plenty to love, including biryani, dal, hummus and other options. The Little Rock International Food Festival is held and hosted by the Islamic Center of Little Rock.
Go ahead and program your phone’s alarm to 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 10. That’s when tickets go on sale for the first three wildly popular (and flat-out excellent) Khantoke dinners at kBird in Hillcrest. Richard Glasgow serves up close to a dozen Northern Thailand dishes family style, each with a story about the food and the region. Tickets to the dinner are $59 and will sell out almost instantly. The three dinners are May 19, June 2 and June 16, which are all Saturdays. To get your tickets, send an email on May 10 at 2 p.m. (no sooner) to Include how many tickets you want to purchase and which of the three dates you would like to attend.
Three Fold is expanding their breakfast program (yes they have breakfast). The new menu item is congee, which is a rice porridge. Three Fold says it’s usually prepared savory in China, but they decided to go with a slightly sweet version, it is still very light in overall flavor. The new item is out now and joins the Baozi, which is a stuffed steam bun, their sesame balls, and their coffee and hot soy milk drink options.
It’s a free lunch giveaway with a lot of heart behind it. We talked this week with Capitol Smokehouse owner Candy Wilkerson about how she overcame tragedy to keep her restaurant thriving.
He went straight from brewing beer at home to brewing in the big leagues. We looked at why Flyway’s newest brewer Mark Sniff is already making big waves.

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