Rumbles: JJ's Grill Opens Aug. 22, Last Call for Ales for ALS, The Pantry's Take-Home Special

The Little Rock location of JJ’s Grill will hold its grand opening on Monday, Aug. 22. JJ’s will open its restaurant in the Rock Creek Square Plaza Shopping Center at Bowman and Markham, in the same location that once held Another Round and La Villa Italian Restaurant. JJ’s has several locations in Northwest Arkansas and Conway. It serves a line-up of classic American menu items, such as burgers, wraps, salads and sandwiches (or “samaches”). The Little Rock location will keep the concert venue that Another Round created, so expect to see a few local acts playing there later this year.
The annual Governor’s Culinary Challenge is getting a facelift for 2016. Now called the Blue Plate Special, the event will feature more than a dozen Little Rock chefs and bartenders in a special fundraiser for the Thea Foundation, which advocates for increased art education and exposure for children. South on Main chef Matthew Bell is serving as chairman for this year’s event, which takes place Oct. 17 at The Capital Hotel. Tickets for the event are $75 and are available online.
If you missed the important Ales for ALS beer that was brewed by nine Little Rock beermakers, you still have one more chance this week to try it. The Hoppy Lager will go on tap at Damgoode Pies River Market this Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. This excellent beer has a very good cause behind it. A portion from the sales will go to benefit the ALS Therapy Development Institute, which works to development new treatment and find a cure for patients with ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). This will be your last chance to enjoy this important brew, so make plans to attend.
School (and all the extracurriculars) is back in session for Central Arkansas, and that means dinner plans aren’t always easy for parents. To help out, The Pantry and The Pantry Crest have put together a back-to-school take-out special. You can call the restaurant’s west location by noon to order a family-size take-home lasagna, coq au vin or vegetarian lesco for $10 a person. The order includes bread and a side salad for each diner. All three of those dishes go for more than that if you dine in, so this is a really good bargain for some outstanding food. Call before Monday through Friday at 501-353-1875 and pick it up for dinner at either location.
The Core Public House in Argenta has debuted its new food menu. On Tuesday, the taproom started serving a pretty large menu of appetizers, entrees and desserts to go with its dozen taps serving Core beer. Remember, we have all your Little Rock-area beer news every Monday on Rock City Eats in our new Growlers feature.
Little Rock’s food scene has changed in some pretty big ways over the past decade. And now, you can go back in time and see just how different everything is now. Check out our new, interactive visual experience to see the transformation.
Breweries know to really hook their customers, they need to be offering a solid food menu in addition to their beer. We chatted with Rebel Kettle kitchen manager Tovya Prince to see how she makes sure beer lovers don’t go home hungry.
Finally, you might not every get to go to Hong Kong, but Stacey Jones did. See her story and the pictures here.
August 19th Food Truck Tailgate for Little Rock Soccer – Join the Rock City Eats crew this Friday at the UALR soccer fields to help kick off the start of the Little Rock Trojans athletic season. We will have Hot Rod Wieners, Fork in the Road, Little Penguin Tacos, and Loblolly set up at 6. Feel free to stick around for the game after, tickets are free.
August 19th Taste of the Finest – This annual event benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Arkansas and will feature food and beer from a number of Little Rock restaurants and breweries. Tickets start at $75 per person and are available here.
August 19th Rocktoberfest Launch Party/Fundraiser – Diamond Bear Brewing Company will celebrate the 2016 launch of its Rocktoberfest with a special fundraiser. A quarter of all proceeds from the event will go to Concerns Of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)
August 29th Siembra Azul Dinner at Local Lime – For the second time, Siembra Azul Tequila founder David Suro-Piñero will be in Little Rock for a unique, paired dinner event. This was a huge success the first time around, so I wouldn’t miss this one if I were you. Tickets for the event are $65 and only available online. Be quick, there are only 35 seats for this special dinner.
August 30th 5 Beers 5 Bites Dinner – It’s the monthly beer dinner between The Southern Gourmasian and Stone’s Throw Brewing. The menu for the event has not yet been announced. Ticket’s are $50 a piece or $90 when you buy two. You can buy tickets in person at The Southern Gourmasian or pick them up online here.
September 1st Good Earth Garden Center Food Truck Meet-Up – August’s meet had to be canceled due to excessive heat, so your next chance to get all these trucks together will be next month. Past events have included Katmandu Momo, Hot Rod Wieners, The Southern Gourmasian and more.
September 15th Zoo Brew – The Little Rock Zoo will host this annual craft beer festival celebrating Arkansas beer and brews from around the world. You’ll also find some of the the city’s best food trucks as well. Tickets are $25 now through the end of the month, so make sure to get yours early.
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its monthly specials for August:

  • Big Orange: Hatch Green Chile Burger, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie and Blueberry Lemon Bar Yogurt Shake
  • Local Lime: Fried Chicken Tacos with House-Made Spicy Ranch and a Snickers Turtle Pie
  • Zaza: Vietnamese Chicken Salad and various new gelato flavors
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