Fans of the Waffle Wagon, today is your lucky day. The owners of the former Little Rock food truck are serving up lunch today only at Rodney’s Handlebar and Grill from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The only thing on the menu is the Waffle Wagon’s outstanding chicken and waffles, but trust me, that’s enough. This was one of Little Rock’s most addictive dishes, and having it back is a real treat. As for the future, former Waffle Wagon owner and Rodney’s chef Matt Clark says he is playing it by ear, though a big turnout today couldn’t hurt (hint, hint).
After a little more than two years in business, The Main Cheese in West Little Rock is under new ownership. New owner Amy Barden and her husband Sean purchased the restaurant from Rich Jensen and Randall Van Den Berghe last month and have already gotten to work putting their mark on the place. Barden says she liked the menu and staff, but said the service has to get better. “We were on 67-minute ticket times,” says Barden. “I told the staff that wasn’t acceptable. And so we are adding to our service team and training our current staff to be rock stars who can take care of customers at a high level.” Barden says the menu will stay the same for now with a renewed emphasis on quality. She also says she wants The Main Cheese to be more active in the community, working with nonprofits like Ronald McDonald House and competing in festivals like the upcoming 2016 World Cheese Dip Championships. Barden says a grand re-opening event is coming in November with several events leading up to that day.
This week marks the debut of Roxy’s Dessert Bus, a Conway-based food truck that is serving Central Arkansas. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the dessert bus is owned by Leisa Sims, who also runs Roxy’s Twisted Sandwiches. Roxy’s Dessert Bus is a dessert marketplace of sorts, selling not only its own creations, but also treats from Loblolly, Honey Pies, Julie’s Sweet Shoppe and Wyld Confections, to name a few. Already the bus has made stops in Conway and Little Rock in the past few days. To find out where they’ll be next, be sure to follow them on Facebook.
The Arkansas Heritage Department has announced the creation of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. This first year, nominations for the hall of fame are limited to Arkansas-owned restaurants that have been open for at least 25 years. Only three will be selected each year. Also, the hall of fame will recognize the Proprietor of the Year, which is reserved for the Arkansas chef, cook or owner who has made significant contributions to the state’s food industry. There is also a category for Food-Themed Event and People’s Choice. Best of all? Nominations are open to the public. Be sure to visit the nomination page and promote the restaurant or chef you think deserves to be honored.
I found out too late for our Monday Growlers feature, but I’m very excited to share that your first chance to try Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co. beer in Little Rock is tomorrow night. Liz Preston is bringing a few of her brews from Paris, Ark., to Kent Walker Artisan Cheese Thursday evening from 5 p.m. until she runs out. If you talk to brewers in Little Rock, they all have nothing but wonderful things to say about Prestonrose, so make plans to get a pint tomorrow night.
Rebel Kettle is upgrading its food menu, starting with some appetizers meant for sharing with friends. We took a look at the new bites (including a crawfish cheese dip that looks really tempting).
Baja Grill already has a great reputation for its food, and now the drinks are garnering some attention. We chatted with bartender Kathy Jordan in this week’s Drink Insider.
And Loblolly Creamery is ready for fall with its new menu. Take a look at some of the new items, including homemade whoopee pies and a beautiful lineup of macarons.
September 8–14th End Hunger Week at Big Orange – Big Orange and the Arkansas Foodbank are teaming up to fight hunger in Arkansas. Each day of the week, Big Orange will create a new special, and all proceeds from that dish will be donated to the Arkansas Foodbank. Make plans to attend this special fundraiser at both Big Orange locations.
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.
September 17th The Naterators Tots Cooking Contest – This fun event at Dunbar Community Garden is still accepting applications for competitors. All you have to do is make a dish using tater tots! If cooking isn’t your thing, it’s $5 to show up and eat some innovative tater tot dishes. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
September 21st Bryant Food Truckin’ Wednesday with Rock City Eats – Our regular food truck event at First United Methodist Church in Bryant is back. Confirmed trucks include Slader’s Alaskan Dumplings, Velvet Whisk, The Southern Gourmasian, Hot Rod Wieners and more.
September 22nd Patio on Park Hill – The fourth edition of this fun outdoor festival will be held at the Lakehill Shopping Center on JFK Boulevard. Food trucks, live music and local craft beer options will be available. Admission is $1, and kids ages 12 and younger are free.
September 24th 2016 Main Street Food Truck Festival – More than 50 Arkansas food trucks line Main Street between 3rd and 8th in the biggest food truck meet of the year. More than 25,000 people attended last year’s event. The event lasts from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
September 24th Little Rocktoberfest 2016 – This annual event features tons of locally made beer, including some beers made by home brewers that you can’t taste anywhere else. The event goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $40 at the door. There are also several VIP tickets available for $65 that will get you in early and let you take home some extra memorabilia.
September 25th Taste of Italy Pop-Up Wine Dinner – Chef Joseph Salgueiro continues his monthly wine dinners with this event at Cache Restaurant downtown. Tickets are on sale now and run $75 for the five-course meal and $125 to include the wine pairings.
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its September specials for two of its restaurants:
- 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