Rumbles: Wild Wines Moves to War Memorial, Ben Bell Returning Home, Mickey's Opens at Station 801

One of the state’s largest food and drink parties has been relocated. Wild Wines is moving from the Little Rock Zoo to War Memorial Stadium due to the threat of inclement weather. The massive food and wine festival features food from more than 50 restaurants and more than 200 wines on hand to sample. All tickets already purchased will be honored at the gate at War Memorial Stadium. Tickets to Wild Wines are still available. All proceeds go to benefit the Arkansas Zoological Foundation.
Some exciting news for Little Rock’s beverage scene: Ben Bell has announced he is finishing up his training in Japan and coming back to Arkansas in May. For those not familiar with his story, Bell worked in Little Rock bars and liquor stores before gaining an apprenticeship at the Nanbu Bijin brewery in Japan to learn to make sake. He has spent two years in Japan perfecting his craft, and is now ready to return home to open Arkansas’ first sake brewery. Bell hasn’t yet firmed up a location for the brewery, though in previous interviews he has said he wants to open it in Hot Springs. As of last year, there were fewer than a dozen sake breweries in the United States.
Already one of the few places downtown that serves breakfast regularly, At the Corner has expanded its hours to offer a Sunday brunch service. The diner is now open on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and serves up some reliable favorites like pancakes, French toast, hash and eggs, and French press coffee.
With very little fanfare, Mickey’s Cakes and Sweets has opened a second location in Little Rock’s new food court. Mickey’s is now selling scones, cupcakes, cookies and more out of Station 801 Monday through Friday. You remember this is the same space that briefly housed Brown Sugar Bakeshop and Honey Pies before those businesses departed. Mickey’s regular location on Huron Lane in West Little Rock is still keeping its normal business hours.
A reminder that Central Arkansas farmers markets are in full swing now. Some of the best local options include the Argenta Farmers Market, Dogtown Farmers Market, Bernice Garden Farmers Market and Hillcrest Farmers Market. The most plentiful produce appears to be strawberries, leafy greens, asparagus and radishes.
Arkansas’ first La Madeleine location has opened up on Markham Street near the intersection with Chenal Parkway. Daniel Walker has a first look at the new restaurant and what it’s serving up.
“Ark-Mex” crowd favorite Heights Taco & Tamale Co. is keeping things fresh with its new spring cocktail menu. Becca Bona previewed the drink lineup and talked with beverage director Brett Bassett about the new drinks.
Looking for a stop with good food on your drive out west? Look no further than Morrilton Drive-Inn Restaurant. We highlighted it this week in our Around Arkansas feature.
April 28th Table 28 Surf-n-Turf Wine Dinner – This four-course wine dinner promises to show off some of chef Scott Rains’ talent in presenting some unique dishes. Tickets are $90 per person, and reservations are strongly recommended. Call (501) 224-2828 to reserve your seats.
April 30th Wild Wines Festival – This massive fundraiser for the Arkansas Zoological Foundation will feature food from 50 restaurants and more than 200 bottles of wine to sample from O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor. Tickets start at $75, and all attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Get your tickets today. UPDATE: The event has now moved to War Memorial Stadium.
April 30th Turkish Food Festival – This is the sixth year for the festival, which will feature authentic Turkish food, live entertainment and activities for children. Admission to the event is free.
May 8th Bernice Garden Farmers Market Strawberry Festival – This special event will feature loads of strawberry-themed activities, including recipe swaps, a cooking demo, a strawberry photo booth, and of course loads of fresh strawberries from Arkansas farms.
May 9th Strawberry Blonde Release Party – Diamond Bear Brewing Company will celebrate the release of its new year-round canned brew with a special food menu, live music and a cornhole tournament. A quarter of the sales of the new cans on this night only will go to Ballet Arkansas.
May 10th Picnic by the Pint – Lost Forty Brewing Company is teaming up with Ciao Baci for a special spring beer dinner. Ciao Baci chef Jeff Owen is creating a six-course menu for the evening to pair with six of Lost Forty’s best brews. Tickets to the dinner are $65 each and will go on sale Friday, April 29. You must call 501-603-0238 to order beginning Friday.
May 14th Black Food Festival – The Arkansas Association of Black Professionals is hosting this inaugural festival at Philander Smith College featuring food from black-owned restaurants. Confirmed vendors include K Hall and Sons, Big Um Catering and Brown Sugar Bakeshop.
May 15th Indiafest – Plenty of Indian food and live entertainment will be on display for this annual celebration of Indian culture at the First Security Amphitheater in the River Market. Admission to the event is free.
May 19th RCE’s Truckin’ Thursdays  Join us for our monthly food truck meet in Bryant. Trucks for this month to be announced soon.
May 19th Taste of the Rock – More than 30 restaurants, vendors and distributors will be featured at this year’s festival at the River Market Pavilion. Tickets for the event are $15 and are on sale now.
May 20th 2016 Arkansas Greek Food Festival – Easily Little Rock’s most popular food festival, the event features plenty of Greek food as well as other Mediterranean dishes. Admission is free, though the food and many entertainment offerings must be purchased.
May 21st Hot Springs Craft Beer Festival – The festival will celebrate its third year with beers from all over Arkansas and beyond. Tickets are $30 for general admission and $55 for VIP access.


kBird’s weekly special is its Sour Curry with Shrimp and Papaya
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its specials for the month of April:

  • Vietnamese Spring Burger, Freeman’s Cinnamon Roll Cake at Big Orange and Big Orange Midtown
  • Black Cherry S’Mores Tart, Chicken-Poblano-Spinach Quesadilla at Local Lime
  • Arkansas Spring Salad with watermelon and Easter radishes at ZAZA
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