Friday, September 14, 2012

Crowds flock to Bernice Garden for food trucks

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 8:51 AM

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It was a festive scene Thursday night at the Bernice Garden on South Main Street for the inaugural Second Thursday Food Truck Night, with folks lining up to sample the wares of The Southern Gourmasian, Philly's To Go, Clyde and Kiddo's Barbecue, and Little Rock Urban Farming. In a part of town that's woefully bereft of after-five dinner choices, the people we talked to seemed very happy to have a chance to get a bite to eat and mingle with other people from around the city in one of Little Rock's most attractive settings. Despite a couple of the planned-for trucks being unable to make it out due to unforeseen circumstances, Thursday's event was a strong start to the new monthly truck night. South Main is really developing into a neighborhood full of people who value community, and they'll be the first ones to tell you how proud they are of the revitalization projects going on all around the area — and how much they enjoy events like this that allow them to show those projects off. More pictures after the jump.

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The Bernice Garden is a prime example of a rehabilitated brownfield area, as the attractive wood covering and colorful sculptures occupy a corner that was once the location of a Captain D's franchise. Event coordinator Liz Sanders has turned the privately-owned park into a public hub for the arts, food, and community involvement.

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Joel Dunlap has been operating his mobile Philly cheese steak cart for the last few months, using the experience he gained from Rocky's Pub in North Little Rock. Be sure to check out his homemade marinara sauce that really turns his sandwiches into something special.

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The Razorback football team might have disappointed the state this week, but Southern Gourmasian's Razorback sandwich certainly won't. Tender pulled pork, ham from famed-pork purveyor Allan Benton, and chewy toasted ciabatta bread make this sandwich a real taste experience. Paired with their homemade potato chips, this sandwich is well worth ordering — but only if you can keep yourself from Gourmasian's excellent steamed buns.

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Finally, for dessert, head right down the block to the Green Corner Store to see what new ice creams Rachel Boswell and Sally Mengel of Loblolly Creamery have created. We ordered the Cinnamon Peach, which tasted like creamy frozen peach cobbler, and the Firehouse Jalapeno, made from fromage blanc and jalapeno jelly. Scared of peppers in your dessert? Don't be - the smooth, creamy cheese-based ice cream was just the right balance of spicy, sweet, and tangy. If an old-fashioned phosphate is what you crave, my personal favorite is the sarsaparilla, but any of their homemade syrups are a delight.

For a town our size, Little Rock has some really unique and high quality food trucks, so if you haven't had a chance to try them — or if you've been hesitant to eat from a truck — it's worth your while to take advantage of events like this to not only get some good food, but also to get to know the folks cooking it, because they're always glad to see you.

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