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Various locations, find out the latest via Twitter, @SGourmasian.
Terry's Finer Foods
This open-face sandwich is piled so high with ham and Gruyere that it requires a fork and knife. It's hard to stand out with what is basically a ham-and-cheese sandwich, but this hot, gooey concoction on perfectly toasted bread does the job. This sandwich originated in French bistros as a quick snack; do yourself a favor at Terry's and spend a little time savoring this one. 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd.
The Purple Cow
For some reason, the espresso malt, long its best ice cream concoction, isn't on the menu as such. But you can order it, and you should. Maybe not daily, but once in a while everyone needs a malt. You can opt for a milkshake, but malt makes the most of butterfat. The Cow serves its shakes and malts in tall soda fountain glasses along with the still-half-full icy cold aluminum shakers in which the ice cream was mixed. It is difficult, if not impossible, to finish the whole serving, but we try. The coffee malt isn't purple, but that's for the less-discriminating, shorter consumer anyway and not the gourmand.
11602 Chenal Parkway and 8026 Cantrell Road.
For better than a quarter-century, Trio's has set the standard for creamy chicken enchiladas. But it's the totality of the dish, with firm black beans and basmati rice studded with chopped jalapenos and capped with melted jack cheese that keeps us coming back.
8201 Cantrell Road.
Black-eyed pea "caviar"
Tell folks you're going to serve them cold black-eyed peas and they might think you're spoiling for a fight. At Vieux Carre, these cold peas are mixed with onions, peppers, and a tangy dressing to form something that's a happy marriage of a cold salad and a dip — perfect for piling high on the toasted baguette slices provided.
2721 Kavanaugh Blvd.
White Water Tavern
The Double Wide
It's late, and the only thing that's been better than the band is the shots and beers that everyone's been pounding all night. Suddenly, realization: The stomach needs something solid in it to counteract all that booze. Enter the Double-Wide, a drunkard's dream of thick-cut fried bologna, melted cheese, and a fried egg between two pieces of Jonathan Wilkins' homemade bread. It might be called "Double Wide" on the menu, but during a long night of music it might as well be known as a lifesaver.
2500 W. Seventh St.
Whole Hog Cafe
Pulled pork sandwich
There are older barbecue joints in Little Rock, but none better than the plucky upstart, Whole Hog Cafe. Their pulled pork sandwich is second to none anywhere on Planet 'Cue – juicy, smoky, huge, and delicious enough to enjoy without sauce, though they offer seven varieties if you're into that.
Your Mama's Good Food
Almost as big as your head and dense enough to serve as a weapon if hurled (but who, even in a fit of anger, would waste one?), the rolls at Your Mama's are justifiably the stuff of legend. Smeared with the restaurant's honey butter, one is almost a meal unto itself.
215 Center St.
ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood Oven Pizza Co.
In a town with a glut of pizza, we've always appreciated ZaZa for differentiating itself from the rest. It's not just that the pizza is cooked Napoli-style, in a powerfully hot wood oven. It's the ingredients. A simple pie, like the prosciutto-arugula, with nothing but the aforementioned thinly sliced ham and spicy green, tangy San Marzano Tomato sauce, fresh cherry tomatoes and Parmesan, really brings that home. Try it with an over-easy fried egg on top because, of course, egg yolk makes everything better.
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