Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
K. Hall and Sons operates as a small market and grocery store with a take-out restaurant within. Go during lunch and you'll see a swarm of folks lining up at the order counter to get their hands on classic home-style favorites. The restaurant is certainly nothing fancy, but the smells issuing from the grease traps, flat tops, and ovens are so intoxicating, you'll forget all about those creature comforts you might expect from more elegant eateries.
Naturally, we had to sample the "jumbo" bacon cheeseburger ($4.69). In a place like this, it's almost criminal not to. We were not disappointed — this burger is special. It's a no-nonsense, no-frills cheeseburger. They grind the beef in house. This fact is evident in the freshness and texture of the beef. This beef isn't the sort of compact, previously frozen mess you'd find at other inferior burger establishments. It's tender, flavorful, and almost crumbles when bitten into. It's delightful. The fixins' are standard but adequate. The cheese wraps the hot beef like a velvety blanket, infiltrating each nook and cranny of the loosely packed beef patty. The bacon was nothing to scoff at either, thick, crisp, and deliciously curled upon itself multiple times.
There are a handful of fried options on the menu that warrant your attention as well. We're not sure if we've ever eaten a deep-fried pork chop ($1.99) before visiting K. Hall. Sure, we've had pan-fried pork chops, but never one batter-dipped and deep-fried. The chop has a little more chew than what you'd get from fried chicken. It's not a knife-and-fork deal either — this chop is handheld in its design. And sitting on a street corner, with a chop in one hand and a Mexican Coke in the other — there's not a finer dining experience in Little Rock.
The fried chicken ($1.19) was adequate, but a bit dry. There was some inconsistency between pieces, some faring better texturally than others. But it was served piping hot, the skin was crispy, and the bird was better when doused in a bit of their hot sauce. We'd order it again — if they were out of fried pork chops.
We finished with a slice of their sweet potato pie ($1.99), which sat beside the cash register at checkout. It was buried in a small round bowl, wrapped in wax paper—we almost missed it entirely. Thank heaven we didn't. The pie was soft, creamy and sweet. We would have enjoyed taking our slice home and adding a dollop of whipped cream, but it was too tasty to delay consumption. It was gone before we even sat down.
We've yet to drop by on a "Seafood Saturday," but we hear they can't keep the food coming out fast enough. Here, when the season's right, you'll find a grand seafood bake when K. Hall is dishing up heaping piles of crawfish, crab legs, shrimp and lobster tail. This all comes stacked up alongside red potatoes, corn, and sausage. Not really a better way to satisfy your craving for crustacean.