As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages
SANDY'S HOMEPLACE CAFE Those unfamiliar with the East End's industrial district may find themselves a bit astray trying to navigate the steel and mortar jungle that surrounds Sandy's, but the food inside is worth getting lost for. The unassuming, beige lunch joint offers some of the most delicious rib-sticking, gut-packing soul/comfort grub around. The portions? As much as you can possibly handle. Today's buffet offered up the usual chicken pot pie, white rice, okra, cabbage and other fixins along with the daily specials, fried chicken livers and chicken fried steak. Side servings of bread — rolls and crunchy-skinned hot water cornbread — are plucked right out of an industrial heater. What makes Sandy's such a rarity in a sea of similar places is that the food is as good and reliable as it is filling. And, more than anything else: inexpensive. We walked away smiling with a full lunch, a slice of rich pecan pie and a glass of tea for $8, flat. All this is no secret to the working guys of the district. But for downtown office folks and college students looking for a cheap, filling bite served off the beaten track, give Sandy's a shot. Calorie counters, however, need not apply. 1710 E. 15th St. 501-375-3216. 10 a.m.-2:40 p.m. Mon.-Fri.