What's cooking/capsule reviews 


A pizzeria is in the works for the current location of the Press Box, on Fair Park Boulevard east of UALR. Owner Kevin Britton has sold the Press Box, and he says that new owners are expected to take over Aug. 1 and implement plans for the pizzeria.

Shogun Steak House is growing by leaps and bounds in Northwest Arkansas. The restaurant, which recently broke ground for a location near Fayetteville’s Northwest Arkansas Mall, announced plans to open a fourth location in Northwest Arkansas at 313 Dickson St. in Fayette-ville. The site was previously home to Benson Bar and Cue, which closed a few weeks ago, and will only need some minor renovation; the new Shogun should open by September. The location near the mall will open in 2007. John Pak owns the Shogun franchises in Northwest Arkansas, including two in Bentonville.


WALKER’S RESTAURANT The location of the former super-deluxe Cassinelli’s Italian restaurant is now the slightly incongruous home of a down-home soul food restaurant, with plain Jane restaurant tables in the cellar where diners once supped triple-digit wine. A baby grand piano in a corner reminds of finer times, but the cafeteria-style serving line and utilitarian salad bar ($2 extra) are a complete departure. The plate lunch choices included spaghetti casserole, hamburger stroganoff and chicken and dumplings, with vegetables including a broccoli medley, green beans, mac-and-cheese, mashed taters and corn. Most everything was cooked to the same consistency – done and then some. We learned later that fresh-fried catfish and ribs also were available. A sweet corn muffin came with the meal, which will set you back a bit more than $8 counting tea. There’s a selection of homemade cakes and nutmeg-heavy sweet potato pie for $1.50 each. The friendly folks are related to operators of another Walker’s restaurant near Prothro Junction. 1700 Main St., North Little Rock. CC $ 812-5904 LD Tue.-Sun. No alcohol.

MARISCOS DEL REY A jumble of old frame buildings has become a Spanish-language entertainment complex, anchored by this promising seafood specialty restaurant. It’s modest — folding metal chairs at most tables — but clean and friendly, adorned by artificial flowers and smiling servers. Shrimp and fish soup seem to be popular with working-class Mexicans on hand when we visited. We had a heaping Mexican shrimp cocktail ($7) — dozens of sweet small shrimp in a thin, sweetish salsa enlivened with cilantro and a generous heap of diced avocado. We also ventured away from surf fare for turf — a plate of tender chunks of pork rib meat, stripped from the bone and smothered in salsa verde, sided with smoky beans, rice and plenty of fresh (and I mean fresh) corn tortillas. There’s a full line of Mexican soda pop and cerveza. Fish —fried, grilled and stuffed — and shrimp prepared in a variety of sauces, plus ceviche, oysters and octopus, are among the choices on a broad menu that includes Mexican tortas and all the traditional dishes. 8700 Col. Glenn Rd. Beer. CC $-$$ 612-3191 LD Tue.-Sun.



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