Soup in the summertime? At Cafe Neph(r)esh, you better believe it | Eat Arkansas

Monday, August 8, 2016

Soup in the summertime? At Cafe Neph(r)esh, you better believe it

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 8:44 AM

click to enlarge Loaded potato soup and a Reuben - LACEY THACKER
  • Lacey Thacker
  • Loaded potato soup and a Reuben
An exciting new edition to the central Arkansas dining scene, Café Neph(r)esh, recently opened Conway, and it's serving up a nice helping of social awareness alongside some fantastic food. Aside from serving a from-scratch menu, the cafe's owners have made it a personal mission to raise awareness about adoption through foster care. "Nephesh" means soul in Hebrew, and the added “r” stands for restoration, redemption, renewal, and remedy—each symbolic of the café’s mission.

The space benefits from its proximity to floral shop Tipton & Hurst, with greenery spilling over visually, creating a peaceful oasis. The café is also larger than the exterior would indicate, making it a perfect spot to drop in for lunch, even if it's busy. The tables are topped with fresh flowers that brighten the already sun-filled space. And unlike many lunch spots in Conway, you can also get your Neph(r)esh fix for dinner, since they’re open until 8 p.m.

A focused menu (available at the counter in the back) indicates the owners know what they’re about and aim to do it well. The café offers a variety of soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as a selection of desserts that changes every week. Even better, they have a couple of gluten-free and vegan options.

click to enlarge Tomato bisque and quiche - LACEY THACKER
  • Lacey Thacker
  • Tomato bisque and quiche
On a recent visit, I decided to pretend it wasn’t Arkansas July and ordered the loaded potato soup and a Reuben sandwich. Once our meal was ready, the friendly staff brought it to our table. The soup was a work of art, with savory hints of chive and sour cream coating chunks of potato. It was, in fact, nearly perfect—even on a hot summer day. I can’t wait to order a bowl once fall hits.

The Reuben was solidly in the “will order again” category. The beef was full-flavored, with an excellent balance of spices. The sauerkraut was rich and well-proportioned, making eating a less-than-messy affair. The house-made Russian dressing had the barest hint of heat and paired well with the Swiss cheese. Of course, no sandwich is complete without a bread that can stand on its own merits, and that too was present in the mouth-watering rye.

My dining companion ordered the (GF) tomato bisque and a quiche (crust on). The tomato bisque had exactly the right amount of salt to bring out the flavor in what were apparently exemplary tomatoes. I sampled her quiche and thought it everything I ever wanted—the right amount of salt, warm, fresh eggs, and a textured crust that added a layer of complexity to an otherwise simple dish.

Overall, the menu, atmosphere, and service make Café Neph(r)esh well worth the visit. And hey, if you see one of their yard signs around town and return it to them, they’ll even give you a free chips and salsa.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lacey Thacker

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.



  • Arkansas Times' photographer Brian Chilson was at Midtown today to check on progress being made towards their grand opening scheduled for July 7.
    [content-1]The owner, Maggie Hinson, will be handing out markers so patrons can "mark their territory" on the walls of the new location.

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation