Mugs Cafe has much to offer | Rock Candy

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mugs Cafe has much to offer

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 7:30 AM

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If you’re anything like me, you don’t spend nearly enough time in the Argenta Arts District in North Little Rock. Every time I find my way there, I wonder why I’m not visiting more often…or why I don’t live there, for that matter. It’s a neighborhood with a welcoming attitude and a distinct sense of local pride.

Though it’s still a relative newcomer to Argenta, Mugs Café fits this part of town like a glove. It took me far too long to discover this little gem of a coffee shop, and I’m kicking myself for neglecting it for so long. The inside is sleek, comfortable, and inviting—the kind of place that just begs for you to quietly pass the day away with a cup of coffee, a laptop, and some earbuds. It’s incredibly spacious, so it’s easy to snatch up your personal corner of the cafe and enjoy your food and drink in relative solitude, if you so choose.

Michael already relayed some of the virtues of their breakfast menu in his “first look” at the place a few months ago, shortly after their opening. I’d like to add my endorsement to their “Wayfaring Slider”—it’s certainly worth carving out a piece of your morning for. The Wayfaring incorporates a nicely fried egg, plump and slightly spicy sausage patty, and creamy grits (which I find particularly nice) on a sliced roll. Luckily, they offer their breakfast menu all day, so you can snag a slider or anything else your stomach fancies—breakfast tacos with jalapeño relish and pepper jack or French toast—just about any time of day.

But their menu has expanded to lunch and dinner options as well—many of which are worth checking out. I’m hearing great things about their burger—a half-pound of beef with avocado, bacon, pepper jack, and spicy mayo. But I’m fixated on their lovely French dip. Here they take a sizable portion of thinly sliced prime ribeye loin and grill it to-order on the flat-top. Joining the beef are some sweet and tender caramelized onions, a slice of melted gouda, and a house-made horseradish dill dressing. All this comes on a soft onion roll with a side of dark, salty au jus for dipping. It’s technically a bit difficult to operate, as the bun is slightly too large for the small ceramic bowl holding the jus—but this is easily remedied by slicing the sandwich in half. It’s messy and juicy—the creamy dressing and gooey cheese is sure to decorate most of your fingers as you consume—but it’s a completely satisfactory experience. I would like to see their lunch options served with chips, fries, or some other side salad (other than the few green apple slices you’ll receive), as the $8-12 price tag feels a bit steep without.

Get up to Mugs for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner (they close at 6 pm). Service is warm and you’ll be eager to return after just one visit.

Mugs Café: 515 Main St., NLR. Every day from 7am-6pm. 501-379-9101.

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