The dining continues in Conway | Rock Candy

Monday, April 7, 2014

The dining continues in Conway

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 9:19 AM

click to enlarge Pasta Grill's "Drew's Hash"
  • Pasta Grill's "Drew's Hash"

recently detailed the first stop on a recent mini-tour of Conway, the surprisingly wonderful, Table Mesa Bistro  While it’s true that we were slightly worried we’d not find food any better after Table Mesa (and nearly went home after this first meal), we determined that a few other Conway establishments needed some attention.

We were able to walk down the street to our next stop, another highly recommended restaurant, Pasta Grill  We took our seat in the dimly lit back corner of the popular Italian joint and looked through the menu. Several pasta dishes caught our eye including many house specialties that came highly recommended by our server. But we settled on the “Drew’s Hash,” and I’m rather pleased that we did. It’s certainly a non-traditional dish, but it was well executed and most at our table were happy to gulp it down (despite our rapidly filling bellies). Drew’s Hash is essentially a bed of parmesan-crusted, roasted red potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, pan-seared chicken breast, and a Cajun cream sauce. The flavors were excellent. Not overly heavy but still buttery and rich. It was perfectly seasoned, and everything, from the tender sliced chicken to the soft potatoes, was texturally spot-on.

Pasta Grill's House Combination
  • Pasta Grill's House Combination

We felt it an obligation to sample a pasta dish at a restaurant named “Pasta Grill,” we ordered the “House Combination” plate with spaghetti, manicotti, ravioli, a sausage link, and a meatball, all smothered in red tomato sauce...and I do mean “smothered.” The dish was practically swimming in a sea of red. It was a passable dish overall. Nearly each pasta lazily blended into the next, that sauce overtaking the plate, and the differences between manicotti and ravioli were hardly noticeable. There were some textural issues with the sausage, too, as it came out rather mushy and unappetizing.

click to enlarge Bliss Cupcake Cafe
  • Bliss Cupcake Cafe
We decided to satisfy our sweet tooth before heading home by stopping off at Bliss Cupcake Cafe  It’s a small shop with business hours extending late into the night to accommodate the droves of UCA students aching to get their sugar fix after a particularly rough day of chemistry and calculus. We had mixed feelings about the place. There were some delightful flavors to be had—the blueberry cream cheese was a favorite among our group. I also enjoyed the strawberry cupcake made with real fruit and strawberry cream cheese frosting. But some of the muffin-like cakes were a bit too dry, and the frosting a bit too plentiful for our tastes.

When and if Green Cart Deli returns, I’m surely heading back to C-town for a repeat visit to dine at this fantastic cart. But for the time being, I’d say we found a few satisfying options to make a food-centric visit to Conway a success—and I imagine there are many gems in this town waiting to be discovered.

Pasta Grill is located at 915 Front St, Conway, (501) 205-8751.
Bliss Cupcake Cafe is located at 625 Salem Rd, Conway, (501) 504-6636

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