Heifer Cafe delights | Rock Candy

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Heifer Cafe delights

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 9:45 AM

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The Café@Heifer, located at Heifer International’s headquarters in downtown Little Rock, doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves.

I met a friend who works at Heifer International for lunch. We took the short walk over to the cafe, delighting in the moat that surrounds the headquarters’ building and by which we sat while eating. If you choose to eat inside, you’ll find the acoustics excellent for lunch. For some reason, the volume never seems to escalate, even when the dining area is full.

The café offers several options—a cooler full of premade sandwiches for those in a real hurry, a special, and a menu with salads, soups, and other options. Additionally, there is a prominent sign alerting visitors to the produce and meat on the menu that day that is locally produced. Chicken and some produce items I didn’t note were on the list the day I visited, so every instance of chicken that ended up on a plate that day was local. They even serve late breakfast beginning at 9am.
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I ordered the special—a pork loin with sautéed squash and asparagus, mashed potatoes, and French bread, while my companion ordered a summer-y salad with chicken, strawberries, blueberries, and pecans.

The size of a serving doesn’t matter if it’s not tasty, so how delightful that this was a substantial portion of some of the most delicious pork loin I’ve had the pleasure of eating. Tender, well-cooked, and juicy, I’ve been dreaming about this since I went earlier in the week. But the mashed potatoes...oh, the mashed potatoes. I’m a believer in buttery, well-seasoned mashed potatoes, and these fit the bill. But even better, because vegetables are my favorite part of any meal, were the sautéed asparagus and squash. Cooked through, but not mushy, the veggies were well seasoned and also buttered.

My friend’s salad was simply beautiful, the chicken local—and you could tell, the tenderness and flavor something you don’t find in mass produced chicken—and the berries sweet reminders of summer.
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Now, for the kicker. On top of being delicious and committed to locally sourcing food, Café@Heifer is very reasonably priced. My friend’s salad was a reasonable $6.50, and my pork loin special was only $8.50.

I’m not sure why I don’t hear more about Heifer Café as a lunch spot, but I suspect it’s because those who frequent it want to keep it a secret. It’s quick, quiet, serves great food with a local emphasis, and very reasonably priced. If you haven’t been to Heifer Café, take a walk down there at lunch—and eat outside if the weather is nice.

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