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What's cooking/Capsule review, April 12 

What's cooking

Ron Blasingame of Whole Hog Cafe says that franchises of the Little Rock-based barbecue restaurant are coming, perhaps as early as the end of April, in Conway and on Warden Road in North Little Rock. He also says that a new store will be opening in New Orleans on Loyola Street. By the end of this month, the Whole Hog business will have stores in Santa Fe, Memphis and Fayetteville in addition to the aforementioned new openings.

Blasingame tells us that new technology — the huge gas-fired smokers with rotisseries and a separate firebox for smoke wood — has allowed Whole Hog and other larger barbecue companies to franchise their product while keeping the taste and quality of their smoked meats uniform from store to store.

Dizzy’s Grill in Benton has gained approval from the state Alcohol Beverage Control board for a private club liquor license, allowing it to serve beer, wine and mixed drinks. The restaurant is expected to have liquor service underway by next week. Dizzy’s will charge $25 for a private club membership.

Capsule review

NEW: HAY CHIHUAHUA Yes, you read that right. They even have Speedy Gonzales on the menu cover and a lunch special named after him. Open for a few months in a location next to Starlight Diner, the building has been home to many a restaurant. Some may even remember it from the ’70s as Roy Fisher’s Steakhouse, the place of our first job ever as a dishwasher there. This particular night’s feast was Mexican, as we started with the traditional salsa with chips and an order of white cheese dip. Both were fairly tame and lacked spice enough so that the child in our group actually enjoyed crunching away. We shared a beef and chicken fajitas combo and a burrito chihuahua (which we had to order just for the namesake alone). The fajitas were cooked and spiced just right, about like you get everywhere else, but the portion was larger. We actually took some leftovers home, which is rare for our group. You could barely see our seasoned ground beef burrito (or chicken) because it was covered with lettuce, tomatoes and a lot of sour cream and cheese, with plenty of bean and rice as side items. Hay chihuahua, it was great! Many seafood dishes are also offered and a large selection of combos for $6.50. 5500 MacArthur Drive, 753-5525. Full bar (call ahead, liquor license coming soon), CC. $-$$. LD daily.

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