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What’s cooking

The River Market Cooking Club offers a great opportunity for novices to learn cooking tips from the leading chefs in Central Arkansas. The club meets for monthly classes. On Saturday, Billy Ginocchio of Peachtree Catering, a veteran of some of Little Rock’s better restaurants, will be the guest chef, and samples of what Ginocchio cooks up will be served. The class runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the River Market third floor meeting room. Cost is $15. Call 375-2552 for reservations or more information.

Capsule review

NEW: TACO BUENO In the grand scheme of things, there’s not much to recommend the new Taco Bueno, now open in Mablevale. And as a rule, we don’t update the fast-food chain joints, but this does mark the first entry into this market for a popular fast-food Mexican joint in other areas of the region. As it is, it serves pretty much the same salty, cheap, immediately forgettable grub as your average Taco Bell, and those seem to be on every corner. From the menu, we tried the Big Ol’ Burrito ($2.99 beef; $3.29 chicken) and the Muchaco ($1.39 for beef, $1.99 for chicken). We knew the burrito was a disaster in the making the moment it came out of the kitchen. Too humongous and sloppy to really be eaten anywhere outside the restaurant, it made a complete mess in short order, with more than enough for an afternoon snack remaining on our shirt. The Muchaco was better: a thick piece of flatbread stuffed with taco goodies. A drawback, however, was that sauces were available only in tiny plastic tubs (not in the more familiar, bite-the-corner-off-and-go-with-it packets). Like we said, it’s not that Taco Bueno is bad, exactly. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, they’ve got the Mexi-stuff: filling, cheap, fairly tasty grub for those in the mood for that. For those not in the vicinity of SWLR, however, it’s not really worth the drive, especially if you’ve got to pass a few dozen Taco Bells on the way. 10114 Mabelvale Plaza Drive, 562-0390. No alcohol. CC. LD daily.

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