Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Andina Cafe is now open at its new location in the enclosed pavilion on the west end of the River Market. The pavilion can be almost completely opened up to the outside when the weather’s nice, but will be heated for comfortable cold-weather sitting. The cafe’s offerings of sandwiches, coffee drinks, breakfast and dessert hasn’t changed, other than the bread used for sandwiches. Andina’s also sells bulk coffee beans. Hours are 7 a.m.-6 pm. Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Two new restaurants are headed for the JFK/McCain Boulevard area, according to signs hung up in front of still-closed storefronts. Pierre’s Gourmet Pizza is “coming soon” to 4905 JFK Blvd., just north of the intersection with McCain. No one was answering the phone by press time. Just to the south, New China “super buffet” is going into a space recently vacated by the Mardel Christian office supplies business, at JFK and McCain in the same shopping center as Hobby Lobby.
NEW: FARMER’S DAUGHTER CAFE We’ll miss the Boulevard Bread satellite in the Cox Center, but not for long. It’ll be reopening soon in the nearby River Market. Also, in its place is a worthy replacement, a cafe that offers something a little different for the area. The Farmer’s Daughter is a venture whose partners include a former Boulevard employee and organic farmers, and their interest in environmentally friendly, whole nutrition is apparent. First-day soup was chunky and light vegetable soup, bright with carrot. Our top sandwich was the veggie wrap ($4.50, including a cup of fresh fruit or a sack of chips) with avocado, mung bean, sprouts, cheese and a yogurt-dill dressing. But a hefty portion of pleasingly rare roast beef on Boulevard pagnotta looked tasty and our grilled tuna and cheese on Boulevard’s eight-grain bread was good and good for us, too. Salads ($5.95 or $6.95 with turkey) are more exotic than most you’ll find around town — dried cranberries, arugula, wheat berries and lentils are among the varied ingredients. Fruit smoothies ($3.95) can be supercharged with the likes of bee pollen, wheat germ, ginseng and soy protein. Muffins and cookies satisfy sweet tooths. The folks here are super friendly and did a surprisingly efficient job with a relatively large crowd on opening day. We look forward to warmer weather and bounty from the garden. Cox Creative Center, 120 Commerce St. No alcohol. CC $ 374-8204 LD Mon.-Fri.
UPDATE: FLYING FISH This place hit the ground running in the River Market district and hasn’t looked back, with long lines at lunch and dinner for its walk-up-and-order style with a big supply of seafood fried, grilled, broiled or boiled, and other items for the non-seafarer. But it hasn’t rested on its laurels either, continually adding new items, offering various daily specials, and keeping the visit fun for the diner. New on the menu is a grilled grouper (in po-boy or plate-with-veggies style). Our large fillet was moist and flakey, though we thought it could have stayed on the grill a half-minute longer. Our dining companion had a taste and didn’t have a problem. The sides of sliced squash and rice and this large fillet were plenty for lunch. Still, we also went for the cup of gumbo (our companion chose the bowl). Flying Fish’s shrimp and okra gumbo is as good as any you’ll find around here. They start by perfectly browning their roux, and they end up with a gumbo sauce that coats your spoon the right way. And, whether you order a cup or a bowl, you’re never shortchanged on the shrimp, which are tender and plump. Fun nights are Thursdays, when $18.95 buys you two pounds of crab legs (have you seen the regular price on crab legs lately at other places?). Oysters are always fresh, and the combo platters of fried catfish and shrimp are also a favorite of ours. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer and wine. CC $-$$ 375-3474 LD daily.