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What's cooking/capsule reviews 

WHAT'S COOKING:

Reno’s Argenta Cafe has opened in the Main Street space in North Little Rock that formerly was Cornerstone Deli and Pub. The ownership of Cornerstone split, with Louis France opening Reno’s in the space and Mike and Chris Kent developing a new Cornerstone next door, which is supposed to open soon.

Reno’s kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the bar (there is full bar service) will stay open later if there is business, a spokeswoman said. As of now, the restaurant isn’t open on weekends.

The menu features appetizers such as cheese fries and crab cakes along with specialty pizzas, sandwiches, gyros and wraps.

The phone number is 376-2900.


There’s more news in the Argenta historic district and the same block of buildings as Reno’s. Argenta Coffee Co. has opened at 304 Main St. in North Little Rock inside Galaxy Furniture. The shop will feature local guitar musicians playing on Friday nights. Italian-style espresso, cappuccino, gourmet coffees, frozen coffees, lattes, Italian crème sodas and teas will be available, along with fresh baked goods. Jeri Warlick operates the coffee shop, and she has such events as wine tastings, art openings, book swaps and open mic nights planned. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The shop will stay open later on Second Friday Art Walk nights and when the area has special events.

CAPSULE REVIEW:

MARGO’S CATFISH DINER This former grocery in the Melrose Circle neighborhood of North Little Rock is a bargain and a hoot. You not only get giant catfish fillets, cooked to a satisfying crunch and served smoking hot, you get Margo Tenner. She’s a neighborhood activist, a city political player, a tutor to neighborhood kids every afternoon and a general complaint/information/listening post for anybody who wants to know anything about North Little Rock, particularly the reviving Argenta neighborhood. Back to food: Wednesday features a soul food special, such as peppery smothered pork chops in an onion and green pepper gravy, fresh turnip greens, real mashed potatoes and a gloriously crunchy ball of hot water cornbread. The latter is essentially a deep-fried cornbread doughnut — not sweet, but the essence of corn meal fried to perfection. Our three-piece catfish filet dinner would have filled Scottie Pippen (one of many African-American luminaries who appear on the photo gallery on the wall). It came with mustardy fresh slaw and a pile of crisp fries for a mere $7. The price of lunch specials includes dessert, for us a moist and dark chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate syrup and studded with chunks of chocolate. Given the quality of the catfish, we’d feel comfortable ordering a raft of other fried items, from fried buffalo fish ribs to chicken and onion rings. Margo also serves giant burgers, deli sandwiches and a $4.99 chef salad. A sandwich with chips and a drink costs $5.49. The Big Margo burger combo is $6.95 and we’re guessing the burger is like Margo, a whole lot of goodness. 807 Willow St., NLR. Beer. No CC. $ 372-3810. LD Mon.-Sat.

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