What's cooking/capsule reviews 

What's cooking A Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant opened May 2 in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center on Highway 10. Soon to come on Highway 10 is a Catfish City and BBQ restaurant that the owners tell us will be larger and offer more items than their Catfish City on University (which is quite large in itself after a rebuilding job last year). The Highway 10 restaurant will offer a broader menu, we’re told, and will have a full bar. It’s days from opening, probably in two weeks. J’s Place, a popular malt-shop-style diner on Market Street, is opening its second location at the corner of Sixth and Center streets, and the restaurant is taking employment applications weekdays from 3-5 p.m. The restaurant, going in where a New York Bagels sign remained long after the shop closed, will open next month. It’s in the same building as Lulav, a planned California kosher cuisine eatery that is at the southeast corner of building, and will be opening the middle of this month, according to chef James Botwright. The Buffalo Grill, reopened on Rebsamen Park Road by Buffalo Grill West owner Doug Green, began a soft-opening for dinner only about two weeks ago and now serves lunch, too. The restaurant will feature an expanded deck. You’ll need to park in front or in the back of the restaurant; parking across the street that used to serve both the Buffalo Grill, when it was owned by John Gaiser, and the Faded Rose is now strictly for Faded Rose and the soon-to-come Bubba and Garcia’s restaurants, Rose owner Ed David says. Capsule reviews RICK AND D’S FISHER’S CAFE When it comes to Fisher’s, change has been good. Fisher’s, which was sold by Roy Fisher Jr. to Rick and Delana Green at the end of March, has been a mainstay of the North Little Rock breakfast scene more years than most of us like to count. As regular morning diners, we had to wonder, with the change in ownership, is it still a good place to start your day? We are pleased to say the answer is a resounding “yes.” The new owners have kept most of the good things about the old and added some nice touches. The coffee is still great and the service ensures you always have a hot cup. We wish they hadn’t replaced milk with Coffee Mate, though. The omelets are just as good and bigger than the old Fisher’s. The sausage and cheese (not on the menu, but they’ll make it) is especially good, and the bacon/cheese omelet ($5.50) is also great. Our pancake experts say they are just as good if not better (two for $2.99, three for $3.25). The hash browns are a nice side, not as crispy as the old, but still quite tasty ($1.15). But the most noticeable addition is grits. We never understood why Roy and family didn’t serve them. When we asked, the answer always came back “We just don’t.” Never argue with an institution. Rick and D’s makes good grits and if you look around you can spot the Yankees in attendance; they put sugar on theirs. The best test of a home-cookin’ place is its biscuits, and you will not be disappointed. While they are not quite as good as the old ones, which were flakier, these still pass our ultimate biscuit test: Are they good all by themselves? Our first try, a couple of days after the change, was a scary experience, but they have quickly corrected the problem and you should have no fear. One word to the wise: We’ve occasionally had biscuits that were a little overcooked, but they gladly replaced them. The gravy, too, is improved, and has a good flavor. For us, honey is the way to go, and we end up with a nice breakfast dessert. Our biggest concern was the service, and would it remain as it had been for years — where else can you go and be called “hon” or “sugar” or watch the waitresses flirt with 80-year-old men? Not to worry, the best waitresses in town still work at Fishers. Our favorite, Marisa, is still there and still telling the customers what to do. The new waitresses seem to be fitting in well and understanding what a special place Fisher’s is. The other improvement is that they now use one of the rooms for smokers. No more gagging on the way to the bathroom. Lunch and the pies? After such a good breakfast, where could you fit it in? 1919 E. Broadway, NLR, 374-5661. BLD Mon.-Fri. (6 a.m. to 3 p.m.). $-$$ CC Beer. WING STAR While we’ve got no problem with hot wings in general, the thought of a whole restaurant devoted to serving every possible incarnation of chicken propellers — hot, teriyaki, honey, Cajun, bbq, etc, etc, etc. — has always struck us as something of an oddity. Wings, by our way of thinking, are strictly an appetizer; something you eat BEFORE you eat. Nobody, for instance, would be crazy enough to open up a restaurant where all they had on the menu was nine different versions of cheese dip (Trademark! Trademark! We thought of it first!). Still, when we saw that Wing Star had opened in the former Mazatlan location, we were drawn there by an almost magnetic force. The good news is, the wings — if a little greasy — weren’t half bad. At Wing Star, they come in seven varieties. For those with asbestos palates, the “hot” was enough to cause our heat-loving companion’s eyes to cross for a second before he was able to fumble his tea glass to his lips. On the other end of the spectrum, the honey barbecue wings were just sweet enough, with a nice lick of fire at the end. Cajun, lemon pepper, teriyaki and garlic pepper seasonings are also available, as well as a “mild” level on the heat. Too, for those not interested in the maximum amount of effort for the minimal amount of meat, Wing Star also offers stuff like four varieties of fried rice, french fries, egg rolls, and catfish nuggets (though we’re pretty sure the only thing the fish served to us had in common with catfishus deliciosi was that both once lived underwater). Still, if you’re in Midtown and find yourself wing-hungry, it’s a nice little place to stop in for a bite, especially with its lunch specials that offer a lot of food at a minimal price. 1810 S. University Ave., 661-9292. LD Mon.-Sat. $ CC No alcohol.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • There he goes again: Tom Cotton dishonest about food stamps

    The U.S. Senate approved a farm bill yesterday that didn't go far enough in punishing poor people for the likes of Sen. Tom Cotton, one of 12 Republicans who voted no. Then he chose to, well, lie about it in defending his vote against the interest of farmers, the largest sector of the Arkansas economy.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • The rich get richer: IRS enforcement

    If recent tax cuts overwhelmingly favor the rich (and they do) shouldn't tax law enforcement also favor the rich? It does, says a report from Pro Publica.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • Law waiver on Education Board agenda for Pine Bluff School District

    We've reported about the proposal Thursday before the state Board of Education to waive the teacher fair dismissal law for all teachers in the state-controlled Little Rock School District, ostensibly as a means to improve student performance. It has supposedly deteriorated under four years of state operation. Pine Bluff, recently taken over by the state, also has a waiver request on Thursday's board agenda.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Juice In Your Own Life"

    In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide perspective and conversation on the Little Rock Mayoral Election and State Board of Education’s consideration of the anticipated request to waive the Fair Teacher Dismissal Act. In addition, Charles and Antwan discuss all things happening in the Little Rock School District with Superintendent Michael Poore.
    • Dec 11, 2018
  • End of the week headlines and your open line

    Alderman candidate misses chance to cast deciding vote for himself in runoff election; Dem-Gaz to phase out print delivery in El Dorado, Camden and Magnolia; Rapert threatens UA Fort Smith over 'Drag Queen Story Time' event; The Van seeks to raise $35,000 in three weeks for new warehouse facility in South Little Rock.
    • Dec 7, 2018
  • New episode of Out in Arkansas: "Boy Erased"

    Out in Arkansas’s hosts Traci Berry and Angie Bowen talk about all the things because all the things are LGBTQ things. This week T & A talk about “Boy Erased” and their own emotions during and after the movie. Thank you for listening! #outinarkansas #beinggayinthesouth #dontbeadouche #beadecentperson
    • Dec 7, 2018
  • More »

Latest in What's Cookin'


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation