Meals on Wheels
The food truck movement has come to the Capital City in a big way. AY checked out a few of these moving bistros and found some fab fare.
Photography by Janet Warlick
Christians Take Out Too
“I’d had the idea for the mobile restaurant for about two and a half years,” Chunda Owens, owner, said. “I like being able to take the food to the people. You can go to different venues — you’re not confined to one location and can participate in festivals.”
She serves the community with the Little Rock Police Department when she’s not serving up her delicious wings from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays and Tuesdays as a part of the University Market at 4Corners. Christians Take Out Too can also be found at the corner of Geyer Springs and Baseline Roads from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays.
Their menu consists of beef and turkey burgers, catfish and chicken wings served homestyle with lemon pepper, honey mustard, barbecue, or hot sauces; entrees cost $5 to $10. We predict you’ll love every bite. The catfish was cooked to perfection … and the wings, the wings, the wings: they were crisp, well seasoned and dressed in just the right amount of Owen’s father’s secret sauce. We understand why they’re called angel wings.
Check them out on Facebook — Christians Take Out Too — or call (501) 291-9862; available for catering.
Clyde and Kiddo’s BBQ-n-More
The Johnson family is one with culinary roots … Clyde Johnson Jr. has “been barbecuing forever, perfecting his sweet and spicy sauces”; his wife served for many years as a pastry chef for many local restaurants; and son Karle cut his teeth assisting his father. “I grew up in Texas, so I also worked in restaurants that serve TexMex,” Karle said. He said the launch of the family-run business this February is an ideal situation. “The overhead is much lower, and we can go where the customers are.”
Well, Karle, if you smoke it, they will come. The ribs were some of the best we’ve tasted — smoky, tender and juicy with just the right amount of seasoning. Rib lovers will lick their lips and their fingers, whether they enjoy the sweet or the spicy sauce. Clyde and Kiddo’s menu also features beef brisket — “a little somethin’ for the Texans” — deli-style sandwiches such as Tugboat Judy with corned beef, slaw, pepper jack cheese and pickles, and BBQ and chef salads.
You’ll find Clyde and Kiddo’s at the University Market at 4Corners, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and as a part of the Main Street Food Truck Fridays.
Homegrown Gourmet Food Truck
Word of this eatery’s fish tacos reached us, and we thought it’d be best to investigate … for you, our readers, you know. We are delighted to report the tacos’ reputation as “the best tacos I’ve ever had” is well earned. Homegrown Gourmet is the brainchild of Richea Grant and James Thompson and is backed by famed chef Mark Abernathy.
Homegrown specializes in locally-grown goods using fresh, seasonal vegetables and “making every effort to purchase locally-raised beef, chicken and pork, and now that the growing season is here, we can purchase produce from the Arkansas farmers’ markets,” Grant said. “With the exception of ketchup, we prepare everything from scratch. We are determined to serve our customers the best.”
This includes the fantastic fish tacos … there are two varieties, the Ultimate Fish taco consists of mahi mahi, fresh guacamole, fried avocado and a fresh spring mix, and the ahi tuna taco, with green cabbage, wasabi and sesame slaw and fried avocado. Grant said their most popular item is The Mouthwater, a half-pound of grilled beef, served on freshly-baked brioche bun — they lease space from Mama’s Manna Bakery — a praline sauce (brown sugar, pecans and butter), cheese, bacon and a soft-fried egg.
For more information, check out their Facebook page; follow them on Twitter @homegrowngft; or call (501) 413-3612.
The Food Truck
Jeffrey L. Palsa, owner, also has a history steeped in food and dining. “I learned how to cook and grew to love food and the art of preparing it on our farm,” Palsa said. “I have great cooks on both sides of my family.” He began his career abroad by working at famed Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C. Locally, he’s worked with some of the best including Andre’s Hillcrest; the legendary Jacque et Suzanne’s; Alouette’s; 1620; Graffiti’s; and the Purple Cow.
“My goal is to bring seriously better food to Little Rock,” he said. “I make my own dressing, marmalades and other items like sauerkraut, and I locally source items like breads and feta cheese and salad greens.” The Food Truck specializes in tasty sandwiches, such as My Momma’s Sandwich, a combination of turkey, avocado, Swiss cheese and red onions served on Parmesan cheese bread. Momma would be proud — it’s a winner. Palsa also challenges anyone to find a better Rueben than his … including those who think Oaklawn Park serves the best; if you don’t agree, he’ll offer you two free sandwiches.
The Food Truck can be found at University Market at 4Corners; and at several smaller farmers’ markets. Log onto thefoodtrucklr.com; check them out on Facebook; or call (501) 707-8999.