While Little Rock is not the most walkable city in the world, we do have some excellent areas that are conducive to performing one of my favorite food activities: a progressive dinner.
This outing, also known as a food crawl, generally takes places over three to four hours and provides the perfect time to try out several spots in one evening. Do you remember the one we did in the Heights? Well, two months later, we are taking our crawl down to lower Kavanaugh in the Hillcrest neighborhood.
The rules are simple: 1. Only eat one course at each place. 2. No more than four to six people for the crawl. 3. Picky eaters need not apply.
I suggest starting off with a three-course food crawl, but as you will see below, I ended up adding a bonus fourth stop this time around in the form of a post-dinner drink.
For the more experienced eaters and drinkers, feel free to add as many stops as you want, but I find that most folks tire a bit after the third restaurant. Please keep in mind that the point of this crawl is to have fun, try out new dishes and support local restaurants. If you eat too much food and go to too many spots, the fun factor tends to take a severe dip.
Stop 1: La Terraza Rum & Lounge for Mojitos and Yuca Frita
If the weather is pleasant, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better outside seating area in Little Rock than La Terraza’s tree-covered deck perched atop Kavanaugh Boulevard. But if the temps are sizzling, just head inside to the bar for one of their made-to-order mojitos and some yuca frita. The starchy fried yucca root is a wonderful appetizer to start the evening. It’s ideal for sharing and has a mild flavor that pairs well with any of the mojitos.
Stop 2: Leo’s Greek Castle for Leo Burger
Leo’s is literally a stone’s throw from La Terraza, making the ultra-casual Hillcrest hangout an ideal choice for Stop no. 2. My suggestion is to order the Leo Burger, a double patty indulgence with American cheese dripping down the sides of the appropriately greasy beef. It comes with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, and can get a little sloppy, so please ask the staff to cut the burger in fours if you are sharing with others.
Stop 3: The Pantry Crest for Cheesecake
Yes, I know, The Pantry Crest is technically not on Kavanaugh. The popular neighborhood restaurant is just a few yards from it, so don’t be such a stickler. The rule breaker in you will adore the restaurant’s iconic graham cracker crusted, brûléd topped cheesecake. I cannot imagine a better way to end the evening. Or can I?
Bonus Stop 4: Café Bossa Nova for a Post-Dinner Caipirinha
If you still have the energy, make the short walk over to Café Bossa Nova for a Caipirinha–the national drink of Brazil—for a light and refreshing way to cap off the crawl.
Need another food crawl suggestion for Kavanaugh?
French Onion Soup at SO (Stop 1), Tandoori Chicken Sandwich at Ciao Baci (Stop 2), Cappuccino Jar at Kemuri (Stop 3)