When my in-laws visit, they want Doe’s. And what my in-laws want, they get. Keeping in-laws happy is generally seen as a good thing, and if a three-pound Porterhouse cooked to a perfect medium rare does the trick, then I am all for it.
At Doe’s, steak is the centerpiece in a meal also filled with appetizers, side items and drink refills that practically leave you doubled over with gut-busting pain. But that’s Doe’s for you. Nothing changes about the Little Rock institution, even during a global pandemic. Speaking of which, we still eat outdoors, so our group of six got a table on the quiet, quaint back patio, which came complete with a heater. It was a beautiful night filled with laughs, fresh air and plenty of food.
Besides the previously mentioned steak – which to no one’s surprise came soaking in its own meat juices and topped with a pile of fries – we ordered one dozen each of the tamales and fried shrimp. The meat-filled, paper-wrapped tamale tubes are best covered in a spoonful of the accompanying beefy chili. One or two should do you. Just make sure to save a little room for the fried shrimp, which come with tartar sauce. While some folks might frown on this pairing, I for one can’t dip the crustaceans fast enough. And guess what the shrimp came with? That’s right, more fries.
While waiting for the steak and salmon to hit the table, I absolutely devoured my soaked salad, the trademark side item at Doe’s. I will never fully understand why this basic salad is so appealing to me, but I could eat a trough of the iceberg lettuce with a little tomato and onion that’s drenched (or soaked) in an olive oil and lemon juice mixture. It’s downright addictive.
You may have noticed that I mentioned salmon in the previous paragraph. No, it was not a typo. I have long wanted to try the salmon at Doe’s, and maybe it was the outside air or celebratory nature of the dinner, but I finally pulled the trigger. Glad I did. The broiled, dry herb-laden fish was delightful and something I would not hesitate ordering again, but just make sure you are comfortable with a dill-forward dish. Keep the salmon in mind for future visits, especially if one of your tablemates is not a huge beef eater.
As already mentioned, the Porterhouse was great, a little blackened on the outside from the intense broiler heat and wonderfully juicy on the interior. Per usual, the pool of meat juice made a quick friend with my buttered toast. Boiled red potatoes also resided on the table. I didn’t touch them, but rather focused my attention on the extra plate of fries that found its away onto our table. Yes, more fries, and those glorious potato sticks weren’t going to eat themselves. Add to the mix two Diet Dr. Peppers and you could see why I left Doe’s so uncomfortably full.
But is there any other way?