Why in the world did it take me so long to try Town Pump’s wings? I guess some items just slip through the cracks, but better late than never. The wings come in a variety of flavors, including mild, medium, hot, ouch, BBQ, spicy BBQ, lemon pepper, garlic Parmesan, sweet heat, Pump rub and Dirty Bird. I went with six sweet heat and six garlic Parmesan to the objection of several folks who claim that Dirty Bird is the only way to go.
Nevertheless, I ended up loving my choices, but that had just as much to do with the perfect fry job. The wings themselves were small, which I often prefer, and fried to a crispy texture. The ones with sweet heat held true to their name, while the garlic Parmesan were highlighted by a substantial dousing of the cheese. While I am still formulating a list of top wings in Little Rock, it would be hard to imagine that Town Pump’s would not be included when everything is said and done.
I also ordered cheese dip, a cheeseburger and the club sandwich. As many of you know, Town Pump is owned by Shea Bryant, who also owns the popular Gadwall’s Grill in North Little Rock. I say this because lovers of Gadwall’s cheese dip and club will be happy to know that these two items are the same across the river at Town Pump. The spiced yellow cheese dip leans towards a thinner consistency, while the toasted club is packed with American and Swiss cheese, along with a hearty portion of bacon, turkey and ham. The award-winning sandwich, like any good club, is the sum of its parts. With the ideal ratio of meat-to-bread, this club shines because of the melted cheeses that meld everything together.
Not to be overlooked were the accompanying fries. While the transport from restaurant to house hurt their cause, I have no doubt these long, hand-cut fries shine at the restaurant (or right in the parking lot). They may even be an excellent vehicle to get some more of that cheese dip into your pie hole. My cheeseburger, a traditional offering with lettuce, raw onion, tomato and pickles over an American cheese-drenched beef patty, proved to be just as satisfying as my other choices.
In the end, this lunch was a good reminder not to forget about the restaurants that continue to churn out consistently satisfying food, especially the ones like Town Pump and many of the others who have been doing it for several years. Town Pump is currently operating on a scaled back menu, but there are still plenty of offerings like fried pickles, catfish bites, tots, onion rings, beef and chicken nachos and mozzarella sticks, just to name a few. It is not exactly healthy eating, but sometimes the heart wants what it wants.
Especially those wings. Those are not to be missed.
1321 Rebsamen Park Rd
Temporary Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.