We have no shortage of food news throughout Arkansas, so each week, we’ll be providing you with a snapshot of the goings-on inside the culinary world, from events to specials to restaurant openings to awards. Do you have news to share? Please email our food editor, Kevin Shalin, at email@example.com.
On Saturday, May 15, the First Annual Bloody Mary Contest will be held in Wilson. This contest will challenge amateur and professional Bloody Mary mixologists to whip up their best concoctions. A three-person panel will pass judgement on the drinks, and the winners will get some cold, hard cash. In the professional category, the first-place winner will receive $200, while the second and third place winners will get $100 and $50, respectively. In the amateur category, the first-place winner will get $150, and the second-place and third-place winners will get $50 and $25. There will be a People’s Choice Award, which gives $150 for the professional category winner and $100 for the amateur category winner. Contestants are responsible for bringing all ingredients other than vodka and ice. Registration is required and can be found here.
Alton Brown will be coming to Little Rock in 2022, bringing a new culinary show. Tickets will be going on sale later this week.
Rock Town Distillery won big at the 2021 St. Francisco World Spirits Competition, taking home a Double Gold Medal for its single barrel bourbon. The Little Rock company also took some gold medals home, as well.
Mother’s Day is coming up this week, and we have you covered. Check out our list of the places to go for a good Mother’s Day meal.
Warmer weather is finally here, and that means one thing: progressive dinners. That’s where you can walk around the neighborhood and try out different restaurants in a single evening. AY Food Editor has compiled a starting point if you want to give a progressive dinner a go.
Looking to make something lighter at home? Lisa Fischer has the perfect Chicken Noddle Cashew Salad to fill you up without being too heavy.
At AY, we love spotlighting the folks behind the counter at restaurants. That’s why in the May issue, we profiled Heather Baber-Roe, one of the owners of Baja Grill. Make sure to give it a read!
THINK Coffee is building a new drive-thru location in Greenbrier. There’s limited details right now, but we’ll make sure to update you soon.
Construction has started on the new Waldo’s Chicken and Beer restaurant in North Little Rock. It is located in the old Johnny Carino’s building.
Make sure to check out this recipe for some delicious eggplant fries.
Red Oak Steakhouse at the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff will be offering authentic Kobe beef. The restaurant is one of only 38 in the United States to offer the premium Japanese meat.
Bentonville will be starting its First Friday events back up on May 7. During First Friday, you can enjoy food trucks, drinks, music and more at the Bentonville Square.
A new distillery has opened up in eastern Arkansas. Delta Dirt Distillery is making vodka and more at its downtown Helena location.
Apple Blossom Brewing Co. is back in business. After shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic, new owners have resurrected the NWA favorite.
Looking for a great spot to grab a drink in Little Rock? We’ve got you covered with 20 fantastic Happy Hours around town.
The SoMa Entertainment District has opened back up. Check out this funky neighborhood, dine outside and enjoy the live entertainment Thursday through Saturday from 5-9 p.m.
Chi’s Chinese Cuisine in Little Rock has brought back its popular dim sum. It will be available seven days a week for dine-in and takeout, and dim sum carts will be served every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Argenta’s Farmers Market is moving. It will be located at Argena Plaza at 510 Main Street in North Little Rock and will be open from 7:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays.
For all the folks in the Greenbrier area, there is a recently opened Italian restaurant. Eat’Italian Restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday. The hours are 11 am to 9 pm on Sunday-Thursday and 11 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday.
Pink House Alchemy is getting ready for Mother’s Day and has created a Bee’s Kness Cocktail kit. The cocktail kit is available for shipping or it can be picked up in Fayetteville May 6-9.
Blue Barn Bakery can now be found at Conway Regional Health System in Zeteo Coffee’s new coffee stand.
The Momentary has launched Beer, Bites and Bocce Ball. Open Tuesday through Sunday, this fun happening at Arvest Bank Courtyard gives you the chance to enjoy food from the Momentary Food Truck, sit at the RODE Bar’s outdoor patio and enjoy bocce ball.
New hours for Doe’s Eat Place: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.. That’s right, they are now open for lunch on Saturdays.
Hatchet House BBQ will be opening in downtown Conway in a few months, taking over the space of the former Fat Daddy’s at 1004 Oak Street. I hear the new place will even have axe throwing.
Brood & Barley has new late-night hours. The gastropub is now open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight.
The Little Rock Farmers’ Market returns to the River Market pavilions for its 47th season. The 2021 season will run on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. through September 25 and welcome the return of locally prepared cottage foods and meats to complement the farm-fresh produce from farms across the state and throughout the region.
Historic Arkansas Museum will again host the History is Served: Arkansas Foodways Dinner Series, which is now in its fourth year. The series explores Arkansas’s food heritage through four dinners that use history as a culinary framework for each meal’s creation. This year, the dinners will be offered as curbside pickup with virtual programming. This year’s dinner series will celebrate four iconic foods of Arkansas: strawberries, tomatoes, corn and apples. Each dinner will highlight one of these Arkansas ingredients as our featured chef creates a unique menu inspired by it Tickets for the dinner series are $60 for the general public and $50 for museum members. Stay tuned for info on when tickets for the second dinner on sale.
The 19th Annual Empty Bowls Event (sponsored by Arkansas Farm Bureau Insurance Company is a drive-thru luncheon and online auction format this year, set for May 7 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Immanuel Baptist Church Little Rock parking lot. Little Rock’s finest restaurants will prepare signature dishes to be served in takeout containers to each guest’s car window. The event will feature live visual entertainment to enjoy from your vehicle as you drive through each stop along with a display of beautiful, handcrafted bowls created by local artists.
Keep an eye out for new seasonal cocktails at many of the Yellow Rocket Concepts locations, including Local Lime (Rogers and Little Rock), Big Orange (Midtown, West, and Rogers), and Heights Taco.
If you’re up in Northwest Arkansas, drop by Puritan Coffee & Beer. The popular spot has expanded its capacity, almost doubling its indoor seating. Make sure to grab a craft beer Sunday-Saturday from 7:30am-11pm.
OrthoArkansas has launched the Ortho Eat and Go food truck lot. Food trucks will be operating at OrthArkansas’ south lot, located at 800 Fair Park Blvd. in Midtown Little Rock, from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Ortho Eat and Go will take place on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.
Allsopp & Chapple has additional events planned for May, including a four-course Mother’s Day dinner on May 9.
Did you know that Boulevard Bread Company (Heights location) offers cocktails classes? “Learn the history of your favorite spirits, how to make the perfect cocktail, and enjoy an evening of food, drinks, and friends with Boulevard Bistro Bar Manager Ben Singleton.” Each class features three cocktails. All classes are on Saturday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. and the bar will be open afterwards. Cost is $70 per person. Next classes: May 15 (Agave Spirits), and June 12 (All Things Rum).