In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. downtown. Click here to read more in this series. Feature photo by Meredith Mashburn.
The kids are back in school! This is a celebratory week. Not that it means a big change for two working parents, but it does cut out the time we spend running around for summer activities. To celebrate the occasion, my wife and I decided to go out for a kid-free lunch. Our favorite way to feel like real grown ups is to go to Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. and slurp up a big bowl of noodles. Three Fold, located downtown, is a modern Chinese restaurant that serves amazing handmade dumplings, freshly steamed buns and robust noodles.
For now, the restaurant is on Center Street, but the owners plan to move Three Fold to Main Street in September. Their projected opening date is Sept. 18.
The Center Street location is in a remodeled bank, complete with vault door. It has a minimalist interior with stark white walls, white subway tile on the floor and beautiful well-worn tables adorned with small flower arrangements. The place is often full for lunch, as it was on the day that we stopped by. There is a lot of walking traffic, but we drove and found easy parking on the street.
As usual, there is a line, but during that time you can ponder the menu and chat with those around you. The line moves quickly, and soon it is our turn to tell our favorites to the always-cheerful servers. They specialize in noodles and steamed buns, which people all around us are ordering, but my wife and I both love their pork dumplings. The dumpling bowls, or shui jiao, are traditional dumplings with your choice of meat or vegetarian filling. The pork is ground with cabbage and green onion and stuffed into perfectly hand folded dumplings. Leigh prefers hers with extra green onion and a non-spicy sauce. I like a little pain and go with the spicy sauce. We order drinks and a bag of their salty-sweet taro chips to add some crunch to our meals. The bowls come in recycled containers and are packed full of dumplings. There must be eight or 10 of them in there and it is always quite filling.
With the kids off to school again, eating school lunch or the PB&J you packed them with love, treat yourself to an adult experience at Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. There is no better way to feel grown up than to skip the vegetables and slurp noodles.