Each month, I will be recapping my favorite food from restaurants in Little Rock and around Arkansas.
Even though these dishes are listed in ranking order, I consider all of them ones I would highly recommend.
Here are my top 10 dishes in July:
- Beer Battered Fried Pickle Planks at Flyway Brewing
Flyway’s beer-battered, chicken fried pickle planks are a game-changer, and frankly, have altered my stance on fried pickles, in general. While I am still on Team Pickle Chips, these long planks held their batter, even after a dunk into the insanely addictive ranch dressing.
- Grilled Shrimp Puffy Taco at Taco Mama
Admittedly, Taco Mama’s corn-based puffy tacos are nothing like the flour variety I grew up with in Texas, but that is not to say I did not love them. Because I did. Thicker and fairly dense, these house-made fried tortillas are one of TM’s signature items. I suggest the succulent grilled shrimp as your protein topper of choice.
- Baledas (Con Todo) at El Sur Street Food Co.
El Sur’s Baledas Con Todo has turned into one of the most recognizable and sought-after food truck items in Central Arkansas. The eye-popping Honduran burrito is loaded with refried beans, pickled onions, crema, pickled onions, avocado, fried plantains, and a protein of your choice. Go with the al pastor.
- Cheeseburger at Rock Bottom BBQ
The first of two stellar cheeseburgers on this month’s list, Rock Bottom’s made-to-order version stands out because of a perfect grill job that yields a delightfully smokey, subtly charred flavor. All the toppings are fresh and plentiful. Call ahead or be prepared to wait 15-20 minutes for this burger. Greatness takes time.
- The Mack Daddy at Jude’s Delight
The Mack Daddy is Jude’s Delight’s signature item. And I can promise you it will not disappoint. This super juicy burger vaults up my list because of the seasoning and a soft bun that both delights in texture and maintains its integrity throughout consumption. This was my first visit to the food truck on South University, but certainly not my last.
- Pierogies & Crawfish at Brood & Barley
Early reviewson Argenta’s Brood & Barley have been overwhelmingly favorable, thanks in large part to dishes like the Pierogies & Crawfish. These house-made dumplings are filled with mashed potatoes and topped with a heavy hand of crawfish-laced cream sauce and roasted corn relish. The fried tarragon topper adds a pop of color and a pleasant anise flavor, something this anise-averse person never thought he would write.
- Grilled Chicken at Grill Pollo
Well, I will say this much, if your restaurant’s name is “Grill Pollo,” you better be sure to make some amazing grilled chicken. Mission accomplished. While the side items need some tinkering, this spice-loaded, chargrilled chicken is borderline addictive. Just dig in or wrap the chicken in a warm soft corn tortilla and top with their fresh pico de gallo and salsa.
- Not Your Mom’s Tuna Sandwich at The Southern Standard
I am an absolute sucker for fresh tuna, so when I saw The Southern Standard food truck would be stationed in front of The Bramble Market and fresh tuna was featured on that day’s menu, I wasted no time placing my order. Massive chunks of soft, sesame seasoned Ahi tuna are drenched in wasabi mayo and served on a grilled sweet roll from The Croissanterie. No knock on the accompanying tomato cucumber salad either, which was tasty in its own right, but I gave all my focus to the sandwich.
- Pulled Pork Sandwich at Rock Bottom BBQ
To say I was delighted with my experience at Rock Bottom BBQ, the food truck located near Pinnacle Mountain, is an understatement. You may have noticed their burger made this month’s Top 10 list, and so too does the pulled pork sandwich. I loved the bits of smokey bark scattered throughout, and the dollop of creamy slaw (optional) was a welcome addition.
- Crispy Ahi Tuna Tacos at Heights Taco & Tamale Co.
Did I mention that I love tuna? And this is especially the case during the warmer summer months. Heights Taco’scrispy corn tortilla shell provides a solid foundation for lightly seared tuna, habanero sauce, lime slaw, cucumber, cilantro, and pico de gallo. A touch of guacamole and sliced jalapeno on top finish things off.