While Little Rock is not the most walkable city in the world, we do have some excellent areas that are conducive to performing one of my favorite food activities: a progressive dinner. This outing, also known as a food crawl, generally takes places over three to four hours and is an ideal way to try out several spots in one evening.
The rules are simple: 1. Only eat one course at each place. 2. No more than 4-6 people for the crawl. 3. Picky eaters need not apply. 4. Have fun.
To keep things simple, I suggest starting off with a three-course food crawl. For the more experienced eaters, you can go higher, but I find that after the third restaurant, most folks begin to tire. Remember, the point of this is to have fun, try out new dishes, and support local restaurants. If you eat too much food and go to too many spots, I have found the fun factor takes a severe dip.
For this post, we are going on the stretch of Kavanaugh Boulevard in the heart of the Heights neighborhood. Park your car, loosen your belt a few notches, and get ready for a great afternoon or evening.
Stop 1: Boulevard Bread Company for Baked Pimento Cheese
Every good meal starts with an appetizer, and you would be hard-pressed to find a better one in Little Rock than Boulevard’sBaked Pimento Cheese. This version of a beloved Southern staple is served bubbly hot in a cast iron skillet with a side of toasted ciabatta. If you’re really hungry, also get an order of the frites for the table. Wash it all down with a local beer on tap. Boulevard has a nice selection.
Stop 2: Heights Taco & Tamale Co. for Pickle Fried Chicken Tacos
I know it is hot outside, even at night, so the second stop is just a short walk down the street at the ever-popular Heights Taco & Tamale Co.Trust me, it will be difficult not to go crazy with the ordering, but so much of a food crawl revolves around focus and moderation. I suggest going with a platter (or two) of the Pickle Fried Chicken Tacos. The greatness of these tacos revolves around the melding of various flavors. Sourness from the chow-chow and a hint of heat from the habanero ranch pairs nicely with the crispy fried chicken. For sides, opt for the smoky refried beans and green chile tomato rice. Thirsty? Don’t forgot about the frozen mojito.
Stop 3: Le Pops for Salted Caramel Popsicle
Continue your walk down Kavanaugh to the final stop of the evening at Le Pops. And here is the best part, it’s not a restaurant. You do not have to sit down, be served and wait for the bill. By now, you are tired of that. Just pop in and everyone finishes the evening with a cool treat. Salted Caramel is one of Le Pops most popular flavors, but truth be told, you cannot go wrong with any selection. The Chocolate Marvel is fantastic, as are any of their seasonal offerings like Strawberry Cheesecake or Cucumber Lime Mint.
Need another food crawl suggestion for Kavanaugh?
Triple Dipper at Baja Grill (Stop 1), Sushi Roll at Sushi Café (Stop 2), Gelato at ZAZA (Stop 3)