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 provides the perfect time to try out several spots in one evening. Do you remember the one we did in the Heights? How about the one in Hillcrest? Well, we’re now heading to the SoMa District.
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.
I suggest starting off with a three-course food crawl. For the more experienced eaters and drinkers, feel free to add as many stops as you want, but I find that most folks tire a bit after the third restaurant.
Please keep in mind that the point of this crawl is to have fun, try out new dishes and support local restaurants. If you eat too much food and go to too many spots, the fun factor tends to take a severe dip. For this edition, I am actually putting together two options (and maybe even a surprise third), as there are just too many great restaurants in SoMa.
Option 1, Stop 1: Beer and Hush Puppies at Ester’s
Ester’s is an ideal first stop. It’s chill, relaxed, and is just a perfect meet-up spot. While you’re there, enjoy a local beer and a few orders of their hushpuppies. The misshapen balls of fried beer-battered dough pair well with any brew.
Option 1, Stop 2: Fresh Pasta at Raduno Brick Oven & Barrroom
If the lasagna is on the menu that day, order it. But truth be told, any of Raduno’s house-made pasta dishes are must-orders. You can’t go wrong with the spaghetti and meatballs, and frankly, if you’re with a big group, I suggest ordering all of the pasta options. Also, Raduno has one of the best bars in town, so feel free to keep the party going with libations.
Options 1, Stop 3: Ice Cream at Loblolly
I love Loblolly as a third and final option. It’s quick and easy, and everyone can get exactly what they want, in the size they prefer. And hey, who doesn’t love to finish an awesome evening of eating with some ice cream?
Looking for another suggestion? Here you go…
Option 2, Stop 1: Cocktails and Appetizers at South on Main
South on Main has always been known for its great cocktails, and, with new ownership, they’ve now added a new “Shareables” section to the menu, including options like the Street Taco Board, Brussels Big Bowl, Skillet Dip, and The Delta Table, a vast assortment of Southern staples like fried chicken, butter cream grits, pinto beans, and black-eyed peas.
Option 2, Stop 2: Sushi at Rock N Roll Sushi
After South on Main, take the very short jaunt to SoMa District’s newest tenant, Rock N Roll Sushi, for a couple sushi rolls to split amongst friends. The setting is fun and festive, and sushi is a good option after the previous heavier dishes from Stop 1.
Options 2, Stop 3: Churros at Mockingbird Bar and Tacos
You know how I feel about Mockingbird’s churros, the fried donut sticks covered in cinnamon and sugar. Get a couple orders and start dipping in the accompanying caramel sauce. If you must, partake in one of the margaritas as well.
Option 3: Take advantage of SoMa’s outdoor dining area across the street. Set up shop at one of the tables and have someone run and get the food from various restaurants.