At the end of each month, I look back at all the wonderful things eaten over the past 30 days. Here are my Top 10 Dishes in August.
Double Cheeseburger at The Box
This is a burger’s burger — just a simple, well-constructed grease bomb that’s sure to please. My server recommended getting the double, and she was correct. The Box’s patties come with a crusty, flavorful exterior, thanks to a decades-old flat top. Thick-cut pickles, mayo, American cheese, and a slice of tomato seal the deal.
Pyro Poutine at At the Corner
At the Corner starts with a pile of home fries which are then topped with a sausage cream gravy, cheddar, fried chicken tenders, and a house-made hot sauce. The result is a breakfast to remember and the best tenders I’ve come across in the area.
Chocolate Mousse Dome at The Pizzeria
The Pizzeria recently upped its dessert game with the hiring of new pastry chef Anna Chighizola, so I had to find out for myself how things were going. My Chocolate Mousse Dome, a simple, chocolate-covered mousse in the shape of, you guessed it, a dome, sat atop a layer of cake. Decorative whipped cream and strawberry puree were nice touches on this simple, yet delightful dessert.
Smoked Chicken at Count Porkula
There were several positives from my recent visit to Count Porkula, but none more impressive than the smoked chicken. The obvious brine job kept the meat moist while imparting an ideal salty flavor. No fork needed here. I gobbled most of it up with my bare hands.
Veal Piccata at The Terrace
Some folks frown upon the idea of eating veal. Not me. I love it. And I especially love what The Terrace has done with it for their Veal Piccata dish. A thin slice of the protein is lightly breaded and fried, then drenched in a lemon butter caper sauce.
Amberjack Tacos at Ciao Baci
Thank goodness our server nudged us to order the pair of amberjack tacos from Ciao Baci’s small plate menu ($6). He insisted the tacos — with fish, tomatoes, lettuce, roasted corn, and chipotle mayo — paired well with our selected Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, and darn it if he wasn’t right. This marked the first time I ate amberjack in a taco, but the mild-tasting, firm-textured fish excelled in this format.
The Lox at The Croissanterie
Selfishly, I hope The Lox special was a big seller for The Croissanterie, as it’s an item that flat out belongs on the regular menu. Quite frankly, the dish is a work of art. Just look at it. The bottom half of an oval-shaped croissant is topped with cream cheese, capers, and a heavy hand of lox, along with thin slices of cucumber, red onion, and radishes.
Cajun Smothered Shrimp & Grits at YGFBFKitchen
I tried several noteworthy dishes at YGFBFKitchen but none more deserving to make this list than the Cajun Smothered Shrimp & Grits. The chunky tomato compote makes this version a little different than many others, as does the plethora of plump shrimp and sausage. The restaurant isn’t stingy with portions either.
Chicken, Beef, and Spicy Pork Noodle Bowl at Bulgogi Korean BBQ
Why limit yourself to one protein when you can go with all three at Bulgogi? The standout is the spicy pork. The meat mixes wonderfully with the thick udon noodles and vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and broccoli, making for a dish that eats just as well the next day as it does right in the restaurant.
Breakfast Burrito Bowl at Bella’s Kitchen
I finally tried Bella’s Kitchen, the local meal-making company here in Little Rock and was blown away by their Breakfast Burrito Bowl. The 16-ounce bowl included cilantro lime rice, bacon black beans, and Salvadoran salsa, along with a perfectly cooked, soft boiled egg. Not only did everything taste great, but the meal filled me up for most of the day.