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 September.
Crispy Brussels at Petit & Keet
Yes, Brussels sprouts are popular. Some might even say they’re a bit overplayed on restaurant menus, but I don’t care. I’m a fan of any dish done right, and Petit & Keet’s flash-fried version is just that. The leafy halves still have a nice texture and bite to them, and the dousing of balsamic honey sauce separates these Brussels from the rest of the local pack. Every meal at the restaurant should start with this appetizer.
Street Corn Dip at The Fold: Botanas & Bar
Speaking of top-notch appetizers, let’s spend a minute on The Fold’s Street Corn Dip. This festive offering of sweet corn, jalapeno aioli, guacamole, queso fresco, pepitas and cilantro comes piled on a barely visible tostada. Heck, there’s even some more guac underneath the fried corn chip, helping hold it in place. The Street Corn Dip is a party on a plate, and everyone is invited.
Donuts at Cinnamon Crème Bakery
Because Cinnamon Crème is considered more of a bakery than donut shop, this confection gets a touch overlooked. The donuts come in a variety of flavors, but you can’t go wrong with the glazed or chocolate-iced. Soft, fluffy and rustically misshapen, these donuts are right below Mark’s for my favorite in the area.
Signature Sweet Hot Burger & Onion Rings at Copper Grill
Tired of me writing about this burger yet? Yes, I’ve been propping it up ad nauseam over the past month, even proclaiming it as my top burger in Little Rock. If you haven’t tried one yet, please make it your business to do so in the near future. It comes with candied bacon, bacon jam, pimento cheese, sriracha and arugula, all on a doughy bun that collapses nicely upon a diner’s hold.
Fried Pickle Chips at Copper Mule Table & Tap
If you routinely follow my work, then you know I have a thing for fried pickle chips. When a great version crosses my palette, there’s a decent chance I’ll end up screaming my satisfaction from the rooftops. Copper Mule gives their slices a light dredge and a hit of pepper, followed by a perfect fry-job. Make sure to dip each chip in the accompanying house-made ranch. Because ranch.
Yellowtail Appetizer at Kemuri
Light and refreshing, the Yellowtail Appetizer at Kemuri comes with six pieces of yellowtail sashimi swimming in a lemony yuzu soy. Sliced cucumber and dots of sriracha make an appearance, as does slivers of raw jalapeno. Be warned, the kitchen leaves in the pepper’s seeds, so expect a punch of heat.
Bread Pudding at Maddie’s Place
So many restaurants seem to absolutely butcher this iconic dessert, often leaving me disappointed. Not Maddie’s Place. Chunks of bread come soaked in a spiced rum sauce. The simple concoction is irresistibly sweet and satisfying.
Carpaccio at Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar
The prime steak on Allsopp’s carpaccio almost looks like it’s been painted on the plate with a fan brush. Scrape off some with your fork, but make sure to also get a little of the fried capers, arugula, oven-dried tomatoes, shaved Parm and truffle saffron aioli on each bite with the fried flatbread.
Crawfish Etouffee at The Faded Rose
The Faded Rose’s crawfish etouffee is comfort food eating at its finest. A blond roux comes loaded with bits of onion and celery, both of which are not cooked beyond belief, leaving each with a nice, slightly firm texture. The restaurant isn’t stingy with the crawfish, so expect a tiny crustacean with each spoonful.
Oreo Cheesecake at The Hybrid Kitchen
I’ve long heard that The Hybrid Kitchen does desserts right, and I found out firsthand last Friday afternoon with this Oreo cheesecake, a New York-style variety with the crushed cookie crust. The kitchen serves up a sizeable slice that’s almost impossible to finish, so count on getting a to-go box.
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