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Articles in the Restaurants Category

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[1 Jun 2013 | No Comment | 2,611 views]
Whole Hog Cafe — great barbecue, ho-hum sides

Whole Hog Cafe, located at 5309 Hwy. 5 North in Bryant, features great barbecue, fair-to-middling side items and a few items you might not expect.
Let’s start with the basics. Whole How features a fairly typical array of hickory smoked meats — chicken, pulled pork, pork loin, beef brisket, sausage and dry-rub ribs — that are far better than average. Some barbecue restaurants serve dried out meats that are almost crispy or jerky like in texture, but Whole Hog has barbecue down to a fine art. The meat is juicy, has …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[11 May 2013 | No Comment | 3,295 views]
Best burger in Saline County and maybe central Arkansas

Over the past few years, it seems that the quality of burgers in the area has improved significantly. It’s no longer enough to grab a hunk of mid-grade beef, form it into the shape of a patty and fry the thing until it’s almost crispy.
Want proof? First Arkansas News has already written about the glorious C-J’s Butcher Boy Burgers in Russellville and the “diner food made with care” attitude that drives the owners of Burger Shack in downtown Benton. While C-J’s Butcher Boy is outstanding, there’s a burger joint that’s …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[27 Feb 2012 | 2 Comments | 2,169 views]
‘The Crazy Taco’ back under original management

Back in April, First Arkansas News posted an article about a great Mexican food cart in Benton called El Taco Loco.
Things have changed a bit. Since the first of the year, the name of the establishment has changed to the very Anglicized The Crazy Taco, the cart is smaller, the menu is similar and the management has reverted back to Louis Romero who started the company in the first place.
Confused? Don’t be. Romero started his business with a hot dog cart in Haskell two years ago. At the time, he …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[15 Dec 2011 | No Comment | 1,766 views]
La Hacienda de Benton — 23 years and still going strong

It might seem unusual to illustrate an article about a Mexican restaurant with one of the most attention-grabbing Nativity scenes on the planet, but it really does fit La Hacienda de Benton.
How? The place is garish, loud, colorful and simply a fun place to go to dinner. The aforementioned Nativity scene is what greets diners in December, and that’s only what people see when they stroll through the brightly-colored front doors and enter the waiting area. Indeed, the real party is in the impressively large dining area — which is …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[8 Dec 2011 | One Comment | 4,644 views]
Tokyo House — the best Asian buffet in central Arkansas

When you consider an Asian buffet, what do you expect?
Some might answer they figure on a lot of food of varying quality (some of it not great) and a low price. Tokyo House has the “lot of food” side of the equation nailed down, but the place is more expensive than your typical Asian buffet and the food is considerably better. How good? You’ve got a lot of Chinese and Asian buffet restaurants in Little Rock, but Tokyo House trumps them all. The selection is staggering, the quality is substantially …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[27 Nov 2011 | 2 Comments | 2,225 views]
Benton Waffle House — maximum comfort food

When you’re in the mood for some filling, artery-clogging comfort food, it’s hard to beat the Waffle House.
Of course, those are scattered all over the South, but I’ve been a somewhat regular customer at the one here in Benton for a couple of decades now. I say “somewhat regular” because too much Waffle House in the diet could well lead to health problems. We’re not talking about health-conscious meals here. We’re talking about comfort food that is all well and good so long as it is an occasional indulgence rather …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[18 Nov 2011 | No Comment | 1,556 views]
Franke’s — an Arkansas institution since 1919

Franke’s is one of the oldest restaurants in this state and is still going strong.
With two full locations in Little Rock and a carryout facility downtown, the cafeteria-style restaurant is alive in well in 2011. Yes, the place has had a wildly varied set of locations over the years in that it was originally located downtown and spun off into several locations after the original restaurant shut it’s doors in 1960 — Hot Springs, Fort Smith, McCain Mall in North Little Rock and the gone (but not forgotten) University Mall …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[28 Apr 2011 | No Comment | 4,119 views]
El Taco Loco — great Mexican food from a trailer

While northwest Arkansas residents might have grown accustomed to great Mexican food being served up from small restaurants and food trailers, such convenience is somewhat novel here in Benton.
El Taco Loco — located at 601 Military Road in Benton — offers great Mexican food, solid value and quick service. All from a fire engine red food trailer. Karen Broomfield and her husband, Mo, set up shop four months ago. Why did they establish their business?
“I saw a need for it,” Broomfield said. “It was a niche that wasn’t filled in …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[19 Apr 2011 | One Comment | 2,716 views]
Buffet City — a heck of a deal

Chinese buffet restaurants can be hit or miss in terms of quality.
There are some that throw the cheapest slop imaginable out on the buffet line in hopes of attracting the “quantity is better than quality” crowd. There’s one in Little Rock that — oddly — offers nothing but chicken and vegetarian dishes. Most of them are just rather ordinary –there are some popular dishes and those are the only things available.
Still others are unique enough to stay crowded and deservedly so. Buffet City, located at 1516 Military Road in Benton, …

Arts & Entertainment, Restaurants »

[3 Apr 2011 | No Comment | 2,823 views]
Dixie Cafe — not bad for one of those corporate chain restaurants

While some chain restaurants are criticized for serving up bland and “safe” meals calculated to appeal to the masses, the Dixie Cafe is a bit different.
Is it a corporate chain? Certainly. Dixie Cafe is based in Little Rock and has 16 locations here in Arkansas and one in Memphis (my family and I live close to the one in Benton and we’ve been there often). Ah, but here’s what’s different about Dixie Cafe — this is a regional chain that operates all over the Natural State and, as such, ought …