WHERE TO BUY GOOD CRAFT BEER John Lewis Wells works a day job with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in North Little Rock, but come Miller Time (had to get the lowbrow beer reference in there), he transforms into one of Central Arkansas’s most beloved evangelists for Liquid Bread: his alter-ego, John the Beer Snob. Wells’ “John the Beer Snob” Facebook page currently has just under 500 likes, each of those little thumbs representing a dedicated craft beer fan in Central Arkansas who is either networking with Wells to find the rarest and most enticing brews, or waiting for him to let them know where those brews can be found. We asked Wells where he gets the good stuff. As you might expect, he’s got quite a few honey holes where he does his fishing. “Springhill, Colonial, Pleasant Valley and the Ridge are the ones I do the most business with. The hard-to-find stuff, I’m always going to go to Colonial or Springhill. I go to Pleasant Valley and the Ridge because they’re convenient. On the big purchases, though, it’s Springhill and Colonial ... . I work in North Little Rock, so Springhill’s closer to my work, but Colonial’s closer to my home. “Believe it or not, I will fairly regularly spend $100 on beer. It might be once a month or twice a month that I go out, but I tend to buy a lot at one time. Number one, the beers that I buy tend to age pretty well, so I may very well be setting some back. Because I review beers in my newsletter, I may not drink the entire beer. I may share it with somebody else. In fact, I give a lot of beer away ... . There’s a lot of networking going on. There are several pages on Facebook where those of us who are into craft beer alert one another. I put one out today: Eric over at Springhill is offering some tastings of some Bourbon County Stout that’s extremely rare, so when I saw that pop up on his Facebook page, I retransmitted it on my John the Beer Snob Facebook page. Now, everyone who likes my John the Beer Snob Facebook page knows to go to Springhill if they want to taste this rare and different beer.” 10
JANUARY 2, 2014
Springhill Wine and Spirits, Colonial Wine and Spirits, Pleasant Valley Liquor and The Ridge Wine and Spirits
WHERE TO DRINK BEER AND PLAY A SPORT Professor Bowl Of course bowling is a sport. There’s a ball. There’s movement. There’s trash talking. We’ve definitely worked up a sweat on a 7-10 split before. But even if you’re going to be steadily rolling gutterballs, Professor Bowl is an adult hangout worth adding to your regular rotation. Because, delightfully, the bar’s stocked with craft and import beer as well as any place in town. They’ve got 250 beers on their list, including all kinds of stuff you’ve never tried before. There’s wine, too. Professor Bowl is at 901 Towne Oaks Drive. The phone number is 224-9040.
WHERE TO EAT CATFISH
WHERE TO FIND BOUDIN, PIGS’ FEET AND TRIPE SOUP?
K Hall and Rosalinda
“Brewster’s 2 is a gem,” Dylan Yelenich, bartender extraordinaire at Big Orange tells us. “I remember walking in for the first time with a buddy and not knowing what to expect. We had driven by several times and always wondered about a place that touted it served the ‘best catfish in 2006’ (I could be wrong on the date). “Bear in mind that my friend and I had a running debate over who had the best catfish in Central Arkansas and had been to quite a few places that summer to check out some prime fish eats. We had settled on Lassis Inn (as I assume many people do). But we weren’t ready for the perfection that was the catfish at Brewster’s 2. “The fish itself was buttery and succulent, the breading was and still is the best I’ve tasted in a restaurant ... and the sides were amazing! How did a simple catfish meal, presented in a somewhat awkward space, (i.e. restaurant/night club combo) transcend all past catfish experiences? Maybe I’ll never know. I do know that Brewster’s 2 is somewhere I will always enjoy taking people for the first time. I enjoy seeing the look on someone’s face when they dig into that Styrofoam plate of awesome!” Brewster’s 2 is located at 2725 S. Archer St., 301-7728.
“I love honest food,” South on Main Chef Matthew Bell tells the Times. “And it doesn’t get more honest than K-Hall & Sons. This is no-frills, no-fuss food. It is more than that, though. It’s a neighborhood staple — selling groceries and farmers’ produce in addition to serving great food. It is a throwback to a time when we relied on small markets for all our needs. I cannot think of a better burger in town, but my love for this place runs deeper than that. It’s an excellent place to get boudin, pigs’ feet, frog legs and a number of other hard-to-find items. Grab a burger and look around while you wait ... and just be amazed. “Living in Austin, Texas, for a year I got a taste for real Latin food. I like Tex-Mex and cheese dip just as much as the next person, but I crave clean flavors and authentic ingredients. Rosalinda delivers every time. Their preparation of plantains impresses me every time. You can taste the love they put into their food with each item you order. I never tire of their pupusas or their tripe soup. The old adage is, ‘it must be good if ex-pats eat there,’ and this place is always full of them.” K Hall & Sons is at 1900 Wright Ave., 372-1513. Rosalinda Restaurant Hondureño is at 3700 JFK Blvd., North Little Rock, 771-5559.
Arkansas Times Native Guide 2014