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FEBRUARY 28, 2013



Voter ID disenfranchises elderly As an older Arkansan, I’m very concerned about the bill SB 2 requiring all voters to present a photo ID before they are allowed to vote. I’m concerned for the friends that I take to the polls because they no longer drive and don’t have a driver’s license or a current photo ID from a job. I’m equally concerned about people with disabilities who may never have had a driver’s license or photo ID from a job, or who may no longer have either due to a catastrophic accident or major health issue. The bill is very specific in that an expired driver’s license will only be accepted at the polls for up to 4 years. If you stopped driving 5 years ago, you’ve lost the right to vote that you have cherished all these years, unless of course you live in a nursing home. Nursing home residents can ask the facility administrator to vouch for who they are so they can submit an absentee ballot. Unfortunately, that leaves the rest of us who have not been institutionalized standing at the polls, trying to prove to our neighbors — the volunteers at the polls — that we are who we have been saying we are for decades. The bill does provide exceptions and suggested acceptable other forms of documentation to take to the polls — four to five pages of them, in fact, including a hypothetical voter identification card to be issued by the Secretary of State. So why am I worried? Because provision of voter identification cards will only happen if funds are allocated to this endeavor by the legislature, even if the consumer picks up the tab for the card itself. And remember these cards are photo IDs. Will there soon be a long line of folks waiting outside the Secretary of State’s office at the Capitol to get their pictures taken? Or will that be assigned to motor vehicle offices? Either way, it will cost the state money that it doesn’t have. Considering all the other demands for funding — like Medicaid, education, senior centers, etc., I don’t see state-issued photo IDs happening too soon, but the bill will still go into effect without them. There will also be no funding to pay for education of the public about new voting regulations and all the alternate ways to confirm a voter’s identity, in the absence of a current driver’s license. I understand that the purpose of this bill was something other than disenfranchising Arkansas seniors and people with disabilities. Nevertheless, I resent the fact that we may become the collateral damage of this thoughtless bill and, should it not pass and we retain our right to vote, I will rally other seniors to vote out of office all our elected officials who signed on to SB2. Gloria Gordon North Little Rock

Against Big River The state should not be in the business 4

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


of providing grants and loans to the Big River Steel Mill! We don’t need to be spending tax dollars for a project that benefits 1 percenters. If you absolutely have to help a project, then pay for road improvements that benefit the business and the public, etc. Also port improvements and rail improvements. Just as those on Medicaid should face an income tax surcharge to pay for all or part of the state’s cost, corporations have no business asking taxpayers for a grant and loan like those mentioned in the media. You can provide grants for infrastructure and loans with collateral but not like

the terms Big River is ripping us off for. Keith Weber Jacksonville

From the web: In response to David Koon’s cover story, “Coming across” (Feb. 21), on undocumented students in Arkansas pursuing a college education: When a nation has the kind of problems the United States has, it’s because many of its people are using their country for selfish purposes; politicians such as Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are just

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symptoms of that selfishness, because they are using immigration for party building instead of nation building! Obama and the Democrats are leading the U.S. into a sovereign debt crisis that will be followed by a Second Great Depression. This economic crisis is on track and cannot be stopped! Regardless if the Congress legislates an amnesty for illegal aliens they will not be able to stay. It’s during the coming crisis that millions of illegals and even legal immigrants will have to return home because of hyperunemployment, homelessness, hunger and chaos in America’s cities. If they go now they have the chance to find work to survive the crisis. If they stay until the crisis begins they will have nothing here and nothing when they eventually have to return anyway! In the end the selfishness of the Democratic Party will have done them far more harm by encouraging them to stay than the people who want to defend the borders! Thomas Pope By not allowing these students to pursue higher education at an affordable cost (the same in-state tuition which their high school classmates receive) we are creating a cycle of poverty. So many of these students want to be successful and keep finding barriers and road blocks. Deferred Action is a first step, but these students need to be able to access a college education and the higher-paying jobs that are the result of their hard work. TeachMePF I really enjoyed reading this article. When I was in college, I spent a lot of time trying to help a friend of mine (brought to the U.S. as a baby by his parents; no papers) get access to college and there were no options for him. None. We couldn’t even get him a library card because it required a Social Security number. Forget legitimate work, it wasn’t possible. We even went to see an immigration lawyer who told us that there’s no clear path to citizenship and the old belief that all you have to do is marry an American to become legal is bull crap. It doesn’t work that way anymore. Years and lots of money later, he finally got his green card. He works two jobs and recently enrolled in college so that his child can have a better life than he had. These kids who have worked just as hard if not harder than their American counterparts deserve a chance to better themselves. And I think you’ll see that when you give these kids that chance that EVERYONE in our society benefits. Pam Cameron

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In over his head


o job is so small that it’s not too big for somebody. Political scientists had thought it virtually impossible for any occupant to embarrass the office of lieutenant governor, the office itself being something of an embarrassment, serving no real purpose. “Like tits on a boar,” one scholar has said of it. But Lt. Gov. Mark Darr has shown that even to do nothing is too much to ask of him. “Better to burn out than rust out” translates in Darr’s case to “Better destructive than inactive.” After the legislature passed a silly but harmful bill giving special privilege to holders of concealedweapon permits, Gov. Mike Beebe said he wouldn’t sign it — trying to preserve a shred of his own dignity — but wouldn’t veto it either. Then he left the state. Technically, a lieutenant governor is allowed to simulate a governor when the real one is out of pocket. Darr’s predecessors have recognized that this means having your picture made behind the governor’s desk, possibly with a couple of the more attractive pages. Darr, however, on hearing there was an unguarded bill in the governor’s office, sneaked in and signed it. With an X, probably. He said it was deserving legislation. Like the state bird and the state cereal, lieutenant governors are not meant to take an active role in government. And especially not if their name is Mark Darr, best known for rabid partisanship, mismanagement of such public funds as he’s had access to, and being a twerp. It’s said Darr is planning a run for the U.S. Senate next year. No need to worry. He’s already hit his political ceiling, the Peter Principle already done its work.

He’s offended?


hile the Senate was approving a Republican bill to discourage voting by nonRepublicans (minorities, the poor, the elderly), Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale, was irked that Democratic opponents spoke frankly of the bill’s objectives. He said “I am offended when you insinuate that I want to suppress votes” by supporting the bill. But as the opponents pointed out, the kind of “voter fraud” the bill supposedly would prevent is already nonexistent. Republicans had no rebuttal. Here is a problem for today’s Republicans. The party’s Taliban faction has so committed it to extreme partisanship and right-wing ideology that Republicans dare not reveal their real motives to average voters. When they sponsor legislation denying women dominion over their own bodies, they claim they are actually protecting women. This is a lie, and both the liars and the lied-to know it. When they oppose health care for the poor, even knowing that it’s morally correct and good for the local economy, they don’t admit that their opposition is based on their hatred of President Obama and their determination to keep him from achieving any of his goals. Well, the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate admitted it once — a rare moment of honesty — but he clammed up after the voters showed their disagreement.


FEBRUARY 28, 2013


BACK IN TOWN: Gov. Mike Beebe speaks to reporters Tuesday. Beebe had harsh words for Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who signed legislation exempting the concealed-carry permit list from the state Freedom of Information Act as acting governor last week while Beebe was out of town.

Drone policy indefensible


e have probably talked and heard more about the Academy Award nominations and winners this month than whether it is right or makes sense for a nation supposedly dedicated to life and civil liberty to be killing its citizens for taking unpopular stances in foreign countries. What does that say about our devotion to life and liberty? What does it say about our ethics? Shortly before John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to become the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee for his confirmation hearing earlier this month, the nation learned about a leaked Justice Department briefing paper that presented the case in favor of the U.S. policy on deploying unmanned drones against U.S. citizens in foreign nations. Two Americans considered sympathetic to Al Qaeda (Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan) were killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a CIA-operated drone in September 2011. A few days after that drone attack, another drone killed al-Awlaki’s teen-age son in Yemen. The public has never been told how many other Americans may have been targeted, killed, or wounded in such attacks. According to the leaked Justice Department briefing paper that was prepared in 2011, the Obama administration claims the authority to kill Americans living abroad with drones without charging and proving that the targeted people have committed any crimes, let alone done anything else punishable by death under U.S. law. The Obama administration believes that the power to kill Americans abroad using the drones cannot be challenged or reviewed by any U.S. court. Whether a U.S. citizen living abroad lives or dies turns on the whim of some undesignated and unnamed “high

ranking official” who determines that the hapless victim is an “imminent” threat to U.S. interests. According to the briefing paper, a threat can be “immiWENDELL L. nent” and qualify for drone tarGRIFFEN GUEST COLUMNIST geting even if the “high ranking official” does not know and cannot tell when or even whether the drone target is going to do anything threatening. The target can be approved even without knowing what interest is “imminently” threatened. None of the so-called “pro-life” advocates in the Arkansas legislature who have been so gung-ho about the sanctity of every fetus have even proposed a nonbinding resolution about the premeditated killing of U.S. citizens by our own government. That speaks volumes about their so-called “pro-life” ethics. A person doesn’t pose a lethal threat merely because he or she is disagreeable. But the Obama administration apparently believes that any American who sympathizes with Al Qaeda deserves to be summarily murdered. Let’s be clear. The drone policy isn’t about making war. It is murder using an aerial vehicle remotely controlled by a CIA operator in no danger of being harmed by the targeted person. This is murder with impunity and immunity, terrorism by another name, courtesy of President Barack Obama, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, in our name.

Judge Wendell L. Griffen is a circuit court judge and pastor of New Millennium Church. Max Brantley is on vacation.


The voter I.D. law: Pure GOP meanness


ou can make a case for passing unconstitutional laws when the sponsors and supporters are driven by moral zealotry, even when it is misplaced, but what can you say for simple meanness? In either case, the laws will be challenged in court and struck down, but if the unconstitutional acts would, for example, make early abortions a crime when the courts have consistently said they are legal, the sponsors are left with a feeling of righteousness. But what is rewarding about having tried to be mean to old and disabled people and the poor? Meanness is the only explanation for Republican bills working their way through state legislatures, including Arkansas’s, that would prevent people from voting unless they have a government-issued photo identification — well, meanness and giving your party a bigger advantage at the polls. The party figured out a few years ago that if you could hold down voting in certain areas and among certain population groups — minorities, the disabled, the elderly and people who are likely to be very poor — you could reduce the votes for Democratic candidates and improve your chances of winning. The best way to do it is make voting so slow, owing to a paucity of vot-

ing machines and election workers at key precincts, that people will give up and go home. Thousands abanERNEST DUMAS doned the polls in Florida’s big cities in the 2012 election. The other method is to require people to have a government photo ID, a daunting hurdle if you are not a driver or don’t travel abroad or you are not a college student with student ID card. Stopping voter fraud is the reason they give for demanding photo IDs. We still have some election fraud in Arkansas and in other states, but photo IDs will do nothing to stop it. Nearly all the voting skullduggery uncovered in Arkansas and elsewhere was committed by election officials who connive to get extra votes for their party or their candidates or to shave legitimate votes from the other side, most commonly through loose absentee-voting procedures. A photo ID won’t stop them and it might even help them. A photo ID is supposed to stop a person from finding a registered voter who is not voting and then going to the polls pretending to be that person. Individual voters

Putting the genie back in the bottle


s they came into their leadership roles following the 2012 elections, the moderate, young GOP leaders of the House and Senate emphasized that they expected the current legislative session to be focused on the bread-and-butter issues of economic development, tax policy and Medicaid. In short, they indicated that they wanted to be Republican versions of Mike Beebe, a governor whom House Speaker Davy Carter regularly holds up as the best in the state’s history. Some would argue that one key to Beebe’s stratospheric approval ratings across his governorship (68 percent approval in the latest Talk BusinessHendrix College poll) has been his effective avoidance of hot button social issues. Instead, the 2013 legislative session during which Carter and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux have headed their respective houses has spun out of their control as their rank-and-file members strive to one-up each other on abortion, guns, religion in the public arena, and a Grover Norquist-like desire to smother government. In a weekend analysis, AP

Capitol reporter Andrew DeMillo provided hints that the GOP leaders realize that their caucuses are on the JAY precipice of getting BARTH out of step with an Arkansas electorate that — no matter its recent shift to the right — rewards moderation. It’s clear, however, that the right-wing extremist genie has escaped the bottle and Carter and Lamoureux are in no position to push it back inside. If this session had gone the way Carter and Lamoureux envisioned, the GOP would have been on a path to permanent dominance in state politics. Tying competence on the issues Arkansans most care about (education, health care and economic development) to generally conservative social views is the winning model put forward by Mike Huckabee during his governorship. Throughout his Arkansas years, Huckabee would put forward one or two social issue proposals forward each session (think cov-

are rarely motivated to go to such lengths and to such risk to get an extra vote for a candidate, even their brother. In a dozen years of chasing Arkansas vote thieves in Conway County and elsewhere, Tom Glaze identified thousands of illegal votes but none that would have been stopped by a photo ID. The thieves were election officials and their bosses, never individual voters, except the few cases where people registered and voted in several counties. They had driver IDs. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that an Indiana law similar to SB 2, passed last week by the Arkansas Senate on a party vote, did not violate the 24th Amendment (outlawing the poll tax) or equal protection under the 14th amendment. The majority said the state provided no evidence from Indiana or elsewhere of fraud that the photo ID would prevent but that the court had to defer to a state legislature if it thought the step might prevent some fraud. But SB 2 violates the Arkansas Constitution. Amendment 51, which outlawed the poll tax and established a system of permanent voter registration, prevents the legislature or a local government from adding new requirements for voting beyond the lengthy procedures in the amendment. Amendment 51 addresses the very problem that the bill claims to attack — people trying to cast someone else’s vote. Before you can get a ballot now, an election judge must determine that your name and signature or mark when you sign the

voting form are identical to the signature on your registration affidavit. If you are somehow unable to sign the form, the election judge must make you give your date of birth and see that it matches the date on the original voter registration affidavit. The voter ID bills, including SB 2, establish a way for you get a photo ID free (if the state charges for it, it would be like a poll tax and illegal under both federal and state constitutions). The secretary of state must buy photo ID equipment for all the county clerks in the state. People who don’t have cars or otherwise do not have a government photo ID would have to go to the courthouse with a birth certificate or other government documents to prove they are registered legally and are who they claim to be, get their pictures taken and have a card issued to them. If they misplace it they can’t vote. The assumption, according to some Republican leaders who have admitted its political purpose, is that to many of the poor and elderly that is just too much trouble. Oh, if you have-concealed -carry permit you won’t have to have a driver’s license, passport or an ID card from the county clerk. Shouldn’t an NRA membership card do? If you go to vote without a photo ID card, the election judge must take your name and the county election commission is required by SB 2 to turn you in to the prosecuting attorney. No intimidation is intended, of course.

enant marriage) to remind his conservative base that he was one of them, but would then focus the bulk of his attention on the policy matters that shape the vast majority of voters’ evaluations of state government. While lots of work is being done on taxes and Medicaid behind closed doors at the Capitol, the daily media drip of legislative news focuses on the hot button issues becoming more extremist by the day. Recent polling on the legislature’s performance shows, first, that Arkansas voters are paying particularly close attention to this legislative session compared to past sessions and, second, that it is polarizing those voters. Some credit Carter, in particular, with his attempts to pull his party’s legislators back on some of the most troubling legislation. (For instance, Carter did take the extraordinary step, for a speaker, of casting a vote to fully fund costs of taking the GED.) While he (and the less visible Lamoureux) deserve political points for understanding how to position the party to cement Republican control of Arkansas politics, they have shown little ability to shut down the party’s extremist elements. Even if Carter did help moderate Sen. Jason Rapert’s abortion bill, as columnist John Brummett reported, it would still be the most severe (and most unconstitutional) restriction of abortion in the country.

Like U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, Lamoureux and Carter are limited in their influence over their caucuses because they are clearly out of step with them in governing philosophy. In addition, because of term limits, Republican legislators are looking forward to GOP primaries where they will need to reach out to activists who are particularly motivated by social issues. Finally, Carter faces the additional problem of the extraordinary manner in which he gained his position with almost no members of the caucus he now heads voting for him. If in a stronger position, Carter and Lamoureux could have made a deal with socially conservative lawmakers to limit the number of more extreme bills to get a full hearing. That opportunity lost, the question now is whether the young leaders can use their personal skills to keep their party from jumping the shark legislatively. First up will be the proposal to further loosen the state’s gun laws by allowing open carry of handguns. Carter has received a flurry of admonishment from open carry advocates and a wave of praise from progressives for saying last week that he opposes the legislation. While taking a stance against extremism is one thing, stopping it is another. That’s the real test for these leaders.

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



Bielema hits the right notes

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ret Bielema’s goodwill tour through the state of Arkansas has been a customarily fleet and spectacularly engaging one, and even though Pearls doesn’t want to harp on the distinctions between the new lead Hog and his predecessors, it’s an impossible one to simply ignore. There’s a certain measure of platitudes and throwaway cliches to every coach’s delivery. Bielema’s hitting locales throughout the state, the Capitol included, and dispensing what on the surface seems to be standard-issue coachspeak, the prototypical “we’re gonna get this train back on the tracks” pablum that we generally bristle upon hearing. Perspective changes over time, of course. Houston Nutt practically stole the job back in December 1997 by taking a then-novel approach to salesmanship, and it took anywhere from a few minutes to a few years for the fan base to grow weary of the huckstering. There wasn’t any such veneer to Bobby Petrino: he gave us no misapprehensions that he would be a media darling, and so for four years, when he showed those occasional flashes of wit or genuine substance it was pretty jarring. If coaching PR can be paralleled to a hairdo, Nutt’s approach was a wild and anachronistic mullet, and Petrino’s was so closely cropped to the skull as to be painful. A few years ago, a Razorback message board did a pictorial comparison that was even more telling. On National Signing Day, in maybe Nutt’s second or third year in Oxford, he stood before a crowd of reporters with some sort of half-assed concoction of balloons and dry-erase boards trying to upsell one of those classes where he signed basically five classes worth of completely nondescript players. That same day, Petrino was employing professionalquality placards with recruits’ names neatly emblazoned on them. The dichotomy of detail was astounding, laughable, and yet also demonstrative of the fact that maybe Arkansas’s pendulum swung too far. All snark aside, the zeitgeist of Bielema is something comfortably in between. There’s still a place for Nutt’s methodology in today’s stuffed-shirt coaching world, and Bielema captures a little bit of that flavor with that swagger that we’ve seen at the introduction

in December and then on Twitter. He’s pretty cocky, and bordering on boastful. Nutt’s downfall was built BEAU upon a new online WILCOX epoch of rearview dissection: He said a lot in those early days, and the Internet didn’t afford him the luxury of a pardon. Whereas Nutt talked boldly but seemed disbelieving of his own promises, Bielema’s got the inverse approach locked down: He’s talking about championships in earnest, and he frankly seems unconcerned with whether you believe him or not. Petrino ironically would mind his tongue when it was being used for the purpose of publicity, even if he was salty as hell on the sideline. He didn’t completely adopt the Holtz Doctrine, but his ruthless perfectionism made him far less inclined to blather at length about his grandiose objectives from year to year. There’s a finite degree of that angle to Bielema’s discourse as well: He’s often reflected on his upbringing in a folksy but genuine fashion, relating to various Razorback Club chapters that he was reared on a farm. It tempers his bravado — some might say not quite enough — and bolsters his work ethic. For all the inane criticisms that may have been heaped on Bielema during his accomplished run in Madison, nobody ever dared say that the guy’s few failures were attributable to laziness. The period after signing day and prior to spring practice has perennially been an awkward lull and the only time it seems to be interrupted is when a new coach is being welcomed, as is the case here in 2013. Historically, we get whipped up into an excitable froth anytime there’s a changing of the guard, and Bielema’s seizing the opportunity in grand fashion. It’s equal parts barnstorming and expectation-setting, which is gaining further notice because Mike Anderson’s basketball squad isn’t quite able to sate us, and it simply works. What it produces in the fall is hard to gauge given the roster’s general overhaul. Arkansas could be one of the SEC’s pleasant surprises or a marginalized bottom-dweller, but Bielema is pitching the forthcoming season as the first step of a program’s reclamation, and doing it in a way that is neither brazen nor boring.

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Throw dunks, not tantrums Maybe he feared something elicit was going on: “You would think the news of constructive discussions between [the Department of Human Services] and Legislative Audit staff would please the chairman rather than illicit a tantrum.” The Super Bowl just behind us, what the TV announcers call “March Madness” looms before us. We can count on seeing a lot of slam dunks in this period. And a lot of beer commercials. It may sound strange to young fans, or even middle-aged ones, but the dunk wasn’t always a part of big-time basketball. I can vouch for the fact that as recently as the early 1960s, nobody on the Arkansas Razorbacks was dunking the basketball, and the Razorbacks were not unique in this regard. The old Southwest Conference was full of confirmed non-dunkers. The game was played below the rim in those days, by players all the same pinkish color. As the players grew taller and faster and darker, able to leap high above the rim in a single bound, the modern dunk was born. This is Stuart Berg Flexner in “Listening to America”: “Though to dunk had meant to shoot

the ball through the basket in any way since the 1930s, tall, agile offensive players developed the DOUG modern dunk shot SMITH in the mid-1960s and the slam dunk in the early 1970s, leaping above the basket to stuff or slam the ball down through it. The dunk was banned from college play for eight years, beginning in 1968, after UCLA’s 7-foot-2-inch Lew Alcindor (who became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971) dominated the game with it in his first year of college play.” It seems to me the first real dunkmeister for the Razorbacks was Dean Tolson. Or was it Slam Duncan? “Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Thursday in Washington, said he has no illusions that the gun-control fight will be tough.” Just the opposite is true. He has no illusion that the guncontrol fight will not be tough. Biden is a likeable sort, with or without illusions. It’s nice to have a vice president that you’re not afraid of.


It was a good week for ... THE USE OF SCHOOL GUN SCANS. A random scan of students at Hall High School found a male student had an unloaded gun in his hoodie and a magazine with six bullets tucked into his gym shorts pocket. He was turned over to juvenile authorities and will be expelled. GRANDSTANDING BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. The minute Gov. Mike Beebe boarded a plane for Washington, D.C., Friday, Lt. Gov. Mark Darr called a press conference and signed a bill that exempts the names of concealed gun carry holders from the state Freedom of Information Act. Beebe had decided to let the bill become law without his signature, but the former pizza palace owner wanted his slice of the limelight. MIKE BEEBE AND ASA HUTCHINSON. A Talk Business survey found that 68 percent of Arkansans polled favored the job the governor is doing and 43 percent would vote for Hutchinson versus 38 percent for Mike Ross and 19 percent not knowing. THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE GUNS SOLVE ALL THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS. A bridge too far, or just a bump in the road on the way to passage? It wasn’t clear on Tuesday when Rep. Sue Scott’s measure 10

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


to allow the open carry of handguns in the state failed in the House Judiciary Committee, despite an amendment from Rep. Nate Bell and Rep. Jeremy Gillam to limit the provision to unincorporated areas. On a roll-call vote, the bill received nine votes. It needs 11 to advance out of committee. Bell said the bill would come up again in committee.

It was a bad week for ... WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND COMMON SENSE. The legislature blithely approved Rep. Andy Mayberry’s bill to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, a month shy of viability, even if the fetus won’t survive birth, and a bill that would allow a pregnant woman to use deadly force against anyone she “reasonably” believed was threatening the life of her fetus, no questions asked. The governor vetoed the 20-week ban, but with only a simple majority needed to override a veto, it’ll almost certainly become law (until a judge files an injunction to halt it). Also filed: a bill to define fertilized eggs as human beings. RESPONDING TO A CRAIG’S LIST ADVERTISEMENT. An Oklahoma couple were robbed at gunpoint in North Little Rock when they went to an address on Graham Avenue to buy a Mercedes C/X 320 they found on Craigslist.


Adios, Bob IF YOU LOOK IN THE BACK of the Arkansas Times this week, you’ll notice something missing: The Observer’s pal and spiritual Yoda, the great Bob Lancaster, retired from writing his weekly column a couple of weeks ago, which means he has retired from journalism and a career that stretched all the way back to the reign of Orval Faubus, who once hated Bob so much for something he’d written that Faubus personally saw to it that he was fired as editor of his college newspaper. We’d call that a badge of honor. When The Observer started at the Arkansas Times, we took Bob’s old desk, a shaky affair with a chipped top that sat in the corner of the newsroom, backed up against a wall of bookshelves heavy with Arkansas history and lore. I honestly believe that knowing that we were sitting at Bob Lancaster’s old desk was the only thing that got us through that first year and a goodly number of the ones between 2002 and now. Sometimes on payday, Bob would blow through the office while picking up his check, and he never failed to stop and chat with us to ask us what we were working on. Every once in awhile, he’d send an email to say that he liked something we’d written, and we always printed those emails out and stapled them to the wall beside our desk. Why? Because when Mickey Mantle tells you that you had a good game, you print it out and staple it to the wall beside your desk. The Observer loves writers. Good writers, bad writers, mediocre writers. It’s the Try and Want To in a writer that matters. But if The Observer could be any writer in the world, though, we would be Bob Lancaster. That is no fooling. We would write like Bob. We’ve felt that way since before we started working here. Back when we were in college, we read a story in the Times called “Requiem for Oklahoma City,” which was the product of Max Brantley packing Bob off to OKC in 1995 so he could point his amazing eyeballs and brain at the ruins of the Murrah Federal Building. The story featured passage after

passage of amazing writing like this: “When a youngster sallied up with a boom-box thumping under his big umbrella, the man beside me, after just the right amount of time had passed, said to him, ‘Shut that son-of-a-bitch off.’ It was a way of saying, ‘Let’s have a little respect here. There’s dead people up there yet.’ A message equivalent to the one Moses got at the burning bush when he was told to put off his shoes. The youngster shut the son-of-a-bitch off, too. This man was a bread-truck driver, come down on his day off to view the monumental thing. Told me his name but what would you care about that? Brought his boy, who brought binoculars. Twelve years old this boy was. Offered to let me look through the binoculars as long as I wanted, no charge. So I looked through them for a while, gazing at the monolith, room to room, floor to floor, making mental notes, an inventory of identifiable items still in one piece, until two growing sensations obliged me to desist. One, I thought I might throw up. Two, I thought I might break down and start to cry.” We still consider that piece to be one of the best things – maybe THE best thing – ever printed in the Arkansas Times. We were amazed that a writer of such power and grace could come from pretty much the same place we did. It’s part of why Yours Truly is a writer today. We’re planning to reprint at least an excerpt of that story in a few weeks as part of a retrospective on Bob’s work. Keep an eye out for it. As for Bob himself, he’s doing OK down at the homestead in Sheridan, relaxing with his books. The Observer heard from him via email the other day, in fact. He’s a lot less bombastic in person than in print, an introvert who refashioned himself into a backwoods Vonnegut by force of will, but who reverts to his humble self when he doffs his cloak of paper. In his email, he told me his one regret is that he didn’t get to go out repeating his favorite Shakespeare quote, from Richard II: “Words, life and all, Old Lancaster hath spent.” There you go, Bob. Happy trails.

• Wright, Lindsey & Jennings • Aristotle • Nabholz Construction • Northwestern Mutual • LM Windpower • KARK • Baptist Health • Entergy • American Chemistry • FIS • Arkansas Department of Health • Molex • Southern Bancorp Inc. • Stephens Inc. • Acxiom • UAMS • AT&T • KTHV • Jones Productions • Clinton Presidential Library • eStem High School • Searcy Daily Citizen • Endodontic Associates of Arkansas, PLLC • BKD • Welspun • Arkansas Supreme Court • Caterpillar • VCC • Custom Shippers, Inc. • Windstream • Lockheed-Martin • Delta Trust & Bank • Historic Arkansas Museum • St. Vincent Infirmary • Verizon • ESPN • Mitchell Williams • U.S. Marshals Museum • Arkansas Attorney General’s Office • Hewlett-Packard • U.S. Army • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette • Southwest Power Pool • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center • Little Rock School District • Raytheon • U.S. Bank • Walmart • The Communications Group • Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield • Frazier, Hudson & Cisne • Arkansas Governor’s Office • Arkansas History Commission • Central Arkansas Library System • William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace National Historic Site • KATV • BAE Systems • Heifer International • Arkansas Department of Information Systems • Arvest Bank • Pulaski County Special School District • Schueck Steel • Friday, Eldredge and Clark • Clinton School of Public Service • North Little Rock Police Department • Arkansas Children’s Hospital • Arkansas Business • Arvest Mortgage • North Little Rock School District • Arkansas Department of Human Services • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History • Arkansas State Police • Central High School • Arkansas Department of Workforce Services • Williams and Anderson • Little Rock Central High National Historic Site • Arkansas Times • KLRT • Arkansas Historic Preservation Program • State of Arkansas • Mainstream Technologies • Old State House Museum

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The last vestige of the concealed carry list

The list of concealed carry permit holders is now secret, exempted from the state Freedom of Information Act. The new law passed the House earlier this week and Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, acting as governor while Gov. Mike Beebe was out of town, signed it into law Friday. In the meantime, interested parties had their last chance last week to acquire the list and many did. That includes Gwen Moritz, editor at Arkansas Business, who published a link to the list on Monday, before quickly removing it “at the request of a number of licensees who were concerned that they might be targeted by criminals.” Moritz said she would still make the list available by request to those who email her at GMoritz@ The Arkansas Times Arkansas Blog published the publicly available list of concealed carry permit holders in 2009, prompting a wave of controversy, including death threats to staff members. The list was eventually removed from the site because of concerns raised about the publication of specific addresses. The controversy led at the time to a change in the law, making names and zip codes but not full addresses publicly available.

Harding University, college basketball mecca? Let’s say you’re wanting to take a little road trip, have a little fun. And let’s say you’re a big-time college basketball fan, so you want to pick somewhere you can catch some great college hoops. Fun! We’re all thinking it ... SEARCY, ARKANSAS! Harding University beat out nine other schools to win the “Best Road Trip Destination in College Basketball” competition, presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. They topped big-time basketball programs like University of Indiana and University of Arizona, as well as locales like Charleston, S.C., and Memphis. CBS Sports will film and air a feature on “what makes the Rhodes Field House, the HU campus and the town of Searcy, Ark., a special place for any college basketball fan to visit.” The press release says that “the 10 finalists were chosen based on a wide range of categories including in-game atmosphere, history of the program, pre- and post-game events, scenery and attractions of the town and many more.” Harding won via a two-week Facebook voting competition. We will leave it to CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 12

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


What would Jesus pack? Houses of worship deal with lifted concealed carry ban. BY DAVID KOON


n Feb. 11, Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill into law that alters the exemption in the concealed carry handgun statute that had prohibited permit holders from carrying their guns into houses of worship. Called “The Church Protection Act,” the new addendum to the law says that church officials may now determine for themselves who can carry a concealed handgun into their place of worship. An emergency clause attached to the bill made the new law go into effect immediately after it was signed. The wording of the law, which will necessarily require churches to discuss whether their parishioners should or shouldn’t be able to bring guns into places of worship (and potentially even more thorny:

which specific parishioners should be allowed to carry if guns are allowed), has thrust congregations into what one pastor a reporter spoke to called the “touchy and divisive issue” of Second Amendment rights. Some of the religious leaders we talked to also considered the moral implications of bringing what one called “a weapon of mayhem and death” into a church. An advocate of church carry, however, says that the decision on whether to allow parishioners to pack in the pews now lies where it should have been all along: with individual churches, not the state. Marie Mainard O’Connell is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. She said that while the church’s ruling body had pre-emptive discussions about the bill before it

became law, all she can say right now is that the church is “actively discussing” its policies. O’Connell’s personal feelings on the issue are more clear-cut. She believes the emergency clause attached to the bill didn’t give churches enough time to consider the ramifications of church carry before they were forced to make a decision. “Since it goes into effect immediately, if the church does not yet have a policy in place, where does it land?” she said. “Does that mean that anyone with a concealed carry permit can assume they’re allowed? ... I know some of the legislators that were in favor of it want the churches to think: ‘Well, you don’t have to do anything.’ But I still believe the law is unclear.” Beyond the policy changes, O’Connell said there are moral issues to discuss in regard to church carry. “If I know that someone is hiding a weapon, and they come to the table to receive communion,” O’Connell said, “does that mean anything different than if they had no weapon, or if they had an open weapon? As a minister of the sacrament, I feel like I am obligated to work through that moral and theological issue.” Dealing with whether to allow guns in church takes time away from the real work of leading her congregation, O’Connell said. She said it’s frustrating that the state has imposed the issue on her church. “I have to take time out from pastoring and teaching and preaching to work on an issue that was a non-issue before the government decided they wanted it to be an issue,” she said. “It’s a perfect example of society imposing on religion, and religion having to consider: What does this mean? What does this mean for what I believe?” Also concerned by the lifting of the ban is Rev. Wendell Griffen, who — in addition to being a Pulaski County circuit judge — is the minister of New Millennium Church in Little Rock. He said his church has decided it won’t allow guns on its property, and plans to hang signs soon telling permit holders to leave their firearms at home. He called bringing a gun into a church “a perversion of everything holy.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 63





It was a big week for Sen. Jason Rapert, the Bible-thumping demagogue from Conway behind what’s likely to become the most restrictive abortion measure signed into law. First, the Tumblr account for Digg picked up on the fact that, at certain browser-window sizes, the background on his Twitter page made it look like his name was Sen. Rape. Gawker and others picked it up. Undeterred, Rapert changed his background and posted the series of Tweets below on Feb. 23.

Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes &

INSIDER, CONT. you to determine whether Harding’s curfew and Searcy’s “scenery and attractions” led to more Facebook time for the Rhodes Rowdies.

Say goodbye to another historic house The 1891 Bruner House at 1415 Cantrell Road, which is on the National Register of Historic Properties, will be torn down in the coming weeks. An Alabama salvage company is rescuing the mantels, rails, flooring and other features of the Queen Anne/Eastlake-style house. The house, a carriage house in the rear and a house next door, which will also come down, were bought for $500,000 by Irwin Properties LLC in April 2011, according to Pulaski County assessor records. Arkansas Business reported at the time that Warren Stephens purchased the half-acre through Irwin. Preservationists downtown are “full of anguish,” Kathy Wells, president of the Coalition of Greater Little Rock Neighborhoods, said. No demolition permits have been taken out, but according to the salvage company, Southern Accents, none are needed for architectural salvage. The property is close to the Episcopal Collegiate School, Jackson T. Stephens campus, but Head of School Steve Hickman said he did not know what was planned for the property.



If you’ve looked at the daily newspaper lately, you’ve undoubtedly seen the gray cinderblock of tiny text that proves one of the major growth industries in the city of Little Rock these days is jacking other people’s stuff. While property crimes like burglary and larceny might not qualify as “violent crime,” they’ll sure make a victim feel like doing violence to someone else. We figure this city is about three stolen flat screens and a busted car window away from somebody going full on Batman. But where does Little Rock rank on the Rob-o-Meter when judged against cities with legendarily high, Gotham City-esque crime rates? A peek at the FBI’s 2011 Uniform Crime Report (their most recent data), shows that aren’t many burgs out there with more citizens willing to take the five-finger discount. Thank God for Pine Bluff.

Property crimes (defined by the FBI as burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson) per 1,000 population: Pine Bluff : 81

Washington, D.C.: 45.8

St. Louis, Mo.: 80

New Orleans: 40.3

Little Rock: 79.5

Compton, Calif.: 29.35

Flint, Mich.: 64.6

Los Angeles: 22.4

Detroit: 61.4

New York City: 17.1

Oakland: 52.8

In last week’s issue, Max Brantley’s column mistakenly referred to the Markham Group as the McLarty Group. Veteran journalist Roy Reed writes to correct John Kirk’s cover story, “Capitol offenses” (Feb. 14). The story said that state troopers on horseback attacked protesters on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Reed writes, “[T]he guys who attacked the civil rights marchers at Pettus Bridge were not state troopers on horseback. The men on horses were Sheriff Jim Clark’s unofficial volunteer deputies, whom he called his ‘posse.’ The state troopers, who were sent in by Governor Wallace, kept their boots on the ground and merely showered the marchers with tear gas and beat them with billy clubs. The guys on horses used horse whips on the demonstrators. I guess these are fine distinctions, but they need to be kept in mind. As you have probably guessed, I know all this because I was there.”

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


THE PEOPLE SPEAK The 2013 edition of the Best Restaurants in Arkansas.




ach year, when it comes time to plan our annual Readers Choice Restaurant issue, we survey the winners, start riffing on what readers got right or wrong and then pretty quickly get too hungry to concentrate and disperse to chow down. We tried to capture that approach in this edition. In the pages that follow, you’ll find 52 dishes we crave (one for each week of the year), most of them taken from Readers Choice winners. We’ve also highlighted a few of the winners we think are changing the Arkansas culinary scene for the better, all of whom are relatively young and passionate about their craft and their role in the community. Plus, we rhapsodize about the coming fried chicken mecca, Gus’s, and explore the success of Fayetteville’s Greenhouse Grille. As has been recent tradition, this year, all Readers Choice voting took place online (print readers were directed to the online poll). Below are this year’s winners. As usual, we have them in a number of categories, plus special votes for the top restaurants in four areas with vibrant restaurant scenes. Read on to find your favorite.




LITTLE ROCK: Brave New Restaurant RUNNERS-UP: Big Orange, Capital Bar and Grill, The Pantry

LITTLE ROCK: Fantastic China RUNNERS-UP: Chi’s Chinese Cuisine, Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant, Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese Cooking

LITTLE ROCK: Star of India RUNNERS-UP: Curry in a Hurry, Taj Mahal Indian and Mediterranean Cuisine, Banana Leaf food truck

AROUND THE STATE: James at the Mill (Johnson) RUNNERS-UP: Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville), Mike’s Place (Conway), Ermilio’s Italian Restaurant (Eureka Springs)

AROUND THE STATE: Jade China Restaurant (Conway)

AROUND THE STATE: New Delhi Cafe (Eureka Springs)

NEW LITTLE ROCK: Local Lime RUNNERS-UP: Packet House Grill, Natchez Restaurant, Kitchen @ White Water Tavern AROUND THE STATE: Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville) RUNNERS-UP: Baja Grill (Benton), The Pasta Grill (Conway), Tavola Trattoria (Bentonville)

LITTLE ROCK: Vesuvio Bistro RUNNERS-UP: Ristorante Capeo, Graffiti’s Italian Restaurant, Cafe Prego AROUND THE STATE: Ermilio’s (Eureka Springs) RUNNERS-UP: Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante (Conway), Pesto Cafe (Fayetteville), Bella Arti Ristorante (Hot Springs) FEBRUARY 28, 2013



LITTLE ROCK: Sushi Cafe RUNNERS-UP: Tokyo House, Mt. Fuji Japanese Restaurant, Hanaroo Sushi Bar

LITTLE ROCK: Layla’s Gyros and Pizzeria RUNNERS-UP: Cafe Bossa Nova, Pho Thanh Muy, The Pantry

AROUND THE STATE: Meiji Japanese Cuisine (Fayetteville)

AROUND THE STATE: Taste of Thai (Fayetteville) RUNNERS-UP: Rolando’s (Hot Springs), Layla’s Gyros and Pizzeria (Conway), Brau Haus (Hot Springs)

MEXICAN LITTLE ROCK: Local Lime RUNNERS-UP: Cantina Laredo, Casa Manana, La Hacienda




AROUND THE STATE: Taco Mama (Hot Springs) RUNNERS-UP: El Acapulco (Conway), Casa Colina (Eureka Springs), Burrito Loco (Fayetteville)

FOOD TRUCKS LITTLE ROCK: Southern Gourmasian RUNNERS-UP: Hot Dog Mike, The Food Truck, Banana Leaf AROUND THE STATE: Baja Grill (Benton) RUNNERS-UP: Green Cart Deli (Conway), Hammontree’s Grillenium Falcon (Fayetteville)


Whatta-Burger! russellville, arkansas

LITTLE ROCK: The Root Cafe RUNNERS-UP: ZAZA Fine Salad +

AROUND THE STATE: Green House Grill (Fayetteville) RUNNERS-UP: ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood Oven Pizza (Conway), Mean Bean Cafe (Conway)



For Voting Us Best Yogurt!

Wood Oven Pizza, Cafe Bossa Nova, Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some

We Love Our Customers.

Best HamBurger – around tHe state 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992

1991 1990 1989 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983

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LITTLE ROCK: Boulevard Bread Co. RUNNERS-UP: Community Bakery, Silvek’s European Bakery, Dempsey Bakery AROUND THE STATE: Ed’s Custom Bakery (Conway) RUNNERS-UP: Rick’s Bakery (Fayetteville), Serenity Farm Bread (Leslie), Little Bread Co. (Fayetteville)

“Shower the people...”

BARBECUE LITTLE ROCK: Whole Hog Cafe RUNNERS-UP: Sims Bar-B-Que, Corky’s Ribs and BBQ, HB’s Drive In AROUND THE STATE: McClard’s BarB-Q (Hot Springs) RUNNERS-UP: Craig Brothers Cafe (De Valls Bluff), Whole Hog (Conway), Dixie Pig (Blytheville)

BREAKFAST LITTLE ROCK: B-Side RUNNERS-UP: Ashley’s, Root Cafe, Red Door AROUND THE STATE: Stoby’s Restaurant (Conway) RUNNERS-UP: Pancake Shop (Hot Springs), Common Grounds (Fayetteville), Mud Street Cafe (Eureka Springs)

BRUNCH LITTLE ROCK: B-Side RUNNERS-UP: YaYa’s Euro Bistro, Ashley’s, Trio’s Restaurant AROUND THE STATE: The Arlington Hotel (Hot Springs) RUNNERS-UP: Greenhouse Grill (Fayetteville), Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante (Conway), Local Flavor Cafe (Eureka Springs)

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FEBRUARY 28, 2013


52 DISHES WE CRAVE Fill up a year with one great eat a week in Central Arkansas. ASHLEY’S SEARED DUCK BREAST A dish so good it makes lentils exciting: duck breast served a succulent mediumrare, wrapped in skin and crisped to perfection. And those lentils? A healthy dose of slow-cooked duck confit turns these lowly legumes into a masterpiece of taste and texture. (It’s not currently on the menu; let’s hope new chef Joel Antunes brings it back.) 111 W. Markham St. (inside the Capital Hotel).

BAJA GRILL CUBAN TACO The best part of a good Cuban sandwich is smoky pulled pork, and Craig and Melissa Roe’s Cuban taco takes that concept and runs with it. Craig’s homemade pork is paired with a tangy jicama slaw and topped with fresh avocado to create a balance that’s not quite barbecue, not quite taco, but entirely delicious. 1130 Military Road, Benton.

BEST IMPRESSIONS CURRIED CARROT SOUP The Arkansas Arts Center’s restaurant doesn’t always have this delectable soup on the menu, but when it does, order a vat of it. It’s so good, even a non-cook will want to mug the chef and steal the recipe. Cooked carrots are sweet, right? Add a little curry and cream to the sweetness and your mouth will become delirious. Will the carrots make you see better in the dark? If you’re making your way in the middle of the night to that leftover pint in the fridge, yes. 501 E. Ninth St. (inside the Arkansas Arts Center).

BIG ORANGE FRIES So good they almost deserve a name less pedestrian than “French fries.” Until we come up with one, just think of them as the pinnacle of spuds in Arkansas. Big Orange’s secret isn’t much of one: Kennebec potatoes sliced inhouse, blanched and then fried again when ordered, salt. The double-fry method ensures they’re crisp on the outside and creamy on the outside. The Truffle-Garlic-Herb variety, which comes with truffle-oil-infused aioli for dipping, is habit-forming. 17809 Chenal Parkway (at the Promenade at Chenal).


FEBRUARY 28, 2013

PICKLED EGG SALAD What if you took some briny pickled eggs — the kind they fish out of big jars in dive pool halls — and chopped up three or four of them along with enriching additions — mayo, relish? After you piled a big mound of that in a bowl, what if you surrounded it with sliced French bread and some thick, smoky, huge slices of

ing itself, you know you’ve got a winner. Multiple locations, including 1920 N. Grant St.



artisanal bacon dripping with oil de swine. If you sold it for $8, you’d have a feast for two and the ideal accompaniment to a tall, cold draft beer or a tumbler clinking from ice sloshed in a high-octane spirit. Breakfast at cocktail hour? It’s a champion. 111 W. Markham St. (inside the Capital Hotel).

container until it’s gone. A finger works, too. 5620 R St.




Back in the mists of ancient times, our ancestors descended from the trees and traded their diets of fruit and leaves for meat. When those first meat-eaters slept, their fondest dreams probably looked a lot like this massive plate of sausage-stuffed quail, grilled pork loin, a medallion of tender beef and a large portion of sliced wild-game sausage. Even in these modern times, it’s good to indulge your inner hunter, especially from the comfort of Peter Brave’s excellent patio. 2300 Cottondale Lane, No. 105.

The cake’s lovely, but make no mistake, the magic is in the thick cream cheese frosting. It’s been known to induce euphoric daydreams of playing hop-scotch through clouds of sugar. 5625 Kavanaugh Blvd. and 11525 Cantrell Road (at the Pleasant Ridge Town Center).


Sure, the slow roasted Italian-style boneless pork is good in a savory, fatty way that approaches decadence, but it’s Boulevard’s tender, chewy ciabatta roll and pungent aioli that make this sandwich special. When the bread wrapped around your sandwich filling is as good as the fill-



This is the crack of snack food. Drop by the Heights outlet on a Saturday and the help is constantly restocking the refrigerator case with containers of the stuff. It’s mostly pulverized smoked turkey with mayo and maybe a bit of relish. Most people order some saltines and dip it right out of the

DELICIOUS TEMPTATIONS YOGURT PANCAKES Rolling out of bed becomes exponentially easier with the prospect of these light, fluffy pancakes in your near future. The incorporation of creamy yogurt adds a tangy note that sits nicely with the addition of fruit; strawberry, banana, and apple varieties are all available and exemplary. Slather with butter if you please, but these flapjacks are good enough on their own without any syrup. 11220 N. Rodney Parham Road.

DIXIE PIG PIG SALAD Iceberg lettuce topped with a mound of East Arkansas-style finely chopped smoked pork. That’s about it. And some commercial salad dressing and crackers. But we always douse it with the Dixie Pig’s unique sauce, mostly vinegar and hot pepper. Cold crunch and rich meat with a palate afterburn. 900 W. 35th St., North Little Rock.

Downtown’s new deli & catering spot! Specializing in smoked turkey spreads, smoked meats, fresh salads, soups and desserts.

Thanks For Voting Us One Of Your Favorites!



How else to get primed for a saddle-blanket-sized steak than an appetizer of tamales and chili? It works at Doe’s Eat Place, the skid row political hangout derived from a Greenville, Miss., namesake, which also features Delta-style tamales. Delta-style means small tamales with a moist masa wrapper around mildly spicy chopped pork. It doesn’t taste vaguely of Mexico, but of the black and Italian families who vended from carts, stores and cafes along the Mississippi for generations. The plate of brown is completed by a ladle of a soupy chili, more condiment than main course. Six of them with chili cost $8.25. You can also order No. 10 cans full of tamales to take home for reheating. The steaks are best ordered on premises. 1023 W. Markham St.

Mon - Fri • 7:30am - 3pM

Best Deli/Gourmet-To-Go

We Deliver! “Come try Bray Gourmet for your holiday catering needs, business lunch or gourmet-togo. We’re now offering breakfast daily!” —Chris Bray, owner operator

(501) 353-1045

323 Center Street • Downtown Little Rock

FADED ROSE SOAKED SALAD Many have imitated but few have gotten just the right blend of vinegary tang, oil and seasoning that makes Ed David’s version of soaked salad the local standard. Who’d have thunk of soaking iceberg lettuce in what Louisianans sometimes call olive condite — pimentostuffed olives, oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, celery and a bit of chopped tomato. Why would you want to make crisp iceberg limp by doing this? It’s counter-intuitive, but it works. A giant platter at Faded Rose with a good length of Leidenheimer po-boy loaf is a meal in itself. Mopping the juice is expected. 1619 Rebsamen Park Road.

Modernized Southern Comfort Cuisine

FLYING FISH MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL It’s just boiled shrimp, cocktail sauce, diced avocado and fresh chopped cilantro in an ice cream sundae glass. But it’s cold and tangy and sweet and the Fish cooks the Gulf shrimp just right, to firmness but not tough. No limp crustaceans here. 511 President Clinton Ave.

Best New restauraNt

Packet House G R I L L


Lunch Mon-Fri 11-1:30 • Happy Hour Tue-Fri 4-6 • Dinner Tue-Sat 5-9:30 ReseRvations stRongly suggested 1406 Cantrell Road | Little Rock • 501.372.1578 Private Rooms Available For Booking

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


best new restaurant


for taking your time to vote! We appreciate the opportunity to serve you, your friends and family. We enjoy your company so much, and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

best MEXICAN FOOD MOST FUN BEST Gluten-Free and runners up for






LOCATED IN THE PROMENADE AT CHENAL 17815 Chenal Parkway, Ste.F-105 | Little Rock, AR 72223 | 501.448.2226 |

best hamburger

It’s moist, it’s coconutty, its rich, and it is the first thing you should order at Bossa Nova in case the kitchen runs out of it before you’ve finished your Brazilian entree. Like the entrees, all the desserts at Bossa Nova are good. But tres leches, a cool square of cold sweet milk-drenched cake, is positively hypnotic. You won’t think about anything else while you eat it, except how to slap the approaching fork out of your dining companion’s hand. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd.


and runners up for


BEST Overall Restaurant BEST Place for Kids MOST Fun BEST Chef

Arkansas Fat’s, a ’50s-era, pine-log roadhouse that sat where the Tanglewood shopping center is today, just about ruined us on Rueben sandwiches. We spent much of the last 40 years trying to recreate the soft, sweet-sour perfection of Fat’s Rueben until we discovered it at Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro. The Rueben at Dizzy’s


17809 Chenal Parkway, Ste.G-101 | Little Rock, AR 72223 | 501.821.1515 |

best pizza IN CEntral arkansas best pizza around the state best chef and runners up for

BEST Vegetarian (LR) BEST Vegetarian around the State BEST Gluten Free (Conway) 18

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



LITTLE ROCK In the Old Heights Theater, 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR, 72207 501-661-9292 CONWAY In The Village at Hendrix, 1050 Ellis Ave., Conway, AR, 72032 501-336-9292 FACEBOOK.COM/ZAZAPIZZA

FANTASTIC CHINA SZECHUAN GREEN BEANS Green beans deep fried in a spicy oil with hot peppers and sesame seeds: fantastic. This fiery, crunchy dish is best enjoyed right out of the kitchen. If you’re dining with people who are more Cantonese than Szechuan, all the better; you’ll get to eat the whole dish. Add a glass of wine and call it a meal. 1900 N Grant St.


Voted Best Catfish Around the State! • Fresh Catfish • Hand-battered Chicken & Shrimp • Boiled Shrimp & Crawfish


IRIANA’S SWEEP THE FLOOR PIZZA There’s a simple reason Iriana’s Pizza is a local fave: great ingredients, artfully prepared. Their flagship pie is the Sweep the Floor, a beautiful, cheesy ballad of thin-sliced onions, peppers, black olives, meats and other veggies on a perfect, chewy foundation. Pro tip: get them to slice your wedges generously so you can fold ‘em, lest the burden of goodies results in the dreaded Pizza Droop. 201 E. Markham St.

is perfect corned beef, moist sauerkraut and good toasted rye bread. After 40 years living in a Reuben desert, we’re in Dizzy’s at least once a week for the best Rueben in Arkansas. 200 River Market Ave.

DOGTOWN COFFEE AND COOKERY DIRTY SOUTHERNER Pork products, the most typically seen proteins on breakfast plates, take a back seat to crispy fried chicken with this hearty biscuit sandwich. Flaky buttermilk biscuits come stacked with golden fried chicken, dill pickles slices, shredded cheddar, and a house-made honey mustard spread. Best eaten on days you can return to bed for an after-breakfast nap. 6725 J.F.K. Blvd., North Little Rock.

ELIELLA RISTORANTE TRIPA TACO For a lot of people, “tripa” equals “trepidation,” but newcomers to the world of crispfried innards can quell their fears with these flavorful, crisp-on-the-outside, chewy-on-theinside tacos. Pay a visit to Eliella’s fresh-made salsa bar to spice things up, or just go au natural with a few diced onions and a squeeze of lime. Either way, tripa this good deserves to be mainstream. 7700 Baseline Road.

THE FOOD TRUCK BREAKFAST BURRITO The breakfast burrito is a fine invention for these busy times: Take an entire plate breakfast and wrap it up to go in a flour tortilla. And

nobody does it better than Jeffrey Palsa does from the back of his faithful truck, Preston. Fresh scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and gooey cheese all come together in bite after bite of day-starting bliss, culminating in a gold standard by which all other burritos should be measured. Various locations; find the latest on Twitter @foodtrucklr.


(501) 909-2323

Mon-Sat 11am-9pm • Sun 11-2pm 1205 Military Road #7 • Benton (Sutherlands Shopping Center)

The chefs of Carole will be on display @


The Rep March 6 - April 7

EGGPLANT CASSEROLE The oldest continuously functioning restaurant in Little Rock with the single-most requested recipe. The key here is cooking the eggplant to mush, making a dish more about breadcrumbs and cheese and warm comfort than the purple vegetable. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. 400 W. Capitol Ave. (inside the Regions Center Building) and 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road.

HILLCREST ARTISAN MEATS BRICK-PRESSED PROSCIUTTO Squishing a freshly-baked, chewy Boulevard Bread baguette between a foil-wrapped brick and a hot, buttered pan takes an already tasty sandwich to near mind-altering status. Thinly sliced La Quercia’s prosciutto Americano joins zesty raw red onion, house-made aioli, tomato and provolone to create an unconquerable sandwich. (They’re probably even making their own bricks at this always impressive palace of pork.) 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Katchen’s art can also be seen... In Hot Springs @ Legacy Fine Art Gallery 804 Central Ave


In Little Rock @ Stephano's Fine Art Gallery 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd

For information call (501) 617-4494

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



History Served



Best steak around the state


Thank you!

Glorious excess. Fat and moist handrolled tamales are the base, topped with slow-cooked Great Northern beans speckled with bits of smoked meat. Then a scattering of McClard’s fine chopped barbecue. Then a heavy dose of grated yellow cheese. Oh, and I forgot the Fritos. All but the most serious eaters opt for a “half-spread.” Optional, but obligatory (trust us), is a side of McClard’s lightly dressed cole slaw. 505 Albert Pike Road, Hot Springs.


Located in Downtown Camden’s Historic 1896 Post office 133 Washington st. Camden 870-836-5579



2715 Kavanaugh Blvd. — 501.661.1496

Mon-Fri 6aM-9pM, Sat-Sun 7aM-9pM

Tuna tataki — thinly sliced tuna, lightly seared and served swimming in a ginger and vinegar sauce — stars in this bento box, but we’ve grown addicted to this lunch-only special because of all that comes with it: miso soup, a small salad topped with tangy ginger dressing, a handful of edamame, potato salad and your choice of a sushi roll (eight pieces). Ten bucks. The roll that all those in know get, the inexplicably-named Happy Chad,

doesn’t sound that special: salmon, avocado, Japanese mayo and tempura flakes. But it’s creamy deliciousness. 205 W. Capitol Ave.

IGIBON SHUMAI Steamed, pan-seared, or deep-fried, the humble dumpling can be addictive, and these tiny morsels of finely ground pork nestled in a crisp wrapper are some of the best. For a place that specializes in sushi, Igibon’s non-sushi menu is spectacular, although nothing compares to these little dumplings served screamingly hot from the fryer with a simple soy and rice vinegar sauce. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

Thank You! Best Catfish around the state



CatFiSh at its


HSeafood HDaily Specials HPlate Lunches HHomemade Desserts 1173 Washington St. • Camden 870-836-0474 20

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



Thank you Arkansas! We are here for you and are ALWAYS 100% Gluten, Wheat, Soy and Nut-Free! 323 Cross St., Little Rock Phone: 501.375.2257

As they’ve done at Big Orange and ZaZa, John Beachboard and Scott McGehee (along with chef/partner Ben Brainard) put as much care into the salads at Local Lime as they do their entrees. The Coastal might be Beachboard and McGehee’s best yet. It’s a Romaine and spring mix base; topped by grapefruit, orange, cilantro, avocado slices and onion slivers, and drizzled with citrus vinaigrette. If we could eat it every day — particularly topped with Local Lime’s salmon filet, marinated in orange and achiote — we’d hop aboard the carb-free, caveman-diet bandwagon. 7815 Chenal Parkway (at the Promenade at Chenal).


“We provide a casual, warm environment, delicious food, and excellent service at a reasonable cost. It is our goal to have every meal be a celebration of food and to always keep an edge of new in our work. Thanks again to Arkansas Times readers for your continued support and for recognizing Brave New Restaurant among the best in Arkansas year after year. We’re proud to serve.” – Chef Peter Brave

Best Overall in Little Rock Best Chef in Little Rock Peter Brave

Best Seafood Most Romantic Best Wine List

Lunch M-F 11-2 / Dinner M-S 5-10

Reservations of any size accepted for lunch and dinner.

2300 Cottondale Lane • 501-663-2677 Full menu at

An award winning restaurant since 1991


creamery’s handmade ice cream, then finished with a swirl of chocolate and just a few pecans. Worth a trip to South Main by itself, these ice cream sammies go well with an old-fashioned soda from the Green Corner Store soda fountain. Available at The Green Corner Store Soda Fountain, 1423 Main St.


LAYLA’S GYROS CALZONE Spit-roasted lamb doesn’t normally make appearances within crispy pockets of bread seasoned with Italian herbs and filled with gobs of mozzarella cheese, but it certainly feels at home there. Douse with tangy tatziki, bright with lemon and dill, and it’s a big fat Greek-Italian flavor wedding you’ll definitely want to be invited to. Multiple locations, including 9501 N. Rodney Parham Road.

LYNN’S CHICAGO FOODS ITALIAN BEEF SANDWICH The hoagie comes dipped in beef juices, the dense Italian bread sopping up just enough broth to amplify flavors without leaving a gloppy, soggy mess. It gets a small helping of giardiniera — a spicy, pickled blend of bell peppers, jalapeño, cauliflower, and celery. Resist all urges to dip your whole head in broth. 6501 Geyer Springs Road.



Looking like the happy offspring of a traditional ice cream sandwich and a hot fudge sundae, the Loblolly open-faced brownie sandwich is the sort of thing that can be enjoyed with a fork and knife or eaten on the go. A thick layer of gluten-free brownie is topped by a heavy layer of the small-batch

BRAISED ARKANSAS RABBIT & DUMPLINGS Ordinary “chicken and dumplings” feels pedestrian when stacked up against this stew, rich with cream and smoked cheddar

and hopping with braised Arkansas rabbit. Tender flour dumplings also come along for a swim. The rabbit is just faintly gamey, but fork tender — so delicious, you’ll never look at Bugs Bunny the same way again. 1615 Rebsamen Park Road.

better with an accompanying cold bottle of pineapple Jarritos. 7411 Geyer Springs Road.


MARYCLARE MACARONS Bite into a MaryClare macaron and the delicate outer shell and cookie almost deflates in your mouth, giving up its last dying breath for your consumptive pleasure. Fragrant, floral flavors from the smooth, creamy filling tantalize the taste buds — and now, polishing off a half dozen is not only feasible, but a moral obligation. Order online or via phone. Info at Pick-up available at Hillcrest Artisan Meats.

It’s a trip to the Big Apple without the hassle of cab fares. Smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, thinly sliced red onion, briny capers and red tomato slices all sit atop a chewy “everything” bagel with toasted garlic, poppy seed, and sesame. Eat enough of these things and you’ll swear you can see the Empire State building out the bagel shop window. 10848 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock.


MERCADO SAN JOSE TORTA It’s not every day that you get to squirt salsa on your sandwich. Here, buttered rolls take a trip to the flat-top, coming out hot, toasty, and crunchy. Fill with your choice of meat plus cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, avocado and refried beans. It’s only made

Don’t be fooled by the normal version of this dish: The kitchen at Chen’s will up the heat to crazy levels on this stir-fry on request. Just ask for “extra heat.” The result is a plate of crispfried chicken and seitan bits that burns with the excellent fire of Sichuan peppers. Don’t fight the heat; get a cup of hot tea and sweat your way to satiety. 3901 S. University Ave. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38


Sharing good things with good friends. 1900 N. Grant, Little Rock, AR • 501-663-8999

Thank You Arkansas For Voting For Us Country Cookin’

We only use U.S. farm-raised catfish! We have added many new menu items, we have a lot more than catfish! Mon & Tues Kids Eat Free After 4pm 1 Child Per 1 Adult Meal

Award Winning Catfish NEW HOURS!

Tue-Sat 11am-9pm • Sun 11am-3pm Closed Mon 116 South Harkrider • Conway 501-327-9901 or Toll Free 877-NO.1 Fish (877-661-3474)

BEST CATFISH AROUND THE STATE For all your Catering Needs. We can feed 50-5000 people! 22

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


Southern Cooking At Its Best

Cafeteria-Style • friendly ServiCe • ConSiStently Good food

thanks for the votes!

Best Home Cooking Around tHe stAte

120 Harkrider • Conway • 501.328.9738

FRESH BAKED Ashton Woodward makes artful, delicious bread in relative anonymity. BY CAROLINE MILLAR


pliers for the flexibility and quality of Woodward’s product. “I can call Ashton and ask for 350 more rolls for a banquet,” said Andre Poirot, chef at the Peabody’s Capriccio Grill. His former national supplier was less able to change his order in a pinch, he said. When Woodward first solicited his business, Poirot said he was skeptical.

corn syrup or preservatives, like other wholesalers tend to do. In fact, a survey of his ingredients at Arkansas Fresh doesn’t turn up anything out of the ordinary: There are stacks of 50-pound bags of flour (eight of which he uses nightly) and a number of tall bags filled with various grains — rolled oats, cracked rye, cracked wheat, flax, sesame

“Being French, bread is really important to me. It’s an art, bread baking — the ingredients are very simple and even the weather can change the outcome.” But Woodward easily won Poirot over. “I like his bread, I like the variety,” he said. Jon Lamb, who is the chef at Verizon Arena, switched from his food supplier to Woodward because, he said, “I wanted to be comfortable with the ingredients and be able to tell my customers about the food without any shame.” Lamb chose Arkansas Fresh bread specifically because it doesn’t contain any L-Cysteine, a dough conditioner. “If I can’t feed it to my 1-year-old, I’m not interested,” Woodward said of his ingredients, noting that he doesn’t use

seed, multi-grains, and sunflower seed. Other than that, there’s yeast, eggs, butter, and a highly coveted sourdough starter, five years in the making, which Tracy Edwards, who works with Woodward, brought with him from his family’s former bakery. Mostly, Woodward said, he’s working with water, flour, salt and yeast or starter. “It’s a mathematical process — a lot of working with proportions and knowing how much water your flour can handle, knowing what your ingredients can handle.” As he began the early stages of a batch of multi-grain bread, he swiftly scooped several pounds of grains from a 10-pound bag and poured them into a white five-


n a given night, Ashton Woodward bakes approximately 1,500 buns, 200 loaves, and 3,000 rolls in an unassuming strip mall along an I-30 access road in Benton. You have likely eaten Woodward’s bread before. That you didn’t recognize it as a Woodward creation — not to mention that you’ve likely never heard of Ashton Woodward until now — is not because he’s not a star, whose bread is habit forming. He is, and his bread is fantastic. His relative anonymity is a consequence of his business — he works entirely in wholesale. Since he opened Arkansas Fresh Bakery in February 2012, he’s built a client list that includes Argenta Market’s cafe, Big Orange, Boscos, Bray Gourmet, Capriccio Grill, The Pantry, Savoy 1620, White Water Tavern, Verizon Arena and ZaZa. And it’s growing. Woodward, 29, comes with an impressive pedigree: He graduated from the culinary arts program at Kendall College in Chicago, worked under renowned baker Jory Downer at Bennison’s in Evanston, Ill., and trained under Scott McGehee at Boulevard Bread Co. But it’s his persistence that’s helped him gain such a foothold in the market. Working with McGehee and his partners to develop the hamburger bun at Big Orange, Woodward agonized for days on end over the look, taste and texture of the bun that would come to define their menu. “The quality of beef and the quality of the bun is 90 percent of the taste in a hamburger restaurant,” said McGehee. “He must have baked us a thousand samples.” “The trend across the United States is a brioche bun, which has a high percentage of butter, which is heaven on earth to bite into.” But with a burger, it’s too much fat to consume, so much that “you feel gross after eating it,” said McGehee. After countless trials and variations, Woodward and the Big Orange partners landed on a “brioche-challah hybrid,” which McGehee described as having less fat but the same delightful, “airy fluffiness of a brioche bun.” Big Orange is now one of Woodward’s biggest clients. Local chefs say they’ve switched to Arkansas Fresh from national food sup-

gallon bucket and ran water to cover the grains. “Some bakeries roast all these grains but when you soak them you get a totally different flavor.” He explained that soaking the grain produces mucus, a fatty acid coming off of the flax seed, which changes the flavor and texture. “I don’t think people realize how subjective bread baking is. No two bakers bake the same loaf of bread,” he said. “There’s a million ways to skin this cat.” Nearby, an enormous, industrial-age looking oven steadily hummed as Woodward prepared to bake a batch of brioche buns. “It’s a 1949 Rainier oven,” he said proudly, explaining that it was responsible for the beginning of Arkansas Fresh. Woodward and his father, Walter, who has invested in Arkansas Fresh, bought it at the estate sale of Fordyce’s famed Klappenbach Bakery. The oven weighs 5,500 pounds. The Woodwards used their farm tractor to disassemble its colossal pieces before hauling it home. A few feet away from the Rainier oven stands a French steam oven, which Woodward bought on eBay, from a Finer Foods store in Ohio. “It was a risky purchase,” he said, but it turned out to be in mint condition. The oven creates a sauna-like environment, which, Woodward said, allows him to bake artisan loaves longer so that they can develop beautiful, richly layered crusts. Like an expert painter putting his brush to canvas, he cut quick, diagonal slits across the sourdough loaves with a tiny razorblade concealed in his hand before sliding them in the oven. Later, watching Woodward lift a batch of brioche buns from the oven was like watching pottery come out of the kiln for the first time. The egg-wash glaze applied to their tops produces beautiful, burgundy-colored striations and hundreds of tiny golden bubbles. For now, unless you want to go to a restaurant, there aren’t many options to purchase Arkansas Fresh bread. Argenta Market carries it, though soon after Woodward delivers on Mondays and Friday, it often sells out. The Arkansas Local Food Network, whose members place food orders in advance, also carries it, as does the Argenta Farmers Market April through October. That may change soon though, as Woodward looks to new outlets, including Whole Foods. “I see myself doing Arkansas Fresh ’til I’m too old to work,” Woodward said. “The sky is the limit with the wholesale bread business.”

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


ay uck In Conw

Best Food Tr

UPTOWN, DOWN SOUTH Matthew Bell readies Oxford American restaurant.

Follow us for Good Eats Serving All of Central Arkansas Twitter@EATGCD Facebook/GreenCartDeli


ITALIAN & AMERICAN Featuring thick, juicy Sterling Silver steaks



he target date for opening South on Main, the muchanticipated restaurant/ bar/venue collaboration between chef Matthew Bell and The Oxford American magazine in SoMa, has come and gone. “It’s the old rule with construction,” Bell said. “It’s always 25 percent longer than you think.” Beyond “soon” and “at least by spring,” Bell isn’t ready to offer a new target. But Bell — who recently finished a four-year stint at the Capital Hotel, where he spent much of his tenure as sous chef — hasn’t been idle. He recently traveled to Nashville on a culinary scouting mission that included a stop at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, a legendary fried-chicken restaurant that serves cayenne-laden pan-fried chicken so spicy it inspires “brand new cuss words because no existing exclamation is sufficient,” as the Oxford American once described. Look for chicken livers in the style of Nashville hot chicken on the South on Main menu. They’ll show up as appetizer and on a more limited “snack” menu Bell will offer after dinner service. Less

expected: Bell said he plans to use them as part of a hot chicken liver salad that he describes as a play on a Caesar Salad, built on Romaine lettuce and topped with a creamy dressing that’ll mitigate the heat of the chicken. Like the Oxford American, Bell wants the restaurant to explore “the entire Southern experience.” That means taking iconic regional, Southern food and adding his creative touch to it. Though Bell, 34, grew up in Missoula,

H.A.M., SLAMMED Hillcrest specialty butcher shop has devoted patrons. BY LINDSEY MILLAR

Bring the entire family and feel at home in Conway’s best Italian restaurant. 1117 Oak Street Downtown Conway at Toad Suck Square 501-329-7278


FEBRUARY 28, 2013



nitially, Brandon and Tara Protiva-Brown didn’t plan on serving sandwiches at Hillcrest Artisan Meats (H.A.M.), the cozy butcher shop in Hillcrest they opened in November 2011. “But everyone said, ‘You’ve got to do sandwiches. This area needs more choices,’ ” Brown recalled recently. So they did, using their diverse selection of meat, much of which you couldn’t get in Little Rock pre-H.A.M. (or at least not of the same quality). Flash-forward a year later. Sandwiches such as the fried mortadella, brickpressed prosciutto and duck ham have become so popular, H.A.M. occasionally sells out by early afternoon. It’s not just the sandwich side of the business that’s booming. “The meat sells like crazy,” Brown said. “We’re trying to do a lot more in-house stuff — a lot more pates — and

with H.A.M.’s selection, which ranges from the likes of fresh sausages, pork chops and New York strip steak that look like what you might find at a grocery butcher counter, but come from free-range, hormonefree animals, to items that the non-gourmands among us might initially pass over — duck prosciutto, head cheese, pork confit, teres major steaks, tri-tip roasts. Brown is especially passionate about the cured meats. The Browns spent years in Oregon, where Brandon served as charcuterie chef at King Estate Winery. He said he’s eager to do more of “the art part of it.” The trouble is, even working 10 or 11 hours six days a week, there’s not enough time. His dream, he said, is to find someone to run the Hillcrest shop, while he opens a separate wholesale curing facility. Meatloving investors, make this happen! BRIAN CHILSON


Mont., his father is a Georgia native and introduced him to Southern cooking at a young age, and his wife is a North Little Rock native. Bell trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas, before moving to North Little Rock to intern at Ristorante Capeo. After stints at Capeo and Argenta Seafood Co., he took a position at the Capital Hotel, where he got to work alongside the likes of Lee Richardson and Cassidee Dabney, a former sous chef at the Capital who’s now at the renowned Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. Bell’s preferred description for the food he cooked at Ashley’s and what he plans to serve at South on Main is “refined Southern.” But don’t mistake “refined” for “upscale” at South on Main. Bell is keen for the food and atmosphere to be approachable. “We want to take that vision of what people do at home and refine it and offer it in a casual setting with great service and really showcase that the South has always done so much with so little, whether it be whole animal butchery or whole vegetables,” he said. BRIAN CHILSON


they’re selling like crazy.” Regulars drive the business. “It’s awesome,” Brown said. “Probably 80 percent of our customers come in at least once a week.” The more customers return, of course, the more fluent they become

Best Overall • Best server DaviD timBerlake Best Other ethnic

We Are Honored For Your Votes. THAnk You! Find us on Facebook and Twitter! 11401 North Rodney Parham • Little Rock

Thank you for voting us one of the best since 2000! best chinese around arkansas

Conway • 559 Harkrider Street



thanks for voting! BEST DELI / GOURMET TO GO

Charcuterie • soups & Sandwiches

Inspired by the

LOBLOLLY LADIES: Mengel and Moore with Dan Moore in the background.

SWEET-TREAT SUCCESS Loblolly serves up old-fashioned (gourmet) ice cream. BY MICHAEL ROBERTS


hen Sally Mengel, 26, and Rachel Moore, 25, opened the soda fountain at the Green Corner Store on South Main to serve their Loblolly brand ice cream, it signaled another step in the progress of SoMa neighborhood’s revitalization. Drawing on Mengel’s experiences at Muriel and Sebastian’s Ice Cream in Atlanta and Moore’s work as a private caterer and as a pastry chef at Cafe Bossa Nova and Rosalia’s Family Bakery, the two set out to create high-quality artisanal ice cream, debuting to rave reviews in April 2012. Focusing on using local organic ingredients, Mengel and Moore have explored the outer boundaries of ice cream flavors, from goat’s milk with honey to fromage blanc with jalapeno. Fans of more traditional flavors aren’t ignored, either, with small batches of vanilla and various chocolate and fruit varieties rotating on and off the menu. In addition to the ice cream, Moore has used her skills as a gluten-free and vegan baker to develop gluten-free waffle cones, brownies, and cookies, and the duo have also developed their own soda syrups for old-fashioned phosphates. Not content to confine themselves

to South Main, Mengel and Moore’s creations can be found in pint form at Argenta Market in North Little Rock, Boulevard Bread locations across the metro area and at Hillcrest Artisan Meats during the summer. Loblolly has also teamed up with the Kitchen at White Water Tavern, providing Wednesday night “boozy milkshakes” to thirsty White Water patrons and selling kitchen master Jonathan Wilkins’ glutenfree cornbread panini sandwiches at the Green Corner Store. Mengel and Moore have ambitions beyond getting their product into stores: They plan to open their own Loblolly ice cream truck, something as much of a throwback in this day and age as a soda fountain. Facility expansion is also in the cards, with plans for a kitchen all their own that Mengel insists will have “purple floors.” The Loblolly crew most recently attended “ice cream university” at Penn State University with chefs and confectioners from all over the country, and plan to reopen after a short winter hiatus with new flavors that continue to show the spirit, imagination and drive that have become the hallmark of this small business.

2807 Kavanaugh Blvd. • 501.671.6328 • mon-fri 10-6 • sat 10-5


Deep South Serving only premium cuts of beef and the highest quality shrimp, fish, shellfish from the Gulf Shores

Best seafood around the state Best steak around the state Best Business Lunch around the state

Best overaLL around the state Best in conway BEST JAPANESE SINCE 2008

Sushi Café Rocks!

Experience New Orleans style food and fun!

East + West = Modern Fusion

808 Front Street • Downtown Conway 501-269-6453 •

5823 KAVANAUGH • THE HEIGHTS (501) 663-9888

Become a Fan on Facebook!

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



TAPPING INTO LOCAL DEMAND The Root has become a South Main anchor. BY ROBERT BELL

Join us For Fine dining in A WArm, inViting & cAsuAl Atmosphere With menu selections sure to pleAse the most discriminAting pAlAte

We AppreciAte Your Votes! come see WhY We’Ve Been Voted Among the Best.

Best New RestauRaNt, aRouNd the state

915 Front St. • Conway 501.205.8751 26

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


Year. Coincidentally, that was the year the Sundells began fundraising to open their local cafe. For those doing the math, yes, it took a few years to open the restaurant. But that was very likely fortuitous timing. “It’s hard to know, if we had tried to open a place like The Root in 2004, say, if there would have been the kind of response that we’ve gotten,” Jack said. “At this point, certainly, local foods are not a foreign concept in Little Rock.” No doubt the pioneering Boulevard Bread Co. — where Sundell worked prior to opening The Root — helped introduce folks in the area to the idea of restaurants

using local ingredients. With a couple of exceptions — the delicious Spicy Banh Mi comes to mind — most of what you’ll find on The Root’s menu are familiar dishes done really well. They’re not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel or do a localized take on “molecular gastronomy” (you won’t find anything ridiculous like “a liquefied pork rind reconstituted and freeze-dried into the shape of a lotus and served in a flash-frozen pawpaw,” or whatever). It’s largely soups, sandwiches, salads, fries and bratwursts that make up the bulk of the lunch menu. And the sweets are really good, too. Go ahead and indulge — the lemon bars, cookies or whatever pie or cake is on special is available are absolutely worth it. “We both grew up with families whose parents cooked a lot at home,” Corri said. Jack too, took inspiration from homecooking. “I learned a lot from my mother. She’s a great cook and the best pie maker in the South,” he said. “And certainly a lot from Boulevard, about great ingredients and maintaining the highest standard of quality — what you’re using and how that leads to a great product.”

GROWING FROM WITHIN John Beachboard grooms employees for eatery empire.



udging by the crowds that regularly congregate outside Big Orange, Local Lime and ZAZA and the number of awards they won in our Readers Choice survey (six first places between them), John Beachboard owns three of the most popular restaurants in Central Arkansas. Beachboard, 33, oversees the operations for his restaurant group, which means doing everything from repairing an oven at ZAZA to offering hands-on training to all kitchen employees (currently there are around 125 of them). It’s a job to which he’s especially well suited: His rise, from having no professional cooking experience to becoming one of Central Arkansas’s top restaurateurs, came solely under the guidance of his business partner Scott McGehee, the godfather of the local approachable gourmet movement. After spending the first several years of his post-collegiate life working in the music business in New York, Beachboard returned home to Little Rock, took a job in the kitchen at Boulevard Bread Co. and rose to sous chef under McGehee.




ince Jack Sundell and Corri Bristow-Sundell opened The Root Cafe in 2011, it has proved to be one of the more constantly packed new restaurants in Central Arkansas. The tiny South Main Street building was once the Sweden Creme drive-in. Now it is home to a restaurant that is meeting a growing demand for locally sourced food. Go there nearly any day for lunch and the odds are good that the place will be full and there’ll be a line out the door — as sure an indicator of pent-up demand as you could ask for. Is that sort of near-instant success overwhelming? “Definitely, and in a good way,” Jack Sundell said. “We’re almost two years in and we’re still trying to figure out how to keep up with the demand for what we’re doing and accommodate as many people as possible,” he said, adding that they’d recently shifted the setup inside to help create a better flow. Nowadays, the term “locavore” is one most folks reading this are likely already familiar with. In 2007, it was the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the

Before long, the two were partnering on the Napoli-style pizza and salad restaurant, ZAZA, in the Heights. Ben Brainard, chef and co-owner of gourmet Mexican restaurant Local Lime, followed a similar path. Adam Sweet, co-owner of the ZAZA in Conway, started working at Boulevard as a dishwasher. “I like being able to bring new people into the fold. I like watching the 18, 19-yearold kid do the same thing I did, which is learn a little bit and turn it into something else,” Beachboard said.

He’ll have a new class of kitchen/prep employees to train — and possibly groom for more responsibility — when he and his partners open a second Big Orange in the Midtowne Little Rock shopping complex on the corner of Markham and University in June or July. From the outside, Beachboard, McGehee and co. appear to be opening restaurants at a fevered pace — ZAZA in 2008, ZAZA Conway in 2010, Big Orange in 2011, Local Lime late last year — but Beachboard said the goal is to “grow meaningfully and responsibly.” “We’re not just passionate about burgers, pizza and tacos. We’re doing what we feel is going to make the market excited. Sometimes it feels trendy. But it’s really just a question of reading the market and giving the people what they want.” Beachboard’s restaurants have also thrived because they give people things they might not have known they wanted. Little Rock didn’t know it craved the likes of a pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula or Kennebec potato French fries before ZAZA and Big Orange came along, but now that we do, there’s no going back.

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his summer, once the heritagebreed chickens, ducks and turkeys he and his girlfriend are raising on 20 acres in Alexander are large enough to be butchered, Jonathan Wilkins will have perhaps the only true farm-to-table restaurant in Central Arkansas. OK, restaurant may be a stretch. A dive bar with an old shuffle-board table for a bar top, the ashes of a dead man displayed prominently in a Busch Light bottle and 36 years of booze-shaded history can never be known as anything other than a bar. But in the last eight months, Wilkins has done his damndest to make White Water Tavern known as a bar that serves exceptionally good food. What will you find at White Water? The usual bar food, prepared with unusual care. A cheeseburger, made from Arkansas beef that’s marinated in some secret concoction and topped with Honeysuckle Lane-brand jalapeno cheese from Rose Bud, that is a challenger for the best in town. Hand-cut fries prepared, as all fries should be, brasserie-style — blanched first and then fried. Crisp on the outside and impossibly creamy on the inside, they too are a challenger for the best in town. A bologna sandwich, called the DoubleWide, built of a thick cut of smoked bologna, a fried egg, Sriracha mayonnaise and Honeysuckle cheddar cheese on Wilkins’ own beer-bread. It is, without question, the greatest bologna sandwich ever made. When he was younger, Wilkins, 29, dreamed of training to become a Frenchstyle chef, but his path to the White Water kitchen has been more about experience

gained through the course of trying to pay the bills. “I’ve played music for the last 15 years, which means I’ve spent years working in kitchens and in construction,” he said. The construction experience has come in handy with his fledgling farm and ranch, which he and his girlfriend Marianne Nolley call Vader View Acres. “Mostly out of necessity, but also out of interest, we grow our own produce. We raise our own birds. We slaughter our own hogs. I go bow hunting. We process our own deer. A lot of times that’s a way to cut down on how much you’re spending on food. “What it’s really exemplified for me is this whole locavore movement is what our grandparents did. We’re fortunate enough to live in a state where we’re not far removed from that — almost everyone has a grandma who grows her own tomatoes or cans her own stuff or has land handed down to them.” Wilkins hadn’t worked a restaurant jobs in six years, though, until last year, when he spent three months at The Root Cafe. After that stint, he took a month


Jonathan Wilkins does it all.

off and then took charge of the kitchen at White Water, a bar owned by two of his closest friends, Matt White and Sean Hughes. For the most part, he’s been a oneman show. He does nearly all the prep work, the cooking and the cleaning. Until recently, when he decided to cut back on late night hours and work towards expanding lunch, he said he was working as much as 120 hours a week. He was in the bar’s tiny kitchen so often he regularly crashed upstairs. But hard work has paid off. Word has spread. Food has already been a hit at the bar in the evenings and now lunch on Friday — the only day Wilkins has been offering it — is so successful, he’s occasionally had to turn people away. He’s now con-

sidering bringing in a little kitchen help, and, in the coming weeks, he’ll extend lunch service to every weekday. For all of Wilkins’ emphasis on local fare and chef-style riffs on pub grub (last week he had a Brie and bacon burger on special), he thinks he’s been able to connect with people who might not normally go for locavore, gourmet fare (including everyone from bar regulars to the Republican legislators who’ve made White Water a weekly lunch stop) because he presents his without pretense, something a lot of people associate with such food, fairly or not. “During the growing season, we’ll be looking at a situation where the ground beef on the burger I’m serving is from Arkansas and everything else is from within 30 miles of the bar. Where I grew the tomatoes, or I canned the pickled okra that goes on a sandwich, or I got the duck eggs out that morning that I’m using on another sandwich. That lends itself to an authenticity that people really desire and crave. “And that goes together with the appeal of this bar, too: This bar looks old and rickety because it is. This bar is full of people’s memories — people have had some of their best times here and some of their worst times, they’ve made some of the best choices and some of the worst choices. “When you have that environment, and the bartender knows your name and knows what you want to drink, and you can get a cheeseburger that tastes like it was actually an animal that was walking around, and the guy who cooked it, his whole life rides on whether or not you like that cheeseburger — if I put bad food out there, my light bill doesn’t get paid, I can’t send my mom money at the end of the month — I think that people can tell that I care.”

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AROUND THE STATE: Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs)


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LITTLE ROCK: Flying Fish RUNNERS-UP: Lassis Inn, Cock of the Walk, The Catfish Hole AROUND THE STATE: Eat My Catfish (Benton) RUNNERS-UP: Dondie’s White River Princess (Des Arc), Woods Place (Camden), The Fish House (Conway)

FRIED CHICKEN LITTLE ROCK: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen RUNNERS-UP: Capital Bar and Grill, Bobby’s Country Cookin’, Kitchen Express AROUND THE STATE: AQ Chicken (Fayetteville) RUNNERS-UP: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (Conway), Monte Ne Inn Chicken (Rogers), Cotham’s (Scott)

HAMBURGER LITTLE ROCK: Big Orange RUNNERS-UP: Arkansas Burger Co., Capital Bar and Grill, David’s Burgers AROUND THE STATE: CJ’s Butcher Boy (Russellville) RUNNERS-UP: David’s Burgers (Conway), Hugo’s (Fayetteville), Feltner’s Whatta-Burger (Russellville)


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LITTLE ROCK: ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood Oven Pizza RUNNERS-UP: Damgoode Pies, Pizza Cafe, U.S. Pizza Co. AROUND THE STATE: ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood Oven Pizza (Conway) Runners-up: Rod’s Pizza Cellar (Hot Springs), Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante (Conway), Damgoode Pies (Fayetteville)


Dedicated to the art and craft of world-class cuisine, artisan breads, European-style pastries, and authentic Italian coffee. It’s our pleasure to serve you.

LITTLE ROCK: Flying Fish RUNNERS-UP: Brave New Restaurant, Cajun’s Wharf, Oyster Bar AROUND THE STATE: Mike’s Place (Conway) RUNNERS-UP: Dondie’s White River

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Princess (Des Arc), James at the Mill (Johnson)


Best Bakery • Best Coffee

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RUNNERS-UP: Golden Corral, Star of India, Franke’s Cafeteria AROUND THE STATE: Brown’s Country Store (Benton) RUNNERS-UP: Dondie’s White River Princess (Des Arc), New China Restaurant (Hot Springs)

STEAK LITTLE ROCK: Doe’s Eat Place RUNNERS-UP: Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Faded Rose, Riverfront Steakhouse AROUND THE STATE: Mike’s Place (Conway) RUNNERS-UP: Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), The Porterhouse Steak and Seafood (Hot


Springs), Postmasters Grill (Camden)

DESSERT LITTLE ROCK: Trio’s Restaurant RUNNERS-UP: Loblolly Creamery, Community Bakery, Cupcakes on Kavanaugh AROUND THE STATE: Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs) RUNNERS-UP: James at the Mill (Johnson), Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante (Conway), Ed and Kay’s Restaurant (Benton)

COFFEE LITTLE ROCK: Boulevard Bread Co. RUNNERS-UP: River City Tea, Coffee and Cream, Starbucks, Guillermo’s Gourmet Coffee AROUND THE STATE: Arsaga’s Espresso Cafe (Fayetteville) RUNNERS-UP: Something Brewing (Conway), Mud Street Cafe (Eureka Springs), Little Bread Co. (Fayetteville) CONTINUED ON PAGE 35

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Northwest Arkansas’s Restaurants rack up in our 32nd Readers Choice Awards Check out some of these reader favorites and plan your next trip to Fayetteville, Bentonville and Eureka Springs. Fayetteville’s Award Winning Conscious Cuisine Thanks For Voting For Us!

Readers pick Greenhouse Grill as their favorite restaurant in Fayetteville, as well as a brunch hot spot. Both Little Bread Company and Arsaga’s boast great coffee, with Arsaga’s winning Best Coffee around the state. While you are trekking around Fayetteville, make sure to stop into Meiji Japanese because they are the winner of this year’s Best

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32 february 28, 2013


Best Overall Around The State Best Brunch Around The State

Best In Fayetteville Area Best Gluten Free Around The State Best Vegetarian Around The State

Japanese around the state award. Pesto Cafe is another famous Fayetteville spot and is consistently voted one of the best Italian restaurants year after year. Bentonville also has some new talent with the American Brasserie Tusk and Trotter being named the Best New Restaurant around the state. All of our favorites in Eureka Springs are back this year including New Delhi, which is a regular winner of Best Indian around the state. Mud Street Cafe is always a top player in the breakfast and best of Eureka categories, but it was Ermilio’s who took the top honor this year as the winner of Best of Eureka Springs.

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Travis McConnell runs the Capital bar while prepping Butcher & Public.



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ravis McConnell is only 34, but he’s been everywhere. A Kansas native who grew up partially in Conway, he’s bounced from kitchens in Memphis to culinary school in Vermont, moved from restaurants in Oregon to the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole and traveled to Italy and Peru with his wife, who’s Peruvian (and who he met in Jackson Hole). Amidst that globetrotting, he did a stint at the newly renovated Capital Hotel, where he found his passion. “It’s the first place I butchered a whole pig,” he said. “I created the bacon program, which is still intact.” But after two years at the Capital, he and his wife Carla realized they weren’t ready to be back in Arkansas and lit out for San Francisco, where McConnell worked for a time at a salumeria (an Italian-style butcher shop) in the Ferry Building before taking a position at a giant restaurant and theater in Berkley called Revival, where he rose to become chef de cuisine. After two years in the Bay Area, home came calling again. He wanted to be close to family and open his own restaurant. But how to pull that off without any income or insurance? The answer came days after reuniting with Lee Richardson, then chef of the Capital Hotel, and other Capital chefs at a special event in Memphis, when Richardson called him up and asked, “When are you going to come back and open Travis’ restaurant?” “I’d never thought about coming back to the hotel,” McConnell said, but when Richardson offered him a 12-month contract, it seemed a perfect fit. That Richardson ended up leaving the hotel before McConnell returned didn’t change the terms of the arrangement, but it has meant that, since he returned as sous chef in September, he’s largely been left to his own devices running the Capital Bar and Grill. He’s made downtown’s best casual restaurant better.

He’s overhauled the entrees, improved the charcuterie offerings ($20 for five selections, plus olives, pickles and chargrilled baguette, a steal for a group of cured-meat lovers) and tweaked the specials. The bar’s fried chicken lunch special on Wednesday has long been popular thanks to sous chef Korey Dupree’s skill with a frying pan. But since McConnell and Dupree updated the presentation, pairing the chicken with a cornmeal waffle and drizzling everything with honey and a jalapeno and lime salsa, you will not get a seat if you arrive any later than 11:20 a.m.



With entree specials, McConnell said he’s doing the food he’s really passionate about. A couple of week ago, he offered choucroute garnie, a sauerkraut and meat dish. “We make our own sauerkraut here. I sauteed the sauerkraut in onions and duck fat and juniper berries, and poached fingerling potatoes and served that with variety of meats — I got a whole pig in and I butchered it and got rib on belly, which I braised, and trotters, which I braised, and a frankfurter, and garlic caraway sausage.” Even with his commitment to the Capital and the demands of the job, McConnell is already working to raise awareness for his coming restaurant, even if it’s not coming until this fall at the earliest. He’s already got a name — Butcher & Public — and he’s begun to host special events under that banner. For his first, held in late January CONTINUED ON PAGE 40



HOME COOKIN’ LITTLE ROCK: Homer’s RUNNERS-UP: Your Mama’s Good Food, Bobby’s Country Cookin’, David Family Kitchen

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AROUND THE STATE: Holly’s Country Cooking (Conway) RUNNERS-UP: Momma Dean’s Soul Food Kitchen (Fayetteville), Hole in the Wall Cafe (Conway), Ed and Kay’s Restaurant (Benton)

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FUN LITTLE ROCK: Local Lime RUNNERS-UP: Big Orange, White Water Tavern, 1620 Savoy

PLACE FOR KIDS LITTLE ROCK: Purple Cow Restaurant RUNNERS-UP: Playtime Pizza, All Aboard Restaurant and Grill, Big Orange

ROMANTIC LITTLE ROCK: Ashley’s RUNNERS-UP: Brave New Restaurant, Acadia Restaurant, Ristorante Capeo AROUND THE STATE: James at the Mill (Johnson) RUNNERS-UP: Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante (Conway), Red Apple Inn (Heber Springs)

GLUTEN FREE LITTLE ROCK: Dempsey Bakery RUNNERS-UP: Cafe Bossa Nova, Local Lime, The Root Cafe AROUND THE STATE: Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville) RUNNER-UP: ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood Oven Pizza (Conway)

YOGURT LITTLE ROCK: Red Mango RUNNERS-UP: Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, TCBY, Yogurt Mountain



BUSINESS LUNCH LITTLE ROCK: Capital Bar and Grill RUNNERS-UP: Copper Grill, Forty Two, Homer’s AROUND THE STATE: Mike’s Place (Conway) CONTINUED ON PAGE 41

SEE WHERE IT TAKES YOU Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2013 Thorny Rose Wines, Prosser, WA

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


2013 Readers Choice Awards


From the Sponsors of the 2013 Arkansas Times Readers Choice Awards Year after year we are proud to be a part of this prestigious contest honoring outstanding restaurants all over the state of Arkansas. It’s an honor to serve the needs of the restaurant community. Keep up the good work.

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Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is a sure bet for next year. BY DAVID KOON


s anybody who has hung around a newsroom can tell you, there are a few truly dirty words in journalism, the first and most wicked of these being “assume,” that hiss of a verb that inevitably makes an ass out of “u” and “me.” Just as bad or worse are its cousins: “guess,” “prognosticate,” and all those others that have to do with attempting to peer into the murky future and write what you see for folks here in the present. There’s no sure thing in this world, kid, and if anybody tells you different, they’re probably trying to sell you something. That said, I’m confident enough in the following statement that I’m willing to hedge my bets and risk looking stupid: Unless there’s some kind of paprika shortage between now and then, come this time next year, the Best Fried Chicken in Arkansas will be found at the new franchise of Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken set to open in the River Market. If you’ve ever partaken of the Gus’s outlets up in Tennessee, it’s likely you understand my enthusiasm. I stopped in at the Gus’s at 310 S. Front St. in Memphis a few years back, and was soon bemoaning all those wasted plates of Memphis barbecue I’d eaten over the years. You see, Gus’s fried chicken is, without a doubt, the greatest-ever expression of the effort to wed bird, flour, spices and hot fat. Like many foods that are the pinnacle of their form, the taste defies the alphabet. Amazing doesn’t cut it. A little online surfing finds far-flung devotees who’ve tried to fake the Gus’s recipe, and the general consensus is that it probably involves a swim in buttermilk, followed by some combination of flour, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and possibly some sparkling dust you can only get from the Devil by going to the crossroads at midnight. Whatever is in it, though, the real thing features a spicy, crispy, red-orange crust surrounding the most flavorful fowlflesh this side of heaven. It’s good enough to make you pick the bones like a starving refugee. Carter Malloy is one of those respon-

sible for bringing Gus’s to Arkansas. After eating at the Memphis location a little over two years ago and finding it “the best fried chicken I’ve ever had,” he and his wife, Jenny, paired up with two other local investors and resolved to bring a franchise here. “It’s taken a couple of years to get everything lined up,” Malloy said, but he thinks he’ll be able to open “in the next couple months.” Malloy said the Little Rock location

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will recreate the laid-back ambience of Gus’s outlets in Tennessee, but even more importantly the look and taste of the chicken will be imported exactly, down to the secret recipes and preparation techniques. “The only important thing to us is recreating the exact flavor of the food, which we anticipate doing to the fullest extent possible,” he said. “We absolutely have one mission, and that’s the quality of the food, and to make it an exact, carbon copy of what you get at the other Gus’s [locations].” As you might expect, Malloy is anticipating that the Little Rock Gus’s will be quite a crowd scene once the fryers heat up and the doors open for business. “We’re hoping that patrons will be patient with us in the first few months after we open,” he said, “because we’re anticipating that demand will be pretty strong.”


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MYLO COFFEE CO. KOUIGN AMANN It may be hard to believe that the single greatest pastry in Little Rock can be found at a bakery without a storefront, currently operating only on Saturday at a farmers market, serving baked goods off plastic tables on a sidewalk. Nevertheless, Mylo’s kouign amann is the pastry all other pastries aspire to be. Multilayered puff pastry, rich with butter, sweet with caramelized sugar, flaky and delicate — they sell fast, so get there early or you’ll be driven to mourning until the next Saturday rolls around. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. (Hillcrest Farmers Market).





In a town with a glut of pizza, we’ve always appreciated ZaZa for differentiating itself from the rest. It’s not just that the pizza is cooked Napoli-style, in a powerfully hot wood oven. It’s the ingredients. A simple pie, like the prosciutto-arugula, with nothing but the aforementioned thinly sliced ham and spicy green, tangy San Marzano Tomato sauce, fresh cherry tomatoes and Parmesan, really brings that home. Try it with an over-easy fried egg on top because, of course, egg yolk makes everything better.

In a time before refrigeration, our forebears learned to use smoke, salt and sugar to cure and preserve meats. Lucky for us, the results are so delicious that you can still find these meat products around despite the advent of the walk-in cooler. One of the most perfect combinations is found at Tomas Bohm’s Pantry Restaurant, which takes prosciutto, country pate, and thin-shaved pork loin and adds some bratwurst, spicy mustard, and a selection of cheese and olives to make the entire thing a perfect feast of an appetizer. 11401 Rodney Parham Road.

PHO THANH MY BANH MI With serving bowls the size of craters, it’s difficult not to fill up on pho at this humble Vietnamese establishment. But you’ve done yourself a disservice if you pass up the banh mi with char-glazed pork. There’s a perfect interplay of sweet, tender pork with raw julienned carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, a handful of cilantro sprigs and jalapeno. 302 N. Shackleford Road.

ROCKY’S PUB CHEESESTEAK Walk inside and you’ll be beaten silly — like Apollo Creed in “Rocky IV” — by the plethora of Philadelphian memorabilia. But luckily, Rocky’s has managed to also deliver a knockout with its fabulous representation of this classic Philly sandwich. Don’t scoff at the sight of bright red tomato sauce slathered on top — it’s a crucial part of Rocky’s formula. 6929 J.F.K. Blvd., North Little Rock.

THE ROOT CAFE CHEESEBURGER Pinning down “the best burger in town” is a highly subjective and often controversial affair, but it’s quite likely that this one’s camping out near the top of many Central Arkansas burger enthusiasts’ lists. No frills, no gimmicks, just 1/3 pound of pure bovine bliss. Locally produced yellow cheddar and beef so fresh, you’ll swear it was probably less than two hours from moo to mouth. 1500 S. Main St.


FEBRUARY 28, 2013


WHOLE HOG CAFE PULLED PORK SANDWICH There are older barbecue joints in Little Rock, but none better than the plucky upstart, Whole Hog Cafe. Their pulled pork sandwich is second to none anywhere on Planet ‘Cue – juicy, smoky, huge, and delicious enough to enjoy without sauce, though they offer seven varieties if you’re into that.

TAQUERIA SAMANTHA NO. 2 BURRITO AL PASTOR When this Geyer Springs taco wagon began opening on Sundays, we made a joyful noise. The usual taco combos all appeal, but in the land of the one-handed man, the burrito is king. A vast flour tortilla from Brenda’s Tortilleria is mounded with pastor, the Mexican gyros of seasoned bits of pork, reheated on a grill that’s launched a million tacos. Then comes rice and plump pinto beans. You can ask them to stuff in lettuce, tomato, crema, avocado and such, but it’s already a meal. The salsa verde is standard, but don’t fail to ask for a side of the red chipotle salsa. We go back and forth trying to decide which is best. It’s always a tie. Lime is provided for a touch of sharpness. Also a grilled jalapeno. And, who knows why, a sack of TGI Friday’s potato skin chips. We eat in the car on the parking lot of a Mexican party store with plenty of dulces inside for dessert. 7521 Geyer Springs Road.

SHIPLEY’S DO-NUTS GLAZED DONUT Shipley’s may not have originated in Arkansas, but we’ve certainly embraced it as our own.

Countless early morning staff meetings have been made brighter with these donuts. Show up with a dozen, and you’re a bona fide office hero. The dense, chewy potato flour dough and sweet, silky sugar glaze is unmistakably Shipley’s. There are few logical reasons to wake up before 6 a.m., but hot glazed from Shipley’s is certainly one of them. Multiple locations, including 7514 Cantrell Road.

SIMS BAR-B-QUE RIB DINNER There are plenty of iconic Central Arkansas restaurants, but when we have out-of-town guests hungry for a quintessentially Little Rock dining experience, we always opt for Sims. And we damn near force our guests to order what we get without fail: the rib dinner, with a side of baked beans (flecked with nice pork pieces) and greens and cornbread (which counts as one side!). Let the tangy vinegar-mustard-and-brown sugar sauce the ribs come swimming in mix with juice from the greens and use the cornbread to sop it all up. Recommended with a cold 40 oz. and a seat near the jukebox. Multiple locations, including 2415 S Broadway St.

THE PURPLE COW COFFEE MALT For some reason, the espresso malt, long its best ice cream concoction, isn’t on the menu as such. But you can order it, and you should. Maybe not daily, but once in a while everyone needs a malt. You can opt for a milkshake, but malt makes the most of butterfat. The Cow serves its shakes and malts in tall soda fountain glasses along with the still-halffull icy cold aluminum shakers in which the ice cream was mixed. It is difficult, if not impossible, to finish the whole serving, but we try. The coffee malt isn’t purple, but that’s for the less-discriminating, shorter consumer anyway and not the gourmand. 11602 Chenal Parkway and 8026 Cantrell Road.

SOUTHERN GOURMASIAN CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS Definitely not your grandma’s dumplings, this spicy dish takes crisp-seared mochi, loads it up with shredded chicken, and douses the lot in a rich, spicy ramen broth. It may be different, but it still satisfies the requirements of classic chicken and dumplings: It’s the ultimate comfort food, warming a body on a cold day with rib-sticking goodness. Various locations, find out the latest via Twitter, @SGourmasian.

TERRY’S FINER FOODS CROQUE MONSIEUR This open-face sandwich is piled so high with ham and Gruyere that it requires a fork and knife. It’s hard to stand out with what is basically a ham-and-cheese sand-



TRIO’S CHICKEN ENCHILADAS For better than a quarter-century, Trio’s has set the standard for creamy chicken enchiladas. But it’s the totality of the dish, with firm black beans and basmati rice studded with chopped jalapenos and capped with melted jack cheese that keeps us coming back. 8201 Cantrell Road.





wich, but this hot, gooey concoction on perfectly toasted bread does the job. This sandwich originated in French bistros as a quick snack; do yourself a favor at Terry’s and spend a little time savoring this one. 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd.

VIEUX CARRE BLACK-EYED PEA “CAVIAR” Tell folks you’re going to serve them cold black-eyed peas and they might think you’re spoiling for a fight. At Vieux Carre, these cold peas are mixed with onions, peppers, and a tangy dressing to form something that’s a happy marriage of a cold salad and a dip — perfect for piling high on the toasted baguette slices provided. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd.

WHITE WATER TAVERN THE DOUBLE WIDE It’s late, and the only thing that’s been better than the band is the shots and beers that everyone’s been pounding all night. Suddenly, realization: The stomach needs something solid in it to counteract all that booze. Enter the Double-Wide, a drunkard’s dream of thick-cut fried bologna, melted cheese, and a fried egg between two pieces of Jonathan Wilkins’ homemade bread. It might be called “Double Wide” on the menu, but during a long night of music it might as well be known as a lifesaver. 2500 W. Seventh St.

YOUR MAMA’S GOOD FOOD YEAST ROLL Almost as big as your head and dense enough to serve as a weapon if hurled (but who, even in a fit of anger, would waste one?), the rolls at Your Mama’s are justifiably the stuff of legend. Smeared with the restaurant’s honey butter, one is almost a meal unto itself. 215 Center St. — Max Brantley, David Koon, Lindsey Millar, Leslie Newell Peacock, Michael Roberts & Daniel Walker. See a slideshow of all 52 dishes at

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


GREENHOUSE GRILLE GETS IT Fayetteville restaurant filled a need.



he opening of the Fayetteville’s Greenhouse Grille was one of those rare instances in the restaurant business in which inspiration met pent-up demand and an institution was born. Founders Jerrmy Gawthrop and Clayton Suttle were inspired by the restaurants they’d visited in other parts of the country, and they wanted a restaurant back home that was similar to what they’d found in Oregon, Colorado and similar locales. That meant something focused on using as much organic and local food as possible and taking a sustainable approach on everything from the hand soap to the hamburger. The restaurant, which opened in 2006, was an instant success, with a line out the door on the first day. In about three years, they’d outgrown the confines of their original location and moved down the street a couple of blocks to a much larger building, one that is surrounded by an ever-expanding array of hoop houses, gardens and, yes, greenhouses. No less an authority than “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” author Michael Pollan — in town last year to speak at the Walton Arts Center — proclaimed that Greenhouse Grille “gets it.” He told the blog Aftertaste that the restaurant has “become the locus of the food movement in that community.” That’s apparent to folks in Northwest Arkansas and those in the Little Rock

Best Bar

area, too. The restaurant won and came in runner-up in several Readers Choice categories this year. The Times has twice reviewed the place, rhapsodizing on both occasions about the food, which is an adventurous mix of classics and new twists with a menu that is heavy on the vegetables (something no doubt appreciated by Pollan, whose edict to “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” can be easily adhered to at Greenhouse Grille). “Obviously, it’s fairly old news in San Francisco, New York, Chicago — they’ve been doing this for decades,” Gawthrop said of the local/organic/sustainable

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



at Dunbar Garden, he roasted a pig from Freckle Face Farms, cooked veggies from the likes of Armstead Mountain Farm and Little Rock Urban Farming, served bread from Arkansas Fresh, beer from Vino’s and local homebrew/microbrewer Flyway Brewing and Arkansas Black apple cider from Loblolly Creamery. Admission was donations only. He was expecting about 50; somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 showed up. Somehow McConnell worked some loaves-and-fishes magic — everyone got food. Still, for his second pig roast, scheduled for March 24, he’s capping attendance and charging $25. Reserve a spot at McConnell is actively searching for a location for Butcher & Public. Like the pig roasts, it’s going to be “based off whole animal butchery and sourcing local produce,” he said. It’ll have a butcher shop component — “the kind of place you can come in and buy a pork chop and a pound of sausage and grab some cool cuts of steak that we pull off a chuck that not everyone knows about”— paired with a cafe. McConnell said he wants it to be a “communityoriented space,” where people can come in for coffee, beer or a sandwich. He’s also hoping to do fresh pastas in-house, and host private dinners that he can sell tickets to in advance, where he’ll serve the likes of roast suckling pig or leg of lamb. McConnell wants a fairly big place, where he’ll have enough space to teach butchery, and he really likes the SoMa area, but knows the path is rarely straight in the restaurant business. Whatever happens, he said he’s committed to Butcher & Public. “I’ve got my goal and my dream. I’m not going to stray for it.”

Bec u e

04, 2005, 0 2 , 3 0 0 2 , 2001, 200027, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2006, 20 11, 2012, 2013 20 40

approach. “But here in middle America it’s still an up-and-coming trend. We just saw the need for it. I had very little restaurant background. I’d worked in some and had a little catering company, but as far as opening a restaurant we were winging it.” That learning-on-the-job approach has certainly worked out well. In fact, plans are in the works to open a Greenhouse Grille in Bentonville. “It’s humbling,” Gawthrop said of the restaurant’s success. “I’m so thankful we’re still doing it, but it does require a lot of work.”



Visit for other locations throughout Arkansas! 2516 Cantrell Road Little Rock 664-5025

12111 W. Markham Little Rock 907-6124

5107 Warden Rd North Little Rock 753-9227

150 E. Oak St. Conway 513-0600

5309 Hwy 5 North Bryant 653-2244


Thank You,

Arkansas Times Readers!



LITTLE ROCK: Ashley’s RUNNERS-UP: Crush Wine Bar,


Pizzas, Pastas, and more..... Dine-In

Brave New Restaurant, Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse

Take Out


Best Vegetarian

AROUND THE STATE: Bordinos (Fayetteville) RUNNERS-UP: James at the Mill

Best Breakfast Best gluten free

(Johnson), Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante (Conway), Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs)


Photo by Dero Sanford

Building Community Through Local Food 1500 S. Main St./15th & Main Downtown • 501.414.0423 •

LITTLE ROCK: Joann Sims (Capital Bar) RUNNERS-UP: Aimee Stockton (Dizzy’s), Lauren Murray (Ristorante Capeo), David Timberlake (The Pantry)

CHEF LITTLE ROCK: Peter Brave (Brave New) RUNNERS-UP: Scott McGehee (ZAZA/ Big Orange/Local Lime), Matthew Bell (Ashley’s), Anthony Tally (Terry’s Finer Foods) AROUND THE STATE: Miles James (James at the Mill in Johnson)





Eat My Catfish

at White Water

RUNNERS-UP: Baja Grill, La Hacienda CONWAY ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood Oven Pizza RUNNERS-UP: Mike’s Place, Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante, Stoby’s Restaurant

RediscoveR cafe PRego same great staff, same great location & atmosphere, Fresh new ideas

EUREKA SPRINGS Ermilio’s RUNNERS-UP: Local Flavor, Mud Street Cafe, Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse

Under new Ownership Executive Chef Bruce


Alexander is in the

Greenhouse Grill

Kitchen ... 20 plus

RUNNERS-UP: James at the Mill

years of experience

(Johnson), Bordinos, Tusk & Trotter

cooking for Little Rock

(Bentonville) HOT SPRINGS Rolando’s RUNNERS-UP: McClard’s Bar-B-Q, Cafe 1217, Taco Mama

Best Italian

• Patio Dining available • exPanDeD Wine list • all Meals CookeD to orDer FroM sCratCh in our kitChen

(501) 663-5355 • 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd • Heights

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


Arts Entertainment AND



GRAYSON SHELTON “I’m a sucker for a great drummer. They’re the heartbeat and energy of your show. I can imagine it’s tough to keep a completely instrumental set moving and engaging. They did a great job with dynamics to keep it fresh and keep my attention.”

ROUND 5 WINNER: Sound of the Mountain.

It’s time for the finals

MANDY MCBRYDE “Their music evokes such emotion. It’s like watching a masterpiece fly through the room in soundwaves, or that scene in a really great movie when you go ‘Oh shit. This is what’s really happening.’ ”

Sound of the Mountain wins Round 5. BY ROBERT BELL


fter five weeks and performances by 20 bands from all corners of the state, we’re down to the finals for the 2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. In keeping with the Ancient Protocols of the Council of Showcase Elders, we’ll be moving down the street to Revolution for the final round, which will be this Friday at 9 p.m. It’s all-ages, $5 for those of legal drinking age and $10 for those 20 and younger. The winning band will be announced that night and, in addition to all the goodwill, glory and approbation, 42

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


that band will net beaucoup prizes and the opportunity to perform on some of the state’s biggest and most high-profile stages. Also, we’re giving away several pairs of passes to several music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa and Thunder on the Mountain. You must be present to win, so don’t skip it. Russellville’s The Sound of the Mountain won Round 5 of the Showcase with swirling instrumental postrock that was by turns powerful, loud, dynamic and sweepingly cinematic. That

last description is especially apt, as more than one judge referenced movies on their score sheets. Also: it never hurts when your drummer is a stone-cold badass, as is the case with Sound of the Mountain. But it was excellent musicianship all the way around. Up first was Fayetteville’s Bartin Memberg, a.k.a. Martin Bemberg, formerly of The Memphis Pencils and an incredibly prolific solo artist. Bemberg had a bit of trouble at first getting his CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

CT “Total pros. They have their shit together. Sweet tones and awesome transitions. This needs to be the musical score to my life.” GUEST JUDGE EUGENE WHITMORE “I like the intro, well-rehearsed, very spontaneous.”

Lots of vintage pottery in awesome spring colors! Come See!

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS IF YOU WERE PAYING ATTENTION WHILE WATCHING THE OSCARS Sunday night, you might have heard that Arkansas-raised stuntman Hal Needham was one of those who received an honorary Academy Award this year. Before his retirement, Needham was a pioneer in the stunt industry, developing many techniques for making stunts more dramatic and safer, including the development of the high-fall airbag. As pointed out by Quentin Tarantino when he introduced Needham at the Governors Awards back in December, Needham is only the second stunt performer/stunt coordinator in history to receive an Oscar. Born a dirt-poor sharecropper’s son, Needham parlayed a stint as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and work as a tree trimmer into a career as a stuntman and filmmaker, directing cult classics like “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Hooper,” and “Cannonball Run.” We talked to him at length just prior to his appearance at the Little Rock Film Festival in 2011. When we asked him why he thinks there is an Academy Award category for almost every facet of film making except stunts, Needham said he’s glad they don’t give out Oscars in his line of work, and gave an excellent answer why: “My belief is, when a person goes in and pays his money to see a movie, and he sees his hero up there doing something spectacular, you don’t want him to stop and think: ‘I wonder if that’s the star, or if it’s a stuntman?’ You want them to enjoy the movie. I think stuntmen should take their check and go on their way.”

Little Rock’s Down-Home Neighborhood Bar 7th & Thayer · Little Rock · (501) 375-8400

Friday, March 1

Shinyribs (Feat. Kevin Russell of THE GOURDS) & Kevin Kerby

Saturday, March 2

Velvet Kente Presents: A MadSun Dance Party/The Music of Madlib & Sun Ra

501.982.0064 1101 Burman Dr. • Jacksonville Take Main St. Exit, East on Main, Right on S. Hospital & First Left to Burman.

check out additional shows at


w o h see M


p em

r e ow can


Movies made me believe that the underdog could stand up and make a difference.

WE GOT SOME SAD NEWS LAST WEEK in the entertainment world: Celebrity Attractions President Larry Payton passed away unexpectedly Feb. 18 at Tulsa’s St. Francis Hospital of an unspecified illness. Celebrity Attractions is responsible for bringing in numerous Broadway shows to Little Rock and several other metro areas around the mid-South. Verizon Arena posted on Facebook last week: “The staff of the Verizon Arena is very sad today. We lost a good friend who presented many great shows in our market. We’ll miss Larry’s smiling face and positive attitude.” LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU, LITTLE ROCK HORROR PICTURE SHOW! Hot Springs will be shambling into the horror film festival mayhem this fall with the new Hot Springs Horror Film Festival. Screenings will be held in the newly-reopened Central Theater the weekend of Sept. 26-29. The HS Horror Film Festival website recently went online and is now accepting online film submissions through

Oliver’s Antiques

Monday, March 4

Don’t Stop Please w/ Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy (Wichita, KS)

After seeing Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, I took on the neighborhood bully. He was a head taller and 40 pounds heavier, but he never bothered us again. And a movie, a great movie, gave me the courage to do that.” Robert Walden

actor, professor, Film Forum artistic director

March 21-24 Petit Jean Mountain near Little Rock

Whether you are a writer, director, film or acting student, or just a dedicated lover of film, you will find something and someone to inspire you at the Film Forum. Our award winning faculty of Hollywood insiders will share their knowledge in intimate, hands-on workshops and panels.


Support for the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Film Forum is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.

FEBRUARY 28, 2013





SUN CIRCUS: Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam comes to Verizon Arena, Thursday through Sunday.



7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $38-$98.

One of the funniest things that ever happened in the Arkansas Times newsroom occurred one of the times Cirque du Soleil came to town. Suddenly, on a quiet afternoon, a herd of clowns — and weird, silent, mimeesque clowns at that, with one of them

teetering around on stilts — invaded our offices as part of their tour of local media outlets. Because then-editor and Arkansas Blog mastermind Max Brantley was scowling a blog post into the existence at the time, of course they made a bee-line for his desk. They proceeded to crowd around and bug the ever-loving hell out of him,

touching his stuff and ringing a big school bell in his ear. He, meanwhile, ignored them and continued to work, frowning the whole time like a stone idol on an altar devoted to human sacrifice. There were some clowns who didn’t know how close they came to death that day. Luckily for clowns, Max will be out of the country for this





7:30 p.m. Nadine Baum Studios. $10-$22.

9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

There’s something lovely and personal about seeing a stage play. A big part of it is knowing that the actors you’re watching are working without a net, and are doing so not for hundreds of thousands of people, but just for whoever is in the audience. That takes a certain amount of bravery, and comedy takes another layer of bravery yet. Featured this week at Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center, in the Nadine Baum Studios, is Stephen Karam’s critically acclaimed comedy “Sons of the Prophet.” A finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for drama, the play is the story of two Lebanese-American brothers dealing with the accidental death of their father. It’s recommended for ages 17 and older. DK

As a music fan, I’ve always been baffled at some of the absolute crap that gets played on the radio, even as excellent performers drive rattletrap vans from small venue to small venue. That’s across the board, in any genre you can name. The fact is, the general public seems to be willing to listen to any amount of terrible music so long as somebody, somewhere, told them it was what the cool kids are doing. It seems like a crime that there are so hacks and ass-clowns cashing in even as many great


FEBRUARY 28, 2013


return engagement at Verizon this week, when Cirque du Soleil brings its new roadshow “Quidam” to town. Expect to be amazed by jaw-dropping feats of acrobatic grace and strength. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. DK

performers toil away in relative obscurity. Case in point: Kevin Russell and his band Shinyribs. Russell, known for his work with the five-man alt-country band The Gourds, has got a sound all his own and a voice that can turn from Delta blues to Southern funk on a dime. Russell’s songs “East Texas Rust” and “Same Boat” (both of which can be found on YouTube) are great examples of this, with “Rust” sounding something like a Stevie Wonder/Skynyrd collaboration, and “Same Boat” an old timey a cappella stomp. The Shinyribs show, with opener Kevin Kerby, definitely looks like a plan for discerning fans of Southern rock and alt-country. DK


THURSDAY 2/28 “Daisy Gaston Bates: A Symbol of the Civil Rights Movement or an Inspirational Leader?” is a special event that includes a panel discussion and screening of the documentary “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock,” Central High School, 5:30 p.m. Little Rock’s Laundry for the Apocalypse brings its adventurous brand of indie rock to The Joint, with openers The Catskill Kids, 9:30 p.m., $5. If you’re looking for a bit of emotional, bouncy pop, you might want to check out Taylor Thrash, with openers Moses Uvere, Tan the Terrible and Frequency THC, all-ages, Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of.



Listen to enough of Wayne “The Train” Hancock’s music and you might just stop caring altogether about any country or rock ’n’ roll that came along after, say, 1960. Hancock is one of those characters who truly seems like he was beamed in from another era, and certainly not one of these yahoos who decides he really likes whatever and goes out and buys the costume for it. Allmusic’s Steve Huey called Hancock “that rare breed of traditionalist, one who imbues his retro obsessions with such high energy and passion that his songs never feel like museum pieces he’s try-

TRAIN’S A COMIN’: Wayne “The Train” Hancock plays at Maxine’s Saturday.

ing desperately to preserve.” That about says it. Don’t miss this show if you’re into any combination of the following: Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, most of the Sun Records roster, white lightnin’, unfiltered

cigarettes, cruising down a country highway late at night with the top down and a bellyful of Dexies and so forth. Arkansas’s own honky-tonk songstress extraordinaire Bonnie Montgomery opens the show. RB

and you were nervous as hell and Dad had agreed to loan you the Volare but then your date stood you up and so you said “Ah, to hell with it” and went and got drunk on Colt 45 by yourself down behind the bowling alley and then you drunkenly wandered over to the gymnasium where they were having the prom only get there and see your date dancing with your so-called best friend? Or something along those

lines? Well pardner, here is your chance to do it up right this time. According to the organizers of Relive Your Prom, “The time has finally come for you to re-live that one moment that you once looked forward to back in high school, only this time you control the episode.” Got that? You control the episode. Here’s the deal, you’ve got to get your tickets online ahead of time at RB



8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $35 single, $50 couple.

Did you ever wish you could relive some important moment from your formative years, say, maybe your high school prom? Like perhaps you didn’t have the best prom night because you got ready and all gussied up in your baby blue rental tux



8:30 p.m. Stickyz.

Washington State native Ken Stringfellow has the sort of resume that would be the envy of many, many a scruffy indie-rocker type: Co-founder of a critically adored power-pop act? Check — See Posies, 1989-1998; 2000-present. Stint performing and recording with one of the biggest rock bands in the world? Check — See R.E.M., various tours and albums. Joining one of the greatest and most influential rock bands ever? Check — See Big Star. Career as a producer/ mixer/engineer/arranger/studio wizard? Check — See a whole bunch of bands, including Little Rock’s own The Alpha Ray. Release lush, adventurous solo albums that are so awesome-sounding and tasteful that it almost hurts? Check — See, most recently, “Danzig in the Moonlight.” The album touches on nearly every facet of pop and rock from the last few decades and does so convincingly and effortlessly. Stringfel-

FRIDAY 3/1 If angelic choirs are you jam, check out The American Boychoir. The critically acclaimed act comes to Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., $10-$40. Folk duo Bill and Kate Isles performs at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m., $10 suggested donation. The Arkansas Chamber Singers present their “Singing for Breath!” spring concert — a collaboration with the Arkansas Symphony players that features the Duruflé Requiem and Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjeilo, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m., $10-$18. Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers perform with singer Bijoux at Zin Urban Wine & Beer Bar, 9 p.m., $10. For some family-friendly yuks, check out The Main Thing’s “The Last Night at Orabella’s,” an original two-act comedic play about the residents of tiny, fictional Dumpster, Ark. It’s at The Joint, Fridays and Saturdays through April 27, 8 p.m., $20. If you’re running in the Little Rock Marathon, the Health & Fitness Expo includes vendors in health, beauty, fitness, apparel, nutrition and a course overview, Statehouse Convention Center, noon-7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The marathon itself is Sunday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., so keep that in mind if you need to drive anywhere in the vicinity of downtown during those hours.


POP AUTEUR: Ken Stringfellow plays at Stickyz Sunday night.

low called the album “A culmination of all I have learned and experienced in over 30 years of performing, produc-

ing, writing, and conceptualizing music.” This 18-and-older show will be a treat, folks. RB

Interstate Buffalo has a new lineup and they’re playing at Reno’s Argenta Cafe, 9 p.m., $5. Red Dirt country-rocker Wade Bowen is back at Revolution for an 18-andolder show, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $15 day of. The Smittle Band brings its sophisticated pop/jazz hybrid to The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. The Walton Arts Center has country/folk singer/songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin, 8 p.m., $26-$57. UALR’s men’s and women’s basketball teams take on Arkansas State at the Jack Stephens Center, 4:30 p.m. for the women’s game and 7:30 p.m. for the men’s matchup, $5-$38.

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to



Ben Robbins. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Jocko Deal. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m.; March 7, 8 p.m.; March 28, 8 p.m., free. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Laundry for the Apocalypse, Catskill Kids. The Joint, 9:30 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Margulis Duo. University of Arkansas, 8 p.m., free. 1 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The Mudpuppies (headliner), Ashley McBryde (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Taylor Thrash, Moses Uvere, Tan the Terrible, Frequency THC. All-ages. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Voices Without Borders. Live concert from the children’s choir Voices Without Borders. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 10 a.m., free. 501 W. 9th St. 501-376-4602.


Kevin Bozeman, Gabe Kea. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Cirque du Soleil Quidam. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $38-$98. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-9759001.


DEARLY DEPARTED: Red Dirt faves Cody Canada & The Departed are rollin’ back into town Friday for an 18-and-older show at Stickyz with Cons of Formant opening, 8:30 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 5:15 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.


Children’s Classes: “Discover the Artists of Crystal Bridges.” For children ages 6 to 12. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 3:30:30 p.m., $80. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479418-5700.



2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Finals. With Damn Arkansan, Stephen Neeper Band, The Revolutioners, Terminus and The Sound of the Mountain. Revolution, 9 p.m., $5 for 21 and older, $10 for 20 and younger. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. 30-Something Party Fridays. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Friday of every month, free before 10 p.m., $5 after 10 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501301-1200. Aaron Owens. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m., $6. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. The American Boychoir. Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., $10-$40. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. Arkansas Chamber Singers: “Singing for

Breath!” Spring concert collaborating with the Arkansas Symphony players features the Duruflé Requiem and Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjeilo. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m., $10-$18. 1000 N. Mississippi Ave. 501-377-1121. Bill and Kate Isles. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 12415 Cantrell Rd. Brandi Shea snd Friends. W.T. Bubba’s Country Tavern, 9 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501244-2528. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. Dance night, with DJs, drink specials and bar menu, until 2 a.m. 1620 Savoy, 10 p.m. 1620 Market St. 501-2211620. Cody Canada & The Departed, Cons of Formant. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz. com. Downtown Music Hall Battle of the Bands finals. Downtown Music Hall, 6 p.m. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Nicky Parrish & Co.. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers with Bijoux. Zin Urban Wine & Beer Bar, 9 p.m., $10.

“Daisy Gatson Bates: A Symbol of the Civil Rights Movement or An Inspirational Leader?” Includes panel discussion and screening of “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock.” Central High School, 5:30 p.m. 2120 West Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive. Remington College 3 Lives Blood Drive. Remington College-Little Rock, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 19 Remington Drive. 501-312-0007. www.


Live horse racing. Thu.-Sun. every week until April 13, plus Memorial Day. Oaklawn, $2. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. UALR Men’s Trojans vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7:30 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave. UALR Women’s Trojans vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.

FEBRUARY 28, 2013



Kevin Bozeman, Gabe Kea. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. The Main Thing: “The Last Night at Orabella’s.” Original two-act comedic play about the residents of tiny, fictional Dumpster, Ark. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-3720205.


Cirque du Soleil Quidam. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $38-$98. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-9759001. DanceBrazil. Walton Arts Center, 8 p.m. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.


Fantastic Friday. Literary and music event, refreshments included. For reservations, call 479-9682452 or email River Valley Arts Center, Every third Friday, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 1001 E. B St., Russellville. 479-968-2452. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Little Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. Includes vendors in health, beauty, fitness, apparel, nutrition and the course overview will be offered. Statehouse Convention Center, March 1, noon-7 p.m.; March 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 7 Statehouse Plaza. “The Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures.” Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 6:30 p.m. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700.


Live horse racing. See Feb. 28.

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300 River Market Ave. 501-246-4876. www.zinlr. com. Shinyribs, Kevin Kerby. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $7. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. Synergy, DJ Sleepy Genius. Montego Cafe, 8:30 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. Taylor Made (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. The White Glove Test, Booyah! Dad, Taylor Thrash, Moses Uvere. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990.


Read Across America. Stories read by a roster of local celebrity storytellers, including Miss Arkansas and local TV and radio personalities. Park Plaza, March 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free. 6000 W. Markham St. 501-664-4956. www.parkplazamall. com/shop/parkplaza.nsf/index. Timothy Snediker, Andrew Mobbs. Reading and book signing at UCA Black Box Gallery. University


Kevin Bozeman, Gabe Kea. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.

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Live horse racing. See Feb. 28. UALR Men’s Trojans vs. Arkansas State. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave. UALR Women’s Trojans vs. Arkansas State. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 4:30 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.

Pub: Arkansas Times

ACPJ – Putt for Peace FUNdraiser. All Proceeds benefit El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center, a partner of Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice. Golf World, 10 a.m., $20 per team of two, $25 per hole sponsorship or donation. 4705 S. University Ave. 501-562-1334. Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-noon. Main Street, NLR. Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry Drive. Get a simple cheek swab for the Bone Marrow Registry at Donaghey Student Center Room 205D. UALR, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 2801 S. University Ave. Breakfast with Reptiles, Breakfast with Small Cats. Little Rock Zoo, 8 a.m., $13-$22. 1 Jonesboro Drive. 501-666-2406. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-noon. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Little Rock 5K. Starting in the River Market at President Clinton Avenue and Sherman Street, the 5K is a running and walking tour. River Market Pavilions, 8 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 3752552. Little Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. See March 1. Little Rockers Kids Marathon. Event gives children ages 7-12 the opportunity to complete a modified marathon over an extended period of time. River Market Pavilions, noon. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. ReLive Your Prom. Robinson Center Music Hall, 8 p.m., $35 singles, $50 couples. Markham and Broadway.

Trim: 2.125” x 12” Bleed: none Live: 1.125” x 11.75”


Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See March 1. The Freds (headliner), Gregg Madden (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Interstate Buffalo. Reno’s Argenta Cafe, 9 p.m., $5. 312 N. Main St., NLR. 501-376-2900. www. Jam Rock Saturday. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Saturday of every month, 9 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501-301-1200. Kingsdown. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m. 107 Commerce St. 501372-7707. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin. Walton Arts Center, 8 p.m., $26-$57. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. Mother Hubbard and the Regulators. W.T. Bubba’s Country Tavern, 9 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-244-2528. New Era Saturdays. 21-and-older. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Saturday of every month, 9 p.m., $5 cover until 11 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501-301-1200. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Saturday night at Discovery. Featuring DJs, dancers and more. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m., $10. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. Screaming For Silence, Vespers, More Than Sparrows, Break the Silence. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. The Smittle Band. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Suite Elegante. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Tragikly White. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m., $10. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Unseen Eye. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl. com. Velvet Kente Presents: A MadSun Dance Party / The Music of Madlib & Sun Ra. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. Wade Bowen. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $15 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Bonnie Montgomery. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $12. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs.


Cirque du Soleil Quidam. Verizon Arena, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., $38-$98. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www.

Closing Date: 2/20/13 QC: CS


The Main Thing: “The Last Night at Orabella’s.” See March 1.

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Berniece Vann. The author will be available to sign copies of her book, “Dream a Dream.” Hastings of Jacksonville, 2 p.m. 915 W. Main St,, Jacksonville. 501-982-3027. Jane Lea Dykstra. Book signing with the author of “What Heaven Is Like.” Hastings, 1 p.m. 1360 Old Morrilton Hwy., Conway. 501-329-1108. Read Across America. See March 1.



Don’t Stop Please. Smoke and Barrel Tavern, 9 p.m., $5. 324 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479521-6880. CONTINUED ON PAGE 48

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AFTER DARK, CONT. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, first and third Sunday of every month, 2:30 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501246-4340. Ken Stringfellow. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Michael Eubanks. Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, 7 p.m. 10901 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-8898. Successful Sunday. Featuring live music and DJs. Montego Cafe, 7 p.m. 315 Main St. 501372-1555. Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Yonder Mountain String Band. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $23. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226.


Silly Sunday: Steve Brown and Friends. Juanita’s, 7:30 p.m., $20-$30. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


Cirque du Soleil Quidam. Verizon Arena, 1 p.m., $38-$98. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001.


Little Rock Marathon. River Market Pavilions, 8 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. www. “Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.


Live horse racing. See Feb. 28.



Don’t Stop Please, Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. Jazz at The Afterthought: Amina Figarova Sextet. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Reggae Nites. Featuring DJ Hy-C playing roots, reggae and dancehall. Pleazures Martini and Grill Lounge, 6 p.m., $7-$10. 1318 Main St. 501-376-7777. bargrill. The Wild Feathers, Goose. Juanita’s, 8:30 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


Sweet Chariot: A Journey Through the Underground Railroad. Hosted by the UALR Housing Activities Council, East Hall will be converted into a live action tour of the

Underground Railroad. UALR, 6:30 p.m., free. 2801 S. University Ave. 501-569-8977.


“Hats Off to the First Ladies of Art.” Opening event for Tabriz biennial fund-raiser for the Arkansas Arts Center includes coffee at 10:30 a.m. with lunch to follow, to be emceed by Jessica Dean. All proceeds to benefit the Arts Center. A donation of $50 allows giver to honor a “First Lady of Art.” Reserve by Feb. 28. Arkansas Arts Center, 10:30 a.m., $100. 501 E. 9th St. 501-412-3768.



Cosby, Andy Warr, JR Top. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Guitar Lessons with Compton Student Showcase. All-ages. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7 p.m., free. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090.


Billie Tsien. Lecture from the award-winning architect. Arkansas Arts Center, 5:30 p.m., free. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. Tales from the South: Kevin Kresse. Featuring painter and sculptor Kevin Kresse. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www.beerknurd. com/stores/littlerock. UAMS College of Medicine Parents’ Club fundraiser. Includes drinks and hors d’oeuvers, live and silent auctions and a preview of the new musical “Treasure Island”. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 6 p.m., $50. 601 Main St. 501-425-9688.


Mike Beebe. Harding University, 7:30 p.m. 900 CONTINUED ON PAGE 51







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SHOWCASE, CONT. whole laptop/guitar/pedals/whathave-you setup set up. But once he did, he performed some challenging, weird pop, with a Young Marble Giants feel, with sparse sound and pinging percussion. Showcase judge CT wrote, that the set “started off roughly, when it took off it got better. Nice songs.” Guest judge Eugene Whitmore, a record producer and recording engineer who owns Genetics Studio in Little Rock, wrote, “Not bad tone, but tech difficulties.” Grayson Shelton wrote, “I enjoy his songs, but I think I would enjoy them more if he would put a band together instead of the samples.” He also noted Bemberg’s “Bowie-esque delivery.” Judge Mandy McBryde wrote, “Interesting sampling of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in the first song, especially since the celebratory hymn we all know so well is based on a poem about life, love and other tragedies. I liked his song to 4-year-olds. If I had a kid, I would TOTALLY play this song for them (and probably wish I’d written it myself).” North Little Rock quintet Knox Hamilton anchored the middle spot of the Showcase with impressive vocal harmonies and sunshine-y, even danceable, indie pop. McBryde wrote, “They’re both spiri-

tual and secular in a very new way.” Shelton wrote, “Really great, catchy indie pop songs. A band that you can take home to your mother, but still seal the deal with your girlfriend. Really good vocals.” Whitmore wrote, “Nice sound, but needs a little practice,” while CT wrote, “Amen North Little Rock. Very nice songs, awesome melodies.” Little Rock trio The Midnight Thrills brought some Southern-rockin’ soul to the Showcase, boasting an incredibly full sound that would be the envy of any number of bands, but especially considering that there’s just the three of them up there. Guitarist/singer Drew DeFrance also plays guitar in The Stephen Neeper Band, who’ll be in the finals. In my chicken-scratch notes from Thursday evening, I wrote: “Replacements x Neil Young & Crazy Horse = The Midnight Thrills.” I’d probably had a couple beers at that point, but I think that still holds up pretty well. CT wrote, “Very tight — rhythm section had it on lockdown! Nothing better than a solid three-piece band,” and McBryde wrote “Man this guy can play guitar ... Holy smokes!” Shelton noted that “Drew really does a standout job with Stephen Neeper

Band, and I really like what he brings to them. It’s good to hear him out in the front. Good tone and a solid, solid lead guy in his own right.” Whitmore wrote simply “Great guitarist!!” Closing out the night and the semifinals was Collin vs. Adam, now a trio, after the tragic death of bassist Mason Mauldin in January. The founding duo of Adam Hogg and Collin Buchanan clearly have a vision, with their hybrid of hypnotic post-punk and synth-pop. Drummer Mike Motley is practically a human metronome. No fewer than three other people used that exact term to describe him while watching the band’s set. That rhythmic precision proved to be a critical component. Shelton wrote, “Great vocals, great sound,” while CT wrote “Mike Motley is a goddamn metronome. This band rules! Amazing song quality, tough-asnails guitar riffs.” Whitmore noted, “High energy, but need to reduce the transition time between songs,” while McBryde wrote, “Adam Hogg is one of the most unassuming rock stars I’ve ever seen. These songs are so good — they take you somewhere.” FINALS LINEUP: DAMN ARKANSAN: This Fayette-

ville outfit won over the judges with its Pavement-covering-Little-Feat hybrid of country-rock and folk. Expect great songs and a high-energy performance, especially from frontman Drew Walls. THE STEPHEN NEEPER BAND: Scorched-earth, Southern-fried, boogie-your-ass-off-all-night blues rock is gonna be what these guys serve up — a big ol’ heaping helping of it. THE REVOLUTIONERS: Relentless rock ’n’ roll riffage is the name of the game, and The Revolutioners are playing in the big leagues. Frontman Phil Houston is a livewire and the band has it down from ragers to ballads. TERMINUS: This Fayetteville progmetal behemoth is made up of three dudes who are not only unbelievably proficient but also capable of writing complex arrangements with raging riffs. Absolutely killer. THE SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN: Hailing out of Russellville, this instrumental quintet has mastered the sort of sweeping, cinematic post-rock that’s just begging to be used in the end-ofthe-world sequence in some yet-to-bemade blockbuster.

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Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, March 6, 5 and 9 p.m.; March 20, 5 and 9 p.m.; March 27, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Martin Sexton. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $20. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479442-4226. Pretty Things Peep Show, The Peepin’ Toms. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. Standup Open Mic Night. Hosted by local come­di­ans of the com­edy col­lec­tive Come­di­ ans of NWA. UARK Bowl, 9 p.m., free. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030.


Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.


Downtown Little Rock Partnership Annual Meeting. Featuring keynote speaker John Norquist, former mayor of Milwaukee. Statehouse Convention Center, 11:30 a.m., $75. 7 Statehouse Plaza. 501-375-0121.


Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. html.


“100 Years of Broadway.” Musical revue, featuring hits from some of the best-loved Broadway productions. Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m., $25-$60. Markham and Broadway. www. Musical revue, featuring hits from some of the best-loved Broadway productions. Vada Sheid Community Development Center, Mon., March 4, 7 p.m., $18-$35. 1600 South College St., Mountain Home. 1-800-514-3849. “Bye Bye Birdie.” A 1950s rock ‘n’ roll singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his final television appearance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted into the Army. Second Presbyterian Church, March 1-2, 7 p.m.; Sun., March 3, 2 p.m., $8-$15. 600 Pleasant Valley Drive. “The Pursuit of Happiness.” In this comedy, a mother and father put enormous expectations on their 18-year-old daughter getting into the right college. But she has other ideas. The Public Theatre, through March 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 3, 2 p.m., $12-$14. 616 Center St. 501-

374-7529. “Sons of the Prophet.” Award-winning new comedy about a young Lebanese-American man and his struggles with work, home and his health insurer. Recommended for ages 17 and older. Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, through March 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m., $10-$22. 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Til Beth Do Us Part.” Comedy about a marriage that threatens to come undone after years of complacency on the part of meteorologist Gibby Hayden, whose ambitious, career-driven wife has hired an assistant to help out. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through March 10: Tue.Sat., 6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m., $15-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Treasure Isle.” World premiere of a new musical version of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through March 31: Wed., Thu., Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405.



More art listings can be found in the calendar at ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER: “HEART/HAND,” lecture by Barnes Foundation architect Billie Tsien, 6 p.m. March 5, reception beforehand at 5:30 p.m., Architecture and Design Network event. 372-4000. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham: “Yosemite: Images from the Past,” prints from early 20thcentury glass plates by unknown photographer, opens with reception 6-10 p.m. March 1, show through March 30. HATS OFF TO THE FIRST LADIES OF ART, Arkansas Arts Center: Opening event for Tabriz biennial fund-raiser for the Arkansas Arts Center includes coffee at 10:30 a.m. March 4 with lunch to follow, to be emceed by Jessica Dean. Fine Arts Club event; all proceeds to benefit the Arts Center. A donation of $50 allows giver to honor a “First Lady of Art.” Reserve by Feb. 28. 501-412-3768 or www.hatsoffarkansas. L&L BECK GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Potpourri,” through March, free giclee drawing 7 p.m. March 21. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 660-4006. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “A Table of Elements,” ceramics and wood by Sandy Simon and Robert Brady, through April 3, Gallery II, gallery talk 2 p.m. April 4; “Collecting Prints,” works from the permanent collection, through March 11, Gallery I; “John Harlan Norris: Occupants,” portraits, Gallery III, through March 21, talk by the artist 3 p.m. Feb. 28, room A161 in the Fine Arts Building. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-8977.

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BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “The Surveyor of the Queen,” lecture on Queen Elizabeth II’s art collection by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, curator of the Royal Collection, and Anna Somers-Cocks, editor of The Art Newspaper, 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 1 ($10 non-members); “Abstractions on Paper: From Abstract Expressionism to Post Minimalism,” through April 29, works from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center by Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly and others; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu., Sat.-Sun.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.Fri. 479-418-5700. CONTINUED ON PAGE 52

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


AFTER DARK, CONT. CONWAY UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS: Annual “Student Competitive Exhibition,” March 4-28, Baum Gallery, reception 5-7 p.m. March 7. 501-450-5793. EL DORADO SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, 110 E. 5th St.: “Time Was,” paintings and found-object sculpture by Kit Gilbert; “perception,” pastels by Kelly Campbell, both March 4-27, reception 6-7:30 p.m. March 9. 870-862-5474. HOT SPRINGS BLUE MOON ART GALLERY, 718 Central Ave.: “Steel Creations,” sculpture by Wayne Summerhill, through March. Open 5-9 p.m. March 1 for Gallery Walk. 501-318-2787. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Bob

Snider, watercolors. Open 5-9 p.m. March 1 for Gallery Walk. 501-318-4278. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central A: “Abstracts,” ceramics by Michael Ashley, paintings by Donnie Copeland and Vivian Noe-Griffith, paintings and sculpture by Robyn Horn, March 1-31. Gallery Walk reception 5-9 p.m. March 1 with talk by Ashley and Copeland at 5:30 p.m. 501-321-2335.


The Arkansas Craft School in Mountain View is offering a nine-week pottery class with David Dahlstadt starting March 14. Classes meet 1:304:30 p.m. Thursdays. Tuition is $225. Go to www. for more information.


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Wendy Maruyama: Tag Project/Executive Order 9066,” work inspired by the mass internment of Japanese during World War II, through April 21; “Edward Weston: Leaves of Grass,” 53 gelatin-silver prints, through April 21; “Delta Exhibition,” through March 10; “Museum School Faculty Exhibition: Past and Present,” through March 10. 9 a.m.-5


The Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., North Little Rock, is taking submissions for its 11th annual scholarship competitions for high school seniors. Submission for filmmaking scholarship due April 5. For more information, go to the or call 379-9512.


p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “ELEMENTAL Copper. Zinc. Clay. Wood. Bone. Stone. Oil. Watercolor,” multimedia work by Bob Crane, through March 2. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: “Beating Hooves,” pen and ink drawings by Mary Shelton, through March 4. 375-2342.  GALLERY 221, 2nd and Center Sts.: “People, Places and Emotions,” work by Jennifer “EMILE” Freeman, through Feb. 28. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Mindy Lacefield, Jeff Waddle, Emily Wood, recent works, through March 9. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.Sat. 664-8996. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “18th Anniversary Exhibition,” through March 9. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “The Struggle Continues ... History Unfolds,” paintings and mixed media by Frank Frazier, through April 8, reception 5-8 p.m. March 8, artist talk 11 a.m. March 9. 372-6822.







HOSTED BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK, FINE ART EDITOR Join us on our journey to see a vast collection of masterworks in a masterfully designed museum, set into 100 acres of beautiful trail-threaded woodland. Museum founder Alice Walton has assembled one of the most important collections of American art in the country, including paintings, drawings and sculpture from America’s colonial period to the present, from Peale’s famed portrait of George Washington to Mark Rothko’s brilliant abstraction in orange. Moshe Safdie’s design for the museum incorporates areas for contemplation and study with views of the spring-fed ponds that give the museum its name and the Ozarks.

Norman Rockwell traveling exhibition at Crystal Bridges One of the most popular American artists of the past century, Norman Rockewell was a keen observer of human nature and a gifted storyteller. This exhibition features 50 original paintings and 323 Saturday Evening Post covers. Timed, reserved tickets will be required to view this exhibition.


FEBRUARY 28, 2013






OR MAIL CHECK OR MONEY-ORDER TO ARKANSAS TIMES CRYSTAL BRIDGES BUS PO BOX 34010 • LITTLE ROCK, AR • 72203 AT THE MUSEUM IN APRIL: Special exhibits “Art Under Pressure,” etchings, engravings and other prints made between 1925 and 1945 by Thomas Hart Benton, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Edward Hopper and others, much of it addressing social issues, and “Abstractions on Paper,” work from the Arkansas Arts Center that complements Crystal Bridges’ modern works.


CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Making Politics Personal: Arkansas Travelers,” exhibit about supporters who traveled the country to campaign for Clinton; permanent exhibits on policies and White House life during the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “Treasures of Arkansas Freemasons, 1838-2013,” study gallery, through July 12; “Phenomena of Change: Lee Cowan, Mary Ann Stafford and Maria Botti Villegas,” through May 5; “Perfect Balance,” paintings by Marty Smith; “A Collective Vision,” recent acquisitions, through March. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, MacArthur Park: “Undaunted Courage, Proven Loyalty: Japanese-American Soldiers in World War II,” through August; “Korea: The Forgotten War”; and other exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 9th and Broadway: “The Inauguration of Hope,” life-sized sculpture of the First Family by Ed Dwight; “Forty Years of Fortitude,” exhibit on Arkansas’s African-American legislators of the modern era. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.Sat. 683-3593. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Grossology: The Impolite Science of the Human Body,” through May 26; “GPS Adventures,” ages 6 to adult, through April 1; “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Battle Colors of Arkansas,” 18 Civil War flags; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685.

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‘JACK THE GIANT SLAYER’: “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell another fairytale turned into a big-budget action flick because they’re just running out of ideas.” Starring Nicholas Hoult. Market Street Cinema times at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only. Breckenridge, Chenal 9, Lakewood 8, and McCain Mall showtimes were not available by press deadline. Find up-to-date listings at NEW MOVIES 21 & Over (R) — D-bags behaving badly — “From the writers of ‘The Hangover,’” because of course it is. Rave: 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:00, 3:00, 4:30, 5:30, 7:00, 8:00, 9:30, 10:30, 11:55. Riverdale: 9:35 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 1:45, 3:50, 5:55, 8:05, 10:15. Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13) — Basically, it’s “Jack and the Beanstalk” with a bunch of CGI monsters and Ewan McGregor. Rave: 10:30 a.m., 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30 (2D), 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45, 11:50 (3D), 11:15 a.m., 2:15, 5:15, 8:15, 11:15 (3D eXtreme). Riverdale: 9:05 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:55, 4:20, 6:45, 9:10, 11:35. The Last Exorcism Part II (PG-13) — Spoiler alert: It’s not really gonna be the “Last Exorcism.” Rave: 11:55 a.m., 1:00, 2:25, 3:25, 4:50, 5:50, 7:15, 8:15, 9:40, 10:40, midnight. Phantom (R) — It’s intrigue under the sea in this Cold War-era thriller that hasn’t gotten very good reviews so far. Rave: 11:40 a.m., 2:10, 4:40, 7:10, 9:40, 11:40. Riverdale: 9:15 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 1:25, 3:30, 5:35, 7:40, 9:45. RETURNING THIS WEEK Amour (PG-13) — A couple confronts the heartbreaking, inevitable decline of old age in this total bummer of a beautifully-made and wellreviewed film. Market Street: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:15. Argo (R) — A group of Americans in revolutionary Iran make an improbable escape, based on actual events, from director Ben Affleck. Market Street: 2:00, 4:20, 7:00, 9:15. Beautiful Creatures (PG-13) — Basically “Twilight” but with witches instead of whatever it was “Twilight” had. Oh, and bad Southern accents. It’s got those, too. Rave: 11:00 a.m. Riverdale: 5:05, 7:45, 10:25. Broken City (R) — Marky Mark is an ex-cop PI hired by Gladiator to see if his wife is cheating on him. Movies 10: 12:05, 2:35, 5:05, 7:45, 10:15. Bullet to the Head (R) — Rambo’s a vengeanceseeking hitman in this one. Movies 10: 12:40, 3:00, 5:25, 7:35, 10:05. Dark Skies (R) — Bunch of terrifying something or other invades the suburbs. Rave: 11:10 a.m.,


FEBRUARY 28, 2013


1:40, 4:20, 6:50, 9:20. Django Unchained (R) — Another revenge flick from Quentin Tarantino, with Jamie Foxx and the guy from “Titanic.” Rave: 10:00 p.m. Escape from Planet Earth (PG) — Animated aliens have to escape from the planet Earth. Rave: 11:20 a.m., 1:45, 4:10, 6:35, 9:00, 11:25 (2D), 12:20, 2:45, 5:10, 7:35 (3D). Riverdale: 9:15 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 1:25, 3:30, 5:35, 7:40, 9:45. Gangster Squad (R) — Hardboiled gangster drama set in 1940s Los Angeles, with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Movies 10: noon, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00. A Good Day to Die Hard (R) — “Die Hard” goes to Russia in search of a paycheck. Rave: 11:45 a.m., 2:25, 4:55, 7:25, 10:00. Riverdale: 9:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15, 10:30. The Guilt Trip (PG-13) — It’s exactly like “The Road,” except with Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand and the world hasn’t ended yet and it’s supposedly a comedy. Movies 10: 12:20, 2:40, 4:55, 7:15, 9:40. Identity Thief (R) — Yeah, real cute Hollywood. We’ll see how funny it is when somebody steals your debit card number and uses it to buy a bunch of iPads. Rave: 11:05 a.m., 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05. Riverdale: 9:05 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 1:35, 3:50, 6:05, 8:20, 10:35. The Impossible (PG-13) — Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star in this tale of a family that survives the 2004 Asian tsunami. Riverdale: 9:25 a.m., 11:55 a.m., 2:25, 4:55, 7:25, 9:55. Jack Reacher (PG-13) — Cliche-a-thon action thriller starring Tom Cruise and, for some reason, Werner Herzog. Movies 10: 12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 9:50. The Last Stand (R) — The Governator returns to the silver screen to blow up bad guys with Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman. Movies 10: 12:25, 2:50, 5:15, 7:40, 10:10. Life of Pi (PG) — Based on the smash-hit book of the same name, from director Ang Lee. Market Street: 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15. Monsters Inc. (G) — Pixar film about a group of monsters contending with a precocious, fearless youngster. Movies 10: 12:30, 5:10, 9:55 (2D), 2:55, 7:25. Quartet (PG-13) — Bunch of retired British singers in an old folks home have to get the band back together to save the orphanage, er, sorry, the old folks home. Market Street: 2:15, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15. Rave: 10:45 a.m., 1:35, 4:05, 6:35, 9:05. Rise of the Guardians (PG) — Animated adven-

ture story about a group of heroes who protect the imaginations of children from an evil spirit who wants to take over the world. Movies 10: 12:10, 2:25, 4:45, 7:05, 9:25. Safe Haven (PG-13) — Sorry dude, but you are definitely going to have to take your girlfriend to see this soft-focus yawn-fest. Rave: 10:55 a.m., 1:55, 4:50, 7:40, 10:35. Riverdale: 9:20 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 2:20. Side Effects (R) — Former male stripper Channing Tatum’s wife gets all messed up on pills or something in this pharmacologicallyinspired thriller from Steven Soderbergh. Rave: 10:20 a.m. Silver Linings Playbook (R) — Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star as two dysfunctional yet charming weirdoes who are just trying to make their way in this crazy world, OK? Jeez! Market Street: 1:45, 4:20, 6:45, 9:15. Riverdale: 9:30 a.m., 12:05, 2:40, 5:15, 7:50, 10:25. Snitch (R) — The Rock has to go undercover in order to save his son. Breckenridge: 10:15 a.m., 1:00, 2:00, 3:45, 4:45, 6:30, 7:30, 9:15, 10:15, midnight. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (PG-13) — Vampire movie sequel starring the girl who cheated on the guy, plus the other guy, the werewolf one. Oh yeah, get this: It’s the last one in the series! Movies 10: 1:00, 4:15, 7:10, 9:45. Warm Bodies (PG-13) — Pretty much “Twilight,” but with zombies instead of whatever it was “Twilight” had. Rave: 1:10, 3:40, 6:40, 9:10, 11:45. Wreck-It Ralph (PG) — Animated movie about a video game character. Movies 10: 12:15, 2:45, 5:20, 7:50, 10:20. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 945-7400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Lakewood 8: 2939 Lakewood Village Drive, 7585354, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 312-8900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990, Regal McCain Mall 12: 3929 McCain Blvd., 7531380,


‘John Dies’ might be bad-good, or maybe just bad ...but gets an ‘A’ for futuristic distribution. BY DAVID KOON


ith Oscar season over and the studios no longer fielding their blue ribbon films, we’ve hit the becalmed Sargasso Sea of cinema between “For Your Consider- ‘JOHN DIES AT THE END’: Chase ation ...” and “THIS SUMMER BRUCE Williamson and Paul Giamatti star. WILLIS WILL BLOW. YOU. AWAY!!!!” There’s just not a lot of product coming sages and T-bone steaks), a hot girl whose out of Hollywood right now, and we’re face explodes into a mess of snakes, internot ready to start reviewing Bollywood dimensional creatures you can only see flicks (too much dancing!), so we de- out of the corner of your eye, a fight with cided to go with a non-traditional pick an undead high schooler, a bratwurst that this week called “John Dies at the End.” doubles as a telephone that can talk to the See, kids, here in the future, filmmak- dead, inter-dimensional holes like in the ers are slowly realizing that they don’t Bugs Bunny cartoons, a slaughter done in have to go through the hassle of actually literal cartoon, and swarms of tiny insects showing a film in what old poots like me that want to take over the earth. And, at call “a theater.” There are other chan- one point, they become badass shotgunnels these days to get a movie before the toting monster fighters. I think. Right in masses, and — though it will be a sad, sad the middle of all that, for some reason, is day — there’s probably going to come a a very nice series of cameos by big time time when going to the sit-down-and- Actor’s Actor Paul Giamatti (who also have-your-feet-stick-to-the-floor movie produced the film) as a reporter trying to theater will be an old timey curiosity on figure it all out. Good luck with that, pal. par with going to the drive-in. “John Dies I wanted to like “John Dies at the End.” at the End,” for instance, is not only being I really did. I’ve been a huge fan of the shown in limited theaters, it’s also avail- “Phantasm” horror series since I was a kid, able on demand right now in eight spots and I love Giamatti. I also like flicks that online, including Amazon, iTunes, X-Box try to mashup horror and comedy, which Live, Google Play and Vudu. Yay, future! is a lot harder than it looks. So I actually The only problem with all this lovely gritted my teeth and TRIED to like this futurism is that “John Dies at the End” movie. My failure to do so is made even might be the most confusing movie I’ve more frustrating by the fact that “John ever sat all the way through, destined for Dies at the End” is all done so earnestly, so either the .99 cent store or college-town carefully, with a real eye toward Cronenscreenings where drunk kids shout memo- berg-grade body-horror weirdness, and rized lines and throw toast at the screen. some lovely shot composition. In places, Even though I watched it and then skipped “John Dies” is really fun to look at (though through and rewatched all the parts I was not in others, particularly some of the confuzzled about, I still have no idea what very bad green-screen work toward the was going on in a solid 40 percent of the end), and throughout you get the distinct flick. Forgive me, then, if the following impression that Coscarelli himself not synopsis gets it completely wrong: only knows exactly what’s going on, he’s Written and directed by Don Coscarelli, sure it’s going to save peoples’ souls if the creator of the cult-fave “Phantasm” they’ll just, like, free their mind to accept series, “John Dies at the End” follows the truth of the movie, man. The problem slacker friends David (Chase William- is, this audience member never really got son) and John (Rob Mayes) as they fall that truth, even for a second, and I condown a very weird rabbit hole after David sider myself a pretty good movie watcher meets a Rastafarian dude who seems to person. Did I mention that I really wanted know everything about him. Or can see to like this movie? the future. Or can read his mind. Or someLong story short, “John Dies at the thing. Eventually, David figures out that End” turns out to be so strange that it the guy’s strange abilities have something might actually be one of those horrible to do with a black, living oil he comes to movies that fans actually come to love, call Soy Sauce. Getting dosed with the the way you might love a runt puppy, or stuff leads him into all sorts of semi-non- Khloe Kardashian. Might happen. Who sensical adventures, including fighting a knows? Until that Rastafarian’s Soy Sauce monster made of meat (yes, I know we’re becomes available at Walgreens, none of all made of meat, but this is literal sau- us can see the future. Or something.

SHOP ‘N’ SIP First thursday each month shop ’til 8pm and enjoy dining in one of the many area restaurants.


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FEBRUARY 28, 2013


Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION has announced its 2013 semifinalists in its Restaurant and Chef Awards, and Ashley’s Restaurant pastry chef Tandra Watkins is one of 20 semifinalists in the pastry category. Finalists will be named March 18 and live-streamed on Eater. Winners will be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards on May 6 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.



1620 SAVOY The food is high-quality and painstakingly prepared — a wide-ranging dinner menu that’s sure to please almost everyone. 1620 Market St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-1620. D Mon.-Sat., BR Sun. ADAMS CATFISH & CATERING Catering company with carry-out restaurant. 215 N. Cross St. All CC. $-$$. 501-374-4265. L Tue.-Sat. ALL ABOARD RESTAURANT & GRILL Burgers, catfish, chicken tenders and such in this train-themed restaurant, where an elaborately engineered mini-locomotive delivers patrons meals. 6813 Cantrell Road. No alcohol. 501-975-7401. LD daily. ALLEY OOPS Plate lunches, burgers and homemade desserts. Remarkable Chess Pie. 11900 Kanis Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9400. LD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. B-SIDE The little breakfast place turns tradition on its ear, offering French toast wrapped in bacon on a stick, a musthave dish called “biscuit mountain” and beignets with lemon curd. 11121 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-716-2700. BL Wed.-Sun. BAR LOUIE Features a something-foreverybody menu so broad and varied to be almost schizophrenic. 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 924. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-228-0444. LD daily. 11525 Cantrell Road. 501-228-0444. BIG WHISKEY’S AMERICAN BAR AND GRILL A modern grill pub with boneless 56

FEBRUARY 28, 2013


821-5398 17717 Chenal Parkway

QUICK BITE This is a place that can cater to any taste, including special diets. The menu is well-marked for both vegan and gluten-free items, making life easier for the large group trying to decide on a place where everyone can eat. HOURS 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted. Full bar.


PEABODY HOTEL EXECUTIVE CHEF ANDRE POIROT and “a small number” of other managers will be out of a job Wednesday as the changeover in the leaseholder occurs, hotel spokesman Bruce Skidmore confirmed Monday. The hotel will be taken over by the Marriott brand Thursday. The Peabody name will remain for the next 30 to 60 days, as will the ducks. After that, they’ll retire and the hotel name will be changed. Skidmore said the hotel will announce the new executive chef and general manager soon. New owner Fairwood Capital LLC, which bought the lease from the Peabody, plans to invest $16 million to remodel and upgrade the hotel.

A.W. Lin’s Asian Cuisine

HIGH QUALITY: A.W. Lin’s sushi dinner.

A.W. Lin’s hits all the marks Offers upscale pan-Asian at Promenade at Chenal.


sian cuisine has been considered a cheap option in these parts for a long time, relegated to white paper take-out containers or left to slowly wilt and die under the sneeze guards of an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs for a group of culinary traditions that stretch back further than the lifespan of many Western countries. Lucky for us, more elevated options for Chinese and Japanese dining have sprung up over the years to offer a new perspective on Asian cuisine, in atmospheres that are far closer to fine dining than fast food. The latest entrant onto this scene is A.W. Lin’s, a sleek and subdued new addition to the Promenade at Chenal, a shopping center that is quickly growing into a destination for good food along with high-end consumer goods. Of all the places we’ve tried in the Promenade (which at this point is most of

them), A.W. Lin’s is among the best in terms of food, service and overall dining experience. Stepping through the door into the modern decor of the dining room, we were greeted by no fewer than three people, including servers who wouldn’t even be waiting on us and therefore had no need to butter us up for a tip. The welcoming nature of the service persisted when we met our server, Carla, who was the excellent sort we pray for every time we go out to eat: friendly, courteous, knowledgeable about the menu, and unobtrusive during the meal. We ordered some soup and salad along with an appetizer and settled in to enjoy our meal. The first thing to hit our table were the Vegetable Spring Rolls ($3), a savory mix of shredded cabbage wrapped in a thin wonton wrapper and fried to a crisp. The cabbage was well-spiced and still slightly crunchy — a cooking style

that allowed the vegetable’s natural sweetness to come through. Served to the side was a sweet and sour sauce that we found to have a nice spicy kick to it that cut down on the cloying effect such sauces normally have on us. There is a pork egg roll on the menu, but these light vegetarian rolls were so good that we didn’t miss the meat for a moment. Our first soup was the Hot and Sour ($3 cup, $5 bowl), a piquant and pungent soup of tofu, bamboo shoots, peppers, and other vegetables all swimming in a rich and glossy broth. Hot and sour is one of those soups that can be hit or miss, being neither hot nor sour, but the A.W. Lin’s version was a hit with us on both counts. People looking for lighter fare will be pleased by the miso soup, a simple chicken broth soup spiked with salty miso. Again, this is a simple soup that most places don’t get right, often serving a variety that eats like watered-down Campbell’s, but we found this cup to be quite nice, bright and robust in flavor and warming all the way down. Paired with our soups was a House Salad ($5), a large bowl of fresh mixed greens and grape tomatoes covered by one of the best ginger dressings we’ve ever had the pleasure to taste. Thick and chunky with grated ginger, the dressing was still cool and creamy to the tongue with just a slight bite that grew on us as we ate more and more of it. All too often, dinner salads are afterthoughts consisting of some dry iceberg coated in store-brand ranch — this was a salad full of spinach and green leaf lettuce that we could have easily made into a light meal by itself. We ordered entrees from both sides

Information in our restaurant capsules reflects the opinions of the newspaper staff and its reviewers. The newspaper accepts no advertising or other considerations in exchange for reviews, which are conducted anonymously. We invite the opinions of readers who think we are in error.

of the menu: one dish from the Chinese side and one from the sushi-oriented Japanese side. Our Chinese dish, or rather Chinese-by-way-of-Thailand dish, was the Pad See Ew ($11), a large bowl of wide rice noodles served with grilled shrimp and a spicy sauce that was perfectly accentuated by the lime wedges on the side. This is a dish that is a good combination of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors, and while we thought the noodles were the perfect vehicle for the dark-soy-based sauce, it was the plump and flavorful shrimp that were the real star. Served in a family-style bowl, this is a dish that could easily feed two people. For sushi, we decided on the Sushi Dinner ($21), a selection of tuna, yellowtail, albacore, shrimp, eel, squid, salmon and red snapper nigiri sushi, with a spicy tuna roll on the side. And because we can get a little greedy with sushi, we decided to add another roll to the plate, opting for the spicy salmon. The rolls were pretty standard, and people who like a little kick to their fresh fish should find nothing they won’t like here. The nigiri sushi was some of the best we’ve sampled in Little Rock: thick, succulent slices of seafood on small pillows of rice that were still just slightly warm. The tuna, albacore and yellowtail were all delightful, with each bite coming through with the clean taste and buttery mouth-feel of high-quality fish. A particularly pleasant surprise was a tender piece of smoked eel, so good it made us realize that we’ve been missing out on good eel for years now. The entire platter was finished by an upside-down martini glass with a sliced strawberry nestled in a thin puddle of whipped cream. It’s a touch gimmicky, but we liked it. A.W. Lin’s is an impressive place, from the wonderful service to the wide range of flavors in the food. It’s a place where sushi purists can find a lot to love, while their friends who don’t touch raw fish can also have a number of excellent choices from the rest of the menu. The restaurant is executing well across the board, providing a meal that is as close to flawless as any we’ve had in recent memory. With the numerous choices present in the Promenade, it can be hard for any one place to stand out, but A.W. Lin’s certainly does.


B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards

wings, burgers, steaks, soups and salads. 225 E Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-3242449. LD daily. BOBBY’S COUNTRY COOKIN’ One of the better plate lunch spots in the area, with some of the best fried chicken and pot roast around. 301 N. Shackleford Road, Suite E1. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-9500. L Mon.-Fri. BOGIE’S BAR AND GRILL Menu filled with burgers, salads and giant desserts, plus a few steak, fish and chicken main courses. 120 W. Pershing Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-812-0019. D daily. BOOKENDS CAFE Serving coffee and pastries early and sandwiches, soups and salads available after 11 a.m. Cox Creative Center.

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas

No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501- 918-3091. BL Mon.-Sat. CATFISH CITY AND BBQ GRILL Basic fried fish and sides, including green tomato pickles, and tasty ribs and sandwiches in beef, pork and sausage. 1817 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7224. LD Tue.-Sat. CHICKEN KING Arguably Central Arkansas’s best wings. 5213 W 65th St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-5573. LD Mon.-Sat. CORNERSTONE PUB & GRILL A sandwich, pizza and beer joint. 314 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1782. LD Mon.-Sat. DAVID’S BUTCHER BOY BURGERS Serious hamburgers, steak salads, homemade custard. 101 S. Bowman Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$.

“Un grand merci à nos amis et clientèle!”


the Italian Kitchen NortherN & Coastal ItalIaN CuIsINe Private events


in the

lulav loft for 20-300

Lunch M-F 11-2 · Dinner M-TH 5-9 Dinner Fri-Sat 5-10 Bar Open: Until LOCATED IN THE

historic Mathis Building 220 WEST 6TH STREET DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCk

501-227-8333. LD Mon.-Sat. 4000 McCain Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-353-0387. LD Mon.-Sat. E’S BISTRO Try the heaping grilled salmon BLT on a buttery croissant. 3812 JFK Boulevard. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-771-6900. HILLCREST ARTISAN MEATS A fancy charcuterie and butcher shop with excellent daily soup and sandwich specials. 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd. Suite B. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-671-6328. L Mon.-Sat. KITCHEN EXPRESS Delicious “meat and three” restaurant offering big servings of homemade soul food. 4600 Asher Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3500. BLD Mon.-Sat., LD Sun. LYNN’S CHICAGO FOODS Outpost for Chicago specialties like Vienna hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. 6501 Geyer Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-568-2646. LD Mon.-Sat. MASON’S DELI AND GRILL Heaven for those who believe everything is better with sauerkraut on top. 400 Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-376-3354. LD Mon.-Sat. NEWK’S EXPRESS CAFE Gourmet sandwiches, salads and pizzas. 4317 Warden Road. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-8826. LD daily. PHIL’S HAM AND TURKEY PLACE Fine hams, turkeys and other specialty meats served whole, by the pound or in sandwich form. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-2136. LD Mon.-Fri. L Sat. SLICK’S SANDWICH SHOP & DELI Meatand-two plate lunches in state office building. 101 E. Capitol Ave. No alcohol. 501-375-3420. BL Mon.-Fri. SPORTS PAGE One of the largest, juiciest, most flavorful burgers in town. 414 Louisiana St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-9316. LD Mon.-Fri. SUGIE’S Catfish and all the trimmings. 4729 Baseline Road. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-5700414. LD daily. TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE Smoothies, sandwiches and salads. 10221 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-2242233. BLD daily; 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-786-6555. LD Mon.-Fri., BLD Sat.; 524 Broadway St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 246-3145. BLD Mon.-Fri. (closes at 6 p.m.) 10221 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-224-2233. BLD daily 12911 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-376-2233. BLD daily 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-7866555. LD Mon.-Fri., BLD Sat. WAYNE’S FISH & BURGERS TO GO Offers generously-portioned soulfood plate lunches and dinners — meat, two sides, corn bread — for $6. 2221 South Cedar St. 501-663-9901.


CHI DIMSUM & BISTRO A huge menu spans the Chinese provinces and offers a few twists on the usual local offerings. 6 Shackleford Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-7737. LD daily. 17200 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-8000. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. FORBIDDEN GARDEN Classic, American-ized Chinese food in a modern setting. Try the Basil CONTINUED ON PAGE 58


FEBRUARY 28, 2013







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For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Share tips: Crosswords for young solvers:


Chicken. 14810 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-8149. LD daily. FU LIN Quality in the made-to-order entrees is high, as is the quantity. 200 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-225-8989. LD daily, BR Sun. KIYEN’S SEAFOOD STEAK AND SUSHI Sushi, steak and other Japanese fare. 17200 Chenal Pkwy, Suite 100. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-7272. LD daily. NEW FUN REE Reliable staples, plenty of hot and spicy options and dependable delivery. 418 W 7th St. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-664-6657. LD Mon.-Sat.

CAPITOL SMOKEHOUSE AND GRILL Beef, pork and chicken, all smoked to melting tenderness and doused with a choice of sauces. 915 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-4227. L Mon.-Fri. CROSS EYED PIG BBQ COMPANY Traditional barbecue favorites smoked well such as pork ribs, beef brisket and smoked chicken. 1701 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-265-0000. L Mon.-Sat., D Tue.-Fri. 1701 Rebsamen Park Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-2277427. LD daily. FATBOY’S KILLER BAR-B-Q Tender ribs and pork by a contest pitmaster. Skip the regular sauce and risk the hot variety, it’s far better. 14611 Arch Street. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-888-4998. L Mon.-Wed. and Fri.; L Thu. HB’S BBQ Great slabs of meat with fiery barbecue sauce, but ribs are served on Tuesday only. 6010 Lancaster. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-5651930. LD Mon.-Fri. MICK’S BBQ, CATFISH AND GRILL Good burgers, picnic-worthy deviled eggs and heaping barbecue sandwiches topped with sweet sauce. 3609 MacArthur Dr. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-791-2773. LD Mon.-Sun. SIMS BAR-B-QUE Great spare ribs, sandwiches, beef, half and whole chicken. 2415 Broadway. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-6868. LD Mon.-Sat. 1307 John Barrow Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-2057. LD Mon.-Sat. 7601 Geyer Springs Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-562-8844. LD Mon.-Sat.


KHALIL’S PUB Widely varied menu with European, Mexican and American influences. 110 S. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-0224. LD daily. BR Sun. THE PANTRY The menu stays relatively true to Czechoslovakian roots, but there’s plenty of choices to suit all tastes. 11401 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-353-1875. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. STAR OF INDIA The best Indian restaurant in the region with some fabulous dishes at night. 301 N. Shackleford. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-2279900. LD daily. TASTE OF ASIA Delicious Indian food in a pleasant atmosphere. 2629 Lakewood Village Dr. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-812-4665. LD daily.


DAMGOODE PIES A somewhat different Italian/pizza place, largely because of a spicy garlic white sauce that’s offered as an alternative to the traditional red sauce. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 6706 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 10720 Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 37 East Center St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-444-7437. LD daily. NYPD PIZZA Plenty of tasty choices. Even the personal pizzas come in impressive combinations, and baked ziti, salads are more also are available. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd., Suite 1. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-8683911. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. VESUVIO Arguably Little Rock’s best Italian restaurant tucked inside the Best Western Governor’s Inn within a nondescript section of west Little Rock. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-225-0500. D daily.


CASA MEXICANA Familiar Tex-Mex style items all shine, in ample portions, and the steak-centered dishes are uniformly excellent. 6929 JFK Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-835-7876. LD daily. ELIELLA You’ll find perhaps the widest variety of street style tacos in Central Arkansas here . The menu is in Spanish, but the waitstaff is accomodating to gringos. 7700 Baseline Road. Beer, All CC. $. 501-539-5355. L Mon.-Sat. LA HACIENDA Creative, fresh-tasting entrees and traditional favorites, all painstakingly prepared in a festive atmosphere. 3024 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-661-0600. LD daily. 200 Highway 65 N. Conway. All CC. $$. 501-327-6077. LD daily. LAS DELICIAS Levy-area mercado with a taqueria and a handful of booths in the back of the store. 3401 Pike Ave. NLR. Beer, All CC. $. 501-812-4876. MEXICO CHIQUITO Hearty platters of boldly spiced, inexpensive food that compete well with those at the “authentic” joints. 13924 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-217-0700. LD daily. SAN JOSE GROCERY STORE AND BAKERY The fresh flour tortillas, overstuffed burritos and sopes are the real things. 7411 Geyer Springs Road. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-565-4246. BLD daily.


FEBRUARY 28, 2013


Hey, do this!

Skinny Girl cocktails have three new products hitting stores the first week of March. Make sure to check out the newly introduced Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka, Skinnygirl Moscato Wine, and Skinnygirl Mojito.

M A R CF UHN! Food, Music, Entertainment and everything else that’s


The finals of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase take place at Rev Room in downtown Little Rock. Finalists include Damn Arkansan, Stephen Neeper Band, The Revolutioners, Terminus and The Sound of the Mountain. The first act goes on at 9 p.m. It’s an all ages show with a $5 cover for folks 21 and older, $10 for 20 and younger crowd. For photos, videos and more info, visit n RODNEY BLOCK & The Real Music Lovers, will be performing at ZIN Friday March 1, 9:00 pm until 12 Midnight! This is a one time event, and should not be missed! These guys are amazing! Come bring your main squeeze and enjoy the incredible sounds of this Jazz group. There will be a $10 per person cover. Hope to see all our Zinners there!

➧ ➧


Tickets go on sale for SPAMALOT, the 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Musical. Based on the classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, SPAMALOT tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. The show will take place April 1-2 at Robinson Center Music Hall in Little Rock. For tickets, visit


Singer-songwriter Shannon Wurst performs at Live at Laman, a concert series at Laman Library in North Little Rock. The series takes place every second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For a complete list of upcoming performances, visit

MARCH 16-17

Dugan’s Irish Pub in downtown Little Rock hosts its annual St.

Patrick’s Day block party

featuring live music, Irish dancers, green beer, traditional Irish food and more. The Irish Cultural Society’s St. Patty’s Day parade will pass by Dugan’s at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

MARCH 21-24

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute atop Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton hosts its annual Film Forum. Spend four days with Hollywood insiders and participate in workshops, discussions, dinner parties and other events. The complete agenda and list of faculty members is available online at Pricing ranges from the full package at $750 to “a la carte” options for $25-$50. For more info, call 501-727-5435.

Through MARCH 3

Don’t miss the final performances of Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. This thrilling, high-flying production has toured on five continents and mesmerized millions of people with its cast of 52 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters. Tickets are $37.50-$92.50 and available online at and by phone at 800-7453000. For show times, visit


The Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock presents Treasure Island, a new musical based on the famous story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Set to a thrilling score and full of action and adventure, pirates and crews battle to discover the coveted Isle of Treasure. Opening night features an 8 p.m. curtain call and includes a post-show reception with complimentary champagne and light hors d’oeuvres. For tickets, show times and information about special events, visit

MARCH 15-19


Argenta Community Theatre in downtown North Little Rock will transform into a lantern-lit beer garden for Taming of the Brew, a night of revelry in honor of the upcoming season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. Starving Artist Cafe will provide delicious fare, wine and beer will be flowing and fantastic prizes will be up for auction. Tickets are $75. The event begins at 7 p.m. For more info, visit

The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival (VOV) returns to Hot Springs.

Forty-two bands from eight countries will perform. In addition to live music, there will be parties, film screenings and workshops on everything from block printing to breakdancing. Festival passes are $40 and include admission to all shows and events plus a VOV tee shirt and fanzine. General admission to each show is $10. For a complete list of acts and events, visit


The Little Rock Zoo welcomes one of the most beloved animals, the Easter Bunny for breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and lunch at 1 p.m. Kids can have their picture taken, meet new animal friends, decorate an Easter cookie and make an Easter basket. Tickets are $16.95 for children and $21.95 for adults for zoo members. Call 501-661-7218 to reserve your spot today. Arkansas Tech University presents the 2013 Senior

Fine Art Exhibit,

featuring the works of 10 graduating seniors. The opening reception is Saturday, March 30 from 6-8 p.m. at Norman Gallery on the Tech campus in Russellville. The exhibit will run through April 14.

Road Trip! Destination

Oxford, Mississippi


William Faulkner, Barry Hannah and Larry Brown are some of the many famous Southern writers who have hailed from Oxford, Mississippi. Now in its 20th year, The Oxford Conference for the Book takes place March 21-23. Over three days, novelists, memoirists, essayists, journalists, poets, bloggers, teachers, students and lovers of literature will gather to discuss a range of topics relevant to the written word. For a complete schedule of events, visit oxfordconferenceforthebook. com. While in Oxford, visit Rowan Oak, the beautiful estate of William Faulkner, and spend time on the Square, where you’ll find Square Books, the beloved bookstore, as well as great shopping and dining. A few of our favorite local spots include City Grocery for fine Southern cuisine, Ajax Diner for soul food, Bottletree Bakery for coffee and pastries and Proud Larry’s for pizza and live music.

february 28, 2013



4 FEBRUARY 28, 2013





ime to clear out those cabinets and get rid of the stuff that’s too old, broken or just not cool anymore, especially in the kitchen. We’ve rounded up some great gadgets to upgrade your culinary toolbox. The Charles Viancin lily pad and hibiscus lids 1 have been really popular at Krebs Brothers Kitchen Store. They are made from FDA-approved silicone, and come in a variety of sizes. Use them in place of plastic wrap or foil. It is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. Did you know you’re more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one? That’s why you need the wonderful Kyocera ceramic knives 2 – they hold their edge 10 times longer than traditional steel knives, and are available at Krebs Brothers. These lightweight and razor sharp knives are made in Japan and feature a lifetime warranty. If you prefer German craftsmanship, Krebs Brothers is currently featuring a gift with purchase promotion on the Wusthof Pro line 3. Customers that purchase $100 of Wusthof Pro products will receive a 2 Step Sharpener from Wusthof free! If you like to rock out in the kitchen,




CRAZY DAVE'S CARPET OUTLET (6"3"/5&&%-08&4513*$& 12 Months No Interest, Same As Cash* 7JOZMaTGt$BSQFUaTG -BNJOBUFaTGt"SFB3VHT




hearsay ➼ L&L BECK GALLERY’S March exhibit will be “Potpourri,â€? featuring examples from all of Louis’ varied subject matter. “Puppy Portrait,â€? is the giclĂŠe giveaway of the month. The exhibit will run through the month of March, and the giclĂŠe drawing will be held at 7 p.m. March 21. ➼ We’ve had big changes at local restaurants: ACADIA is now offering its prix fixe menu every night, instead of just on Mondays and Tuesdays. For $25.75 per person, diners will be treated to a three-course feast, or they can still order off the regular menu. Over in the River Market, the restaurant formerly known as Rumba is now REVOLUTION, just like the music venue that’s housed in the same space, with a new menu to match, that includes



Box Turtle has the implements to suit your style. Rockin’ Spoons 4 from Kikkerland are salad spoons made from beechwood and are in the shape of guitars. There’s also the BBQ Rockin’ Fork from GAMAGO 5 in the shape of a heavy metal hand (or the hook ‘em horns if you’re – gasp! – a Longhorns fan). For those that are attracted to the whimsical, the gnome juicer 6 at Box Turtle is a must-buy. You place your citrus fruit halves on his head and go to town. If your main concern is keeping the kitchen clean, then Box Turtle’s wooden grater box 7 lets you grate cheese, spices or chocolate, and it goes into this tidy little box. But there’s no need for cool kitchen gadgets if you don’t have quality ingredients for your dishes. Head over to Hillcrest Artisan Meats, a full-service butcher shop and charcuterie. Aside from their amazing meats, HAM also carries Raimondo olive oils and balsamic vinegars, which are produced here in Arkansas. Boulevard Bread is the go-to place for bread, natch, as well as artisan cheeses, imported pantry items, fine olives, tapenades and gourmet-to-go dishes. Both stores sell Arsagas coffee.


appetizers, tacos, fajitas and other fare. ➼ EASTER SEALS is hosting The Fashion Event at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Peabody Hotel. The fund-raiser features spring fashion from local boutiques and retailers, and professional models are joined on the runway by Easter Seals children and adults. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $100 for table seating. For more information, contact Cara Neal at cneal@eastersealsar. com or 501-227-3702. ➼ There will be a vintage Chanel event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 12-13 at BARBARA/JEAN LTD. For more information and a calendar of events, visit

March 8

Featuring works of art from ArtGroup Maumelle.

Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 6pm, Sun – By Appointment

♦ Fine Art ♦ Cocktails & Wine ♦ Hors d’oeuvres ♦


Work by clients of theof the Work by clients Work byCreative clients ofExpressions the Creative Expressions Creative Expressions Program of theof Arkansas Program the Arkansas Program of the Arkansas State Hospital State Hospital State Hospital Christ Christ Church Gallery Church Gallery Christ Church Gallery 509 Scott Street | 375.2342 509 Scott Street | 375.2342

The 2nd Friday Of Each Month, 5-8 pm 509 Scott Street | Little Rock's Downtown EpiscopalEpiscopal Church Church Little Rock's Downtown Little Rock's Downtown Episcopal Church


Work by clients of the Creative Expressions Program of the Arkansas State Hospital

Gypsy Bistro Christ Church Gallery

“The Struggle Continues... History Unfolds”



February 19–April 8, 2013


“Rose OIN Gatherer” by Sean LeCrone (left)

An Exhibition of Mixed Media (Shoe Polish/Ink), Collages & Serigraphs

509 Scott Street | 375.2342 Little Rock's Downtown Episcopal Church


“We Go Forward” Frank Frazier Mixed Media – Shoe Polish Paper Size – 26” x 40”

Artist Talk: Saturday March 9, 2013, 11am

The Old State House Museum



“Horse” by Gino Hollander (top right)

Artist: Frank Frazier Opening Reception: Second Friday Matinee March 8, 2013, 1–3pm Second Friday Art Nite March 8, 2013, 5-8pm

1001 Wright Ave. Suite C Little Rock, AR 501-372-6822

Gourmet. Your Way. All Day.

300 Third Tower • 501-375-3333

521 President Clinton Ave. Sponsored by River Market District (501) 975-9800


 Fine Art  Cocktails & Wine  Hor d’oeuvres

“Golden Lab” by Alicia Banks (bottom right)

Join Us 5-8pm

Featured Artist Sean LeCrone. “HOT SEAT”Exhibit BY Featured “Highlights of Spring” CATHERINE RODGERS

Pyramid Place Pyramid Place 2nd2nd && Center Center St St (501) (501)801-0211 801-0211

These venues will be open late. There’s alleries • 320-5792 Presents plenty of parking and a Exhibition Opening free trolley to each of the No I’m Not, He Is: A Flying Snake Best in Show: locations. and Oyyo Comic Retrospective needlepoint, oils, watercolor, and mixed media “Sunflower1” by Diane Ziemski Don’t miss it – Work by clients of theof the Work by clients Created by artist Michael Jukes, this ART MUSINGS k byCreative clients ofExpressions the lots of fun! exhibition gathers the cream of the corniest Mid-Southern Watercolorists Creative Expressions Work by clients of the Flying Snake cartoons and other artworks. eative Expressions Spring 2013 Exhibition Program ofJuried theof Arkansas Program the Arkansas Creative Expressions libations and refreshments Free parking March 8 April 19 am of the Arkansas Program ofHospital the Arkansas State at 3rd & State Hospital Opening Reception March 8 Featured Artist State Hospital State Hospital Cumberland Angela Anderson Christ Church street church church 509 Scott Street Free | 375-2342 Although grounded in the basics of art, church Drivers Legal Plan church parking all over logo logo Angela went on to develop her own logo logo Little Rock’s Downtown Church downtownEpiscopal and self-taught style of painting with acrylics. behind the River ChristChrist Church Gallery Christ Church Gallery Church Gallery Drivers Legal Plan 509 Scott Street | 375.2342 Live Music ist Church Gallery Market 509 Scott Street | 375.2342 509 Scott Street | 375.2342 9 ScottLittle Street | Oksana Pavilionis Rock's Downtown Episcopal Church (Paid parking Little Rock's Downtown EpiscopalEpiscopal Church Church Little Rock's Downtown A premier concert violinist, Pavilionis will play a available for k's Downtown Episcopal Church mix of classical and folk tunes. She is an Arts On modest fee.) The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Arts @ Christ Church Tour artist with the Arkansas Arts Council.


Works by Kathy Thompson ARTART MUSINGS MUSINGS T MUSINGS artist reception 5-8 pm


The Youth String Quartet

of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Friday, March 8 • 5–8 p.m. Free Admission


free trolley! ➧

Cox Creative Center

Razorback Laundry by Rachel Green

Opening reception for

Hidden ArkAnsAs

with live music by

Peg roach Loyd

A museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

200 E. Third St • 501-324-9351 •

february 28, 2013




Broadcast in Spanish with English subtitles

Saturday, March 9 • 7pm - 11pm Argenta Community Theater $75 proceeds benefit ARKANSAS SHAKESPEARE THEATRE

Thursday, February 28 at 10:30 PM



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WHAT WOULD JESUS CARRY, CONT. From page 12 “The notion of bringing instruments of death and mayhem — and that’s what a gun is — into a place dedicated to love and life and peace and wholeness is a perversion,” Griffen said. “It is a contamination of everything that you might consider sacred.” Griffen said that those who attend a church that allows concealed carry should consider what that decision suggests about church leaders’ faith. “Do you really want to go to worship at a place,” Griffen said, “where the people who are the official leadership of the church have such a low view of God, and of love, and of humanity that they invite people to come and worship weaponized?” Rabbi David Lipper of Congregation B’nai Israel said the synagogue will not be allowing guns on the premises either, and plans to post signs. In addition to a

prohibition in Jewish law that forbids the carrying of concealed weapons in public, Lipper said that his congregation refuses to “live in an armed camp, which is not what our faith teaches us to do.” He called the lifting of the church carry ban “a bad decision.” “We believe our house of worship

the church ban on concealed carry at the website to which he contributes, While he said his church hasn’t had specific conversations on what its policy will be, he believes whether or not to allow church carry is a decision that should be left to the churches. Horton said that lifting the ban will let

“The notion of bringing instruments of death and mayhem — and that’s what a gun is — into a place dedicated to love and life and peace and wholeness is a perversion. It is a contamination of everything that you might consider sacred.” is a place of peace,” Lipper said, “and therefore we want to do no actions in our house of worship that would encourage people to do otherwise.” Nic Horton is a minister at Faith Assembly of God Highway 36 in Searcy, and has been a vocal advocate of lifting

smaller, rural churches provide security by arming certain trusted parishioners, adding that he believes many churches will go that route: letting a few carry, instead of a blanket permission. Allowing churches to make decisions like that, Horton said, is “the real meaning of the

separation of church and state.” “What it does is get the state out of the business of making decisions for churches, and allows the churches to make decisions for themselves,” he said. “The beauty of it is, if the pastors you’ve talked to don’t want to allow church carry, they don’t have to. But churches like mine and others in the area that feel like we should have some sort of security in place, we have the right to do that now.” As for the moral issue of bringing guns into churches, Horton said that’s also a discussion for individual church congregations, and the state shouldn’t intrude. “I think the issue of church sovereignty is really important,” Horton said. “And if people don’t want to go to a church that allows concealed carry, guess what? They don’t have to. They can go to the church of one of the pastors you interviewed that won’t allow it. They have that choice.”



FEBRUARY 28, 2013

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