Page 1

NEWS + POLITICS + ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD / MARCH 16, 2017 / ARKTIMES.COM


HONEY PIES

LITTLE ROCK PIE SHOP | ESTABLISHED 2015

HONEY PIES

HONEY HONEY PIES PIES BEST NEW BEST PIE BEST DESSERT

BAKERY COFFEE ICE CREAM/COOL TREATS

(501) 613-7950 315 N BOWMAN RD, STE 14 LITTLE ROCK, AR 72211

www.myhoneypies.com 2

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

THANKS FOR VOTING US YOUR FAVORITE!


RIVERDALE 10 VIP CINEMA

WE SPECIALIZE IN HUMAN CAPITAL ARKANSAS’S SOURCE FOR NEWS, POLITICS & ENTERTAINMENT 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200 Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

@ArkTimes

arktimes

arkansastimes

oldarktimes

youtube.com/c/arktimes

W: arktimes.com

2600 CANTRELL RD 5 0 1 . 2 9 6.9 955 | R I V E R DA LE1 0.CO M

ELECTRIC RECLINER SEATS AND RESERVED SEATING

ASAP offers staffing solutions to clients looking for a consistent and competent workforce. Our approach to staffing is much more than placement, it’s a partnership that thrives on mutually beneficial results. We are intimately connected with our clients and fully understand the industries we serve. Our goal is to create a mutually beneficial long-term relationship that results in increased profitability and employee loyalty.

SHOW TIMES: FRI, MARCH 17 – THURS, MARCH 23 11:00 SHOW TIMES ALL WEEK

E: arktimes@arktimes.com

PUBLISHER Alan Leveritt EDITOR Lindsey Millar SENIOR EDITOR Max Brantley

10301 N. RODNEY PARHAM ROAD 501-537-2727 • ASAPWORKSFORME.COM

FROM LEFT: CHARLEY ROBERTSON AND KEVIN FAIR

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST PG | 11:00 11:15 1:45 2:00 4:15 4:30 7:00 7:10 9:30 9:40 KONG: SKULL ISLAND PG13 | 11:00 11:15 1:45 1:50 4:15 4:25 6:45 7:00 9:20 9:30 GET OUT R | 11:15 2:00 4:20 7:00 7:10 9:20 9:30 LOGAN R | 11:00 1:45 4:20 6:45 7:00 9:25 9:45 THE SHACK PG13 | 11:00 1:45 4:15 6:45 9:20 A UNITED KINGDOM PG13 | 11:15 2:00 4:25 9:30

LION PG-13 | 11:00 2:00 4:25 HIDDEN FIGURES PG | 11:00 1:45 4:20 7:00

ARKANSAS TIMES FILM SERIES

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (1965) NR 3/21 7:00 ONLY $8.50

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE ONLINE • TICKET KIOSK IN LOBBY

NOW SERVING BEER & WINE • FULL FOOD MENU • GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE

MANAGING EDITOR Leslie Newell Peacock CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Mara Leveritt ASSOCIATE EDITORS Benjamin Hardy, David Koon COPY EDITOR Jim Harris ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Stephanie Smittle EDITORIAL ART DIRECTOR Bryan Moats PHOTOGRAPHER Brian Chilson DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY Jordan Little ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Mike Spain GRAPHIC DESIGNER Katie Hassell DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Phyllis A. Britton DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS Rebekah Hardin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Brooke Wallace, Lee Major, Ashley Gill, Stephen Paulson ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER Roland R. Gladden ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Jim Hunnicutt IT DIRECTOR Robert Curfman CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Anitra Hickman CONTROLLER Weldon Wilson BILLING/COLLECTIONS Linda Phillips OFFICE MANAGER/ACCOUNTS PAYABLE Kelly Jones PRODUCTION MANAGER Ira Hocut (1954-2009)

association of alternative newsmedia

VOLUME 43, NUMBER 28 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $74 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current singlecopy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH

JOIN FOR EASTER JoinUS Us for HappyBRUNCH Hour Monday through Friday • 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Enjoy Regional Brunch Specials, Live Music, Bloody Mary and Mimosa Specials THANKS FOR VOTING US BEST BUSINESS LUNCH!

©2017 ARKANSAS TIMES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP FOR SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE CALL: (501) 375-2985

CacheRestaurant | 425 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock | 501-850-0265 | cachelittlerock.com | CacheLittleRock Brunch served every Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

3


COMMENT

White Christmas in the hills

Donald Trump’s plan to fight global warming with nuclear winter seems to be gaining traction with factions of the far right. One Ozark Mountain city, the de-facto home of the Ku Klux Klan, has put in a bid to host the very first Nuclear Winter Olympics in December 2021. Despite the fact that the city has experienced no measurable snowfall in the past five years, they have announced the Olympic theme, which will be “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” David Rose Hot Springs

More hydropower Most Arkansas residents are unaware that Arkansas can help prevent fossil fuel diminishment, which is calculated to happen in less than 110 years. As a state abundant with water sources, Arkansas has the opportunity to convert all energy sources from fossil fuels to hydropower, energy from the flow of water that can form electricity with generators. Currently, coal is the primary source for Arkansas’s electricity. Approximately half of the electricity used in the state uses it, because coal is known to be the least expensive energy substance for the energy it produces, making the electricity cost cheap, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, the coal supply is estimated to deplete in 107 years. Hydropower has the ability to be a substitute for coal to provide electricity. Arkansas is qualified to expand the use of hydropower as Arkansas has 1,193 state regulated dams; however, only 17 are being used for hydropower, according to the “2014 Report Card for Arkansas’ Infrastructure” [of the Arkansas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers]. If the use of hydropower becomes greater than fossil fuels, the amount of available electricity would rise, because hydropower can convert 90 percent of the inputted energy into electricity, whereas coal is capable of 60 percent. Arkansas’s electricity price is currently 9.85 cents per kilowatt hour, and this could decrease more with the use of hydropower. Lower electricity prices would be beneficial for Arkansas’s economy because it has the third lowest median household income. Minjeong Seok Hot Springs 4

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

Against HB 1665

Everyone I know considers their dog to be a part of their family. As a dog lover and owner myself, I feel obligated to voice my sincere opposition to House Bill 1665. This bill will prohibit documentation of abuse and neglect in puppy mills and on farms throughout the state. Too many egregious acts have been documented in puppy mills, including dogs being left without food and water, not receiving necessary medical care and being left outside to perish in the freezing cold.

Of equal concern, this bill also hinders the report of senior abuse in nursing homes and child abuse in day cares. House Bill 1665 will keep dogs in the cold and will keep citizens in the dark to these atrocities that are committed towards both animals and humans. If you are an animal lover, or care to protect vulnerable children and the elderly, please urge your representative to vote NO on HB 1665. Elisabeth Davis Little Rock

THE BOTTOM LINE:

SMOKING COSTS YOU By the numbers

SMOKERS ARE 33% MORE LIKELY TO MISS

PRODUCTIVITY LOSSES

W O R K THAN NONSMOKERS

IN ARKANSAS

$1.21 BILLION THE ANNUAL HEALTH CARE COSTS IN ARKANSAS DIRECTLY CAUSED BY SMOKING

Cut the Smoke not the Budget SMOKE-FREE POLICIES

INSURANCE PREMIUMS

BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY

LABOR COSTS LEGAL LIABILITY

IMPROVING MORALE

MAINTENANCE COSTS

WHEN YOUR TEAM FEELS GOOD, YOU CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR TEAM.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CREATING A TOBACCO-FREE WORKPLACE, CONTACT:

ADH.TPCP@ARKANSAS.GOV

OR

501-614-5282

A bill being considered by politicians in Little Rock, HB 1665, threatens the health and safety of Arkansas citizens. This measure would discourage employees from documenting unsanitary, dangerous conditions at their workplaces. By suppressing the efforts of whistleblowers on industrial farms, for example, we would be allowing negligent acts to go unnoticed and unrectified. In 2015 alone, the USDA initiated a total of 626 food recalls. One major company had to recall 523,380 pounds of pork and pork-related products that same year due to unsanitary conditions that led to an outbreak of Salmonella. The list goes on and on. The scary reality is that many of these farms supply the food that ends up on our plates. It is our right to safe and disease-free foods. No citizen should have to worry about whether what they are eating will make them sick. Please join me in opposing HB 1665. Kimberly Ortiz Mabelvale

From the web In response to last week’s cover story, “Resist, Arkansas!”: A bunch of gullible females being sucked in by George Soros. They are silly and their waste of time is not going to accomplish anything. It’s time for them and all of those who won’t acknowledge the election results to realize HILLARY LOST; AMERICA WON THE ELECTION. golfer71909 The misogynist ignores the men who joined the women to resist. The tea party was bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers, and nobody sees Soros anywhere except those who traffic in fear and hate. You really can’t believe 50 percent can stand up? America lost the election because we lost our moral standing in the world by electing a narcissistic, pathological liar as president. The whole world knows it, even the Republicans who just pass it off as not mattering one whit. TuckerMax

Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program

www.cleartheairarkansas.com

STAMP OUT SMOKING 1-800-QUIT-NOW

I guess none of these women have a 401K or an IRA that they’ve looked at lately. That’s what’s silenced the liberal men. pissavus


SHOP OVER 80 WORLD CL A SS ARK ANSA S CR AFTSPEOPLE! Art, Jewelry, Woodwork, Crafts, Edibles, Bath Products and more. SATURDAY, APRIL 1 10 A.M. TO 7 P.M.

ADMISSION $5 AT THE DOOR ALL DAY

AL SO! ArkansasMadeArkansasProudMarket

Brought to you by War Memorial Stadium, the Arkansas Times, and Arkansas Made Magazine

PREVIEW AND PRIVATE SHOPPING PART Y Southern Eats, Libations & Silent Auction FRIDAY NIGHT, MARCH 31 6 TO 9 P.M.

TICKETS $25 AT CENTRALARKANSASTICKETS.COM

For more information call Vickie Hart, 501-537-5227 or email at arkansasmadearkansasproud@gmail.com arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

5


WEEK THAT WAS

Quote of the Week:

Guns galore The NRA is set to win again in Arkansas. House Bill 1249, by Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville), began as an effort to allow staff members on college campuses to carry concealed weapons. After much legislative drama on the Senate side, it was ultimately amended to become a much broader expansion. If the Senate amendment receives final concurrence from the House, the new version of HB 1249 will allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to tote their gun on campus, provided they take eight hours of additional training from the State Police. But it would also allow guns in most public buildings — including the state Capitol and county courthouses — and even in bars and churches, 6

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

if not expressly prohibited. Anthony Roulette, an NRA lobbyist, said the organization was “very happy” with the bill and called it “our primary legislative objective in Arkansas this year.”

hasn’t heard from health care professionals who feel a need for such a bill.

Health care ‘conscience’ exemption rejected

Complaints from Arkansas’s congressional delegation — and a change in the White House — have put an end to federal plans to use the vacant Ouachita Job Corps facility in Garland County as a temporary shelter for unaccompanied minors, many fleeing violence in Central America. Fourth District U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, who objected to the children being housed temporarily in his district, celebrated the about-face from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. It’s a victory for the fearful.

The House Public Health committee rejected a bill by Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) that would create an avenue for health care workers, institutions and insurers to opt out of administering or paying for services on the basis of “religious, moral or ethical principles.” Smith said the bill would “protect” those who object to procedures such as transgender reassignment surgery or abortion, and would prohibit withholding “life-sustaining treatment” from any individual. Several doctors objected to the legislation, including Arkansas Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe, who said a “freedom of conscience” exemption was not necessary and “sends a message” to some minority groups (such as LGBT people) that the state “is insensitive to them and is proactively trying to preempt something against them.” Bledsoe said he

Arkansas turns away immigrant children

Legislators seek to punish university for sex ed event Rep. Trevor Drown (R-Dover) and other conservative legislators filed an amendment to Arkansas Tech University’s budget appropriation that would end funding for the Russellville college’s Department of Diversity and Inclusion. The department is targeted in part because it was listed as a spon-

sor for an annual event called “Sex on the Lawn,” which is put on by a student group to provide information about safe sex and relationships. The event used no university funds.

Charters triumph in re-vote on facilities bill A measure to force public school districts to sell or lease their underutilized buildings to charter schools failed in the House on Wednesday by a single vote — but returned on Thursday to narrowly win passage, 53-32. Senate Bill 308 previously passed the Senate and now awaits the governor’s signature.

Wine bill passes With a bare minimum of votes, 18-14, the Senate gave final approval to an expansion of wine sales in Arkansas grocery stores over the strenuous objection of liquor store owners. The bill, which was pushed by Walmart and other grocers, allows sales of all wines in grocery stores, rather than the limited selection of “small farm” and in-state wines now permitted. It now goes to the governor.

ILLUSTRATION BY BRYAN MOATS

“As it’s written today, this bill in the House of Representatives cannot pass the Senate. I believe it would have adverse consequences for millions of Americans and it wouldn’t deliver on our promises to reduce the cost of health insurance for Americans.” — U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton on ABC’s “This Week,” criticizing the American Health Care Act, the House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the AHCA would result in 24 million more Americans being uninsured by 2026. It would also reduce federal deficits by $337 billion, the CBO said. House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump are pushing hard for passage of the AHCA, but it faces mounting opposition from conservatives, some Republicans from states that have expanded Medicaid (such as Arkansas) and congressional Democrats.


ILLUSTRATION BY BRYAN MOATS

OPINION

City Board discovers LRSD

A

n article in Sunday’s Arkansas had in using a toga Democrat-Gazette reminded party to get in good me of John Belushi in “Animal with the dean. The House” exhorting frat brothers to rally Democrat-Gazette against a dean’s effort to put them out of managed to worm business. “Was it over when the Germans a rare quote from MAX bombed Pearl Harbor?” School Czar-inBRANTLEY maxbrantley@arktimes.com The news: The Little Rock City Board Hiding Key. of Directors may consider a long-delayed “If they pass it, resolution asking the state to do a com- that would be their opinion, but I’ve munity impact study before closing, addressed the issue of impact statements. among others, Franklin and Wilson ele- I really don’t have anything else to add mentary schools and the Woodruff Early on that,” he said. Childhood Center. The closure decision Screw Little Rock, in other words. has already been made by state Educa- Still, the City Board members should tion Commissioner Johnny Key. He’s vote on the resolution. For one thing, the “school board” of the district since it’s time for directors to declare where its takeover by the state for academic they stand. For too many years, the board reasons (three of its 48 schools fall short has ignored or even directly harmed the of the “sufficiency” standard based on school district. Their unified voice might test scores.) — might — prompt Key to encourage the The City Board has as much chance state Board of Education to provide a of warming Key’s heart toward Little little leeway for the school district in a Rock as the “Animal House” frat boys return to local control. Some members

Nixon’s EPA

P

oor Richard Nixon would be so hurt, and baffled. He went to his grave knowing that while his historical reputation was in tatters owing to the deceptions and corruption of Watergate, he at least could lay claim to a few of the great advances in human rights in Western history. By fiat and legislation, he made it the duty of government to protect the people’s right to clean air and water, a safe place to work and an environment as free of industrial contamination as it was within the government’s power to make it. If you grew up in the oilfields of South Arkansas or elsewhere before environmental regulation and saw the desolation of saltwater valleys and dead creeks and rivers and knew cousins deformed and brain-crippled by growing up in the brownfield under belching smokestacks, you knew it was a great advance when the public demanded protection from pesticides and other industrial poisons, smog, acid rain, deadened lakes and rivers and the hazards of unsafe workplaces. It had to be Tricky Dick who was in a position to do something, but he did. He created the now despised Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, signed the

bipartisan Clean Air Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, vetoed the Clean Water Act that he had ERNEST supported because DUMAS Congress wouldn’t remove some spending, but then thwarted the spending and happily enforced the law. Over industry charges of creeping socialism, the government got the lead out of paint and phased out lead from gasoline, reducing lead levels in the air by 98 percent and from blood levels by 75 percent; cleared smog from some of the great cities; largely removed cancer-causing pesticides and other dioxins from the food chain; banished acid rain from Eastern forests and lakes; radically improved sewage treatment and made streams safe for recreation; cleaned up the Great Lakes; phased out industrial production of cancer-causing PCBs and ozone-killing propellants; vastly increased the fuel efficiency of vehicles and cleaned up their exhausts; forced the recycling of hazardous wastes; ended dumping sewage

of the City Board are known foes of the millions in state money to open in a schools. Let them own their support school district that is closing successful for the state takeover and ouster of an neighborhood schools to save money. elected school board. They’ve also been Being a Little Rock school patron also enablers of the continuing raid on Lit- means never being able to talk to the tle Rock students by charter schools. I person (Key) who controls your schools presume they are also clucking favor- and who’s asking you for a half-billion ably about the state bill to give students’ dollars in additional tax authorization tax money to attend high-dollar private in a special election in May. Meanwhile, schools. private, unaccountable charter schools The City Board should demand stand ready to take over taxpayeranswers from Key and the LRSD hat- enhanced facilities at the first opporers on the state Board of Education tunity for bargain prices. The Waltons about the favorable treatment given stand by, too, to cover any unexpected failing charter schools. “No excuse” is financial needs. the motto for Little Rock public schools. Anika Whitfield, a leader of the Save But ask about a failing Little Rock char- Our Schools coalition, told the Demoter school and you’re likely to get a ser- crat-Gazette, “It is our hope that as we mon on the difficulties faced by those move forward together, our city leadso-well-intentioned schools with their ers will continue to more visibly engage high-poverty, high-minority enroll- in actions that are meaningful to the ments. It would be terribly unfair, they people with which they were elected say, for an outside power to suddenly to serve.” take control of those schools. No such It is PAST time for the Little Rock tender mercy applies to the three lag- City Board to visibly engage. Does it ging Little Rock schools, stuffed with favor local control? Or does it favor conpoor minority students, significant num- trol by an unaccountable, unreachable bers of them in special education or not bureaucrat with a legislative record yet fluent in English. damaging to traditional public educaBeing a charter school means never tion in Little Rock? having to say you’re sorry. Being a charBack to Bluto in “Animal House”: ter school means being allowed to get “It’s not over until we say it’s over.”

sludge into coastal waters and coal ash into streams; and cleaned up superfund sites. The list goes on. OSHA, which the chamber of commerce said was communistinspired and would kill jobs, cut workplace deaths in half and reduced occupational injury and illness rates by 40 percent while employment doubled over 40 years. But while profits soared in the everhealthier environment, industry developed a new lexicon: Stifling government regulations eroded rights and limited freedom. People began to believe that the EPA, worker- and consumer-protection agencies and bank regulators were somehow choking their freedoms, not industry’s. President Reagan and the Bushes adopted the alarums but didn’t act on them, although Bush II didn’t let his EPA act upon its own conclusion and the Supreme Court’s that the Clean Air Act required it to control planet-warming greenhouse gases. Barack Obama’s EPA created the Clean Power Plan to do it. Now we have a president dedicated to reversing the Clean Power Plan and a halfcentury of government rules on industry. He has appointed an EPA head whose political career is financed by the oil, gas and coal industries. They won’t be able to repeal the laws that authorized all the regulations, but they will render them useless by rescinding

rules, gutting staff and halting enforcement. President Trump threatens to withdraw the U.S. from the global climate treaty, neutering the movement to save the planet. Don’t worry, the president says, because the world’s scientists are all phonies. Nixon and Trump were alike in so many ways, though Nixon was an introvert and Trump ludicrously the opposite. Both hated Washington. Both men ran afoul of the Logan Act while running for president by fraternizing with enemies to give themselves a leg up in the election —Trump by having campaign people consort with Russian agents who wanted to stop Hillary Clinton, and Nixon by having Anna Chennault secretly persuade South Vietnamese leaders not to show up at the Paris peace talks to end the Vietnam War on the premise that as president he would get them a better deal than Lyndon Johnson. The two presidents’ brains have run in tandem in so many ways. After he became president, Nixon insinuated that Johnson had the CIA or FBI wiretap his campaign plane. Sound familiar? (OK: U.S. intelligence agencies did track his adviser Chennault’s visits at the South Vietnam embassy.) Like Nixon, Trump sees enemies everywhere. But destroy Nixon’s great environmental legacy? Et tu, Donald?

Follow Arkansas Blog on Twitter: @ArkansasBlog

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

7


More on pits

S

UPCOMING EVENTS ON CentralArkansasTickets.com

MAR

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

MAR

Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series presents

MAR

ACANSA Arts Festival

16

Sing Out for the Buffalo

16

Peter Janson & Aaron LargetCaplan at The Joint

30

Fundraiser featuring Nora Jane Struthers and Joe Overton Arkansas Made Arkansas Proud

Fine Art and Craft Preview Party and Silent Auction with heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. $25

MAR

31

UA - Pulaski Tech’s Center for Humanities and Arts

APR

26

Delbert McClinton Live at The Center for Humanities and Arts Don Julio presents

MAY

4

Arkansas Times Margarita Fest

MAY

Little Rock Zoo

MAY

Little Rock Zoo

5

Wild Wines - Reserve Room Event

6

Wild Wines - Grand Tasting Go to CentralArkansasTickets.com to purchase these tickets!

LOCAL TICKETS, One Place

8

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

From your goin’ out friends at

ome years ago, I visited the local Boys Club early one morning. There had been a break-in. Two young brothers had gotten caught making off with pool balls and cues. They weren’t going to be arrested, but merely suspended. Police phoned their mother. It must have taken 10 minutes to persuade her to come get them. She kept insisting it was a case of mistaken identity. Her sons were at home with her the whole time. The cop kept saying, “Ma’am, I keep trying to tell you we’ve got them right here.” They finally had to put one of her sons on the line to make her quit fabricating alibis. I kept thinking of that incident during recent encounters with what it’s tempting to call the Pit Bull Cult. You see, I’d written a column about an unprovoked attack on my two dogs by an unleashed pit on a city park playground. Because my dogs are 120-pound Great Pyrenees who spent nine years guarding livestock on our farm, they were never in danger. Rather, the danger was that they would maim or kill the pit in front of a bunch of little kids. Thanks to the brave intervention of two young fathers, that didn’t happen. One big, strong fellow reached into the melee and lifted the pit off the ground by his collar. Later, I talked to a Little Rock cop, but his attitude was no harm, no foul. I should have pressed harder, because the pit was seriously crazy. I ended the column asking rhetorically what might have happened if I’d been walking a cocker spaniel. “Possibly this breed has a place in today’s world, although I can’t think what it is … It wouldn’t trouble me if it were illegal.” I got many emails and messages telling similar stories. However, this is only partly a dog column. It’s also about several things that have gone wrong in American political dialogue: dogmatism, disdain for facts, black-and-white thinking, name-calling and generalized hatred of rival tribes. Also, the bad effects of social media. People just don’t abuse each other in person the way they do on social media. Here’s what I think has happened. Animal shelters from sea to shining sea are filled to bursting with pit bulls and pit mixes either confiscated from or surrendered by people who never should have owned them. Compassionate dog lovers who volunteer at those shelters have persuaded themselves that these wonderful animals — as many of them surely are — need to be pro-

tected from meanspirited people who’ve noticed the breed’s propensity for unprovoked and deadly GENE attacks on animals LYONS and people. But it’s not “racist” to generalize. Biologically, race and breed are near opposites. Dog breeds are among the oldest forms of human engineering: pit bulls were engineered to fight. Nor is it just bad owners. Some are cruel and stupid, others merely naive. But sometimes it’s just the dog. Aggression could be bred out of pits with strong laws and consistent effort, but not by people who deny reality. Reality being that pit bulls are responsible for the vast majority of fatal human attacks in the U.S. It doesn’t matter if I’m an old man who will die soon, as several pit cultists told me, whether I have “masculinity issues,” a tendency toward pedophilia, remind them of Donald Trump, nor even if “Cydni” kicks my teeth in, as she vowed. The website DogsBite.org “recorded 31 fatal dog attacks in 2016. Pit bulls contributed to 71 percent (22) of these deaths, just over 7 times more than the next closest dog breed.” The cult has two objections: Pits are not an American Kennel Club-recognized breed. Hence, in a pinch, it can be argued that they don’t really exist: perfectly circular reasoning, but who’s keeping score? Also, DogsBite.org is not a “scientific, peer-reviewed” site. Run by Coleen Lynn, who survived a 2007 pit attack, it doesn’t pretend to be. Lynn compiles and tabulates media reports of fatal and near-fatal dog attacks, provides links to the original news stories, and tracks court cases. So take the DogsBite challenge: Google “fatal pit bull attacks” for any city or state you choose. In Atlanta: three kids attacked at a school bus stop. In New York: “A pair of pit bulls left Francesco Bove so badly mutilated that a priest read him his last rites outside a New York church.” Pit attacks appear to be a regular feature of Chicago life. Even downhome in nearby and neighborly Greenbrier. But hey, the victim was 75. One foot in the grave, although he could end up losing it. All isolated incidents and “fake news,” pit lovers insist. Now where have we heard that before?


Mere anecdotes

“A

re we now going to govern by anecdote?” the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) asked in 1995 in response to stories of a small number of women on welfare “gaming” the system in a manner similar to the so-called “Welfare Queen” President Ronald Reagan warned us about. Today, just as it was 20 years ago, it seems too many in government tend to propose sweeping legislation based on one or two tales they have heard that, if all of the data is examined, are actually outliers. Here in Arkansas, Rep. Mary Bentley (R-Perryville) wants to upend the entire Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for everyone, including veterans, and cost the state and grocery stores hundreds of thousands of dollars because a few poor mothers out there put Mountain Dew or Pepsi in their child’s sippy cup. Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) feels the need to spend considerable effort and time trying to pass a “Sharia Law” bill due to vague information communicated by one of his supporters about a custody case in Maryland, since overturned, where a dad allegedly lost custody due to the judge referencing international law. Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville) claims to want to make our schools safer, yet disregards the wishes of police and ignores data about the dangers of guns on campuses to press ahead with his “campus carry” bill based on the slim chance of an attack by an active shooter who could only be stopped by a gun-toting student or faculty member. President Trump, in an effort to diffuse the brutal numbers coming out of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office regarding the proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act, met with a dozen of the “victims of Obamacare,” as he called them. These 12 people represent the small percentage of individuals and families who saw a sharp rise in premiums or loss of coverage after the passage of the ACA. Trump holds these people out as proof the ACA is a disaster while ignoring the data that shows millions of people are now covered and many lives have been saved by this increased coverage and lower premiums. Instead of leading an effort to tweak the law and fix some of the problems, he wants to scrap the entire thing and replace it

with a plan that, as research is showing, will lead to millions of Americans losing coverage AUTUMN and seniors seeTOLBERT ing a sharp rise in premiums. Trump has made a similar play with immigration reform. Ignoring the data that shows immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than nonimmigrants, he frequently trots out a couple of stories of horrible crimes committed by immigrants and whips his base into a “let’s deport ’em all now” frenzy. These offenses are outliers, just like the stories of those who were hurt by the Affordable Care Act. They should not be swept under the rug, but they must be viewed in context with comprehensive data and facts when deciding how to move forward with policy. An appropriate response to a law’s unintended consequence is the recent bill sponsored by Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R-Springdale) and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock) proposing a change to our drug paraphernalia statute. In 2011, due to an oversight, Arkansas ended up with a law that resulted in low-level drug offenders facing more prison time for the baggie containing the drugs than the drugs themselves. Most prosecutors across the state understand the absurdity of the law, but a few prosecutors use it and use it often. Della Rosa and Hutchinson are not proposing repeal of the entire statute or all of our drug laws (although, personally, I wish they would, as I believe we need to stop criminalizing addiction). They address the problem by proposing a narrow solution. I get it. Facts are boring. Efficient government is boring. A small fix to existing legislation is boring. Salacious stories of extreme outcomes and outrageous waste are captivating and play well in committee meetings, stump speeches and addresses to Congress. Fear and outrage rule the day. While there is tremendous value in individual constituent stories and first-hand accounts of the effects of laws and regulations, as the late Sen. Wellstone pointed out, mere anecdotes without data and research to back them up should not be the driving force behind legislation.

z SUPPORT AND SING OUT FOR THE n March 16, 2017 Ticket Price $59.00

Purchas Tickets at centralarkansastickets.com

Pulaski County taxpayers!

You can help us control the pet population with a voluntary $5 contribution on your business or personal property tax bill. Passed by the Pulaski County Quorum Court, the “Pulaski County Animal County Spay and Neuter Fund” will provide pet owners with financial assistance through a variety of methods. You have two options to GIVE 5: use the $5 voluntary tax payment coupon when paying by check or to pay online, check the “animal control” box on the web site. For more information about the spay/neuter fund, call 501-340-8305 or follow us at facebook.com/give5pulaskicounty!

WE LOVE ANIMALS! arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

9


PEARLS ABOUT SWINE

Tourney time presents…

Aaron LargetCaplan and Peter Janson Thursday March 16 7:30 p.m. The Joint

Aaron and Peter perform songs that cross genres and styles from americana and celtic, to classical and flamenco, 301 Main Street to world-jazz-fusion for an North Little Rock unforgettable musical Tickets $25 adventure. Available at the door or online at www.argentaartsacousticmusic.com or www.centralarkansastickets.com

10

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

S

election Sunday hasn’t been a meaningful day very often in recent years for Arkansas. Over the span of a decade, the Hogs knew they were safely within the expanded 68team field only three times. Each time, curiously and cruelly, Razorback basketball has been faced with the prospect of needing to pass by a historically dominant and generally well-stocked North Carolina program. There’s a hint of irony in this: When Charles Balentine’s jumper gave Arkansas an upset win over the Michael Jordan-led Tar Heels in Pine Bluff back in 1984, and then when the Hogs dared to twice dispatch Dean Smith’s group in later years during deep runs through the NCAA tournament (a Sweet Sixteen dismantling in 1990, then a throttling of an NBA-caliber squad in the 1995 Final Four), it almost looked like this had the strange but developing extraconference rivalry. The selection committee arguably had a grasp on that historical context when it slotted the Hogs in UNC’s region yet again. In 2008, John Pelphrey’s first and best squad knocked a controversywracked Indiana from the field in the opening round, only to careen headlong into a Tar Heel buzzsaw and lose by 31 points on Sunday. Then, in 2015, Mike Anderson’s long-awaited entry into March Madness as the Razorback head coach culminated with UNC pulling away late in a well-contested secondround game. The early exodus of Bobby Portis and Mike Qualls followed that, which hamstrung the 2015-16 squad to the tune of a 16-16 final mark. Now Arkansas, despite 25 wins, a healthy RPI and a strong showing in the SEC Tournament, gets a date with ninth-seeded Seton Hall to open its latest and perhaps most formidable endeavor to cast aside a 21-year Sweet Sixteen drought. UNC again stands in the path to an extended stay in the tourney if Arkansas can vanquish the Pirates in Greenville, S.C., on Friday afternoon. Given the bleak postseason prospects that loomed over the program merely a month ago, Anderson and Co. likely aren’t too offended by the placement or intimidated by the Heels. You can make the case that this third recent frame-up of a Hogs-Heels battle affords Arkansas its best chance at sloughing off this baby-blue yoke. The Razorbacks were overmatched from the get-go in 2008 against a Heels team

that was projected to win the title by many pundits, and in 2015, they were simply too inexperienced and shortBEAU handed at the end WILCOX to outlast a fourthseeded Carolina team that was girding itself for a near-championship run the following season. While this UNC team looks the part of a title contender, it also has had some dubious moments along the way to its deserved No. 1 seed: The Tar Heels struggled to put away a few lesser conference foes, namely Pittsburgh and Clemson, and looked ragged in losses to Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia. They also slipped up in the ACC tournament against Duke after leading the Blue Devils by a commanding double-digit margin in the first half. For the Hogs to earn a shot to vanquish Roy Williams’ titans, though, it starts by beating a Seton Hall team that thrives on its balance in the same way the Razorbacks have excelled this season. Four Pirates have clocked in with double-figure scoring, led in the backcourt by rangy and explosive Khadeen Carrington (16.9 points and three rebounds and assists per contest) and up front with the muscular post Angel Delgado and electric wing Desi Rodriguez. This isn’t necessarily an up-tempo powerhouse, scoring less than the NCAA average with around 72 points per game, but the Hall plays steady defense and keeps opponents off the glass well. There’s a glaring weakness for the Pirates, which is that they simply do not shoot well. Their 64 percent free throw shooting is an Achilles heel, and they’re nothing special from long range overall, although Carrington has slowly matured into a dependable gunslinger from beyond the arc, while freshman guard Myles Powell is unafraid to hoist it (200 three-point attempts, or more than six tries per contest). Delgado’s a nimble guy who has blossomed into one of the country’s top rebounders, but he’s an outright liability from the line, doesn’t present a shot-blocking threat, and turns it over more than he should. Arkansas’s Moses Kingsley, assuming he suffers no fallout from the fracas at the end of the loss to Kentucky in the SEC championship final, should have his hands full but he will match up extremely well with Seton Hall’s 240-pound center.


THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE

WE HAVE BEEN A PART OF THE DOWNTOWN SKYLINE FOR OVER 38 YEARS!

Nibbles

A

s winter turns to spring, The Observer finds again the urge to get our fishing pole and tackle box, dig some worms out in the backyard, and go fishing. We surely need that calm stillness in our life right now, with the world seeming to slouch toward chaos day-by-day and at times hour-by-hour. Fishing, thank God, is the same as it ever was: the bobbing cork and cast line, the hook and bait, enticing fishes who troll the dappled, hidden depths of the Good Lord’s waters. It’s a hassle to get there: boat and tackle and untangling the fishing pole or cutting that long stick of breakwater cane like granddaddy did, maybe, then heading off to Wally World for bobbers and a fishing license so we don’t get picked up by The Man, but we’ll be damned if we don’t miss it sometimes. It is, as we said, the stillness of it that’s appealing in times like these — the silent focus, waiting for that tug that may come now or never, a kind of meditation in and of itself, the mind caught on its own hook, unable to wander far enough inward that the bobber recedes to a blur on the water, but unwilling to occupy itself with anything else other than what might or might not come, the fishy spot sought out, the bait cast just perfectly between tangling cypress and muddy bank, the feeling when you know you’re in the sweetness, then the rush of anticipation when the cork shivers once, twice, touched by invisible lives below the mirror surface of the deep. Don’t ever let anybody talk bad about your relatives who head off to fish on warm Sundays instead of suiting up and going to church. The Observer has come to believe that fishing is its own, wholly valid religious experience, given that it is a moment when a mortal human being, takes time from this very finite life to cast the line and hook, so like a question mark, then wait still and quiet and faithful that The Great Hidden Fish might choose this moment to reveal himself or herself or itself. It was The Observer’s dearly departed Pa who taught Yours Truly how to fish, to tie the sturdy knot

through the eye of a hook, to make the sacrifice of a cricket, worm or minnow. Pa loved the lake so much that when Yours Truly was a lad, he and Ma saved their pennies to buy a muddy, oddly shaped lot at Lake Conway. It was mostly vines and thorny brambles, so thick that Pa had to hack his way through with an Army surplus machete to even see the water after the papers were signed. But within a few years, he had a house on the land, a clear view of the lake, a meandering path through the cottonwoods to the water; a hundredfoot dock, lined with bell-shaped lights that could be turned on from the house with the flick of a switch. The Observer’s boyhood is very much swirled in together with that place, which was sold off just after Yours Truly turned 12 for reasons we’re still not clear about. The house had a long, screened sleeping porch, and at night in the summer The Boy Observer and assorted, sunburnt kinfolks would try to find sweltering sleep there, listening to the calls of strange, nightwise birds, seeing the scarce glimmer of lights on the far shore the only sign that other human beings existed in the world. The fool we were then didn’t care much for the place, with its mosquitoes and coiled water moccassins and fish gut smells. The only entertainment in the place, by Pa’s design, was a single black and white TV whose screen could have been easily covered by a cereal box — that and the lake, of course — so we remember being very bored there from time to time when the fish weren’t biting, or it was raining, or the sun burned down too hot to fish. But we can tell you this: We miss that place fiercely still, dream about it, consider it in traffic to this day when we’re in a mood to think on the life and legacy of Pa, gone 16 years now. The Observer would give damn near anything to be back there now, watching a cork bob in the saw-toothed shade of the cypress just left of the dock, elbows on the rail, waiting patiently for the nibble that revealed the riot of life just below the surface.

38

11200 W. Markham 501-223-3120 www.colonialwineshop.com facebook.com/colonialwines IMPORT AND CRAFT BEERS 6PK BOTTLES Guinness Draught Everyday $8.89 $6.98 Guinness Stout Everyday $8.89 $6.98 Harp Lager Everyday $8.89 $6.98 Smithwick’s Everyday $8.89 $6.98

IRISH – WHISKEY – VODKA – LIQUEUR Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey Everyday $46.99 $37.98 Knob Creek Bourbon Everyday $55.99 $48.99 Stoli Vodka Everyday $34.99 $29.97 Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur Everyday $47.39 $41.98

750ML CONNOISSEUR SELECTION

Jameson Black Barrel Reserve Irish Whiskey Everyday $36.99 $31.98 Jameson Caskmates Irish Whiskey Everyday $32.99 $26.98 Grey Goose Vodka plus Flavors Everyday $31.99 $26.98 Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream Liqueur Everyday $12.49 $10.98

3/15– 3/

21/17

3 LITER BOX WINE SELECTION Black Box All Varieties Everyday $21.99 $16.98

Penya Cotes Catalenes Rosé Everyday $11.99 $9.97 Apaltagua 2015 Reserva Chardonnay Everyday $12.99 $9.97 Buck Shack 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Everyday $24.99 $19.99 La Crema 2015 Monterey County Pinot Gris Everyday $22.49 $18.49 Schug 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Everyday $24.99 $18.99 Barth Rene 2013 Pinot Blanc - Alsace Everyday $19.99 $15.99 La Crema 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Everyday $28.99 $18.97

BEST LIQUOR STORE

3FOR THURSDAY – Purchase 3 or more of any 750ml spirits, receive 15% off *unless otherwise discounted or on sale. arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

11


Arkansas Reporter

THE

Choice bill passes Governor now supports amended bill to create education savings accounts. BY IBBY CAPUTO ARKANSAS NONPROFIT NEWS NETWORK

12

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

School vouchers use state money to fund scholarships that pay for students to attend private school. The bill has a long list of opponents, including the Arkansas Education Association, which represents public school teachers; the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, which represents superintendents; the Arkansas School Boards Association; the Arkansas

BRIAN CHILSON

A

bill that would establish education savings accounts to be used at parents’ discretion to fund private school and other education costs passed in a 11-5 vote in the House Education Committee Tuesday. An earlier version of the bill also passed the committee last week, but the bill was amended to decrease its fiscal impact and gain Governor Hutchinson’s support. Under House Bill 1222, individuals and corporations who contribute to the accounts, to be managed by nonprofit organizations, would receive an income tax credit equal to 65 percent of their donation. The donation would also qualify for a federal income tax deduction. Parents could use the dollars in the savings accounts for private school fees or home school education. The tax credits would be awarded in the second year of the program. The bill has been amended six times. The latest amendment would turn the program into a pilot that would sunset after four years and would cap the amount the state could put toward tax credits at $3 million per year. Rep. Jim Dotson (R-Bentonville), lead sponsor of the bill, told the committee the latest amendment consisted of “fairly significant modifications” to the bill. “This is truly a ... pilot program at this point with this amendment in here. This is an amendment that the governor requested to be put in there. I’ve agreed to it.” Governor Hutchinson had expressed concern about the negative revenue impact of previous versions of the bill, but he now supports it, according to J.R. Davis, the governor’s spokesperson. “[The governor’s] very appreciative of Rep. Dotson’s willingness to narrow the scope,” said Davis. “The financial hit to the state is not as drastic. It also allows the state to study this program as a pilot.” Critics of the bill say the education savings accounts are a voucher program.

books, tutoring services, transportation, examination fees and even college, since a portion of the unused money in a savings account would carry over to the next year. During questions, Rep. James Sturch (R-Batesville) expressed concern about how the bill could negatively affect individual school districts by decreasing public school enrollment. The bill would allow five nonprofit organizations, certified by the state Department of Finance and Administration, to administer the education savings accounts. Each of the five nonprofits could approve up to 1 percent of eligible students from any individual public school district to participate in the program. Dotson said, “As far as I understand, there is that potential, there could be up to 5 percent coming out of a single district

DOTSON: Amended his bill at the direction of Governor Hutchinson.

Rural Education Association; Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families; and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel. In order to participate in the education savings accounts, parents would be required to waive the state’s legal obligation to provide services or education to their child, except as may be required by federal law. Parents are also required to waive their child’s federal civil rights protections under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Parents could use the money in the education savings account to fund tuition at a private school as well as for other education expenses, including uniforms,

if there is funding available.” In Arkansas, the largest portion of the cost of a public school student’s education is covered by what’s called “foundation funding” — a mixture of state general revenue and local property taxes that the state collects and then remits to local school districts. The legislature has established foundation funding at $6,646 per student for the current school year. When a student leaves a public school for a private school, the foundation funding does not follow the student. The student’s former public school district does not receive foundation funding for that student the next year.

HB 1222 would not directly divert public education funding to private schools as some voucher programs in other states have done. Instead, dollars that would have otherwise entered state general revenue in the form of income tax would be diverted to the nonprofits administering the education savings accounts. Those nonprofits would then be able to transfer an amount of money equivalent to foundation funding for each academic year into an eligible student’s account. Sturch said there’s a school district in his area that, should four students who qualified for free and reduced school lunches decide to leave the public school, could lose not only the state’s foundation funding, but also funds from the federal government to pay for free and reduced school lunches. “Is there any way that we can be assured that different areas aren’t going to be affected negatively by this?” Sturch asked. Dotson answered that this was the first time he had heard of Sturch’s particular concern, and assured Sturch that the scope of the bill was much smaller with the $3 million tax credits cap. The bill would prioritize students who received the scholarship the year before, then those students’ siblings, followed by students from a waitlist who qualify for free and reduced school lunch, then new applicants that qualify for free and reduced school lunch, followed by students who come from military families, then finally all students on the waitlist and all other new applicants. If the bill becomes law, the four-year pilot would begin in the 2018-19 school year. The bill now goes to the full House.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel have provided donations to the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network. Arkansas Public Policy Panel donated specifically to support legislative coverage on education issues. Donors have no say in editorial decisions. This reporting is courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans.


LISTEN UP

Tune in to our “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes & arktimes.com

No life terms For minors. But bill would not be a ‘getout-of-jail free’ card, sponsor says. BY JACOB ROSENBERG ARKANSAS NONPROFIT NEWS NETWORK

BRIAN CHILSON

A

bill that would prevent minors from being sentenced to life without parole passed the House 86-1 on Tuesday. The legislation would also allow parole board hearings for prisoners who were sentenced as minors to life without parole for homicide offenses. Senate Bill 294, sponsored by Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) and Rep. Rebecca Petty (R-Springdale), would largely ensure Arkansas law adheres to a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that said juveniles should be treated differently from adults in sentencing. The decisions outlawed life without parole for all minors except those “whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility,” which the court determined was nearly impossible to know during sentencing. The high court’s 2016 ruling in Montgomery v. Louisiana made clear that the prohibition against sentencing minors to life without parole should apply retroactively for homicide cases. That would require Arkansas to resentence about 110 prisoners convicted of capital and firstdegree murder as minors. By giving prisoners a chance for parole board hearings, rather than resentencing them, and by clearing prison bed space of offenders who have been rehabilitated, SB 294 could save the state millions of dollars, Petty told the House. But the bill, Petty said, “is not a getout-of-jail free card” for those committing serious crimes as youths. Juveniles would still have to serve a mandatory number of years for offenses that result in life sentences: 20 years for non-homicide offenses, 25 years for firstdegree murder and 30 for capital murder. For all those offenses, “good time” — time reduced on a sentence for good behavior — would not apply. Those con-

PETTY: Helped defeat similar bill two years ago. Now she’s a cosponsor.

victed would have to serve the mandatory number of years before becoming eligible for parole. Two years ago, the House Judiciary Committee rejected similar legislation, largely based on the emotional testimony of Petty, whose 12-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1999. This time she was a lead sponsor of SB 294, convinced of its merits after working closely with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, a national advocacy group. “The decision to run this legislation was not any easy one due to my own struggles with the state criminal justice system, but I put a lot of time and heart and studying and energy into this,” Petty told the House. The bill would also potentially avoid at least one legal battle by doing away with sentences that exceed an offender’s life expectancy, a de facto life sentence without parole. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court barred life without parole for non-homicide cases in its Graham v. Florida decision, but it did

not explicitly forbid de facto life without parole for non-homicide cases. That left a lingering question of how far someone could go in sentencing a minor for non-homicide offenses, Joshua Rovner of the Washington, D.C., research and advocacy center The Sentencing Project told the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network. “Is [a] sentence of 99 years ‘life without parole’? The Court did not address that, but will eventually have to,” he said. SB 294 would provide no relief to those already serving de facto life sentences for non-homicide offenses, while disallowing them in the future. The bill would only apply retroactively to minors sentenced to life without parole in murder cases, a requirement explicitly outlined in Montgomery v. Louisiana. There have been conflicting state responses to these decisions concerning de facto life without parole for non-homicide offenses. The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that minors sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide cases in

violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Graham could be resentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by law. Judd Deere, a spokesman for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, said, “Graham offenders who filed state habeas petitions seeking Graham relief were resentenced by the state habeas court to the maximum term of years that was allowed at the time the crimes were committed.” SB 294 originally would have required parole hearings for minors already sentenced to life without parole in nonhomicide cases, but the bill was amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee at the request of state prosecutors. The bill now heads to Governor Hutchinson to be signed into law. Lindsey Millar contributed reporting. This reporting is courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans. arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

13


BEST BARBECUE 16 YEARS & COUNTING!

Thank You

BEST BARBECUE

BEST SANDWICH

Little Rock • West Little Rock • North Little Rock • Bryant • Conway • Fort Smith • Bentonville • Fayetteville


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Soup to nuts, restaurant-wise BRIAN CHILSON

THE 2017 READERS CHOICE AWARDS

COMMUNITY BAKERY: Winner for best bakery.

T

he Arkansas Times has been publishing its readers’ choices for the state’s best restaurants longer than

most of the staff has been alive. That means our

writers have been raised on our readers’ recommendations: For 36 years, you’ve put your votes where your mouths are and we have dutifully reported the results. Our exhaustive questionnaire — with its 45 categories — came up with The Pantry Eatery as Little Rock’s “overall” winner and The Hive in Bentonville as the state winner. Both have gotten plenty of ink in the Arkansas Times, so we turned our feature writers loose on a couple of winners in the “new” category: Honey Pies in Little Rock and The Preacher’s Son in Bentonville. DeLuca’s Pizzeria in Hot Springs won that city’s

best restaurant award; we got the fascinating story of how proprietor Anthony Valinoti went from Wall Street to the Spa City’s Park Avenue. Because hamburgers are king, we pulled one up from the food truck Excaliburger, which some folks find magical. With our sticky fingers on the pulse of what’s trendy in the world of chow, we also offer this year a review of ticketed dinners.

The 2017 Readers Choice

WINNERS:

Overall LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: The Pantry Eatery FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Boulevard Bistro, The Root Cafe, South on Main

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville)

FINALISTS: 28 Springs (Siloam Springs), Mike’s Place (Conway), Rolando’s Restaurante (Hot Springs), Tamale Factory (Gregory)

ON THE CORNER: The Canuck sandwich from @ the Corner, a finalist in multiple categories this year. arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

15


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

New LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Honey Pies FINALISTS: Eat My Catfish, La Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe, Soul Fish Cafe, Skye’s Little Bistro

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Preacher’s Son (Bentonville)

BRIAN CHILSON

FINALISTS: Bocca Italian eatery & pizzeria (Fayetteville), Butcher and Pint (Bentonville), Foxhole Public House (Bentonville), Mockingbird Kitchen (Fayetteville).

LITTLE ROCK

DELECTABLE AT DELUCA’S: The Italian Sausage pizza.

WINNER: Chris McMillan (Boulevard Bistro)

Grow the dough How a Wall Street hotshot chased a childhood memory to a pizza career. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE

A

nthony Valinoti, owner of DeLuca’s Pizzeria at 407 Park Ave. in Hot Springs, thrives on the kind of volatility involved in making pizza, as he says, “the hard way.” DeLuca’s has no freezer. It has no microwave and it has no stand mixer — all standard equipment for reducing a restaurant’s margin of error and streamlining a production process. It has no dedicated room in which to “grow the dough” (Valinoti’s words), and therefore no consistent way

16

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

to sequester the fermenting mounds from the litany of things that can affect dough rise — humidity, the temperature outdoors, whether the yeast is feeling feisty that particular afternoon. “If you treat it with a lot of respect, it can turn out well,” Valinoti told me. “I’m not a chef. I don’t consider myself a chef. But, a chef takes something that’s pretty much dead and reanimates it. Chefs are reanimators. This is what they do.” Valinoti is a storyteller and a gesturer.

Chef

FINALISTS: Matthew Bell (South on Main), Peter Brave (Brave New Restaurant), Jeffrey Owen (Ciao Baci), Scott McGehee (Big Orange, Heights Taco & Tamale Co., Local Lime, Lost Forty, ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.)

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Matthew McClure (The Hive) He cupped an imaginary globe of yeasty life in the air with hands covered in smudges of nonimaginary pizza dough, dusting my laptop and the table beneath it with fine flour at each firm conclusion. “When you put water, salt, flour and yeast in a bowl, it comes to life. And the idea behind what I’ve learned over the last three years is, ‘How do you harness that life?’ ” As a kid, Valinoti would visit Di Fara Pizza in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood on Brooklyn’s Avenue J, watching the revered Dom De Marco hunched over the counter, forming discs by hand and snipping basil over the finished pies with a pair of kitchen scissors. “He’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

FINALISTS: Matthew Cooper (The Preacher’s Son), Tyler Hensley (Postmasters Grill, Camden), Rob Nelson (Tusk & Trotter, Bentonville)

Bakery LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Community Bakery FINALISTS: Boulevard Bread Co., Dempsey Bakery, Honey Pies, Mylo Coffee Co. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


Little Rock’s dining and craft food and beverage scene is on the rise. Whether enjoying a romantic dinner for two, using our Locally Labeled Passport program to sample our city’s everexpanding offerings of ales, wines and spirits, or savoring any of the amazing products our artisan food producers are making, there’s never been a better time to enjoy great food and drink in Little Rock. • Little Rock named one of “Five Secret Foodie Cities” Forbes Travel Guide, 2014 • Loblolly Creamery’s ice cream named a “Superior Scoop,” Saveur, 2014 • One Eleven at the Capital Semifinalist, Best New Restaurant, James Beard Awards, 2015 • Rock Town Distillery “2015 U.S. Micro Whisky of the Year,” The Whisky Bible, 2015 Edition • Big Orange Midtown “Great American Beer Bars” CraftBeer.com, 2016

IN GREATER LITTLE ROCK

Lost Forty Brewing > To see more, visit LittleRock.com


CELEBRATING 36 YEARS EXCELLENCE IN DINING READERS

CHOICE

A ARDS 2017

CONGRATULATIONS From The Sponsors Of The 2017 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. PRESENTING DIAMOND SPONSORS

HOSTED BY:


Knowing our clients CHOICE AWARDS 2017 personally is what READERS we do. Knowing our clients personally is what we do.

Kelly R Journey, AAMS®, ADPA®, CRPC®, CRPS® Financial Advisor .

10800 Financial Centre Pkwy Suite 270 Little Rock, AR 72211 501-455-5786 Kelly.journey@edwardjones.com www.edwardjones.com

NOW TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS LITTLE ROCK • NORTH LITTLE ROCK

175ML 750ML 750ML 750ML 750ML 6PK 4PK

ABSOLUT VODKA JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD RESERVE BULLEIT BOURBON & RYE PATRÓN REPOSADO TEQUILA VOGA ITALIA PINOT GRIGIO SQUATTERS CRAFT BEER OAK AGED SCOTLAND BEER

Every Day

$31.99 $74.99 $25.99 $39.99 $10.99 $8.99 $9.99

SALE!

$29.99 $58.99 $23.99 $38.99 $7.99 $7.99 $8.49

ALL CRAFT BEER 10% OFF WE NOW HAVE A VARIETY OF AGED AND CLASSIC CIGARS AT OUR BROADWAY LOCATION. 12 YEARS AGED CIGARS ON SALE!

• WE GLADLY MATCH ANY LOCAL ADS HURRY IN! THIS SALE EXPIRES MARCH 22, 2017

WEDNESDAY IS WINE DAY 15% OFF • WINE CASE DISCOUNTS EVERY DAY

Member SIPC

LITTLE ROCK: 10TH & MAIN • 501.374.0410 | NORTH LITTLE ROCK: 860 EAST BROADWAY • 501.374.2405 HOURS: LR • 8AM-10PM MON-THUR • 8AM-12PM FRI-SAT •NLR • MON-SAT 8AM-12PM

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Full Bar 1920 N. Grant St. | 501.663.5951 www.boulevardbread.com

Building Community Through Local Food NOW DOING DINNER! WEDNESDAY - SATURDAY, 5:30-8:30PM.

A huge thank you for voting us your favorite!

BEST CHEF, BEST BARISTA, BEST DELI/GOURMET TO GO

BEST BRUNCH BEST HEALTHY BEST VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN

BEST OVERALL, BEST BAKERY, BEST BRUNCH, BEST COFFEE, BEST FRENCH FRIES

St Patrick’s Day

We will be serving corn beef and cabbage, half price pints, happy hour all day and door prizes

BEST BURGER, BEST SANDWICH BEST OVERALL BEST DOG FRIENDLY BEST GLUTEN FREE BEST OUTDOOR DINING

1500 S. Main St./15th & Main Downtown • 501.414.0423 · therootcafe.com

SLAP YOUR MOMMA GOOD SOUTHERN STYLE COOKIN’ THANKS FOR VOTING US THE BEST! BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER BAR & PATIO • PARTY ROOM CATERING • TAKE OUT

9700 N Rodney Parham Monday - Saturday 7am to 9pm • Sundays 9am to 2pm 501-224-6637 • www.homersrestaurant.com

BEST HOME COOKIN’ arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

19


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

been doing what I guess we all try to emulate at some point,” Valinoti said. “Nobody really understood what it was. It was just really that good.” Later, he’d search for that De Marco slice as an adult, in cities like Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles — all places where you’d imagine it’s easy to hunt down a good pizzeria. “You can,” Valinoti conceded. “It’s just not what I was used to. There was always something different about New York pizza. I think this is changing now. Better chefs are opening up pizza shops and pizzerias. Nancy Sil [Silverton] comes to mind, with [Pizzeria] Mozza in California. There’s no better bread baker than Nancy Silverton. Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New “The first bite made me realize this is what real pizza York has his own pizza shop now. And is... Free your mind of the mediocrity of the national you realize these people are doing some chain, and head on up Park Avenue in Hot Springs to amazing things with dough, and you Deluca’s Pizzeria. Take a bite, and see the difference realize that this is nothing more than fresh makes. Your taste buds will thank you.” BEST PIZZA AROUND BEST a loaf of bread, basically, flattened out.” THE STATE ITALIAN — Arkansas Times If you didn’t know better, you’d AROUND BEST RESTAURANT IN THE STATE HOT SPRINGS take Valinoti’s mental list of the country’s baking masters as a badge of lifelong culinary study, and you’d be dead wrong. In his best Henry Hill — only a few shades away from his own natural 407 Park Ave. • Hot Springs • (501) 609-9002 • delucaspizzeria.com speaking voice — Valinoti described his Deluca’s Pizzeria Napoletana @DelucasPizzeriaNapoletana childhood aspirations. “I don’t know that there was anything else I wanted to do rather than work on Wall Street. I love the line in ‘Goodfellas’ where he says, ‘Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a gangster.’ For me, ever since I was a kid, Come find out for yourself why it’s worth I wanted to work on Wall Street.” Valinoti’s father was a truck driver and then a trip to Des Arc! a cop, and his grandfather Pat (DeLuca, for whom DeLuca’s is named) was a printmaker. young Valinoti, though, Come find out for yourself why it’s worth a trip to DesThe Arc! was drawn to less blue-collar pursuits. “There was something prestigious about banking, especially in New York,” he said. “And that’s what I gravitated towards.” After an interview in which his would-be boss asked him a single question, “Do you like to eat and ”Where Hospitality drink?” Valinoti got a job as a money broker and worked the stock market Meets Delicious” ”Where Hospitality for 13 years, moving money around Meets Delicious” “White River Princess” from 7 a.m. until the markets closed “White River Princess” at 5 p.m., then schmoozing with clients in restaurants and bars at night. “I’m very lucky in that if I lock into someBEST BUFFET Open forBEST SEAFOOD Parties by Appointment thing, I can get to be pretty good at it. Private You know, it may take me a minute, but AROUND THE AROUND THE 101 E. Curran Street, Des Arc, AR • 870-256-3311 my attention span is that of a gnat, so STATE STATE you’ve got to lock me in, and you’ve got to lock me into a project that is way Now Open the 1st Sunday of Every Month 11:30 - 2pm above my head. That makes me keep Open Thursday 5 - 8:30 pm • Friday - Saturday 5 - 9 pm going. That makes me keep looking for Open for Private Parties by Appointment answers.” 101 E. Curran Street, Des Arc, AR Eventually, he didn’t feel like looking for answers anymore, at least not the 870-256-3311

Delucas Pizzeria Napoletana Authentic New York Brick Oven Pizza

Think Thinkoutside outsidethe the city. city.

Come find out for yourself why it’s worth a trip to Des Arc!

Think outside the city.

Open for Private Parties by Appointment

101 E. Curran Street, Des Arc, AR • 870-256-3311

20

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

IT’S IN THE DETAILS: DeLuca’s Pizzeria in Hot Springs is a winner in the Best Pizza category.

kind the stock markets were giving. “I knew I couldn’t do it any more. My last job was in Two World Trade Center, the 55th floor. That was before all that catastrophe, and those terrible, terrible days in New York. … I found myself not being myself. I was very short. And it’s very hard to walk away from a job where they’re paying you that much money.” He dropped everything “with no rhyme or reason,” he told me, and headed to a place whose wonders he’d only become enchanted with a year earlier: Las Vegas. “Got tired of that once my parents passed away,” he said dryly. “My parents passed away within two days of each other, and I just grew disenchanted with everything. My sister always likes to say, ‘It was their happy ending; it just wasn’t our happy ending.’ It was just the way it was. It just happened. And I just wanted something different in my life.” He drifted to Europe for a few months, then back to Vegas, where a man he met remarked, “If it wasn’t for my ex-wife, I’d live in Hot Springs, Arkansas.” Valinoti booked a flight into Little Rock the following morning, rented a car and drove to Hot Springs. “It’s funny; I always tell people that I know this, but I saw a sign for Centerfold. And I’m like, ‘How bad could this place be?’ So I drove around,” he said. “I went to Maxine’s. I was sitting on the porch at the Arlington having a drink, and I felt at complete peace. When I saw the buildings and I saw the architecture, it reminded me of New York and Chicago, and it exists in this absolutely magnificent National Park. You’re not gonna find that everywhere. This is much different than other places in the South. I’ve traveled all over. I’ve been literally all over this planet. There was


BRIAN CHILSON

READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

something very, very calm and very, very serene here. I didn’t know anyone. It was just a hunch.” The hunch was a solid one. Valinoti needed catharsis, and the north section of Bathhouse Row needed pie. So, fueled by a memory of Di Fara and some grief that needed working through, Valinoti made a move. He built a plan to open a pizzeria, and went to Naples, Italy, to learn how. “I was heartbroken. And I needed to take that pain in my heart and put it into something. I needed something that was cathartic for me, right? And I needed something that was physical, the physicality of making dough. We made all the dough by hand, and that’s how I learned. I never used a machine and I still don’t.” He wasn’t happy with the pizza at first (and, arguably, isn’t completely satisfied with it three years later), and pulled back from the fanfare of a grand opening. “I was tellin’ people — excuse my French — this was shit. ‘But if you’ll just give me a minute, I’ll figure it out. One way or another, I’m either gonna figure it out or I’m gonna walk away from it because I can’t figure it out.’ ” And, just as he did on Wall Street when a stock wasn’t doing well, Valinoti adjusted. “I would come in, and I would make these catastrophic errors, I felt, but I wouldn’t make that same catastrophic error again,” he said. He moved boxes of dough from room to room. He recruited help from chefs. He employed people who knew what they were doing — most of whom have bucked typical restaurant turnover rates and stuck around at DeLuca’s. “This place should not be open. Let’s be honest,” he said. “I probably should’ve quit a thousand times, but I said to myself, ‘You haven’t given people the best that

you have yet.’ ” If the half-Italian sausage, half-Calabrase pie I made it home with was not Valinoti’s best, I’m not sure what tinkering might make it so, and I wouldn’t dare offer advice. Even after a drive from Hot Springs to Little Rock — no doubt a far cry from the way a Di Fara or a DeLuca’s pie was meant to be eaten — the crust was toothsome, chewy like a Vino’s pizza crust, but crispy like a ZAZA’s pie. It was New York-floppy, but covered heftily enough in fresh shredded and whole milk mozzarellas not to fall apart. The Calabrase, which the menu describes as “Creminelli Brothers Spicy Gourmet Pepperoni,” was salty and briny enough to have stood on its own on one of DeLuca’s antipasto platters, and the other half was dotted with irregular crisps of Italian sausage from J.V. Farms in neighboring Bismarck (Hot Spring County), conservatively spiced with fennel seed. As it was constructed, the kitchen walls vibrated with music. Valinoti doesn’t like to talk much when he works. He claims the playlist typically includes Lou Reed and The Allman Brothers, but on the afternoon I visited, it was Blondie’s “Denis” that shook the cutout of The Rolling Stones tongue and lips and the adjacent calendar flipped to the lovely Jezabelle Jax, one of Spa City’s burlesque artists. The rest of the DeLuca’s menu is a marriage of Italian staples and Arkansas-grown goods: salads made with Arkansas Natural’s Spring Mix and an option to add chopped, smoked beef from McClard’s as a pizza topping (“In New York, there’s this attitude that we know everything about food,” Valinoti said, “but we don’t know anything about barbecue.”) Like a great barbecue place, though, DeLuca’s makes a day’s worth of dough and when it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s a pizza named after Don Gooch, the head honcho at Spa City’s Arvest Bank, one of the pizzeria’s early patrons. There’s cannoli, gelato and enough espresso to keep the whole affair running a brief but vigorous three and a half days a week: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Valinoti sticks close to the premises and shies away from daily suggestions that he add a food truck or collaborate on a farm-to-table catered dinner. “When I leave here at night, I’m exhausted. I’m mentally exhausted. I can truthfully say I’ve given you everything I have, and that’s all I wanna do.”

Thanks For Voting Us The Best!

BEST MEXICAN AROUND THE STATE BEST DOG FRIENDLY AROUND THE STATE

BEST RESTAURANT IN HOT SPRINGS 1209 Malvern Avenue • Hot Springs • (501) 624-6262 www.tacomama.net

Serving THE BEST steaks and hot tamales in the Arkansas Delta.

Come visit our charming location nestled in the Eldridge barn located on Highway 33 in Gregory, Arkansas just south of Augusta.

YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED! TAMALE FACTORY Southern Restaurant · Steakhouse 19751 Highway · 33 Augusta, Arkansas (870) 347-1350

Best Overall, Best Steak arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

21


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

seafood flown in from suppliers in the Pacific Northwest, where Cooper once worked. To see a full menu, visit thepreachersson.com. Tell me about your background and how you got into the restaurant business. I’m a native of Northwest Arkansas, but I grew up everywhere and have lived everywhere. I got my classical training in Portland, Ore. Cooked in Little Rock for years and years. I was the previous executive chef of Lulav, executive sous chef of the Chenal Country Club, executive chef and general manager at Cache restaurant — I opened that restaurant. I was heavily involved in the Little Rock community, then moved up to Bentonville to start this project. It’s American cuisine focused on sustainability and the local movement. The menu happens to be gluten-free because I’m celiac. I had heard about you having celiac disease [an autoimmune disorder that leaves sufferers unable to eat wheat, rye and barley]. How has that shaped your cooking? It hasn’t really changed anything. It just means I have to source better ingredients from better companies.

A KIND OF COMMUNION: A former altar offers bar seating at The Preacher’s Son, where chef Matt Cooper (right) says grace over local meats and produce.

The restaurant is in an old church? That’s right. It’s a church that was built in 1904.

Holy rollin’ A Q&A with Chef Matt Cooper of Bentonville’s The Preacher’s Son. BY DAVID KOON

T

he Bentonville restaurant scene has blossomed far beyond plate lunches and chicken joints in recent years, with a host of new finedining options carried along by the Walmart-related bump in incomes. Already earning rave reviews — and a win for Best New Restaurant in this year’s Readers Choice Awards — is The Preacher’s Son, which opened in December at 201 N.E. A St. in Bentonville. Situated in the airy confines of a reno-

22

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

vated former church built in 1904, The Preacher’s Son is one of several restaurant concepts opened or in the works in the area by RopeSwing Hospitality Group, a company dedicated to localproduce, farm-to-table establishments, including the highly rated Pressroom and the Undercroft Bar (located in the basement of The Preacher’s Son), and the 12,000-square-foot Record event center. The literal preacher’s son behind

The Preacher’s Son is executive chef Matt Cooper. A veteran of the Little Rock restaurant scene, including serving as the original executive chef of Cache, Cooper decamped to Northwest Arkansas a few years back to work on restaurant concepts with RopeSwing. Several years in the making, The Preacher’s Son appears to be living up to the hype, featuring a highly seasonal menu that leans heavily on local meats and produce, buttressed by fresh

Is there a special resonance to you in having a restaurant located in a former church? My father and grandfather were Methodist minsters in this state for collectively 100 years, so to be in a church, it’s fairly comfortable. In creating the menu for The Preacher’s Son, did you have a general philosophy that you hoped to carry with your food? We just wanted to source the most sustainable ingredients and the most local ingredients we can. We work with local farmers for our produce. Because we’re heavily vegetable- and fish-driven here, I source a lot of the seafood from the Pacific Northwest, where I’m also from, because I have those relationships with the fish vendors from there. You have a Spring Solstice Dinner coming up at 6 p.m. March 20. Can you tell me about that? It’s a wine dinner with Raptor


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

THANKS FOR VOTING US

ARKANSAS TIMES

bike

BEST STEAK AND CATFISH!

LOCAL

Lunch: Mon- Fri 11am-2pm Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-9:30pm • Fri & Sat 5:30-10pm FULL BAR & PRIVATE PARTY ROOM 1023 West Markham • Downtown Little Rock 501-376-1195 • www.doeseatplace.net

• Best Business Lunch - Bentonville

Thank You Arkansas !

• Best Gluten Free Bentonville • Best Healthy Restaurant Best Other Ethnic

Cantrell Rd. • Chenal Creek • Conway • McCain Mall • Gateway • Fayetteville • Bentonville

THANK YOU LITTLE ROCK! 2017 IS DAMGOODE PIES’ 11th WIN AS

BEST PIZZA WE ARE SINCERELY HUMBLED...TIMES 11.

GIVE OUR NEWLY-OVERHAULED DELIVERY SYSTEM A GO. DAMGOODE ENGINEERS HAVE MADE A BREAKTHROUGH IN PIZZA DELIVERY TECHNOLOGY. NOW DAMGOODE HAS...

MODERATELY FASTER DELIVERY! PHONE: 501-664-2239 ORDER ONLINE: www.DamgoodePies.com

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

23


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Thanks To Our Loyal Customers For All Their Support

301 N Shackleford Rd. Little Rock 501-227-9900 lrstarofindia.com

BEST BUFFET BEST INDIAN

BEST VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN

Ridge Winery. The menu is still coming, because we’re hyper-seasonal, so we’re going to see what’s available that week. Then we’ll develop the menu based on that. It’s a five-course tasting, $125 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. We’re going to have a fun little dinner with me and chef Michael Robertshaw from the Pressroom. He’s my partner in the company. You said hyper-seasonal. I think I get it, but what does it mean to you? I don’t know if we’re absolutely hyper-seasonal, but spring’s coming, so different things are popping up each week. Something might be available next week that’s not available right now, like spring garlic, wild watercress,

AROUND THE STATE

FINALISTS: Little Bread Co. (Fayetteville), Serenity Farm Bread (Leslie), PattiCakes Bakery (Conway), SugarDumplin’s Cupcakes (Bryant)

FINALISTS: Greta Allendorf (Arsaga’s, Fayetteville), Max May (Puritan Coffee & Beer, Fayetteville)

WINNER: Whole Hog Cafe FINALISTS: Corky’s BBQ, HB’s Bar-B-Q, Lost Forty Brewing, Sims Bar-B-Que

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: McClard’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant (Hot Springs)

THANK YOU!

FINALISTS: Craig’s Bar-B-Q (DeValls Bluff), Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Que (Conway), Mean Pig BBQ (Cabot), Whole Hog Cafe (Conway)

Barista LITTLE ROCK

1900 N. Grant, Little Rock, AR

501 663 8999

fantasticchinarestaurant.com

24

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Caleb Erwin (Blue Sail Coffee, Conway)

LITTLE ROCK

BEST CHINESE

The Bentonville restaurant scene has kind of exploded in the past few years. Do you feel The Preacher’s Son fits in with the general vibe of Bentonville or are you trying to do something different from everyone else? I think all the places that are popping up in Bentonville are very complementary to each other. I think everyone is doing something a little bit different so that we don’t compete. That’s what I love about the vision of Bentonville.

WINNER: Rick’s Bakery (Fayetteville)

Barbecue

XIÈ XIÈ

wild fennel, things that we couldn’t have gotten last week that we could get this week.

WINNER: Kara Bibb (Boulevard Bread Co.) FINALISTS: Jeremy Bragg (River City Coffee), Helen Grace King (@ the Corner), Brice Ward (Mylo Coffee Co.)

Brunch LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: The Root Cafe FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Boulevard Bistro, Lost Forty Brewing, Red Door

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville)

FINALISTS: Arsaga’s at the Depot (Fayetteville), Oven & Tap (Bentonville), Pressroom (Bentonville), Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville)

Buffet LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Star of India Restaurant FINALISTS: Franke’s Cafeteria, Larry’s Pizza, Taj Mahal, Tokyo House


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Thanks for the Compliments! BEST BAKERY

• Best Coffee • Best Desserts • Best Pie • Best Sandwich • Best Gourmet/Deli to Go

Downtown 1200 Main (I-630 & Main) 375-6418 West Little Rock 270 S. Shackleford 224-1656

communitybakery.com

BRIAN CHILSON

CAKES · PASTRIES DESSERTS BREADS · COFFEE

DRAGON FRUIT SMOOTHIE: From winner I Love Juice Bar.

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Dondie’s White River Princess (Des Arc) FINALISTS: Abe’s Ole Feed House (Benton), Brown’s Country Store & Restaurant (Benton), Bryce’s Cafeteria (Texarkana), Hibachi Sushi Buffet (Hot Springs)

Burger LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Big Orange FINALISTS: Buffalo Grill, Excaliburger, David’s Burgers, The Root Cafe

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Hugo’s (Fayetteville) FINALISTS: David’s Burgers (Conway), CJ’s Butcher Boy Burgers (Russellville), Cotham’s Mercantile (Scott), Mike’s Place (Conway)

Business lunch LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Capital Bar & Grill FINALISTS: Brave New Restaurant, Cache Restaurant, Copper Grill, Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

25


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

AROUND THE STATE

BRIAN CHILSON

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville)

HEAVENLY: Star of India, winner in the buffet and Indian food categories.

FINALISTS: Arsaga’s at the Depot (Fayetteville), Mike’s Place (Conway), Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe (Bentonville), Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville)

WINNER: Edwards Food Giant FINALISTS: Fresh Market, Hogg’s Meat Market, Kroger, Terry’s Finer Foods (closed)

AROUND THE STATE

Butcher LITTLE ROCK

THANK YOU THANK YOU

for the memories, the smiles & the votes. for the memories, the smiles It’s been a joy filling your plates & warming your hearts! We hope to see you soon @ & the votes. It’s been a joy our family owned & operated Modern Diner, filling your plates & warming downtown Little Rock. — The @ Team your hearts! We hope to see

you soon @ our family BEST OVERALL BEST BARISTA, HELEN GRACE KING owned & operated Modern BEST BRUNCH Diner, downtown Little Rock. BEST DELI/GOURMET TO GO -The @ Team BEST DESSERTS BEST FRENCH FRIES BEST HEALTHY BEST PIE BEST SANDWICH

MEAT MAR KET “QUALITY TELLS, QUALITY SELLS”

ON’S D L E

Thank you so much to our loyal customers for voting us among the best! — Tom and Charla Starnes 3911 CENTRAL AVE. • HOT SPRINGS (501) 525-2487

ARKANSAS TIMES

BEST BUTCHER AROUND THE STATE

Arkansas’s favorite

German Restaurant and Biergarten! Located in the grotto of Spencer’s Corner in historic downtown Hot Springs. Our cave-like atmosphere is truly unique. Enjoy your favorite German beer in our lush Biergarten. We look forward to seeing you.

Prost!

BEST OTHER ETHNIC AROUND THE STATE

MARCH 16, 2017

Catfish

WINNER: Richard’s Meat Market (Fayetteville)

W

26

FINALISTS: Butcher and Pint (Bentonville), Paul’s Meat Market (Fort Smith), Weldon’s Meat Market (Hot Springs)

801 Central Ave, Lower Level Spencer’s Corner Hot Springs (501) 624-7866


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

With a unique idea,

Larry White started Larry’s Pizza in 1992 For twenty-five years we have started each day making dough from scratch, slicing, dicing and chopping fresh vegetables, combining them with our own bases and toppings, covering them with the finest Wisconsin cheese, all before baking at 545 degrees

And for the thousands of customers that visit us every day,

Thank you

Extensive choices - Exceptional service Home of the famous Piping Hot Pizza Parade™

for always supporting us with your votes.

PIZZA

BEST BUFFET, BEST PLACE FOR KIDS

TM

Where EVERYONE has been welcome Since 1992 www.larryspizzaofarkansas.com arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

27


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Eat My Catfish FINALISTS: Burge’s, Doe’s Eat Place, Flying Fish, Lassis Inn

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Eat My Catfish (Benton) FINALISTS: Cafe Rue Orleans (Fayetteville), The Catfish Hole (Fayetteville), Flying Fish

i

(Bentonville), Mr. Whiskers (Hot Springs)

Chinese LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Fantastic China FINALISTS: Chi’s Chinese Cuisine, Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese Cooking, Fu Lin Chinese

Restaurant, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant (Conway) FINALISTS: Jade China Restaurant (Conway), Hunan Manor Restaurant (Fayetteville), Madame Wu’s Hunan Restaurant (Russellville), Wok Express (Hot Springs)

Coffee LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Mylo Coffee Co. FINALISTS: Boulevard Bread Co., Community Bakery, Honey Pies, River City Coffee

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Onyx Coffee Lab (Fayetteville) FINALISTS: Arsaga’s Fayetteville Coffee Roasters, Blue Sail Coffee (Conway), Jitterbug Coffeehouse (Heber Springs), Mud Street Cafe (Eureka Springs)

Thank you for being a

PART OF THE

SOLUTION to a BIG PROBLEM.

Deli/gourmet to go LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Boulevard Bread Co. FINALISTS: @the Corner, Community Bakery, Market at Capers, Jason’s Deli

Desserts

Putting grease and oils down the drains of your commercial kitchen creates a huge problem for your sewer lines and our collection system. Thank you for disposing of leftover cooking grease properly through the use of grease traps.

WINNER: Honey Pies

Request your Can the Grease© Kit for your home today, and continue doing your part to protect the environment and service lines.

AROUND THE STATE

Enrolling is easy and FREE. Remember to call 501.688.1490 or visit us online at lrwu.com/ctg.

To learn more about Little Rock Wastewater, and our dedication to quality service, visit us at

LRWU.com and ProjectRenew.LRWU.com

LITTLE ROCK

FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Community Bakery, Loblolly Creamery, Trio’s Restaurant

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville),

FINALISTS: Arsaga’s at the Depot (Fayetteville), Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets (Keo), Rolando’s Restaurante (Hot Springs), SugarDumplin’s Cupcakes (Bryant)

Dog friendly LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: U.S. Pizza Hillcrest FINALISTS: The Fold: Botanas and Bar, The Root Cafe, Stone’s Throw Brewery

28

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Arsaga’s at the Depot (Fayetteville) FINALISTS: Apple Blossom Brewery (Fayetteville), Crepes Paulette (Bentonville), Oven & Tap (Bentonville), Rolando’s Restaurante (Hot Springs)

Food truck

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Excaliburger

Alaskan Dumpling Co. (Searcy), Truckin’ Delicious (Fort Smith)

FINALISTS: Hot Rod Weiners, Katmandu MoMo, Loblolly Creamery, Southern Salt Food Co.

French fries

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Crepes Paulette (Bentonville) FINALISTS: Big Sexy Food (Fayetteville), Nomad’s Natural Plate (Fayetteville), Slader’s

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Big Orange

Thank You!

FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Arkansas Burger Co., Boulevard Bistro, David’s Burgers CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

Thank you Arkansas! Thank you Arkansas!

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

BEST GLUTEN FREE

BEST BAKERY

323 S Cross St, Little Rock (501) 375-2257 ∙ dempseybakery.com

why should I consider a heart valve replacement? because this early-bird special won’t eat itself I’d rather not waste time recovering from major surgery

Thank You FOR YOUR VOTE AND SUPPORT!

who else is going to yell at the TV on game day? my boy still can’t beat his old man in chess because together we’re better

BEST STEAK

We are leading the way with innovative, minimally invasive approaches to heart surgery. For example, with TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), a new heart valve is inserted within the existing, diseased aortic valve without opening up the chest. If you are diagnosed with aortic stenosis, look to our team of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons to work closely with you and your doctors to determine the approach that provides you with the best outcome. Learn more at chistvincent.com/heart

BEST WINE LIST BEST SEAFOOD 27 RAHLING CIRCLE (501) 821-1838

ARTHURSPRIMESTEAKHOUSE.COM

Heart Institute BEST JAPANESE Primary Care | Specialty Clinics | Urgent Care | Hospitals | Home Health | Rehabilitation | Surgery Centers

2601 KAVANAUGH BLVD (501) 660-4100 KEMURIRESTAURANT.COM

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

29


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Book your ticket To event dining in Little Rock and beyond. BY LINDSEY MILLAR

30

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

BRIAN CHILSON

A

s a break from the hellscape this legislative session has become, two reporters met for dinner last week at La Terraza Rum & Lounge, a Venezuelan bar and restaurant that opened last fall in Hillcrest. We came for rum, specifically the top-shelf Bacardi rum promised in the restaurant’s ticketed dinner. For $45 per person ($42 if you bought one early at centralarkansastickets.com, a ticketing site the Arkansas Times operates), we got a delicious three-course prix-fixe meal: fried croquettes filled with a creamy filling of potato, fish and cheese served with a chipotle marmalade; pan-seared tuna coated with chia seeds and a salad topped with goat cheese; and a Bacardi rum cake topped with a maraschino cherry. At every course, we also got a shot of fancy varieties of Bacardi rum and a spiel from our server about the blend or the flavors to look out for. We couldn’t detect any “notes” of coffee or banana, but we left slightly more sanguine about the state of the state than when we arrived. La Terraza’s dinner fits into a trend that Central Arkansas restaurateurs seem to be increasingly embracing. @ the Corner, the modern diner at the corner of Scott and Markham streets downtown, hosted a Fat Tuesday event on Feb. 28, the first of what owners Leila King, Helen Grace King and Kamiya Merrick said would be a monthly “supper club.” The five-course prix fixe came paired with 5-ounce beer samples from Lost Forty Brewing. The menu was fittingly Creole-inspired: red beans, gumbo, shrimp with a “grit cake,” king cake pancakes with fried chicken and beignets. Before each course and new beer, Chef Merrick and Lost Forty brewers talked about the food and beer that was about to be served. The restaurant regularly opens only for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. The supper club is a way for more people to take notice of the restaurant’s talented kitchen, Leila King said. “I feel like in this very small town, we’re not given the credit we deserve. We’re three young women entrepre-

RUM RUNNING: Sarah Bolanos, who with her family operates the Venezuelan restaurant La Terraza Rum & Lounge, serves up the Bacardi at a ticketed three-course dinner.

neurs under the age of 33. We’re serious and our kitchen is gifted. Maybe people take you more serious when you have dinner and beer and wine,” she said. But it’s also a fun way to build community, King said. The dinner pulled tables together to seat many of the Fat Tuesday patrons community-style. People hung around for several hours. After the meal, the owners sat around the table with lingering customers and drank beer. “We were hoping for some dancing,” Helen Grace King said, “but that didn’t happen.” There’s always next time. That’ll be @ the Corner’s two-year anniversary party in March.

Stay tuned for details. Meanwhile, @ the Corner has a lot of additional ideas for the supper club, from a sake dinner with local expert and brewer Ben Bell to a sneaker showcase with Rock City Kicks and Heights Corner Store’s Corey Bacon. The Root Cafe might have been at the vanguard of the trend in Little Rock. It hosted ticketed dinners even before its brick-and-mortar cafe at 1500 S. Main St. existed. “Building community through local food” is The Root’s motto on its website, and that was the idea of the initial dinners, which were held at Christ Episcopal Church begin-

ning around 2009 or 2010, co-owner Jack Sundell said. It gave his team a chance to test recipes, get early buy-in from customers and begin to develop relationships with local farmers and providers. Those early dinners usually had a dinner-and-a-show component. Local filmmaker Graham Gordy was on hand once to screen several short films, including his “Spanola Pepper Sauce Company”; another featured this author interviewing Arkansas Times publisher Alan Leveritt on the history of the company. More recently, The Root hosted regCONTINUED ON PAGE 34


Benefiting

THURSDAY

Arkansas United Communities Coalition

6-9pm

MAY 4 presents

Food Available for Purchase from

Join the fun as Don Julio, the world’s first ultra-premium tequila, presents •

Thursday, May 4 at the River Market for the first annual Little Rock Margarita Festival

It’s a salute to the perfection of a great margarita

Sample takes on the classic cocktail from the city’s best bartenders and VOTE for your favorites and crown one margarita best of the ‘fest

Partner Sponsor

Competing Bars & Restaurants Agave Grill Big Whiskey Bleu Monkey Boulevard Bistro Cache Restaurant Cajun’s Wharf Copper Grill Ernie Biggs Loca Luna O’Looney’s & Loblolly The Pizzeria Revolution Taco and Tequila Bar Samantha’s Taco Mama Trio’s

Photobooth Sponsor

Wristband Sponsor

Loca Luna Taco Mama

Latin Salsa tunes & Jimmy Buffett standards from Club 27 Little Rock Salsa

TICKETS Early Bird Ticket Price: $25 centralarkansastickets.com

Tickets are limited. Please purchase early.

Club 27

Music Sponsor

AN ES ARKANSAS TIM EVENT


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Thanks for Voting Us the Best!

BEST YOGURT/ SMOOTHIES

ICE CREAM/ COOL TREATS

5621 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR 72207 | (501) 663-2500

PERFORM BETTER. RECOVER FASTER.

4801 Fairway Avenue • North Little Rock, AR 72116 • (501) 758-1300 4656 Highway 7 North Suite M • Hot Springs Village, AR 71909 • (501) 984-5575 harrisandrenshawpt.com

Country Cookin’

Southern Cooking At Its Best

CAFETERIA-STYLE • FRIENDLY SERVICE • CONSISTENTLY GOOD FOOD

thanks for the votes! Monday through Friday 11am - 2pm

120 HARKRIDER CONWAY • 501.328.9738

HOME TO THE BEST STEAKS & PRIME RIB

IN ARKANSAS!

Best Steak

Best Steak

Dinner seven days a week Shackleford & Hermitage Road 501.312.2748

32

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

BEST HOME COOKING BEST FRIED CHICKEN AROUND THE STATE AROUND THE STATE

How Sweet It Is!

Thank You!

(To Be Loved By You)

BEST DESSERTS AROUND THE STATE

Charlotte’s

E AT S & S W E E T S

(501) 842-2123 · 290 MAIN STREET · KEO


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Partnering together for a better community.

YOU'RE COOKING WITH THE BEST! Ready to Get Cooking? Give us a call at 501.978.5000 or download our Entrée App at shop.benekeith.com 1200 Pike Ave. NLR, AR 72114

benekeith.com

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

33


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

FINALISTS: Big Orange, Ciao Baci, The Fold: Botanas and Bar, La Terraza Rum & Lounge

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Silks Bar and Grill at Oaklawn (Hot Springs) FINALISTS: Arsaga’s at the Depot (Fayetteville), Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), The Hive (Bentonville), Mike’s Place (Conway)

Gluten-free BRIAN CHILSON

ular ticketed dinners in its expanded dining room as a way for Chef Jonathan Arrington to test recipes and try out food that Sundell described as “a little more elegant, but still something recognizable to your grandmother” before the cafe began its long-anticipated dinner service, which is now available Wednesday through Saturday nights. Sundell said The Root was planning to host an event with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel that would have food, drink and some sort of speaker. Beyond that, the restaurant doesn’t have immediate plans to resume event dinners, but Sundell said the long-term vision was to do one with a winery or local brewery once a month. Yellow Rocket Concepts, the restaurant group that owns Lost Forty, has been doing ticketed dinners since 2012. The first one, at Big Orange West, was a collaboration with the Saint Louis Brewery, the maker of Schlafly Beer. Since then, Yellow Rocket has hosted dinners at all of its restaurants — Big Orange Midtown, Local Lime, Lost Forty, ZAZA in Conway and ZAZA in the Heights — except Heights Taco and Tamale Co., which will do a special mezcal dinner at the end of the summer. Amber Brewer, the creative director of Yellow Rocket, said she designed each restaurant space with areas in mind that could be cordoned off for special events, including ticketed dinners. All the dinners include items not usually on the menu and have a cocktail, beer or wine component. No restaurant hosts more than three or four a year. “It’s a way to build rapport and have more intimate conversations with some of our guests,” Brewer said. On March 23, Big Orange West will host a special four-course dinner paired with five wines from Oregon’s Raptor Ridge winery. Chef Scott McGehee is creating the menu and winemaker Kevin Wiles will be at the restaurant to discuss the pairings. Tickets are $70. Buy them on Eventbrite. Meanwhile, as Lost Forty has expanded the distribution of its beer, it’s expanded outside collaborations. It’s teamed with South on Main to do a winter beer dinner for three years running. Brewer said Lost Forty likes to do annual collaborations. She hopes its partnership with @ the Corner will continue next year. Meanwhile, it’s planning on doing beer dinners with Oven & Tap, Butcher & Pint, and Tusk & Trotter in Bentonville later this year.

RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY COFFEE: A finalist in two categories: coffee and barista.

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville)

FINALISTS: David’s Burgers (Conway), Hugo’s (Fayetteville), Mike’s Place (Conway), Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville)

Fried chicken

Kitchen, Slim Chickens, South on Main

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville)

FINALISTS: A.Q. Chicken House (Fayetteville), Frickin’ Chicken (Fayetteville), Holly’s Country Cooking (Conway), Monte Ne Inn (Rogers)

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Fun

FINALISTS: Bobby’s Country Cooking, Popeyes Louisiana

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Dave and Buster’s 34

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Dempsey Bakery FINALISTS: Baja Grill, Big Orange, Cafe Bossa Nova, The Root Cafe

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Preacher’s Son (Bentonville) FINALISTS: Crepes Paulette (Bentonville), Rolando’s Restaurante (Hot Springs), Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe (Bentonville), ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Healthy LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: The Root Cafe


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

BRIAN CHILSON

s r e d a e R

WINNING BEST CHINESE FOOD SALUTE: Fantastic China, with such dishes as its General Tso’s chicken.

FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Home cookin’ LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Homer’s Restaurant FINALISTS: Bobby’s Country Cookin’, Dixie Cafe, Franke’s Cafeteria, Kitchen Express

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Holly’s Country 36

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

Cooking (Conway) FINALISTS: Calico County (Fort Smith), Miss Anna’s On Towson (Fort Smith), Monte Ne Inn (Rogers), Williams Soul Food Express (Bentonville)

Ice cream/cool treats

Indian LITTLE ROCK

Italian

FINALISTS: 4square Cafe and Gifts, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal

WINNER: Bruno’s Little Italy

WINNER: Star of India Restaurant

AROUND THE STATE

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Desi Den Indian Restaurant (Bryant)

FINALISTS: Honey Pies, Le Pops Gourmet Ice Lollies, Red Mango, Shake’s Frozen Custard

FINALISTS: Flavors Indian Cuisine (Bentonville), India Orchard (Bentonville), Khana Indian Grill (Fayetteville), The

WINNER: Loblolly Creamery

New Delhi Cafe (Eureka Springs), Taste of India (Hot Springs)

LITTLE ROCK

FINALISTS: Cafe Prego, Ciao Italian Restaurant, Ristorante Capeo, Vesuvio Bistro

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Bocca Italian eatery & pizzeria (Fayetteville)


AWARDS

Mike’s Place Best Overall Winner

READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2013

Mike’s Place of Conway Best Overall- Around Arkansas Runner-Up ART: “ANOTHER FORK PLEASE” BY SCOTT SUDDUTH

CHOICE AWARDS

’ s r e d a e R ers’ THE 2005

READERS’

2007

READERS’

Readers Choice Awards

2015

Mike’s Place Winner

Best Business Lunch Around the State, Conway WINNER K A BEST STE TATE

MIKE’S PLACE —

HE S AROUND T

MIKE’S PLACE

BEST RESTAURANT IN CO

NWAY

Since opening in 2005, Mike’s Place has swept the Readers Choice Awards in Conway and around the state. They are still at it in 2017 — consistently serving up the BEST food, fun and atmosphere for 12 years running. OVERALL - FINALIST BUSINESS LUNCH - FINALIST FUN - FINALIST SEAFOOD - FINALIST STEAK - FINALIST CONWAY - FINALIST

808 FRONT STREET • DOWNTOWN CONWAY • 501-269-6453 • MIKESPLACECONWAY.COM

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


BRIAN CHILSON

READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

KEMURI COME-ON: The best Japanese restaurant wins favor with its spicy crawfish and blue crab roll.

BRIAN CHILSON

FINALISTS: DeLuca’s Pizzeria (Hot Springs), Ermilio’s (Eureka Springs), Pasta Grill (Conway), Tavola Trattoria (Bentonville)

LITTLE ROCK

SWEET AS HONEY: Sharon Woodson has a hit on her hands with Honey Pies.

WINNER: Kemuri

Honey Pies

They’ve hit the big time. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK

H

oney Pies started out a couple of years ago as a small vendor of pies at food truck festivals. Founder Sharon Woodson said she’d just put up a little sunscreen and a table and sell her pies. She dreamed of the day she’d sell 30 a week. That day has come, and Woodson, 34, is going for an even bigger slice of the sweet-tooth market. She opened Honey Pies bakery and coffee shop in a storefront on Bowman Road (once home to Bruno’s) in July 2016, and is now remodeling the suite next door to accommodate a bigger seating area, a space for baking classes and other events, and soft-furniture nooks. The menu will expand a bit, adding brunch. Her effort has paid off with the public, which awarded Honey Pies the Best New Restaurant prize. For the time being, Honey Pies is a cozy place with cute white metal tables and aqua metal chairs and bead-

board walls and framed aprons — her grandmother’s — on the wall. The two food cases display pies big ($25) and small ($5), including (on the day we visited) peach, apple, cherry, chocolate, coconut, key lime and possum (of the meringue and chocolate pudding, rather than marsupial, variety). She also had sweet rolls and oversized chocolate chip cookies and savory egg pies when we visited. The bakery menu varies: Some days there will be cupcakes and blueberry pies and cakes and chocolate peanut butter pies. She serves strong pour-overs in nice, heavy breakfast cups and has specialty coffees as well. She used to serve milkshakes, but the milkshake machine fell off the counter recently. There’s Loblolly ice cream to be had, however, so no harm done. The coffee bar serves Leiva’s Coffee of North Little Rock (for the regular java) and Blue Sail Coffee Roasters coffee (for espresso). There are also

Japanese

house-made syrups. Along the back wall are gifts, like pie plates and cups and dishtowels, from Me and Mcgee Produce on U.S. Highway 70. The overall ambiance is one of old-fashioned coffee-and-pie joy, a different world from the real one outside of the Bowman Heights Shopping Center. Woodson recently hired Mindy Mitchell as executive chef. A “solid group of bakers” handles kitchen duties. “Now my job is to grow the company,” she said. Part of that growth will include providing pastries to the new Blue Sail coffee bar in the Little Rock Technology Park at 417 Main St. Honey Pies has and will continue to act on suggestions from customers, Woodson said. Growing is a little scary, she added. “I have a lot to learn. I worry about what I don’t know about what I don’t know.” But she’s proceeding slowly, and if the result is as good as her crusts, she’ll be fine.

FINALISTS: Igibon Japanese Food House, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Mt. Fuji Japanese Restaurant, Sushi Cafe

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Crazy Samurai (Hot Springs) FINALISTS: Blu Fin Sushi Bar and Grill (Springdale), Meiji Japanese Cuisine (Fayetteville), Sushi House (Bentonville), Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion (Conway)

Mexican LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant FINALISTS: The Fold: Botanas and Bar, Heights Taco & Tamale Co., Local Lime, Senor Tequila

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Taco Mama (Hot Springs) CONTINUED ON PAGE 41

38

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES


BRIAN CHILSON

YOU CHOSE THEM. THEY CHOSE US.

As a company with deep roots in Arkansas, The Mountain Valley is proud to be served in these award-winning restaurants, and to be a part of your outstanding dining experience. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING SELECTED AS A 2017 READER’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER: Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse Big Orange Boulevard Bistro Bruno’s Little Italy Capital Bar & Grill Community Bakery Dempsey’s Bakery Edward’s Food Giant

Greenhouse Grille The Hive Kemuri Loblolly Creamery Mylo Coffee Co. The Pantry Red Mango The Root Café

Enjoy our award-winning spring water delivered straight from the source direct to your door.

Find local delivery at MountainValleySpring.com

MountainValleySpring.com


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Quest for the Holy Grail Inside one man’s bid to

perfect the all-American cheeseburger.

BY BENJAMIN HARDY

APPROACHING PERFECTION: The Excaliburger.

40

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

BRIAN CHILSON

I

n a restaurant culture preoccupied with the novel and the exotic, Kyle Pounders’ vision for his Little Rock food truck, Excaliburger, might be considered a little radical: Make one single classic item, done right, time and time again. “The real story is not what’s in the burger, but that it’s a concept entirely based in simplicity,” Pounders told the Arkansas Times recently. After lots of experimentation and false starts trying to get Excaliburger off the ground, he said, “I saw myself losing my passion on the altar of making everybody else happy, and doing what I was told was necessary to be relevant.” So, instead of chasing the latest trends, he decided to make “one burger, and it’s going to be my favorite hamburger in the entire world. I went line by line through the entire burger. The bun. The beef. I went back to my pantry and made what I would make if I was going to have some friends or a girl over, and I really wanted to impress them. … And as it turns out, everybody loved it.” Originally, he said, “I had every intention of adding to it every crazy whatever — this is the PB&J burger, this is the asparagus and gummi bear burger.” By the time he opened the truck in 2015, though, he had embraced a different path. “I wanted to pull away from that and try something simple, and it’s going so well I’m not going to change anything.” OK, it’s no longer 100 percent accurate that Pounders makes just one menu item. His truck now also serves the “Excalibird” — a grilled chicken breast sandwich — and a vegetarianfriendly “Excalibella,” made with a portabella mushroom. You can also


BRIAN CHILSON

READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

add bacon or make it a double. Otherwise, an Excaliburger is an Excaliburger, and Pounders is sticking to what works: high-quality ingredients, a tried-and-true recipe and a consistently executed sense of presentation. “We’re not really doing anything that different,” he said. “Just a lot of love and a lot of attention to detail.” Being a food truck, Excaliburger’s location and hours of operation vary from week to week. The best way to track it down is to follow Pounders on Twitter (@theExcaliburger), Facebook (@Excaliburger) or Instagram (@Excaliburger_). The Bun: It took Pounders quite a while to track down the ideal vehicle for his ideal burger. “I went back and forth with Old Mill [Bread] for months, and I’m sure I was driving them crazy,” Pounders said. Finally, the bakery suggested he try challah, a traditional Jewish bread heavy in eggs. “I said, ‘This is perfect!’ It’s kind of sweet, it plays really well off a smoky burger and it toasts really well.” All his sandwiches are now served on challah buns, which he picks up twice a week from Old Mill and toasts to a well-appointed crisp. “They’re not burnt, but they’re almost burnt,” he said. The Meat: After much experimentation with different patty sizes, fat content, cooking methods and more, Pounders settled on two 2-ounce patties per burger. “It’s quicker to cook two small patties, and you get lots of flavor from all the points of contact on the griddle,” he explained. The beef is grass-fed Black Angus sourced from Creekstone Farms in Arkansas City, Kan., which is known for a facility designed by animal behavior spe-

cialist Temple Grandin to minimize the stress experienced by livestock before slaughter. “It’s normal for us to eat beef from a cow that had highly elevated levels of adrenaline and fear hormones in the last hours of its life,” Pounders said, making for lower-quality meat. (He credits veteran Little Rock restaurateurs Donnie Ferneau and Scott McGehee for turning him on to Creekstone.) The Cheese: Two slices of melted American, for that classic burger joint experience. “Every Excaliburger comes standard with cheese,” Pounders said, declaring his opposition to the false hamburger/cheeseburger dichotomy. “This is America. Why would you start off with assuming that people don’t want cheese?” The Veggies: Green leaf lettuce, dill pickles and tomatoes (sourced locally whenever feasible — though sometimes they’re not, Pounders acknowledged). For the gluten-averse, he’ll serve a burger on a lettuce-leaf bun. Grilled Onions. These are also standard issue. “That’s just the way I like it,” Pounders asserted, with a note of defiance. The Sauce: He’s not telling, of course. But Pounders said his standard sauce — in keeping with the premise of simplicity — is fairly straightforward: “It’s not like I went to Mordor and got some secret spice made of ogres’ teeth or something.” You won’t find mayo, mustard, ketchup or more exotic condiments at Excaliburger, but Pounders does make one concession to individual tastes. “We have Sriracha if you want it. We don’t advertise that; we just have 14 bottles of it sitting in plain view,” he said.

BEST BARISTA: Kara Bibb of Boulevard Bread Co. in the Heights.

FINALISTS: El Acapulco (Conway), La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant (Hot Springs), San Miguel Mexican Grill (Fayetteville), Table Mesa (Bentonville)

Other ethnic

Restaurante (Hot Springs) FINALISTS: A Taste of Thai (Fayetteville), Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe (Bentonville), Steinhaus Keller (Hot Springs), Wiederkehr’s Weinkeller Restaurant (Altus)

Outdoor dining

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

WINNER: U.S. Pizza Hillcrest

FINALISTS: Cafe Bossa Nova, kBird, Layla’s Gyros and Pizzeria, La Terraza Rum & Lounge

FINALISTS: Brave New Restaurant, Ciao Baci, La Terraza Rum & Lounge, The Root Cafe

AROUND THE STATE

Pie

WINNER: Rolando’s

LITTLE ROCK

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

41


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Honey Pies FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Alley Oops, Bobby’s Country Cookin’, Community Bakery

Pizza LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Damgoode Pies FINALISTS: Pizza Cafe, Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom, U.S. Pizza, Vino’s, ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Place for kids LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Purple Cow Restaurant

AROUND THE STATE

FINALISTS: Oven & Tap (Bentonville), The Rail (Rogers), Rod’s Pizza Cellar (Hot Springs), Tommy’s Famous (Mountain View)

Seafood

FINALISTS: All Aboard Restaurant and Grill, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Dave and Buster’s, Larry’s Pizza

WINNER: Flying Fish

Sandwich

FINALISTS: Brave New Restaurant, Cajun’s Wharf, Eat My Catfish, Oceans at Arthur’s

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Boulevard Bread Co.

WINNER: DeLuca’s Pizzeria (Hot Springs)

FINALISTS: Craig’s BarB-Q (DeValls Bluff), Green Submarine (Fayetteville), Hugo’s (Fayetteville), Natural State Sandwiches (Fayetteville)

FINALISTS: @ the Corner, Community Bakery, Jimmy’s Serious Sandwiches, The Root Cafe

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese (Fayetteville)

LITTLE ROCK

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Eat My Catfish (Bryant) FINALISTS: Cafe Rue Orleans (Fayetteville), Dondie’s White River Princess (Des Arc), Flying Fish (Bentonville), Mike’s Place (Conway)

LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse FINALISTS: Doe’s Eat Place, Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, The Butcher Shop, The Faded Rose

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville)

FINALISTS: Herman’s Rib House (Fayetteville), Mike’s Place (Conway), Postmasters Grill (Camden), Tamale Factory (Gregory)

Vegetarian/vegan LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: The Root Cafe FINALISTS: Cafe Bossa Nova, kBird, Star of India Restaurant,

Steak

Congratulations To All The Readers Choice Award Winners and Finalists.

42

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

CONTINUED ON PAGE 47


More dinner combinations than you can shake a stick at! There are very few places where you can enjoy a catfish buffet in a setting as beautiful as Abe’s Ole Feedhouse. We have continuously developed and refined our cooking methods over the years, and we continue to strive toward serving you the perfect buffet.

Thanks for Voting Us Best Buffet in Benton!

Wednesday-Saturday 4:30-9pm • Sunday 11am-2pm 510 Highway 5 North • Benton • 855-268-8086

WWW.ABESFEEDHOUSE.COM BEST BUFFET AROUND THE STATE


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it Home-cooking winner Homer’s enters its third decade of dishing up meat ’n’ three. BY DAVID KOON

44

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

BRIAN CHILSON

T

hough many have tried, the classic American diner just can’t be faked. There’s more to it than just round barstools, red-checked tablecloths and sweet tea. A great diner is as much about history as it is about artful plate lunches and waitresses who call everybody “honey.” One Little Rock joint that seems steeped in that greasy, unpurchaseable history is Homer’s, the legendary Little Rock plate lunch place at 2001 W. Roosevelt Road. Opened in 1986 by the late Homer Connell and his wife, Remy, the restaurant’s basic formula of hearty, no-nonsense home cooking and friendly service hasn’t changed much in the past 31 years, and that appears to be just how their customers like it. The unassuming concrete pillbox of a restaurant is packed with people from all walks of life, from accountants to truckers, most lunch hours during the week. The mojo radiated by the original is strong enough that it was shared five years ago with a popular spinoff, Homer’s West, in the Galleria Shopping Center at 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. Though Little Rock restaurants seem to bloom and fade quicker than the spring daffodils, Homer’s has thrived on a basic formula of big portions, plenty of options, daily plate lunch specials and one of the friendliest waitstaffs in the city. Homer Connell’s son David started Homer’s West. Unlike the original on Roosevelt, which is only open for breakfast and lunch during the week, the Rodney Parham incarnation is open seven days a week and offers dinner options, a full bar and a patio for outdoor dining. Other

HOMEY AT HOMER’S: The plate lunch eatery on Roosevelt has been feeding fans since 1986.

than dinner entrees like steaks and fish, Connell said, the tried-and-true menu at Homer’s West is basically the same as at Homer’s East: big burgers, sandwiches, plate lunches and a long slate of veggie options. “We offer a little bit more variety than most restaurants,” Connell said. “I think in a day and age when restaurants are getting simpler with their menus, we still offer different specials daily and we also offer a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads. We have a little bit more of a diverse menu than most restaurants do nowadays. That’s unique, in my opinion.” Connell said that while other restau-

rants might get caught up in appealing to a more blue-collar or white-collar crowd, Homer’s has been lucky enough to bring what he calls both the papernapkin and linen-napkin crowd. “We’re obviously paper-napkin, but we’re half blue-collar and half-white collar,” he said. “We get politicians, lawyers, but then we get construction workers and truck drivers in there. We get all types. When I opened up Homer’s West about five years ago, we got into the family crowd a bit more.” Connell believes the secret to the longevity of the original Homer’s has a lot to do with customer loyalty and the low turnover rate among the wait-

resses and kitchen staff, some of whom, he said, have been there long enough to raise kids and put them through college on their salaries. That low turnover creates both a consistency in the food and in the relationships forged between employees and diners. Connell said some customers have eaten at Homer’s East several times a week for years. “Our customers are more like family,” he said. “We have a lot of customers that eat with us regularly. Not just once a month, once every couple months. They eat with us weekly. They come in every day to check on our staff. They kind of develop a family relationship.”


BEST FRIED CHICKEN

THANK YOU

ARKANSAS TIMES READERS!

(501) 372-2211 • 300 President Clinton Ave • www.gusfriedchicken.com


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

T S E T A R THE G E M Y H T OF ALL

EAU JR.

FERN DONNIE

AL CUT? N I F E H T $150 L MAKE / L I M W P O 6 WH IL 13 / R D P A , E WORL Y A D OUND TH S R A R M U O TH INES FR S OF AILS • W NDATION

UA-PULASKI TECH

FOUNDATION

RY U COCKT ECTIONA RING FO RE CHEF OF CONF S FEATU D N L IO R T O A SIGNATU T E, W EUVRE S N CUISIN ORS D’O TITION SOUTHER , N A HEAVY H E COMPE E K P A O ROCK C R P U U E C KIDS / LITTLE ASTERN H 0 E G 3 , U IH O C R 0 N 00 THE FRE UTE: 13 MOND IN T INSTIT LL • DIA N U E P M E E IN G A W ITY MAN OSPITAL H & S T RY AR CULINA EXECUTIVE CHEF SPONSORS

CHEF DE CUISINE SPONSORS

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH SPONSOR

WINE PULL SPONSOR

U

FOA-P U ULA N S D KI A T TI EC O H N

MEDIA SPONSORS

CULINARIAN SPONSORS ARKANSAS BUSINESS PUBLISHING GROUP / BAPTIST HEALTH FOUNDATION BYLITES / BEN E. KEITH FOODS / COCA-COLA / FIRST ARKANSAS BANK AND TRUST HANK’S EVENT RENTALS / HUGG AND HALL EQUIPMENT / LEGACY TERMITE AND PEST CONTROL NORTH LITTLE ROCK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE / RICK FLEETWOOD SOUTHERN GLAZER’S WINE AND SPIRITS / STRZELECKI ENTERPRISES / TIPTON & HURST / VENTURA FOODS

/bigorangeburger /BigOrangeMidtown

@bigorange_west @bigo_midtown

For more info, visit www.pulaskitech.edu/diamondchef or call 501.812.2771. 3URFHHGVEHQHãWWKHSURJUDPVDQGVWXGHQWVRI8$3XODVNL7HFKQLFDO&ROOHJH

46

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville) FINALISTS: Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs), Farmer’s Table (Fayetteville), Local Flavor Cafe (Eureka Springs), Thai Kitchen (Fayetteville)

CONWAY

WINNER: Tacos 4 Life FINALISTS: Eat My Catfish, Mike’s Place, Pasta Grill, Umami Sushi Lounge & Grill Fusion, ZAZA’S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

FINALISTS: Arsaga’s at the Depot (Fayetteville), Bocca Italian Eatery (Fayetteville), Bordinos (Fayetteville), Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville)

HOT SPRINGS

WINNER: DeLuca’s Pizzeria

FAYETTEVILLE/SPRINGDALE/ JOHNSON

WINNER: Hugo’s (Fayetteville)

FINALISTS: Bleu Monkey, Cafe 1217, Cajun Boilers, Rolando’s Restaurante

ROGERS/BENTONVILLE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville),

FINALISTS: Oven & Tap (Bentonville), Pressroom (Bentonville), Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe (Bentonville), Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville)

Wine list LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: SO Restaurant-Bar FINALISTS: Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse, By the Glass, Copper Grill, Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE

2017 READER’S CHOICE WINNERS FROM

AROUND THE STATE

WINNER: The Hive (Bentonville) FINALISTS: 28 Springs (Siloam Springs), Bordinos (Fayetteville), Central Park Fusion Cuisine (Hot Springs), The Preacher’s Son (Bentonville)

Yogurt/ smoothies LITTLE ROCK

WINNER: Red Mango FINALISTS: I Love Juice Bar, Tropical Smoothie, Yogurt Mountain

Best restaurants in areas around the state: BENTON/BRYANT

WINNER: Eat My Catfish FINALISTS: Brown’s Country Kitchen, Desi Den Indian Restaurant, La Hacienda, Pasta Jack’s ©2017 BEAM SUNTORY INC. CHICAGO, IL. ALL TRADEMARKS ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

47


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

22001177 BBEEAALLEE SSTTRREEEETT MUSIC FESTIVAL MUSIC FESTIVAL May 5-7, 2017 • Memphis, TN May 5-7, 2017 • Memphis, TN

KINGS OF LEON KINGS OF LEON

SOUNDGARDEN SOUNDGARDEN

WIDESPREAD PANIC WIDESPREAD PANIC

SNOOP DOGG SNOOP DOGG

STURGILL SIMPSON STURGILL SIMPSON

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE

WIZ KHALIFA WIZ KHALIFA

MGMT MGMT

JILL SCOTT JILL SCOTT

BEN HARPER AND THE BEN HARPER AND THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS INNOCENT CRIMINALS

TORI KELLY TORI KELLY

GROUPLOVE GROUPLOVE

GRIZ LUDACRIS X AMBASSADORS ZIGGY MARLEY BUSH GRIZ LUDACRIS X AMBASSADORS ZIGGY MARLEY BUSH JIMMY EAT WORLD * THE REVIVALISTS * SILVERSUN PICKUPS * MIDNIGHT OIL * THE STRUMBELLAS JIMMY EATBACK WORLD * THE* REVIVALISTS PICKUPS *TRUCKERS MIDNIGHT* OIL * THE STRUMBELLAS TAKING SUNDAY ALTER BRIDGE**SILVERSUN SUM 41 * DRIVE-BY GREENSKY BLUEGRASS TAKING GUN BACKKELLY SUNDAY * ALTER BRIDGE**ANI SUMDIFRANCO 41 * DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS * GREENSKY BLUEGRASS MACHINE * HIGHLY SUSPECT * MUTEMATH * MAYER HAWTHORNE * DAWES MACHINE KELLY *BRADLEY HIGHLY SUSPECT * ANI DIFRANCO **MUTEMATH MAYER HAWTHORNE DAWES KONGOSGUN * CHARLES & HIS EXTRAORDINAIRES THE RECORD* COMPANY * BOOKER T.* JONES KONGOS CHARLES BRADLEY & HIS WOLF EXTRAORDINAIRES * THE RECORD COMPANY BOOKER* T.LILJONES JOHN PAUL*WHITE * DEER TICK * PETER * BIG HEAD BLUES CLUB * RONNIE BAKER *BROOKS WYTE JOHN PAUL WHITE * DEER TICK * PETER WOLF * BIG HEAD BLUES CLUB * RONNIE BAKER BROOKS * LIL WYTE POPA CHUBBY * AMY LAVERE * TORONZO CANNON * DEAD SOLDIERS * PRESTON SHANNON * FREEWORLD CHUBBY AMY LAVERE * TORONZO DEAD SOLDIERS * PRESTON FREEWORLDMORRIS CARLOSPOPA ELLIOT JR. * *GHOST TOWN BLUES BAND *CANNON COREY *HARRIS BAND * SUPER CHIKANSHANNON * BLIND *MISSISSIPPI CARLOS DADDY ELLIOT MACK JR. * GHOST BAND *&COREY HARRIS*BAND * SUPER CHIKAN MISSISSIPPI BLUESTOWN BAND BLUES * MARCELLA HER LOVERS TAS CRU * EDEN BRENT* *BLIND AND MANY MORE! MORRIS DADDY MACK BLUES BAND * MARCELLA & HER LOVERS * TAS CRU * EDEN BRENT * AND MANY MORE!

THREE SINGLE $115 $50 $115 THREE $50 SINGLE DAY PASS DAY PASS

48

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

TICKETS VIA TICKETS VIA

DAY TICKETS DAY TICKETS

www.memphisinmay.org www.memphisinmay.org


READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2017

Thanks For Voting Us Among The Best! BEST OTHER ETHNIC LUNCH/BRUNCH 11AM-3PM • DINNER 5PM-CLOSE 3000 KAVANAUGH BLVD, LITTLE ROCK, AR • (501) 251-8261

BEST OUTDOOR DINING MOST FUN

B-SIDE BISTRO BREAKFAST * BRUNCH * LUNCH

L O B L O L L YC R E A ME R YC O U P O N B U YO N EMI N I S C O O PG E TO N EF R E E R E D E E MA TT H ES O D AF O U N T A I N1 4 2 3S . MA I NS T V o i dwh e r ep r o h i b i t e d , t a x e d , o r r e s t r i c t e d .N oc a s hv a l u e .C o u p o nma yn o t b eu s e dwi t ha n yo t h e r d i s c o u n t , c o u p o n , o f f e r , p r i o r p u r c h a s e , e x c h a n g eo r r e f u n d . L i mi t o n ep e r p e r s o n .N o t t ob er e p r o d u c e d .V a l i du n t i l 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 7 .N oc a s hb a c k .L o b l o l l yC r e a me r yr e s e r v e s t h er i g h t s t omo d i f yo r d i s c o n t i n u et h i s o f f e r a t a n y t i me . A d d i t i o n a l e x c l u s i o n s ma ya p p l y .

Thanks For Voting Us Among The Best In Arkansas!

Eat Local at B-SIDE BIST RO BEST BUFFET • BEST INDIAN

New owners. New menu. Sa me Favorites. 11121 N Rodney Parham (Marketplace Shopping Center) • Little Rock 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tues-Sun. • (501) 716-2700

1520 Market Street • (501) 520-4900 tajmahalar.com

BUFFET MON-SUN 11AM-3PM • OVER 25 ITEMS DAILY! SERVING DINNER SUN-THURS 5-10PM • FRI & SAT 5-10:30PM

Thanks again to Arkansas Times readers for your continued support and for recognizing Brave New Restaurant among the best in Arkansas year after year. CHEF PETER BRAVE

BEST CHEF, PETER BRAVE BEST BUSINESS LUNCH BEST OUTDOOR DINING BEST SEAFOOD

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

49


Arts Entertainment AND

Feeling the power of Green Day at Verizon. BY HEATHER STEADHAM

I

like Green Day, sure. I remember, at the tender age of 19, cracking up at the title of “Dookie,” the band’s third studio album and spawner of hits like “When I Come Around” and “Basket Case.” But it’s my husband who’s the real die-hard fan. He was quick to purchase all of the band’s subsequent releases, from the next year’s “Insomniac” (the songs of which I still don’t know) to the 2004 release, “American Idiot” (the songs of which are burned into my consciousness), to last year’s “Revolution Radio,” which the band is now touring on. It’s because of my husband that I wanted to attend the Green Day concert at Verizon Arena — to see him bounce to the music like the adolescent he was when we first met, or maybe to gain some closure on the Korn/Slipknot/King 810 fiasco of 2014, which I spent entirely with my fingers in my ears. But then, it was 1994 when we first met. Same year as the release of “Dookie.” Twenty-three years later, we’re not in the same shape we were, and an old back injury my husband sustained when he was hit by a car when he was skateboarding at the age of 12 — punks unite! — had flared up, so standing up for two hours to listen to music (much less jumping or moshing to the tunes) was out of the question. What was an aging punk-rock wife to do? Take her 13-year-old son instead, of course. Having been mildly indoctrinated by his father with songs like “American Idiot” and “When September Ends,” Luc was game to go, and flabbergasted by the crowds that had amassed in the arena. There were at least 150 folks in every single merch line by 6:30 p.m., and everyone from purple-haired 12-yearolds to gray-haired grandpas with canes milled around the vestibule. “It’s an hour before the concert and it’s filling up!” Luc exclaimed. “Don’t you understand this is the band of my generation?” I replied. A friend from his middle school 50

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

walked past and waved. “I guess it’s the band for my generation, too,” he retorted. So much greatness goes on before

introduce the band, props were given to Arkansas’s own Jeff Matika, who’s been touring with Green Day since 2009. Later on, Billie Joe donned a plastic Razorback hat. The Arkansas crowd ate it up. The energy in the stadium was positively infectious. Billie Joe bounced around and jumped off monitors, Tre Cool stepped out from behind his drum set and did high kicks, and Mike Dirnt held down the bass with lock-step

WHEN I COME AROUND: Billie Joe Armstrong led a charged, acrobatic performance Wednesday night, one that paid homage to the band’s Arkansas connections.

any headlining band takes the stage, and this show was no exception. The people-watching was sublime. Ten-yearolds sported black T-shirts and too-long jeans pooling at the tops of Chuck Taylors. Another lady peacocked down the aisles in a CBGB baseball jersey, carefully ripped acid-washed jeans and rhinestone-studded cowboy boots. The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” played over the speakers, and my newly minted teenager shouted “Stranger Things!” as if that song originated with the 2016 Netflix series. When Against Me! took the stage, all four members were dressed in black, head to toe. The beat was good and they’re not melodically unlike Green Day, but with the reverb of the arena (or is the age of my ears?) I couldn’t

Day,” she said. But really, nothing would’ve prepared me for the headlining performance. When Billie Joe Armstrong hit the stage, the crowd was immediately on its feet. He sawed on his black-and-white American flag guitar, the pyrotechnics detonated orange geysers behind him, and the band blasted out “Know Your Enemy,” connecting immediately with the audience, who sang along in unison. Billie Joe knew exactly how to play that connection to the utmost: When Jason White, the North Little Rock native who’s been with the band since 1999, played the opening melody to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Billie Joe literally bowed to him. When they began “2000 Light Years Away,” Billie Joe reminisced about performing at Vino’s. And when it was time to

BRIAN CHILSON

Once a punk

understand a word they said — that is, until the lead singer bantered between songs. Laura Jane Grace, with locks flowing and dark enough to make for some prime head-banging, took the time to tell the multiple-thousand people audience that the first concert she went to was Green Day when she was just 14. She said she knows there’s a kid there tonight who’ll be inspired and start his own band. “That’s the power of Green

rhythm. A girl was pulled up onstage to sing, did a stage dive and I’m the one who flew. A dude who seemed obviously high was pulled onstage to sing “Longview,” and though he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, he was full of glee and Billie Joe laughed with abandon. A shower of sparks rained down, and we were all reborn. Because that, as Laura Jane Grace so astutely declared, is the power of Green Day. My son asked for a hat, and I left him dancing in his seat to go buy it. While in line, I texted my husband, who was at home with our two other children, that this was the best concert I’ve ever been to. I’m sorry he couldn’t be there, I said. He returned my text with a simple middle finger. Once a punk, always a punk. Even in solid middle age.

C s b t S A F t s c S d L i

T F i w t c e t o r a t d I c s t s e d R I s a b T 2 C T o

R D i t K R f L

M a T S c M c C H A


ROCK CANDY

Check out the Times’ A&E blog arktimes.com

A&E NEWS CONGRATULATIONS TO DAZZ & Brie, the self-described “girl gang” and their vibrant backup band The Emotionalz, winners of the 25th annual Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. They’ve secured spots at Legends of Arkansas, Riverfest and the 2017 Arkansas State Fair, a celebration party and drink named for them from Stickyz and the Rev Room, a photo shoot with the Times’ own Brian Chilson, gift certificates to Trio’s Restaurant and Dogtown Sound, a recording session at Capitol View Studio and more. Catch them next at Maxine’s for Low Key Arts’ Valley of the Vapors Music Festival in Hot Springs 10:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18.

YOU SPEAK SPANISH? WE DO! SE HABLA ESPAÑOL

El Latino is Arkansas’s only weekly circulation-audited Spanish language newspaper.Arkansas has the second fastest growing Latino population in the country, and smart business people are targeting this market as they develop business relationships with these new consumers.

www.ellatinoarkansas.com

201 E. Markham, Suite 200 | Little Rock Ar 72120 | 501.374.0853 For advertising call 501.492.3974 or by email luis@arktimes.com Facebook.com/ellatinoarkansas

THE 16TH ANNUAL Ozark Foothills Film Festival has announced its lineup, which will include SXSW Film Festival Audience Award winner “Yakona,” an instrumental-visual tribute to the San Marcos River. Justin Sherbern, who composed the film’s score, joins Austin, Texas, experimental classical ensemble Montopolis to accompany the screening live. The final day of the festival features, as the press release reads, “movies that embody authentic portrayals of the people, places and practices unique to rural America” in a series of films and discussions titled “Reel Rural: Rural America in Independent Film.” Three films with Arkansas connections are part of the lineup: “The Arkansas Wild Man,” a profile of beloved rockabilly trailblazer Sonny Burgess; “Relocation Arkansas: Aftermath of Incarceration,” about the experiences of Japanese-American detainees during and following their incarceration at the Rohwer internment camp during World War II; and “Downstream People,” exploring the social and environmental consequences of a corporately contracted industrial hog farm built on the Buffalo National River watershed. The festival takes place April 14-15 and April 21-22 in the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville’s Independence Hall. Tickets range $5-$30. Visit ozarkfoothillsfilmfest. org for a full schedule. REIMS, FRANCE, SAXOPHONIST Drew Davies joined pianist Cesar Pastre, saxophonist Jean-Marc Labbé, guitarist Max Genouel, trumpeter Thomas Mestres and percussionist Kévin L’hermite in paying tribute to Brinkley R&B pioneer Louis Jordan on a new release from Jump Street Records, “Drew Davis Plays Louis Jordan.” MUSICIAN AND HENDRIX College graduate Dana Falconberry, now based in Austin, Texas, is among the cast members of “Song to Song,” Terrence Malick’s film depicting a starcrossed relationship between Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and featuring cameos from Patti Smith, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Val Kilmer, Iggy Pop and Holly Hunter. The film debuts this week at SXSW in Austin, Malick’s hometown.

Thanks For Voting Us Best Butcher!

FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1959! 7507 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, 501-614-3477 10320 Stagecoach, Little Rock, 501-455-3475 7525 Baseline Road, Little Rock, 501-562-6629 2203 North Reynolds Road, Bryant, 501-847-9777 edwardsfoodgiant.com From left: Meat Experts Davin, Alex and Patrick

BEST BUTCHER

Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

51


THE

TO-DO

LIST

BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE, LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK AND OMAYA JONES

THURSDAY 3/16

‘LATINO LEADERSHIP AND THE CINCO DE MAYO IN THE AMERICAN WEST’

6 p.m. Sturgis Hall, Clinton School of Public Service. Free.

question always was: Why do we celebrate it so much here?” In 2012, Bautista wrote the book on the topic, “El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition,” and for this lecture, as the press release reads, Hayes-Bautista expounds on the holiday’s origins with “Latinos in California, Nevada and Oregon as part of the Latino experience of the American Civil War in the Far West.” SS

KATIE CHILDS

As it turns out, Cinco de Mayo is not, in fact, Mexican Independence Day. It’s actually a celebration of an unlikely victory the Mexican army took when

defending the city of Puebla against invasion in 1862, when America was in the throes of the Civil War. “Cinco de Mayo is probably the best known Mexican holiday in the United States,” UCLA Professor David E. Hayes-Bautista said in an interview on University of California Television. “One would think it should be celebrated all over Mexico, and in fact, it isn’t, outside of Puebla. ... For me, the

SAVE THE BUFFALO — AGAIN: A Rowdy Faith (pictured), Isaac Alexander, Amy Garland Angel and others perform Thursday night for the benefit of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, a nonprofit working to curb C&H Hog Farms’ encroachment into the waters of the Buffalo National River, 7 p.m., Argenta Community Theater, $59.

DEAD CORPS: Nashville rockers The Dead Deads bring tunes from last year’s “For Your Obliteration” to Stickyz Thursday night, 9 p.m., $5.

THURSDAY 3/16

SING OUT FOR THE BUFFALO

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $59.

When C&H Hog Farm established operations on Big Creek, a major tributary to the Buffalo National River, a group of citizens living in the area formed a nonprofit to advocate for the responsible conservation of the river: the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance. A timeline of the BRWA’s attempts to protect the 153-mile paradise involves a long list of permit applications and words like “karst” and “vac tankers,” but the idea is simple: Assuming our national obsession with bacon isn’t going away anytime soon, let’s find places to put hog shit that are not, say, in the country’s first National River. Bumper stickers that read “Save the Buffalo — Again” adorn cars all over the state and elsewhere, ref52

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

erencing the hard-fought victory on the part of Dr. Neil Compton and the Ozark Society, who successfully campaigned in the 1960s to stop construction of two dams that would have jammed up the Buffalo — one at Lone Rock and one at Gilbert. The Alliance’s immediate goals are simply stated on the organization’s website: “to educate and advocate for protection of the Buffalo River and its associated watershed by 1) working for the closure of C&H Hog Farm, and 2) supporting a moratorium on any future hog CAFOs within the Buffalo River watershed.” To that end, the Alliance is hosting a fundraiser with a rich musical lineup: A Rowdy Faith, Isaac Alexander, Amy Garland Angel, Nick Devlin, Missy Harris, Jim Hathaway, Phil Martin, Nick Matson, Brian Oman, Matt Treadway, Jason Weinheimer, Brad Williams and Justin Patterson Follow us on Instagram: ArkTimes

& Laura Lynn Danley. There’s a cash bar, food from Whole Hog Cafe (no pork) and a silent auction that features, as organizer Billy Jeter told us, “a Buffalo River painting by Mari Eilbott, a cabin near the Buffalo and [items from] three float vendors: Crockett’s Country Store, Buffalo River Float Service and Buffalo River Outfitters.” Right now, C&H is pursuing a permit for, as the public notice reads, “the storage and land application of liquid waste from a swine facility in accordance with Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&EC) Regulation 5.” The public comment period on the request ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 17. So, if you can’t attend the fundraiser but feel compelled to voice your opinion, visit buffaloriveralliance.org for more information, and send comments directly to buffalowatershed@gmail.com. SS

THURSDAY 3/16

THE DEAD DEADS 9 p.m. Stickyz. $5.


IN BRIEF

THURSDAY 3/16

FRIDAY 3/17

ARGENTA ARTWALK

5-8 p.m., downtown North Little Rock.

Somewhere around Halloween in feminine vocal stylings and creepy 2013, a few women got together and cooing (see: outro to “The Glow”). rehearsed what they thought would The record was well received, espebe a one-off Dead Milkmen tribute cially in the band’s native Nashville, set in the spirit of the holiday. They and The Dead Deads began playing called themselves Dead Milkmaids shows on the likes of Motorhead’s and played “ ‘Punk Rock Girl,’ ‘Bitchin’ Motorboat cruise, developing a legion Camaro,’ ‘Nutrition’ and a few others,” of fans affectionately known as the drummer Billy Dead recalled. After “Dead Corps.” Predictably, they’re a the show, though, they decided that hit with distortion-loving dudes, but wasn’t the end of it. “We realized that they’ve been assertive about nurturwe wrote/played well together and ing a connection to a broad fanbase of wanted to keep playing together,” Billy women, too, as lead singer and guitarsaid. “To do that, we decided that we’d ist Meta Dead told The Blue Banner in better write our own material. We Asheville, N.C.: “We are women, adult wore XXs over our eyes to have the women, in an industry that doesn’t appearance that we’re ‘dead,’ like the have a lot of adult women doing the old cartoons.” They called themselves kind of music we’re doing, so my goal The Dead Deads, and in an unusually is for us to be some kind of paradigm collaborative process, they wrote 11 shift where more adult women are out songs for a debut album, “Rainbeau,” playing rock and roll and not being recorded live to tape in three days and like, ‘Oh, you’re a mom and you’re released in November 2014. Songs like 30 so this is out of reach for you.’ I “Organ P” and “Weedo” borrow from would love that.” Check out our full the dark crunch of bands like Helmet interview with Billy and Meta Dead and L7, but have all the pop sensibility on our online arts and entertainment of a late-’90s Veruca Salt, unafraid to blog, Rock Candy. SS mix brutal rock noise with decidedly

The third Friday of the month opens the doors of Argenta’s galleries on and off Main Street for after-hours art appreciation; March blows in with three new exhibitions and a painting demonstration. That demonstration you’ll find at Barry Thomas’ studio at 711 Main St., where the impressionist will be working on a large canvas and “jamming out to music.” Next door, at 703 Main St., Argenta Bead hosts a trunk show of Janu Gems, which continues on Saturday, the bead store’s last day of operation in Argenta. (It reopens March 24 at 1608 Main St. in SoMa, but will keep the Argenta name.) At Mugs Cafe, 515 Main St., see “Outside the Lines,” graphic work by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette artists Nikki Dawes, Kirk Montgomery, Dusty Higgins and Ron Wolfe. At 420 Main St., the Laman Library’s Argenta branch hosts “Delta in Blue,” an exhibition by award-winning photographer Beverly Buys, which she produced with the assistance of a Henderson State University Ellis College Margin of Excellence grants. Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., continues its “22nd Anniversary Show” of works by fine regional and state artists, such as Carroll Cloar, William Dunlap, Henri Linton and Robyn Horn. North Little Rock arts promoter John Gaudin steps out with his own work in the show “Dancers” at Argenta Gallery, 413 Main St.; a portion of proceeds will go to the Christen Pitts dance program at North Little Rock High School. Other arts venues include Pennington Studio/ Claytime Pottery, the Southern Women Artisans Guild and the House of Art. LNP

David Olney and Mark Currey share an early show at Four Quarter Bar, Argenta, 7:30 p.m. Slide guitarist Jack Broadbent breaks from his run with Lynyrd Skynyrd for a show at South on Main, 8 p.m., $10. The Central Arkansas Library System’s used book sale kicks off in the basement with special night hours, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., $5 (continues 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $5 for 9 a.m. entrance, free after 10 a.m.). Mayday by Midnight keeps the dance tunes coming at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Psycho-Western outfit Frontier Circus plays the White Water Tavern with Jim Mize, 9 p.m., $7. Classical guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan joins fingerstyle guitarist Peter Janson for the next installment of the Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series, “A World of Guitars: Virtuoso Guitar Music from Six Continents,” The Joint, 7:30 p.m., $25. University of Central Arkansas professor Mark Spitzer will read from his new book, “Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West,” 7 p.m., Faulkner County Library, Conway, free. Comedian and actor (“Shade”) Shaun Jones lands at the Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12.

FRIDAY 3/17 Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers pack the White Water stage, 9 p.m. Four Quarter Bar hosts a “Funky St. Patrick’s Day Party with Groovement,” 10 p.m. Grateful Dead tribute band The Stolen Faces jams at Stickyz, 9:30 p.m., $8-$10. The UA Little Rock Trojans men’s baseball team faces off against the Troy University Trojans at Gary Hogan Field, 6 p.m., 2 p.m. Sat. and 1 p.m. Sun., free. Good Foot jams for the Flying Saucer’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, 8 p.m., $5. Secondhand Cannons provide the St. Patrick’s Day music at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 9 p.m. Curator Dr. Ann Prentice and pastel instructor Virmarie DePoyster will give a talk on Georgia O’Keeffe’s “From Pink Shell,” noon-1 p.m., Arkansas Arts Center. Waco, Texas, country singer Wade Bowen brings tunes from his latest album, “Then Sings My Soul: Songs for My Mother,” to Revolution, 9 p.m., $15-$18, with an electronic dance music celebration in the adjacent taco lounge, 9 p.m., free. Psychedelic Velocity plays a free show at Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m. Hot Springs hosts its annual “World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade” with Grand Marshal Alfonso Ribeiro (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), 6:30 p.m., free. King’s Live Music in Conway holds a St. Paddy’s Day Party with The Wandering Troubadours and Luke Smith, 8:30 p.m., $5. Downtown Little Rock’s dueling pianos head to Spa City to play “Willy D’s Traveling Rock ’n’ Roll Show” at Oaklawn’s Silks Bar & Grill, 10 p.m., free. “Cosmic Flux: A Flux Family Music and Arts Festival” takes place at Cadron Creek Outfitters in Greenbrier, 6 p.m. Fri.- Sun., $45-$60.

SATURDAY 3/18 Pianist Edward Simon and his jazz

Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

CONTINUED ON PAGE 55 arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

53


THE

TO-DO

LIST

BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE, LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK AND OMAYA JONES

FRIDAY 3/17

‘BACH IN THE CASTLE OF HEAVEN’

7:30 p.m. St. James United Methodist Church. $15-$25.

If you don’t have any preconceptions about J.S. Bach, go enjoy this

one-night-only concert, and revel in a half hour of fantasias and arias, 1735style. Observe the measured, tip-toeing pace of the fourth movement for alto and violin, and notice how Bach omitted the bass in the 10th movement for soprano, flutes, oboe and strings,

creating a sense of upward lift and purity most appropriate for the words: “Jesus, your gracious look I can still see continually.” Dig the final number, a chorale for the whole ensemble that sounds the way a Peter Paul Rubens painting looks. And, for anybody who

does have preconceptions about Bach, do exactly the same thing, but go to the bookstore beforehand and treat yourself to the 2013 book that inspired this concert: conductor, farmer and Bach expert John Eliot Gardiner’s “Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven.” SS

SATURDAY 3/18

WEEDEATER

ALEXANDRA GAVILLET

8:30 p.m. Revolution. $15$18.

A SPACE OF COLLECTIVE POWER: Self-described “bi-bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence” the Downtown Boys join the lineup for Low Key Arts’ 13th annual Valley of the Vapors Music Festival March 17-21, downtown Hot Springs, $10-$100.

FRIDAY 3/17-TUESDAY 3/21

VALLEY OF THE VAPORS INDEPENDENT MUSIC FESTIVAL

Various times. Downtown Hot Springs. $10-$100.

Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Dazz & Brie are a prime reason to go on a Hot Springs music bender of multiday proportions. Other reasons include, but are not limited to: workshops on processing fear from Martha Bayne and Andrea

54

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

Jablonski, the VOV zine, Joan of Arc, the food at Maxine’s, DTCV, NIL8, Sneaks, Ronnie Heart, the Dean’s List Improv Comedy Group, and local bands like Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe, Dangerous Idiots and the eternally disturbing Ginsu Wives. Not to be missed: Sunday night’s 10 p.m. show from the self-described “bi-bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence,” Downtown Boys. Check out the full schedule at valleyofthevapors.com. SS

Follow us on Instagram: ArkTimes

It’s a good week for local fans of doom and stoner rock. Pallbearer’s third album release show is this week and Weedeater’s in town. Hailing from quite possibly the most metal of all headland towns — Cape Fear, N.C. — the trio was born of the breakup of sludge founders Buzzo*ven. As Metal Injection’s Chuck Loesch aptly wrote, “Weedeater makes six minutes feel short.” Despite lucky-rabbit’s-foot album names like “And Justice for Y’all” and “God Luck

and Good Speed,” the group’s been plagued by a remarkable degree of accident proneness: bassist Dave “Dixie” Collins shot himself in the foot while cleaning his shotgun (prompting the group to rename their next tour “Nine Toe”), and guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd broke his pinkie finger while on tour in Europe in 2010, and broke his hand the next year. They call their music “weed metal.” Do with that what you will. Weedeater is joined by Beitthemeans, Iron Tongue (full disclosure, my band) and Tempus Terra. SS

TUESDAY 3/21-WEDNESDAY 3/22

‘MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE’ 6 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.

Chick Corea, Beck and Laura Prepon all seem like pretty insightful folks — and maybe they’re also testament to the success of Scientology’s effort to recruit celebrities into the religion’s fold. In 1955, Scientology co-founder L. Ron Hubbard introduced “Project Celebrity” with the idea that famous people are “Prime Communicators,” influencers capable of spreading the truth of Scientology to a world that desperately needs it, and stars like John Travolta and Tom Cruise have been defending it with varying degrees of cultish fervor ever since. British documentarian Louis Ther-

oux (“The Most Hated Family in America,” “Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends”) set out to discover why so many successful and seemingly rational people believe in the mysterious, sci-fi-esque principles of “Dianetics.” Given the cold shoulder by the Church of Scientology itself, Theroux recruited Marty Rathbun, a former senior church official, to help him re-create church rituals and incidents described by defectors. When the church gets word, they turn the cameras on Theroux, resulting in an absurd, protracted game of surveillance chicken that, in Telegraph film critic Tim Robey’s words, does little “to reassure us that Scientology is in fact cuddly, socially progressive or misunderstood.” SS


IN BRIEF

QC:

Live: 1.875" x 5.25"

CW: CD:

Trim: 2.125" x 5.5" Bleed: none"

AE:

Closing Date: 3.3.17

AD:

Publication: Arkansas Times

PM: PO:

Shortly into Otto Preminger’s’ “Bunny Lake Is Missing” (1965), Anne Lake (Carol Lynley) goes to pick up her daughter, Bunny, from school. She wanders around the waiting room with a crowd of mothers who are also there waiting to pick up their Bunnys. School ends, the group of mothers dissipate. Only Anne is left, and there is no Bunny. The rest of the film exists in a nightmare state where the viewer is never quite sure of what to make of what is going on — or if Bunny even exists. It’s a terrifying prospect. The only other film that so successfully elicits a sense of total discombobulation is Orson Welles’ “The Trial,” adapted from the Kafka story of the same name, and every facet of the camerawork works toward producing this feeling; it’s classical in style, keeping an objective distance, moving subtly in lieu

of wild pans and close-ups. It almost has the sense of a police procedural. Penelope and John Mortimer adapted the screenplay from a novel by Merriam Modell, thanks to a reprinting of the work from The Feminist Press, a publisher whose “Femme Fatales” line of books is devoted to reprinting pulp novels by women. Modell was a graduate of Cornell University and, after living abroad, settled into life as a writer of short stories and suspense novels under the pen name Evelyn Piper. Many of her stories, Modell’s New York Times obituary reads, “had a common theme: the domestic conflicts faced by American families.” The film moves the setting from New York to London to further heighten the sense of loneliness and isolation Anne feels as she searches for her daughter, in a new place surrounded by strange people who mostly think she’s insane. OJ

Job/Order #: 293027 Operator: cs

7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.50.

Brand: Bud Light Iconic Item #: PBL2017

‘BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING’

FRIENDSHIP BY THE BOTTLE.

MUST INITIAL FOR APPROVAL

TUESDAY 3/21

ensemble Afinidad join the members of PRINT Imani Winds for a concert at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, 8 p.m., $10. Doug Gillon, Amber Glaze, Jay Jackson, Whit Barringer, Dee SoFunny, Jared Lowry and Wes Corwin share the stage at The PUBLIC Theater for The Rogue Revue Comedy Show benefiting The House of Art, 7:30 p.m., $10-$15. Heifer Village opens its doors for Spring Fest, a day of family crafts and activities, 10 a.m., free. Texarkana takes the stage for a free show at Markham Street Grill & Pub, 8:30 p.m. Gallery 26 hosts a reception for its show of work by Amanda Linn and Erin Lorenzen, with music by Opera, 7-10 p.m. Bluesman Trey Johnson plays the happy hour at Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., and later, the Ghost Town Blues Band takes the stage, 9 p.m. Magnolia Brown brings what the band calls “the brown sound” to Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. Whitman & Allenbaugh DJ in Discovery Nightclub’s “disco-tech,” with G-Force in the lobby, 9 p.m. Blues trio Greasy Tree takes the stage at King’s Live Music, with an opening set from Brad Byrd, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Conway Expo Center hosts a Roller Derby Double Header with matches at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., 2505 E. Oak St., $2-$12.

SUNDAY 3/19 Ward Country Dance hosts a benefit for Sleepy LaBeef featuring performances from Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, Ace Cannon, W.S. Holland, Jason D. Williams, Stan Perkins and J.M. Van Eaton, U.S. Hwy. 319 and Hickory Street, 1 p.m., $20. Verizon hosts Winter Jam, a concert from Christian artists Crowder, Britt Nicole, Tenth Avenue North, Andy Mineo, Colton Dixon, Thousand Foot Krutch and Newsong, 6 p.m., $10. North by North shares a bill with Open Fields at Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $6.

ENJOY RESPONSIBLY © 2017 A-B, Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO

MONDAY 3/20

DANCING IN MADNESS: Little Rock sludge metal masters Pallbearer release their third full-length album “Heartless” at Rev Room with Sumokem, Auric and Colour Design, 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, $12-$15.

TUESDAY 3/21

WEDNESDAY 3/22

PALLBEARER

8 p.m. Revolution. $12-$15.

While on tour with Baroness last fall, Little Rock sludge heroes Pallbearer released a single from “Heartless,” their much anticipated follow-up to their 2014 release, “Foundations of Burden.” The long-player was self-produced in Little Rock and mixed by the “inimitable” Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Melvins), the band notes on its website, which adds: “The album

Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires brings its Alabama-born rock ’n’ roll to the White Water Tavern for a rare Monday night show, 9 p.m. At Revolution, Cleveland hardcore metal band Ringworm shares a bill with Brooklyn, N.Y., band Tombs and Little Rock’s Terminal Nation, 8 p.m., $10-$12.

artwork includes a beautifully emotive oil painting by Michael Lierly [percussionist Mark Lierly’s brother], emanating the very core of this record.” For those of us who have just been coasting on the endorphins from those stellar Black Sabbath and Type O Negative covers Pallbearer included on its 2016 EP, “Fear and Fury,” this fix has been a long time coming. Pallbearer is joined by fellow stoner rock beasts Sumokem, Auric and Colour Design. SS

Violinist Drew Irvin, harpist Alisa Coffey and organist Jason Saugey play in “With String and Harp,” a concert featuring the works of Bach, Smetana, Bruch and Debussy, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $20. Columbia, Miss., band Hooten Hallers returns to the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 3/22 Seven-string jazz guitarist Ted Ludwig breaks from his standing gig at the Capital Hotel to play a set at South on Main as part of the “Sessions” series, 8:30 p.m.

North Little Rock 501-945-8010 Russellville 479-890-2550 Little Rock 501-455-8500 Conway 501-329-5010

laspalmasarkansas.com www.facebook.com/laspalmasarkansas

Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

55


MOVIE REVIEW

ALSO IN THE ARTS

Theater

“Phantom of the Opera.” The touring Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; 7 p.m. Sun., through March 19. $33-$153. Robinson Center, 426 W. Markham St. 501244-8800. “Driving Miss Daisy.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat., dinner at 6 p.m., 12:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Sun., dinner at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., through March 25. $15-$37. 6323 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Fancy Nancy: The Musical.” A musical based on Jane O’Connor’s “Fancy Nancy” books. 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through April 2. $10-$12.50. Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. $12.50. “Naked People With Their Clothes On.” The Main Thing’s comedy revue. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through March 25. $24. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-372-0210. “Intimate Apparel.” TheaterSquared’s production of Lynn Nottage’s drama. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through April 16. $15-$45. 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. 479443-5600. theatre2.org.

FINE ART, HISTORY EXHIBITS RETURN OF THE KING: “Kong: Skull Island” is a stylized, monster-sized dose of adrenaline and eye candy.

Swamp brawl ‘Kong: Skull Island’ goes apeshit with the visuals. BY SAM EIFLING

N

o other King Kong in movie history — even Peter Jackson’s from 2005 — can step to the great beast rendered in “Kong: Skull Island.” Dude here is at least 100 feet tall, twice the height and vastly more massive than you’ve seen him before. And director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ mindblowing, crowd-tickling monster movie gives him tons of screen time. The first Kong glimpse comes three minutes in when the ape peeks over a cliff to break up a knife fight between an American flyboy and a Japanese Zero pilot who have jointly crash-landed on a junglestrewn Pacific island during WWII. Kong is the size of a skyscraper, and as richly rendered as any special effect animal in the history of movies. You want to see him get into fights, and he does, plenty, and it is dope. This is a movie that knows what you, as a former child, want to see: savage fights between a gargantuan ape and a bunch of helicopters, or said ape and huge lizards or sea monsters. This is a very fine hour indeed for Industrial Light & Magic: The fine granularity of Kong’s hair, the gold standard for how

56

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

real he’ll look, has increased tenfold in 10 years. The freakishly hi-def “Planet of the Apes”-quality look/feel helps you get past the scant expositions and explanations and straight to the good stuff. This is not an intellectual exercise, ultimately, so much as an extended music video or a $185 million YouTube highlight reel. Overthink it if you like; this is all set in the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War, and allegory abounds. (Why so much military force, ’muricah?) But mostly just sit back and watch a big ape fight big lizards amid some wisecracks and a low-cal “Heart of Darkness” plot. Oh, right! Speaking of, it’s a doozy. It’s the early ’70s, and shady but determined scientist Bill Randa (John Goodman) uncovers satellite evidence of a tropical island that has been shrouded in a perpetual hurricane for centuries. He gathers a military escort, led by Gen. Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), smarting from being freshly ordered out of Nam, and accompanied by blandly heroic tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and subversive war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larsen) to get to the island, chart it, and get back

through the impenetrable hurricane in one piece. Surrounding them are a whole lot of soldiers and scientists who get killed in fabulously unpleasant ways, first when they encounter Kong in a pack of doomed helicopters, and later as they amble around and encounter horrible, colossal animals of all sorts. (Pity the man, in one memorable example, who is impaled on the spear-like leg of a tremendous spider stepping its way across the jungle floor.) Long-lost pilot Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) shows up midway to take the edge off and maybe help everyone survive, if they listen to him — wait, nope, there they go, getting eaten by dragon-scale lizard-snakes. Ultimately “Kong” does a better job of deflating tension than of building it. Got a character bent on a heroic selfsacrifice to keep his comrades safe? Meh, have a lizard monster tail-slap him against a mountain instead, kerblooie. Got an idealistic photographer making a better-angels appeal to a mad general bent on killing Kong? Have him let her know, with no uncertainty, that she’s full of it. The lack of pretense and complexity shouldn’t obscure what is, in fact, a difficult feat of filmmaking here. Rarely does a minute pass in “Kong: Skull Island” when you’re not emotionally engaged on some level: laughter, wonder, dread, adrenaline-awe. It may not be high art, but it’s an impressive feat of balance, tone and ape-on-dragon swamp brawling.

MAJOR VENUES ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Feed Your Mind Friday,” talk by Dr. Ann Prentice, curator of drawings, and Virmarie DePoyster, AAC Museum School instructor, on Georgia O’Keeffe’s “From Pink Shell,” noon-1 p.m., lunches may be pre-ordered from Canvas and available after the talk; “Ansel Adams: Early Works”; “Herman Maril: The Strong Forms of Our Experience” and “Seeing the Essence: William E. Davis,” photographs, all through April 16; UALR photography class talk on Ansel Adams; 47th annual “MidSouthern Watercolorists Exhibition,” through April 16. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff: “Resilience,” printmaking by Emma Amos, Vivian Browne, Camille Billops, Margaret Burroughs, Elizabeth Catlett, Barbara JonesHogu, Samella Lewis, and Rosalind Jeffries, through July 8; “Bayou Bartholomew: In Focus,” juried photography exhibition, through April 22; “Dinosaurs: Fossils Exposed,” through April 22. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375. ARTS CENTER OF THE OZARKS, 214 Main St., Springdale: “On the Brink, On the Brim, on the Cusp,” work in various media, through March 29, reception 6-8 p.m. March 9. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 479-751-5441. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Bruce Jackson: Cummins Prison Farm,” photographs, West Gallery, through May 27, “The American Dream Deferred: Japanese American Incarceration in WWII Arkansas,” objects from the internment camps, Concordia Gallery, through June 24; “Once Was Lost,” photographs by Richard Leo Johnson, through March 18. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. 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: “Ladies and Gentlemen … the Beatles!” Records, photographs, tour artifacts, videos, instruments, recording booth for sing-along with Ringo Starr, from the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, through April 2. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-


GROW grow LOCAL • Food Trucks • Arts & Crafts • Springfest Pooch Parade • The Jesse White Tumblers • Hero Zone • Construction Zone • Super Retriever Series • Community Performances • Bounce Zone • Trout Fishing in America • Much More!

ARKANSAS TIMES

FREE ADMISSION Saturday, April 1 10am – 6pm Downtown Little Rock

7 P.M. TUESDAY, MARCH 21

$ 8 . 50

RIVERDALE 10 VIP CINEMA 2600 CANTRELL RD

501.296.9955 | RIVERDALE10.COM ELECTRIC RECLINER SEATS AND RESERVED SEATING arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

57


WEEKLY SPECIALS AT

DIAMOND BEAR TUESDAY: BOGO Burger Night

Buy one get one free burgers from 5-9

WEDNESDAY: Live Trivia Night THURSDAY: Hope Plate Special DO

AS SEENE ON TH FOOD K’S T NE WOHRE “T BEST OF�

´7KHRULJLQRI&DUGV¾ Donating $’s from Beer and RXVH     + ²%RE+XSS'LUHFWRU Specials to charity

FRIDAY: Flight Night (w/Bites)

$5 Flights and $5 Bites

SATURDAY: Hoppy Meal

A meal, a beverage and a toy for $10 (toys are for adults)

SUNDAY: To Go Beer Brunch coming soon!

BEST BARBEQUE AROUND THE STATE

DON’T FORGET

The Petio.

505 ALBERT PIKE • HOT SPRINGS • 866-MCCLARD

The best place in the area for dogs to bring

Now Accepting Debit and Credit Cards • Call us for to-go orders or catering Shop online for sauces, salsa, seasoning and more at

theirbyhumans great food, and fun! Directed Bob Huppfor | Produced by W.W.beers, and Anne Jones Charitable Trust

www.mcclards.com

600 North Broadway St., North Little Rock • 501-708-2337 Tues-Sun: 11AM-9PM • Bar open til 10PM on Fri and Sat • Closed Mon

SEPTEMBER 11-27, 2015 (501) 378-0405 | TheRep.org

UA-Pulaski Tech Center for Humanities and Arts P

R

E

S

E

N

T

BEER NIGHT

S

Come try a sampling before the show!

Three-Time Grammy Winner

1-800-DELBERT / www.Delbert.com

& Self-Made Men ...with Special Guest Doug Duffey

April 26th Wednesday, 7:30 PM

UA-Pulaski Tech Center for Humanities and Arts 3000 W. Scenic Dr. North Little Rock, AR

ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE

ARKANSAS REPERTORY T H E AT R E Sponsored By

Before the start of the show, enjoy a complimentary beer tasting provided by Lost Forty Brewing. Thursday, March 30, 2017 6-7pm Lobby at The Rep For tickets, call the Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or visit TheRep.org

www.pulaskitech.edu/delbert 58

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

sponsored by

ARKANSAS TIMES

Michael Stewart Allen (Macbeth) in Macbeth. Photo by John David Pittman.






RIDE ON THE ARKANSAS TIMES BLUES BUS TO THE Clarksdale, MS Juke Joint Festival

$125

INCLUDES BUS RIDE, LIVE BLUES EN ROUTE, ADULT BEVERAGES LUNCH AT DONDIE’S WHITE RIVER PRINCESS. WRISTBAND FOR NIGHTTIME EVENTS.

APR 22 2017 GO TO WWW.CENTRALARKANSASTICKETS.COM TO GET YOUR BLUES ON AND RESERVE YOUR SEAT TO THE 2017 JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL IN CLARKSDALE, MS BUS TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED BY CLINE BUS TOURS.

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

59


Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’

THE FAMILY-OWNED Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe, an Argentinian eatery, opens Thursday at 614 President Clinton Ave., the former home of Juanita’s in the River Market district. The Bruzatoris, Little Rock residents for 14 years, will serve up their family recipes of grilled meats, empanadas, Graciela’s chimichurri (named for the matriarch, Graciela Bruzatori) and other dishes reflective of their Argentinian-Italian heritage. Head cook is Paul Hohnbaum. Flo Bruzatori said the restaurant has spent a month and a half training the kitchen in the Argentinian style of grilling. Buenos Aires seats 96 inside, including at the bar, and 30 to 40 outside on the patio, which fronts Clinton Avenue. It’s a good mix with Club 27, where the Little Rock Salsa Club teaches salsa, merengue and other Latin moves on Tuesday and Friday nights and which shares the building with Buenos Aires Grill. SPEAKING OF CLUB 27 and delights from the Southern hemisphere: It’s not too early to make plans to attend the Arkansas Times Margarita Festival and competition, coming May 5 to the River Market pavilions. Bartenders from 15 restaurants, from the Agave Grill to Trio’s, will take part in this inaugural competition to see who can shake up the best combo of tequila, Cointreau, lime and lemon juices, and sugar in a frosty salt-rimmed glass. Loca Luna and Taco Mama will sell margarita-appropriate nosh, Club 27 and the Little Rock Salsa Club will spin salsa records, and the Arkansas United Communities Coalition will sell Frio beer, all proceeds from which will benefit the nonprofit. Earlybird tickets to the event, sponsored by Don Julio Tequila, are $25; buy them at centralarkansastickets.com. 501 CAFE, WHICH opened in February in the Conway Medical Park building at 650 United Drive, is offering “cuisines from across the globe” in a chic minimalist setting — concrete floors, counter seating and a widescreen TV on the rusty orange wall. The “global” menu includes pizza (Italy), pita sandwiches (the Mediterranean), fried pickles (once upon a time in Atkins), hamburgers (American), gyros (Greece) and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. LITTLE ROCK BLACK Restaurant Week continues this week with deals at Lindsey’s BBQ and Hospitality House (Thursday) and The Food Truck Stop @ station801 (Friday). 60

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

THE BEAR TRAP BURGER: With avocado, chiles, an onion ring and cheese on top, it’s fit for a man cave of an eatery, the J.J.’s Grill.

Sports bar success J.J.’s Grill has the system in place.

T

he owners of J.J.’s Grill have got their formula down pat. Opening their first restaurant/bar in Rogers in December 2008, then expanding to Fayetteville in 2009, the J.J.’s folks now have eight locations around the state, the most southeasterly of those opening in August in the center at the southwest corner of Markham and Bowman in West Little Rock.

Follow Eat Arkansas on Twitter: @EatArkansas

And the J.J.’s formula is tried-andtrue: a nice selection of beers on tap and in bottles, a broad menu of fairly standard but well-prepared bar food classics, lots of TVs broadcasting sports with no volume, country music playing — but not blaring — over the sound system, and a staff of friendly waitresses. With eight locations opening in less than eight years, there’s no need for J.J.’s to

reinvent any wheels. Our visit was prompted by several friends speaking fondly of the newest J.J.’s, which is in comfortable space formerly occupied by Another Round Pub and the final version of The Villa. At lunch last Friday the place had a definite “man cave” feel, all tables taken, primarily by hungry men, more in ball caps than not. We started with homemade onion rings ($6.29) and loaded queso ($7.99), both well executed. The rings are medium width with tightly clinging batter. They could use more salt (so we applied some) but otherwise were perfect. They weren’t overcooked, so there was plenty of life left in the onion, and when we finished them off we noticed there wasn’t a single drop of grease


BELLY UP

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas arktimes.com

on the paper in the plastic basket. We asked for some of J.J.’s french fry dipping sauce, a cross between remoulade and tartar sauce, and while it added some nice zing to the rings, we were

J.J.’s Grill

12111 W. Markham St. 891-6769 jjsgrill.com

Quick Bite: J.J.’s Grill has some of the most compelling happy hour deals around. Every day from 3-6 p.m. pints are either $2 or $3, well drinks are $2, house wines are $2.50 and a relatively massive plate of five chicken strips and five chicken wings is only $5. And then there are the three “happy minutes” periods — 3-3:20, 4:204:40, 5:40-6 p.m. — when domestic drafts are $1. Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday through Saturday.

surprised to see a 59-cent charge for it on our tab. We could — and did — stand a spoon up in the very beefy queso. It is rib-sticking if just a bit bland. More spices would help, even if they just provided flavor and not heat. We also were struck by the noticeable nongreasiness of the homemade chips, as good as any we’ve had, and the sweet potato fries. Neither left a remnant of oil. The chips accompanied a large but also sort of boring Philly cheesesteak ($9.99). The meat was finely shredded and tender, but it could have used more cheese and a larger quotient of grilled onions and peppers. Our friend jazzed it up with some Dijon mustard and a dill pickle spear. J.J.’s has a huge menu, including 15 sandwiches, eight wrap options and no less than 20 takes on burgers. We opted for the Bear Trap Burger ($9.99), which includes green chiles, avocado, cheddar and an onion ring, with both buffalo and jalapeno-lime sauces applied. The 1/3-pound burger patty was cooked medium-well, as advertised, but it was still moist and juicy. The unique combination of toppings worked well together, but we would have preferred a butteredand-griddled bun vs. the plain one we were served. We likely could have repeated the spoon-standing trick in our bowl of chicken tortilla soup ($5.29). It was that thick — hearty but also creamy and full of chunks of white-meat chicken. It was topped by a huge mound of very thinly sliced, crisp tortillas pieces and was rib-sticking enough for us to call it our main course. We were happy to see that J.J.’s features two homemade desserts — cheesecake and apple pie, each $6.29. We could have chosen a chocolate or strawberry topping for our cheesecake but opted to take it plain. It was a huge slab with a thick graham cracker crust. It was light but not particularly creamy, rich or flavorful. It looked great, but it just wasn’t. It’s NCAA basketball tournament time, and J.J.’s Grill is one of the better spots in town for sports TV binging. And with so many choices, it will be hard not to find something to eat and drink that will appeal to you.

Warning: Do not eat this ad. It is just a photograph of our specialty pizza, Da Bomb. Please drive to Hideaway Pizza at 5103 Warden Road or visit HideawayPizza.com to order your very own seriously great specialty pizza.

Thanks for voting our pies one of the best in the state!

BEST PIE 11900 Kanis Road • Little Rock, AR 72211 Open Mon-Sat • Lunch & Dinner • WI-FI • 1-501-221-9400 • www.alleyoopslr.com

Merci beaucoup for voting us best food truck around the state – three years running! Come by our new storefront location at 100 SW 8th St, in Bentonville BEST FOOD TRUCK AROUND THE STATE

BEST DOG FRIENDLY AROUND THE STATE BEST GLUTEN FREE AROUND THE STATE

êat with a french accent

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

61


ALSO IN THE ARTS, CONT. Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 adults, $8 seniors, retired military and college students, $6 youth 6-17, free to active military and children under 6. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way, Bentonville: “Border Cantos: Sight and Sound Explorations from the Mexican-American Border,” collaboration between photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican American sculptor and composer Guillermo Galindo, through April 24; “Roy Lichtenstein in Focus,” five large works, through July; American masterworks spanning four centuries in the permanent collection. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700. ESSE PURSE MUSEUM & STORE, 1510 S. Main St.: “Reflections: Images and Objects from African American Women, 1891-1987,” through April; permanent exhibit of handbags. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. $10, $8 for students, seniors and military. 916-9022. FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “Heartbreak in Peanuts,” digital photographs of Peanuts comic strips, through April 16; “Liv Fjellsol: Art Says,” representational works on paper accompanied by poems and other writings, through April 2. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 479784-2787. HENDERSON STATE UNIVERSITY, Arkadelphia: “Nasty Woman,” work by 32 artists exploring the female perspective on contemporary issues, in conjunction with Women’s History Month, through March, Russell Fine Arts Gallery. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. 870-2305207. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “Paintings by Glenda McCune,” through May 7; “Modern Mythology: Luke Amran

Knox and Grace Mikell Ramsey,” mixed media sculpture and paintings, through May 7; “All of Arkansas: Arkansas Made, County by County”; “A Diamond in the Rough: 75 Years of Historic Arkansas Museum.” Ticketed tours of renovated and replicated 19th century structures from original city, guided Monday and Tuesday on the hour, self-guided Wednesday through Sunday, $2.50 adults, $1 under 18, free to 65 and over. (Galleries free.) 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, 503 E. 9th St. (MacArthur Park): “American Posters of World War I,” through March; permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 9th and Broadway: “Arkansas Made, Black Crafted,” weekly workshops on turning hobbies to income, head-wrapping, soap-making and jewelry-making, 1:30 p.m. March 18 and 5 p.m. March 23, info@mosaictemplarscenter. com of 683-3593 for details; permanent exhibits on African-American entrepreneurship in Arkansas. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 683-3593. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Magnificent Me,” exhibit on the human body, through April 23. 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 St.: “Cabinet of Curiosities: Treasures from the University of Arkansas Museum Collection”; “True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley,” musical instruments, through 2017; “First Families: Mingling of Politics and Culture” permanent exhibit including first ladies’ gowns. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685.

WASTE TIRE RECYCLING PROGRAM COORDINATOR

The Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District is looking for a coordinator for the recycling of waste tires. The waste tire inter-district is headquartered in downtown Little Rock and serves other regional solid waste management districts in the central Arkansas area. Qualifications for this position include the following: • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university • Good oral and written communications skills • Good computer and math skills • A team player • Environmental interest • A professional appearance • A good driving record • Starting salary: $30,000 - $35,000 Please submit all resumes to Desi Ledbetter at desi.ledbetter@regionalrecycling.org Deadline for resumes to be received is March 31, 2017 at 4:30pm. We are an equal opportunity employer.

PULASKI COUNTY REGIONAL RECYCLING AND WASTE REDUCTION DISTRICT 300 Spring Street, Suite 200 Little Rock, AR 72201 501.340.8787 www.regionalrecycling.org

62

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

LIVE YOUR

PASSION SPORTS, PLAY AND ENGAGE!

BRING YOUR GAME! Initial Games Begin March 2017

For deadlines and information on registration, please visit our website:

LouisianaStateGames.com Hosted By: Sponsored By:

PASTURED OLD BREED PORK Our hogs are a cross between Large Black and Berkshire, old 19th century breeds. They are raised on our pasture and forage in the forest that adjoins our fields. They are never confined like industrial hogs. We do not use any kind of routine antibiotics. Our hogs live ARKANSAS GRASS were FED LAMB like they meant to. PRICE LIST FRESH RAW HAM $7 lb.

PORK LOIN $8 lb

HAM BREAKFAST STEAKS $7 lb

BREAKFAST SAUSAGE $9 lb

We offer first quality one-year-old lamb raised on our farm in North Pulaski County. Our meat is free of steroids or any other chemicals. The only time we use antibiotics is if the animal has been injured which is extremely rare. All meat is USDA inspected.

PORK BRATWURST $10 One pound package

You can pick up your meat at our farm off Hwy 107 in North Pulaski County (about 25 miles north of downtown Little Rock) or we can meet you in downtown Little Rock weekdays. All meat is aged and then frozen.

PORK STEAKS $10 lb PRICE LIST: RIB ROAST TESTICLES contains about eight ribs (lamb chops) $17 lb.

$10 lb

WHOLE LEG OF LAMBPORK BUTTS TANNED SHEEPSKINS, $10 lb SHOULDER (about 4 to 5 lbs) $12 lb.

(bone in, cook this slow, like a pot roast. Meat falls off the bone). $11 lb.

HEARTS, LIVERS, KIDNEYS, $5 lb

$100-$150

(Our sheepskins are tanned in a Quaker Town, Pa. tannery that has specialized in sheepskins for generations.)

PORK TENDERLOIN BONELESS LOIN $12 lb TENDERLOIN $8 lb

$20 lb

LAMB BRATWURST LINK SAUSAGE

(one-lb package) $10 lb

NECKBONES

(for stew or soup) $5 lb

SPARE RIBS $9 lb BABYBACK RIBS $12 lb

India Blue F a r m

12407 Davis Ranch Rd. | Cabot, AR 72023 Call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 alan@arktimes.com

12407 Davis Ranch Rd. | Cabot, AR 72023 Call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 alan@arktimes.com


ARKANSAS TIMES MARKETPLACE

Can ihelp you? Learn to get the most from your Apple products at home or your office. • Learn to get the most from your Apple products at home or your office • Guide you to the perfect Mac or device for your needs and budget • Everything Apple: Macs, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV and Apple Watch

• Data Recovery & troubleshooting • Hardware & software installations • Organize and backup all your documents, photos, music, movies and email on all your devices with iCloud

PANAMERICAN CONSULTING, INC. Interpretation and Written Translations (Spanish – Portuguese - French) Latino Cultural and Linguistic Training

MICHEL LEIDERMANN, President

Follow @MovingtoMac on Twitter and Like Moving to Mac Facebook for news and deals.

Call Cindy Greene Satisfaction Always Guaranteed

MOVING TO MAC

www.movingtomac.com

cindy@movingtomac.com • 501-681-5855

(Minority Business - AR State Vendor) mleidermann@gmail.com • Mobile: (501) 993-3572

ADOPT: Creative, musical, nurturing teacher wishes to adopt a baby into her loving & secure home. Expenses Paid. Call Lillian 1-888-861-8427 or www.liliadopts.com

PLEASANT VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB is hosting a Job Fair Saturday April 1st, 2017 from 10am to 2pm for servers, bartenders, and landscape maintenance staff.

❤ ADOPTION ❤

Hiring Event: Saturday, March 18th We Want YOU! Night Order Selectors Are you: Gainfully employed and looking for a new career? An experienced warehouse professional? Ready to be part of a company who promotes from within?

4901 Asher Ave. Little Rock, AR 72204

Adoring Children’s Professional and Executive yearn for first baby to Love and Cherish forever. Expenses paid. Jodi & Mark.

1-800-997-1720

PLEASANT VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB is hiring full time and part time servers and bartenders. Experience is a plus. Must be able to work some nights, weekends, and holidays. Competitive hourly wages. Apply in person at 1 Pleasant Valley Dr. Little Rock AR 72212

PLEASANT VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB is hiring Golf Course and Landscape Maintenance. Base salary $9/hour, please call 501.225.5243 ext. 3 for more information. And Golf course assistant maintenance mechanic. Experience is required. Full time position. Salary depends on experience. Base salary $12.50/hour. For more information call 501.225.5243 ext. 3

PLEASANT VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB is looking for a full time Front of house Restaurant Manager. We are looking for an energetic charismatic leader in a fast pace casual dining area. Must have previous restaurant Management experience. Must be able to stand on your feet for long hours. Must be able to work nights and weekends and some Holidays. Must be willing to hire and Train Severs on a professional level. Benefits include health, dental, vision insurance, Vacation time. Competitive salary based on experience. Email resume stormipickens@pvcc.cc

Event Hours: 10am-3pm

Night Order Selectors Minimum Starting Pay $31,200/year ($15.00/hour) + Overtime and Incentives Opportunity to make up to $40,000+/year!! Preferred Experience: Motorized Pallet Jack, Order Selection, Jobs working in extreme temperatures (freezer). Hiring Event will include possible tour of our facility, please wear appropriate shoes.

Apply ahead of time : www.pfgc.com/careers Experienced Class A CDL Delivery Drivers are also encouraged to apply! Driver Training Wage—$200/day EOE/Vets/Disabled

GROW grow LOCAL ARKANSAS TIMES

arktimes.com MARCH 16, 2017

63


APRIL LINEUP POP’SLOUNGE

Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday – p.m.

FOR LIVE MUSIC?

SILKSBAR&GRILL

Friday & Saturday |  p.m.– a.m.  Mayday by Midnight - Sensory 2 - Willy D’s Dueling Pianos Roadshow

OAKLAWNCOM

ARKANSAS’ FAVORITE PLACE TO PLAY AND ONLY MINUTES AWAY.

- Pamela K. Ward and the Last Call Orchestra Band - Mayday By Midnight

AND JOIN US FOR KARAOKE AND $2 DRAFTS, WELLS & WINES FROM 7 P.M.-MIDNIGHT EVERY WEDNESDAY IN POP’S LOUNGE!

@OAKLAWNRACING Gambling problem? Call ---. 64

MARCH 16, 2017

ARKANSAS TIMES

Arkansas Times - March 16, 2017  

EAT ME - Dig into the results of the 2017 Readers Choice Restaurant Awards

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you