Ask folks around Little Rock what’s one of their favorite restaurants around town, and you’ll hear Maddie’s Place come up quite often. And while chef/owner Brian Deloney has put his unique spin on New Orleans-style main dishes like jambalaya, fried catfish po’boys, and shrimp and grits, just to name a few, it’s his selection of tasty appetizers that has also enticed many patrons.
In the past, I’ve even been known to order a couple of apps instead of an entrée. Here are seven of my personal favorites.
1.House Smoked Salmon Dip with Grilled Pita Bread Chips
This is just absolutely ideal for sharing with a large group. The warm, grilled pita is a perfect vehicle for the cool, creamy salmon dip that’s just bursting flavorful chunks of smoked salmon.
2. Fried Alligator Bites with Chile-Garlic Dipping Sauce
Fear not, if you’ve never eaten alligator, just know it’s a fairly mild protein. Maddie’s amps up the taste by deep frying well-seasoned, battered pieces of alligator and then serving them with a chile-garlic dipping sauce.
3. Truffle Parmesan Fries
These thin, fresh-cut fries come out piping hot and are topped with a light amount of truffle oil and Parmesan. If you truly love fries, like I do, then you’ll be happy to know that these never disappoint.
4. Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
This thick, creamy, stick-to-your-ribs macaroni & cheese is about as classic as it gets, and while I wouldn’t recommend ordering it by itself, a few bites of this appetizer is quite nice with some of the other offerings.
5. Chargrilled Oysters
If you see the chargrilled oysters on the Daily Specials board, just order a dozen without thinking twice. Plump, juicy Gulf oysters are grilled just right and topped with a heavy hand of butter, Parmesan, and green onion. Maddie’s is one of the few restaurants in Little Rock that even serves this appetizer.
6. Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab & Remoulade
The star here is the green tomato, which Chef Deloney and his crew manage to fry just right. It ends up being this thick-coated, crunchy slice of fried tomato that holds up well to the accompanying crab and remoulade.
7. Pulled Pork Nachos
This is a total guilty pleasure. Corn tortilla chips are topped with massive amounts of cheese, bbq sauce, sour cream, pickles, red onion, black-eyed peas, and, of course, pulled pork. I cannot stress enough that this appetizer is best shared with 2-3 other folks.
Homemade Boudin Balls with Spicy Mustard Sauce, Baked Lump Crab Dip with Crispy Pita Chips, Braised Ribeye and Blue Cheese Meat Pies with Jalapeno Ranch and Spicy Carrot Slaw, Crispy Chicken Livers with Roasted Jalapeno Ranch
1615 Rebsamen Park Road (Little Rock)
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.