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It is officially strawberry season here in Arkansas, which means we need to take a look at some of my favorite strawberry desserts in the state. And whether these restaurants and bakeries use fresh, local berries or ones they get shipped in, one thing is for certain: you’ll be sure to love the dishes below.
Maybe a little of it was being cooped up last year from a global pandemic, but when I saw a picture of Skylark Café’s strawberry pie on Facebook, I did not hesitate to make the 1.5-hour drive each way from Little Rock to Leslie just for it. Truth be told, I might make the same trip again this year, as it’s simply one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten.
Trio’s strawberry shortcake is one of the most popular desserts in Little Rock. The restaurant can barely keep up with the demand for this iconic dish and go through hundreds of pounds of berries each season. The greatness lies in its simplicity: local berries (and lots of them), whipped cream, and then shortbread biscuits that sop up the juices.
Everything Stoby’s does, it does well, and that includes the fluffy strawberry pancakes. If these are a little sweet for breakfast, consider ordering a breakfast burrito, or go with both and share. Remember, sharing is caring.
Yes, Charlotte’s gets a ton of attention for its pie, and deservedly so, but the cake, specifically the strawberry cake, is out-of-this-world good. Moist and bursting with strawberry flavor, this sweet confection will make you pause on the pie.
Spoiler alert, you’re going to see a few strawberry shortcakes on this list, and that includes the one from The Pizzeria. Local berries reside inside and outside of a cut biscuit, which also includes a heavy hand of fresh, whipped cream.
Here’s yet another strawberry shortcake that uses simple yet quality ingredients to achieve a high level of awesomeness. At Petit Jean Coffeehouse, expect a small cup filled with vanilla cake, then topped with macerated Arkansas-grown berries and homemade-to-order whipped cream. Served on weekends while Arkansas strawberries are in season.
I doubt the berries are local, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Strawberry Shortcake Concrete at The Original ScoopDog is a must-order any time of year. Just make sure to bring cash or a check.
Matcha Norwood’s brilliant idea to serve slices of cheesecake with a stick is only surpassed by her use of various flavors, like the Strawberry Crumble. The cheesecake comes topped with a crumble and strawberry sauce. No fork is needed for this one.
I am not sure if Lisa Ford is baking her strawberry cream cheese kolaches this year, as she is always mixing things up. Her creativity knows no bounds, but the important thing to take away is that if you see a kolache with strawberries in the case, buy it. I don’t care what she pairs with the berry. It will be fantastic.
You want a dose of honesty? I’ve never even had the strawberry shortcake from The Bulldog Restaurant in Bald Knob. But I am also not an idiot and know the popularity of this dessert. To write a list post and not include it would draw the ire of the masses. So, here’s a nice picture of the dessert, which includes berries, soft-serve ice cream, pecans, strips of cookie-like shortbread, and whipped cream.
Photo from The Bulldog Restaurant courtesy of Lindsey Bailey French
Header photo from Petit Jean Coffeehouse
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