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It is up to you on whether to call them “hidden gems” or “underrated places,” but one thing is for certain, these 10 restaurants in Little Rock deserve a lot more attention than what they get.
Where do I begin? Taqueria El Palenque is my favorite Mexican food restaurant in Little Rock. The restaurant is also literally hidden, making it an ideal inclusion for this post. Good luck seeing the taqueria while driving down Rodney Parham. It’s tucked back in a small strip, blocked slightly from plain view by a tiny grocery store. Everything on the menu is awesome, including the chicken nachos, shrimp burritos, enchiladas verdes, and tacos.
This nondescript eatery located on Markham Street is the place to go for great falafel in Little Rock. Get it as a wrap but save a little room for the hummus and babaghanouj as well. For the carnivores out there, the Adana Kebab Wrap with spicy ground meat is a winner, as is the chicken shawarma.
While it is located on 210 Center Street in the heart of downtown Little Rock, for whatever reason, the longtime lunch spot is still a relative unknown to some folks in the capital city. Daily lunch specials like pasta salad and avocado shrimp salad complement a focused, well-executed menu of sandwiches. Friday nights (the only night Dave’s Place is open) are a hoot, with live music and entrees served up in a family-friendly environment.
Good luck finding better fried catfish in Little Rock. High praise, I know, but it’s true. The folks at Brewster’s Too Café also make a good cheeseburger, and the soul food sides like yams and collard greens are worth a visit. Did I mention the fried pork chop sandwich? This cozy, dimly lit Arch Street eatery is an absolute gem.
Great food in a gas station? I had a hard time believing the whispers for myself until I finally checked out America’s Street Food inside the Highway 10 Gas & Market. Chef Robert Scott knows his way around a grill, evident by his masterful execution of a cheeseburger that required a good 10 napkins to clean myself up after eating. The wings with a house-made BBQ sauce are a must-order, as are several of the breakfast items.
Lazy Pete’s does two things about as good as anyone in the area: chicken wings and onion rings. Now that I have your attention, opt for the lemon garlic wings. If you’re looking for a healthier option, order the grilled shrimp tacos. Those who know about Lazy Pete’s love this no-frills, fast-casual restaurant on the west side of town.
Milford Track is the ultimate hidden gem. Don’t believe me? Here’s the address: 10809 Executive Center Drive. Now good luck finding it. First-timers will drive around the business park searching aimlessly for the basement deli. No worries, you’ll eventually find it, along with made-to-order pasta dishes and a variety of sandwiches.
Most folks in the know hate when I write about The Terrace, the longtime Mediterranean restaurant located on the ground floor of a West Little Rock office building. Why? Because they want to keep it as their tasty little secret. The “Kitchen Sampler,” which includes hummus, tabouleh, and babaghanouj, is an easy appetizer choice and you can never go wrong with entrées like Citron Chicken, Veal Terrace, and moussaka.
Too Sweet reminds me a little bit of Brewster’s, both in menu and general appearance of interiors. Both serve great burgers, but the one big difference is that Too Sweet has an “anytime” breakfast, top-lined by the most amazing egg sandwich with scrambled eggs, melted American cheese, and bacon.
Go for breakfast and come back for lunch at the downhome restaurant on the eastern edge of downtown. Rosie’s is owned and operated by a group of female servers who are dead set on serving up staples like the BLT, club, and grilled cheese sandwich. There’s a daily plate lunch special, a variety of desserts, and breakfast options including biscuits and gravy, hotcakes, and omelets.
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