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Following a legend is no easy task, but that’s exactly what Homer’s Kitchen Table has set out to do after taking over the space at 11121 N Rodney Parham that was formerly occupied by Franke’s Cafeteria. I, for one, had serious doubts. Franke’s was so beloved, a staple of the Little Rock community for almost 100 years, and truly one of my favorite lunch spots.
But after several visits and a ton of feedback from readers, I have to say, Homer’s has gotten off to an unbelievably successful start to its newest chapter. It’s a slightly elevated dining experience while maintaining that unpretentious, downhome charm folks in the area love so much.
And it all starts with the actual space, one that will remind you nothing of Franke’s. That’s a good thing. We all need to move on, and in my humble opinion, it was a wise decision to go with a completely different look than the previous tenant. For one, it’s only half the space. The other half is now a gym. Changes don’t stop with the beautifully modern interior, which is complete with a full bar area and TVs all around. The food, yes, the food, is vastly improved from the previous Homer’s down the street.
For literal starters, the chicken fried pickle spears are best split between a table of four. The same could probably be said about the BBQ nachos, which I’ve yet to order, but they do have my attention for a future visit. Do you love cheese dip? Of course, you do. This is Arkansas. Well, Homer’s has cheese dip, too.
While the menu offers a wide selection of salads, burgers, and sandwiches, the daily specials like chicken and dressing or sausage with sauteed cabbages have been too hard to resist for yours truly. Two sides along with the most heavenly, pillowy soft yeast rolls come with each entrée. I highly recommend the sweet potato casserole, Northern beans, or even the mac & cheese. Frankly, the latter was off on my last visit, but when the server looked down at my plate, she knew it wasn’t right as well and immediately had the mac replaced with a fresh, piping hot bowl. The move was appreciated. As for the potato salad you see in the picture? It’s a pre-made offering that you might recognize from other menus around town. This isn’t a knock, as I rather fancy this creamy version, especially paired with BBQ. Desserts like a Cobbler of the Day, along with a variety of fried pies and handspun milk shakes, also make an appearance, but good luck having enough stomach space by that part of the meal.
Service during my four visits to the new spot has been fantastic. Staff is attentive throughout the meal, especially during lunch, when they know most diners are on a time crunch.
Put it all together, and Homer’s Kitchen Table has accomplished a nearly impossible task: successfully following a legend.
Homer’s daily specials include meatloaf (Monday), fried chicken (Tuesday), chicken spaghetti (Wednesday), chicken & dumplings (Thursday), and fried catfish and shrimp & grits (Friday and Saturday).
Homer’s Kitchen Table
11121 N Rodney Parham (Little Rock)
Phone: (501) 224-6637
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Closed Sunday
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