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Eureka Springs is one of our state’s top attractions for both tourists and in-state travelers alike. It is cute, quaint, and about as charming as a place gets. The dining scene happens to be a huge draw with its plethora of restaurants, coffee shops, and artisan food makers. Still, even with all these fantastic options, some places are just so good, you can’t pass on the opportunity to visit them every time when in town.
Local Flavor Café is one of those places, and to no one in my family’s surprise, the restaurant located on Main Street as you ease into the center of town delighted once again during an early evening outdoor dining on the patio.
While my wife and kids focused on the pasta portion of the menu with orders of Eggplant Parmesan and Meatballs with Pomodoro, I couldn’t resist trying out the Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp. Before those dishes hit the table, we split the Spinach Artichoke Dip appetizer, which was highlighted by the accompanying grill-marked toast and a dip with a nice balance of gooey cheese chopped spinach/artichoke.
Samples of the pasta dishes proved delightful. Particularly impressive is the inclusion of whole roasted garlic cloves throughout the sauce. Soft in texture and mild in flavor, each bite of the garlic with the house-made meatball was just as good as the next. It also helps that I am a huge fan of angel hair pasta, which Local Flavor used for both the meatball and eggplant dishes. As for the eggplant Parm, personally, it tends to reside under the category of “high risk, high reward” at most restaurants. But I’m happy to report that Local Flavor’s hand-breaded slab of tender eggplant was one you can feel comfortable ordering.
My Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp was my favorite dish to hit the table. But I will admit that this might be a dish to shy away from if you’re averse to sweet flavors. Make no mistake, the thin sauce that combines ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and honey definitely leans towards the sweeter side but was irresistibly good with the six plump shrimp and wild rice. Thick stalks of tender asparagus added a vibrant green to the presentation and much-needed vegetation to the plate.
Local Flavor also excels at desserts, as evident by the sizeable Vanilla Crème Brûlée. One order should easily cap off the meal for a table of four. It’s everything you want from a brûlée: creamy and custardy with a thin sheet of torched sugar just waiting to be broken through. Blueberries, kiwi, and strawberries added a colorful garnish and subtly tart taste to the dessert.
Overall, dinner at Local Flavor Café was outstanding, which I imagine is generally the case for most diners. If you’ve never been, go find out just how good this gem of a restaurant is in Eureka Springs.
Did You Know?
Local Flavor does not accept reservations via email or messenger. But you can call during hours of operation, and their host will take care of you (479-253-9522).
Local Flavor Café
71 S Main St (Eureka Springs)
Hours: Tuesday 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Closed Monday
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