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The Fold is the Place to Be


The Fold’s ascent in the Little Rock food scene has been a fun one to watch, but also one that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Raduno, which is under the same ownership, has been on an upward trajectory as well for the past couple of years.

It’s hard to imagine two restaurants doing a better job navigating the rough terrain throughout a global pandemic. For The Fold, that includes special dinners, a ramp-up of an already dynamic social media presence, and the physical updates throughout the restaurant–the most pronounced being an outdoor tent area that I imagine will now become a permanent fixture at the restaurant. But as nice as all these things are, ultimately, the food is what powers the ship. So, after two recent visits, I am happy to report there’s a lot to like.

Start your meal off with an order each of the Habanero Queso, Salsa Roja, guacamole, and Street Corn Dip to share amongst friends. The queso is fairly mild in flavor, so don’t be intimated by the threat of heat, and it’s a touch thicker in consistency than many around the area. It’s truly some of the very best queso/cheese dip I’ve come across in my nine years of living in Arkansas. The Street Corn Dip comes with a tostada topped with fresh corn, jalapenos, guacamole, queso fresco, pepitas, and cilantro, and, as we quickly discovered, there’s even a layer of “bonus guac” (credit goes to my buddy for that term) under the tostada. This acts as a base, holding up the impressive tostada in an impressive act of food architecture.

Tacos, although small in size, are a big part of The Fold’s menu. I suggest ordering the Taco Plate, which comes with three. The chicken tinga, chorizo potato, and Diablo shrimp are good options. And while the tacos are fun to eat, the crown jewel of the menu is the Steak Burrito. If you go to The Fold only one time and order only one item, get the steak burrito. A flour tortilla is packed with sliced steak, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Then it’s grilled on the flat top and finished with a dousing of the queso, pico, and queso fresco. It’s a vision.

Those with a sweet tooth will want to save a little room for an order of house-made churros. The donut sticks are crisp on the outside with a soft, chewy interior. The restaurant is conservative with the sugar coating, instead relying on the accompanying side of honey for a punch of sweetness.

The Fold also does a fabulous job with cocktails, especially with any of its margarita offerings. And if you’re a brunch person, try out the huevos rancheros on the weekend. This mountain of food is unlike any huevos rancheros you’ve had in the past, with two sunny-side-up eggs, smoked pork, rice, refried beans, pickled onions, and pico. It’s a fun dish. In fact, most everything at The Fold is fun. Cheers to this lively restaurant.

The Fold: Botanas & Bar
3501 Old Cantrell Rd (Little Rock)
Phone: 501-916-9706
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Closed Monday


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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and one daughter, Sydney. His oldest daughter, Natalie, is a freshman at Loyola University in Chicago. He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, twelve years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for ten years. During that time, he’s written for publications like Little Rock Soiree, Arkansas Times, AY Magazine, and The Local Palate.

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