Homer’s Kitchen Tableformerly Homer’s West, opened Tuesday in its new location, half of the defunct Franke’s Cafeteria in the Market Place Shopping Center, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. It’s the end result of a long, complicated move up the street from the Galleria Shopping Center, 9700 N. Rodney Parham. Check out the menu at homerskitchentable.com. Hours are 10:30 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 7 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday, 9 am-2 pm Sunday. (501) 224-6637; facebook.com/Homerskitchentable.
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We don’t normally indulge in soft openings, but it was our best opportunity to preview Three Fold Westthe second location of Three Fold Noodles & Dumpling Co.which opened its doors to the public July 6. The restaurant occupies a corner storefront in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, that previously housed a Panera Bread outlet.
The layout is more open and with much more natural light than the spot on Main Street downtown, though there is probably not much more, if any more, seating capacity. A good deal of space is devoted up front to accommodating a possible customer line; elevated tables and bar seating are also available either for sit-down dining or for people awaiting to-go orders. Some of that bar seating lines the new combination dual order station/bar area; from the latter, baristas pour wine and beer and operate the new machines that dispense espresso, lattes and shaved-ice desserts.
The main menu is pretty much the same as the downtown restaurant at 611 Main St. — noodles, dumplings (including pan-fried), bao “sandwiches,” soups), but there is a new breakfast component, 8-11 am weekdays, 9-11 am Saturday (though manager Rebecca Yan says they might extend that a bit to allow for a sort of Saturday “brunch”).
The breakfast menu features some unique-to-the-area items, including the TF Bing Wrap ($9.50), a scallion pancake that we have encountered elsewhere, primarily as an appetizer item, but in this case wrapping, crepe-like, scrambled eggs , shaved potatoes, “crispy crunchies,” green onion and cilantro; and Fried Sweet Buns ($5.75), filled with black sesame paste or taro paste, served with a pairing of brown-sugar syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
Coffee drinks include a couple of exotic lattes: Mala ($6), with citron and peppercorn providing a bit of a spice kick, and Yuanyang ($6), a potent coffee/tea blend.
The phone number, shifted from the now-closed Three Fold Mobile food trucks, is (501) 500-2005; the website is eat3fold.com and the Facebook page is facebook.com/eat3fold. The phone number downtown is (501) 372-1811
The food truck was operating on a vacant lot in Little Rock’s Riverdale neighborhood that owner Lisa Zhang had originally intended as a production facility with a restaurant component, outdoor dining space, a bar and a sake brewery that never actually developed. In the meanwhile, Zhang bought a former restaurant at 8501 Pinnacle Valley Road, in way-west Little Rock, that now operates as a prep facility for both restaurants.
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We don’t have an actual opening date for the drive-thru Chick-fil-A on the southeast corner of West Seventh Street and Broadway, but apparently it’s imminent. It has its own website — chick-fil-a.com/locations/ar/7th-broadway (which, by the way, reports that the restaurant is “Temporarily Closed Due To Unforeseen Issues”) and Facebook page — facebook.com/ ChickfilABroadway, where a July 8 posting details how to apply for a job and a June 28 post introduces us “to the man … behind Broadway,” Little Rock native Ben Ackley, who has worked at Chick-fil-A since age 16 , rising “from his first job as Team Member, to General Manager, to working in Chick-fil-A’s corporate office in Leadership Development.”
Mr Cajun Kitchen & Catering, 606 N. Olive St., North Little Rock, now has a liquor license, a cocktail menu and a 4-6 pm Tuesday-Friday happy hour. Other hours: 11 am-2 pm and 4-7 pm Tuesday-Friday, noon-7 pm Saturday. (501) 246-3150.
We’re still trying to confirm with company officials, but food blog The Mighty Rib proclaims a late August target for the opening of the long-awaited Jess’s Chicken, 10907 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. You will recall it’s a second concept for David’s Burgers that will focus on fried chicken and savory and sweet chicken salad. (David’s namesake is company co-founder David Alan Bubbus; Jess’s namesake is his wife, Jessica, the company’s vice president.)
An update on the opening of “Kemuri West,” the second location of Kemuri sushi seafood robata, in what had been Kiyen’s Seafood Steak and Sushi in the Center at Chenal shopping center, 17200 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock. A July 9 post on the new Facebook page (facebook.com/KemuriWest), without going into specifics, tells us that “Kemuri West will be open closer to the end of the month!” It also provides a phone number: (501) 821-7272. Meanwhile, managing partner Dave Bisceglia reports some possible menu changes and renovations are under consideration at the original restaurant, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock’s Hillcrest.
Rock City Taco & Margarita Bar415 E. Third St., Little Rock, reports via its Facebook page (facebook.com/rockcitytaco) that as of the end of May, the operation is “Temporarily relocated to online and deliveries only.”
And speaking of taco bar limitations, Taqueria La Culpable Cantina & Bar, 4000 Vali Court just off East McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock, recently dumped its full menu and cut back its hours, and is now just operating a Friday-Sunday taco bar, 5-10 pm each day, offering street tacos, burritos and tortas with a limited variety of meat options, including al pastor (marinated pork) and azada (marinated beef), and a limited range of salsas and toppings. The phone number remains (501) 420-1513. Meanwhile the other Taqueria The Guilty, 13219 Interstate 30, Little Rock, remains in full operation, 9 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 9 am-9 pm Friday-Sunday. (501) 353-0887.
grill chicken has opened its second location, 2006 N. Reynolds Road, Bryant, serving a fusion of grilled Southern and Latin chicken, 11 am-8 pm daily. (501) 943-7293; grillpollo.com.
Nori Menegaldo, former chef/owner of the late, lamented Zaffino’s by Nori on Kiehl Avenue in Sherwood, has put together a cookbook — “Zaffino’s Cookbook” by Nori Menegaldo, featuring her menu recipes and some of her specials. It’s $35 and you can buy it online at tinyurl.com/4mb777k3.
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Jeff Sturgis, chief development officer of the Orlando, Fla.-based Another Broken Egg chain/franchise operation, says it has Arkansas in general and the Little Rock market in particular in its sights — or is that sites? Sturgis says the company’s growth path and footprint already extends through surrounding markets, including Memphis; Jackson, Miss.; Shreveport; and Kansas City, Kan.
Arkansas, he says, is just part of the natural progression: “The time is right,” he says. “We’re bullish on the area.”
Meanwhile, Sturgis says, the market is also ripe for more brunch-centered, alcohol-friendly establishments, as the recent opening of Big Bad Breakfastwhich has been packed, especially on weekends, indicates.
Right now, things are in the planning stage and the focus is on the greater Little Rock market, which Sturgis says would include Bryant and possibly reach perhaps as far north as Searcy, and the company doesn’t yet have any actual Arkansas franchisees at present . However, Sturgis says, the Memphis franchisees have Arkansas (as well as northern Mississippi) on their radar.
And while they’re not targeting other markets, Sturgis says they’re not setting up any barriers — subsequently they could reach out to Northwest Arkansas and eventually to Conway, Jonesboro and Hot Springs.
If you are interested in an Another Broken Egg franchise, Sturgis says it’d be helpful to have some experience in the restaurant business, especially in the franchise end of the restaurant business; otherwise, he says, they’re looking for “savvy, smart business people who know how to build a business.” The company will actively provide support through initial market planning, vetting of potential sites, setting up supply chains and marketing assistance. Visit anotherbrokeneggfranchise.com.
And if you dimly recall that there was at one point an actual Another Broken Egg franchise in this market, you’re correct: We reported in 2015 that brother-and-sister partners Lacy Pynes Galligan and Ray Pynes II, who operated a franchise outlet in Shreveport, were “aggressively scouting Midtown and west Little Rock locations with an eye toward opening the first of two locations in spring/summer 2016.” Health issues forced Galligan to put the project on hold, and Sturgis tells us they eventually decided to keep their focus on Shreveport and that they just recently opened a second location in neighboring Bossier City.
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Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St., hosts, and benefits from, The Art of Wine:
◼️ The Winemaker’s Dinner, 6 pm Tuesday, a six-course collaborative dinner created by chef Elliot Hunt of Atlas the Restaurant and chef William Mauk of Ella’s Table, paired with wines by E&J Gallo. Tickets are $500 per person.
◼️ Uncorked!, 7-11 pm July 22; a $75 general admission ticket includes unlimited sampling of hundreds of wines and appetizers from area restaurants.
Call (479) 443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org. You must be 21 or older.
Has a restaurant opened — or closed — near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite restaurant have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CORRECTION: Another Broken Egg, a restaurant chain-franchise operation focusing on brunch, is headquartered in Orlando, Fla. An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect location.