What’s cooking
Catfish City and Bar-B-Q’s newest location, on Highway 10 in the far west reaches of Little Rock, has opened, and this Catfish City is even larger than the one on South University Avenue. It includes a full bar and many other items on the menu besides catfish and ’cue.
The folks at Cold Stone Creamery at West Markham and Chenal Parkway brought by five new flavors from the store’s menu to our office – a good thing since every time we drive by, the long line scares us off. In celebration of July being National Ice Cream Month, Cold Stone is offering wasabi ginger, fruity cereal, black licorice, oatmeal cookie batter and tangerine sorbet.
Mindy Johnson, who owns the Cold Stone franchise in this market, says she’s looking for a North Little Rock location, but so far has come up short in finding a suitably sized space. They had targeted a space in Lakewood that proved too small, and some of the other spaces Johnson says she’s looked at would need to be sectioned into smaller ones.
Capsule reviews
CAPERS It was afternoon hot, afternoon bright, and we were hungry for something more refined than pizza. This classy place on Cantrell hit the spot. Its underlit coolness and tablecloths and big flowers are welcoming, even to the jeans set. Not acquainted with the luncheon menu, we were steered in the right direction by our waiter, who moved us off the frittata and onto the grilled portobello and goat cheese sandwich, an order of onion rings and a roasted garlic and guacamole burger. (We could have had crabcakes or shrimp or a fried oyster po’boy, among any number of other sandwiches and salads.) These sandwiches were prepared in careful fashion, carrying Capers’ banner well: The hamburger was better even than we expected, the saucy mushroom was superb. We were impressed enough with the entrees that we asked about dessert, and were guided to the chocolate creme brulee, a rich creamy pleaser big enough for two. The dinner menu is famed for its seafood selections. An oasis from the go-go-go of ever-widening Highway 10. 14502 Cantrell Road, 868-7600. LD Mon.-Sat. $$-$$$ CC Full bar, extensive wine list.
HONG KONG INN We were a little confused upon entering this Chinese restaurant with upscale decor and lighting. A glass block counter on the back wall with lighted pictures of entrees hanging above and a refrigerated glass case of Cokes humming away to the right made us stop for a moment. It had tables, but was this a take-out place only? Were we to order at the counter, then sit, or sit and order? We tried sitting and a waiter did come to the table, after making a transaction with a patron getting a to-go order. Hong Kong Inn offers the usual gazillion Chinese appetizers and entrees. For our meal, we found it good to mediocre. The hot and sour soup was so good, we ordered another bowl. The order of eight steamed dumplings were fine as dumplings go, but we actually only received six. When asked about the shortage, we were told they had not changed the menu yet. The price for six was still the same for eight. The almond chicken had stale almonds and very little sauce, making it kind of dry. The sesame chicken was OK. Our overall feeling, we’ve had better at lots of other places. 4206 East McCain Blvd., 945-8889, LD daily. $-$$ CC Beer and wine.