I was copied on an e-mail some time back in which one of our account executives referred to me as “the hardest to please” of all the by-lines that appear on this blog. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve always taken some pride in speaking my mind, although that’s been known to frighten and dismay people from time to time. But the reason I hold restaurants to such a rigid standard is this: if I’m going to tell you about a place where you might go and spend your hard-earned dollars, I want to be as truthful as possible. There’s no reason to eat burned chicken livers when there’s a place right down the street that makes them right.
From time to time, though, I eat at a place that I initially didn’t like and realize that I screwed up. Such is the case with West Little Rock’s Local Lime, a restaurant that I once dismissed as over-priced and underwhelming. It took me about a year to make it back, and even then it was only at the request of my long-suffering wife and not because of any urge on my part.
So I went, and I ate. And y’all — I was wrong. Better late than never, right?
We started off with an order of market corn, and while I still think that the portion here is too small for the price, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the flavor. Sweet grilled corn, spiced queso fresco, a dash of lime — it’s one of the best appetizers in the city. Between the market corn and a bowl of Local Lime’s excellent tres chiles salsa, I was set for the beginning of a great meal. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, the scales fell from my eyes, and I repented my sins to a forgiving, cilantro-covered god.
The entree, a sizzling platter of steak fajitas, was even better. The tender steak and grilled tomatoes were just fantastic, and the addition of thin-sliced radishes to the vegetable mix added a crunchy, peppery kick to an already flavorful dish. Even the tortillas were perfect — piping hot, not dried out, and more than capable of holding vast quantities of meat, vegetables, and some of the freshest guacamole I’ve ever had.
There are very few places that I say “never again” with, and I’m glad that Local Lime didn’t make the list. Service was outstanding, and my sip of the wife’s margarita was a testament to the skillset of the bar. The meal got me looking forward to the eventual opening of Heights Tamale and Taco, which I’m sure will feature some of the same excellent things that make Local Lime so good.
Now that I’ve had my confessional with you all, I feel much better. It makes me wonder what restaurants I should be paying another visit to and reevaluating. Could a return trip to Twin Peaks be in order? That, perhaps, is a bridge too far.