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Mith242

Best places to eat in Arkansas

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Outside of northwest Arkansas I can't say I really know of any great places to eat. I'm sure there are some great places but I can't say I'm familiar with them. I'm sure there has to be some nice places in Little Rock. If I had to mention just one place I'd probably have to go with La Huerta. I think most people in Fayetteville are familiar with it. They have two locations here in Fayetteville and the same family also owns another restaurant called Mexico Viejo that serves basically the same food. I'm not positive what region of Mexico the food is based from. But it's had some American, Tex-Mex influence. Great food, good prices, and everyone who works there has always friendly in my experiances. If I'm wanting something to go there are two places that I like quite a bit that are rather similar. The Flying Burrito is a local business with three location in Fayetteville. Then there's also Qdoba, they're a chain based out of Colorado I believe. I don't think that Qdoba has any locations outside of Fayetteville. Both are considered fast/casual. Certainly not fast food like Taco Bell, a lot nicer. But not exactly a fine dining place either. Both have sorta a Southwest/Tex-Mex/Mexican style of food. (Can you tell I like Mexican food yet?). I'm waiting for Bordino's to open it new location on Dickson Street here in Fayetteville. When it's finished I believe it's supposed to have one of the most extensive wine lists in the state. It's an Italian restaurant owned by Joe Fennel, a local who owns a couple of restaurants and some real estate. He's the one who's organized and been a big supporter of the Chile Pepper Run here in northwest Arkansas, if anyone is familiar with it. Anyway what does anyone else have to add?

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Hmmm, I get the feeling you like Mexican. Me too.

Anyway, how can you mention Northwest Arkansas restaurants and not mention James at the Mill, in Johnson. Miles James, that is one really talented chef. Friendly too, I might add. In 2000 the restaurant received the "Nation's Restaurant News Award" as one of the year's "Ten Best Restaurants" in the United States. My other favorites in the area are the great Italian restaurants in Tontitown, the Venetian Inn and Mary Maestri's. That's real Italian.

As for Little Rock, we are truly blessed with the restaurants we have for a city our size. I've heard one explanation for that is because we eat for entertainment. Our city doesn't have big city attractions, so we eat for fun. Whether that's true or not, the restaurant scene is fantastic.

One of my personal favorites is Brave New Restaurant. It's located in a Riverdale (near the Alltel headquarters) business building and has a very urban feel. The restaurant looks right out on the Arkansas River and offers a beautiful view of downtown.

The River Market, being the touristy entertainment district, of course offers many fine choices. A relatively new restaurant to the area is Nu Cuisine, which was the choice of many of the stars in town for the Clinton Library's opening ceremony. I've never eaten there, but it looks neat from the outside. Also in the River Market is the Vermillion Water Grille, a very trendy spot located in the Capital Commerce Center.

Now onto my favorite food: barbeque. This is a town with lots of it. First, I must mention the greatest barbeque in the world, that of the Whole Hog Cafe. I mean it, they did win a Memphis-in-May World Championship. You'll have to eat it to believe it. They're located only a few minutes from downtown on Cantrell. Other wonderful local barbeque joints include Mr. Mason's Pit Bar-B-Q, Casey's Barbeque, Sim's Bar-B-Que, and H B's Drive In. Of course we have that great chain out of Memphis, Corky's, which is partially owned by Razorback great Joe Kleine.

Grampa's Southern Catfish House is famous for their filets, and some consider it the best in town. My personal favorite Southern restaurant is Cotham's. The original Cotham's lies just a few minutes east of Little Rock, in the town of Scott. The building is an old general store, and basically looks like it's on stilts in a swamp. The town is surrounded by fields of cotton, and was home to some old plantations. Toltec Mounds State Park is nearby, to give you an idea of its location. Onto the food. Get the world-famous hubcap burger. Also noteworthy are the fried green tomatoes for an appetizer and Mississippi mud pie for desert. And, there is good news for those in a pinch, whether they work downtown or out West. There has been a location called Cotham's in the City for a few years now near the state capitol, and it has quite a political theme (although the food is the same), and now they opened a Cotham's Restaurant West, which I have yet to visit.

I haven't touched on the trendy restaurants of the historic Heights and Hillcrest areas, which are in some neat old buildings, or some of the upscale restaurants out West. Maybe I'll continue this thread later.

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Hmmm, I get the feeling you like Mexican. Me too.

Anyway, how can you mention Northwest Arkansas restaurants and not mention James at the Mill, in Johnson. Miles James, that is one really talented chef. Friendly too, I might add. In 2000 the restaurant received the "Nation's Restaurant News Award" as one of the year's "Ten Best Restaurants" in the United States. My other favorites in the area are the great Italian restaurants in Tontitown, the Venetian Inn and Mary Maestri's. That's real Italian.

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I almost did, but I thought I'd start with some in Fayetteville and then work my way to some other locations in northwest Arkansas.

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Hey johnnydr87, I haven't seen you post here yet. Surely you eat :D

Do you have any places that you particularly like? Just curious how many Arkansas people have we established on here?

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Hey johnnydr87, I haven't seen you post here yet.  Surely you eat  :D

Do you have any places that you particularly like?  Just curious how many Arkansas people have we established on here?

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I must admit, I do on occasion like to eat.

Hot Springs, too, has so many places. Mainly because it's one of the top tourist destinations in the state. I get a migraine thinking of all the good places to eat. But I will dive in this topic anyways, at my own peril.

I have little connections to each...haha. Ok, they are really crappy connections:

McClard's Barbecue: Definitely one of the more famous BBQ places of the state. The Food channel (or was it Travel?) stopped by to do a segment on them. I was friends with two kids who had family relations with this restaurant.

Cajun Boilers: If you've ever eaten at an authentic Cajun restaurant in southern LA, then you wouldn't be able to tell the difference by eating here. It's always packed. The main cook is from Abbey, LA (or is it Abbeyville), which happens to be where some of my family is.

La Hacienda: THE most popular Mexican restaurant in Hot Springs. It is very unique and colorful inside, and family owned. It was pretty successful, so they've since expanded it to other locations in the state. I had piano lessons after the daughter of the owner.

And there's so many more...too many.

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I regularly eat at McClard's. I normally get the whole spread, but the ribs are great too. I've only been to Cajun Boilers a couple of times, but it's very good. I'm not sure if I've eaten at La Hacienda, but I think I know where it is. Did that location used to be a Chinese restaurant? It's on the water, right? Edit: Actually, I may be thinking of Fisherman's Wharf.

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Yeah, I think you're thinking of Fisherman's Wharf....

La Hacienda is across from the Cornerstone Marketplace.

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I must admit, I do on occasion like to eat. 

Hot Springs, too, has so many places. Mainly because it's one of the top tourist destinations in the state.  I get a migraine thinking of all the good places to eat.  But I will dive in this topic anyways, at my own peril.

I have little connections to each...haha.  Ok, they are really crappy connections:

McClard's Barbecue:  Definitely one of the more famous BBQ places of the state.  The Food channel (or was it Travel?) stopped by to do a segment on them.  I was friends with two kids who had family relations with this restaurant.

Cajun Boilers:  If you've ever eaten at an authentic Cajun restaurant in southern LA, then you wouldn't be able to tell the difference by eating here.  It's always packed.  The main cook is from Abbey, LA (or is it Abbeyville), which happens to be where some of my family is. 

La Hacienda:  THE most popular Mexican restaurant in Hot Springs.  It is very unique and colorful inside, and family owned.  It was pretty successful, so they've since expanded it to other locations in the state.  I had piano lessons after the daughter of the owner.  Going back to mexican food, Rogers also has another place Abuelo's that isn't too bad.  It's hard for me to keep up with all the restaurants in Benton County.  Seems like they add a new one every month around the Bentonville-Rogers area.

And there's so many more...too many.

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I've heard of McClard's. But it's more due to the fact I've seen some grocery stores sell the bbq sauce in their stores. I've heard of La Hacienda. The same family opened a place in Springdale but it's called something like Oseguarra's. I've heard it isn't as good as the restaurant they have in Hot Springs. I thought it was okay but liked La Huerta much better. I'd say around half or more of the people in Fayetteville prefer La Huerta. The rest seem to like either Jose's or Elenita's. It's sorta funny people seem to only like one or the other two. I've got to admit I don't care much for Jose's or Elenita's myself.

Another good local place around here in northwest Arkansas is the Marketplace. I believe they have several locations throughout northwest Arkansas. They also own a place in Rogers called Brioso Brazil. I've heard pretty nice things about it if you have the money.

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I will mention another well known location here in northwest Arkansas. Hopefully in an attempt to get this topic going. Not sure if anyone outside of northwest Arkansas has heard of it. It's called AQ, the original is in Springdale. Also have one here in Fayetteville. They were building one in Rogers but before they finished they had a case of arson and I haven't heard if they've started building again or not. It specializes in chicken. Which shouldn't be surprising here in northwest Arkansas or Springdale.

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Often times, the best places to eat are not well known (except to those well-versed in the art of finding excellent eateries).

Of all the places I know of, these are some of the best:

Abe's Ol' Feed House- Lawson

FayRay's- El Dorado

J.J.'s BBQ (Pres. Clinton once ordered ribs from here)- El Dorado

Brickhouse Grill- Hot Springs

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Let's see if I can try to revive this topic. I imagine a lot of places have restaurants that specialize in Chinese, Italian, and Mexican food. Are there any in particular that you know of that are special? How about other ethnic restaurants, does anyone know of any restaurants that specialize outside the usual Chinese, Italian, or Mexican?

Here in northwest Arkansas we do have some others, we do have many foreign students although I'm not really sure if they contribute that much to the restaurant scene though. We have two Thai restaurants in Fayetteville, not sure if there are any located elsewhere in northwest Arkansas. We've got one Japanese restaurant, used to be two but the owner of the other one decided to retire. I believe Rogers has one too. I'm not real big on Asian food so I'm not positive on any names so I'm not going to attemtp to guess. There was an Indian restaurant in Springdale but I don't recall it being open anymore. Years ago there was an Indian restaurant here in Fayetteville too. There's a Brazilian restaurant in Rogers, Brioso Brazil. We're also getting a Brazilian restaurant here in Fayetteville called Bistro D'Oro. We have a restaurant here in Fayetteville, Ghazi's Pesto Grill, it serves mediterranean style food. I believe there's some Greek and maybe even a little Middle-East flavor to it. I'm not real familiar with them, but I believe there are some restaurants in Springdale and also Rogers that have more of a Central American type of food as opposed to Mexican. That's all I can personally account for. Anyone have any in other parts of the state they'd like to mention?

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Hey Arkansawyer, you mentioned liking Mexican food but I don't recall seeing any mention of any Mexican places you liked in central Arkansas. Do you have any that you particularly like or would recommend?

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There looks to be an Oseguerra's opening in Fayetteville soon. As far as I know the Springdale location is still open. I'm pretty sure both of these stores are run by the same family that own La Hacienda in Hot Springs. I've been to Oseguerra's in Springdale and thought it was interesting but I'd just as soon stay in Fayetteville and eat at La Huerta. But with a location here in Fayetteville I will be more tempted to try it out more. I'm not sure if it has the same menu as La Hacienda in Hot Springs. If it does, does anyone have anything to recommend?

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La Huerta - I used to love that place in college, it has excellent margaritas. Food is good but these days every corner in Little Rock has something comparable - Senor Tequila, El Porton, El Acapulco, Cancun, etc.

For Mexican, I'd say Casa Manana, La Hacienda, and Cozymel's are probably my favorites in that order.

Sadly enough, I now live in a city that's a third Mexican and I can't find a place that I like nearly as well as any of these places. I hate friggin' Tex-Mex.

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La Huerta - I used to love that place in college, it has excellent margaritas.  Food is good but these days every corner in Little Rock has something comparable - Senor Tequila, El Porton, El Acapulco, Cancun, etc. 

For Mexican, I'd say Casa Manana, La Hacienda, and Cozymel's are probably my favorites in that order.

Sadly enough, I now live in a city that's a third Mexican and I can't find a place that I like nearly as well as any of these places.  I hate friggin' Tex-Mex.

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If you don't mind me asking where are you located? And I have a friend who moved to Texas and has complained that he has a harder time finding good Mexican food also despite being closer to the border than he was when he lived here in Fayetteville.

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If you don't mind me asking where are you located?  And I have a friend who moved to Texas and has complained that he has a harder time finding good Mexican food also despite being closer to the border than he was when he lived here in Fayetteville.

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Dallas

Despite living in an area that's roughly 1/3 Hispanic everything is Tex-Mex here. There are very few authentic places that cater to gringos but they're almost TOO authentic and pricy. There are some VERY Mexican places different than what we

The generic La Huerta/Cancun/El Porton/Senor Tequila genre is just completely missing here.

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Dallas

Despite living in an area that's roughly 1/3 Hispanic everything is Tex-Mex here.  There are very few authentic places that cater to gringos but they're almost TOO authentic and pricy.  There are some VERY Mexican places different than what we

The generic La Huerta/Cancun/El Porton/Senor Tequila genre is just completely missing here.

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Yeah it seems quite a bit of Texas is that way. But you wouldn't think it would be so hard to find places like that in such a big city. I have family in Albuquerque and they don't really have places like La Huerta over there either. But I certainly can't complain because the New Mexican cuisine is pretty good. No offense to Tex-Mex but I'd take New Mexican any day over it.

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Hey Johnny, now that you're back you'll have to tell me a little about La Hacienda in Hot Springs. That family is opening a place here in Fayetteville. Although I don't think it's going to be the same, even compared to their location in Springdale. They put up a sign and it lists it as being a Mexican steakhouse. Sounds interesting to me, maybe it will give me something different to try from having La Huerta all the time.

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Since the talk of restaurants have been brought up again in another topic I wanted to mention a few things. I've noticed that northwest Arkansas seems to be attracting some restaurants that the rest of Arkansas doesn't seem to have yet, even Little Rock. But anyway just thought I'd list some restaurants that are new or about to open soon here in Fayetteville. O' Charlies, Fuddruckers, Logan's Roadhouse, Smoky Bones BBQ, Boiro Oro, Red Robin, Steak and Shake, and Oseguerra's Mexican Steakhouse. I haven't been able to keep up with everything going on up in Rogers. But they've been getting some pretty good restaurants up there.

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Paragould- Candelite Steakhouse

Jonesboro- Omar's Steakhouse

Little Rock- Sonny Williams, Ashley's at the Capital, Cappricio's, Nu Cuisine

This would be a good time to tell you about a friend I have in AZ. He recently spent $8,000 on a single meal for three people at an upscale resaurant in Scottsdale :o . The guy's amazing! :thumbsup:

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Paragould- Candelite Steakhouse

Jonesboro- Omar's Steakhouse

Little Rock- Sonny Williams, Ashley's at the Capital, Cappricio's, Nu Cuisine

This would be a good time to tell you about a friend I have in AZ.  He recently spent $8,000 on a single meal for three people at an upscale resaurant in Scottsdale :o .  The guy's amazing! :thumbsup:

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Wow, what kind of restaurant was it? I haven't been to Scottsdale but I do have family that live out west and have visited that area.

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here in okc there is a section of the city called capital hill. its like walking into mexico. some of these restaurants serve some of the wieredest stuff. i'll keep to tex-mex.

recentley they opened gaouchos grill. i was dying to try this place out, since it said it seved brazilian and aregentinian food. i looked at the menu and it said there was a location in little rock. anyway, i watched the place for about a month and noticed that it didnt seem to get a lot of business. finally i went and found out why the place seemed to get no business. it was very dirty. the food was priced high with small portions, and the food was only ok. what is the one like in LR?

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here in okc there is a section of the city called capital hill. its like walking into mexico. some of these restaurants serve some of the wieredest stuff. i'll keep to tex-mex. 

  recentley they opened gaouchos grill. i was dying to try this place out, since it said it seved brazilian and aregentinian food. i looked at the menu and it said there was a location in little rock. anyway, i watched the place for about a month and noticed that it didnt seem to get a lot of business. finally i went and found out why the place seemed to get no business. it was very dirty. the food was priced high with small portions, and the food was only ok. what is the one like in LR?

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can't say I've ever heard of the place, but I'm not from Little Rock either. Although I'd like to try Argentinian food. We're eventually going to get a Brazillian place here in Fayetteville soon. And what do you mean by they were serving weird stuff?

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can't say I've ever heard of the place, but I'm not from Little Rock either.  Although I'd like to try Argentinian food.  We're eventually going to get a Brazillian place here in Fayetteville soon.  And what do you mean by they were serving weird stuff?

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i dont even know what the stuff was or what it was called. maybe weird is not the word, i'll say very diffirent. i guess its because im used to the tex-mex.

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