Nothing against haute cuisine, high-end fusion or the latest dimly lit small plate restaurant, but diner counters are our jam.
A childhood of watching “Alice” and an adulthood of insomnia-filled nights have added up to diners being our comfort zone. We suppose there’s something about people who choose a diner counter — instead of a table — that green-lights an invitation to easy conversation between folks who are otherwise strangers. Give us a wise-cracking waitress, a chatty new friend on the next stool and a bottomless cup of coffee any day.
In our trips to diners around the country, we’ve seen no end of “themed” choices. 1950s-themed joints in San Francisco. Poutine-centered places in New Hampshire. Vegan-friendly haunts in Austin. They all have their own enjoyable charm and personalities, but our go-to
In the immortal words of Ron Swanson: “I’m a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food.”
For diner fans like us, Littlefield’s Cafe in North Little Rock is the real deal. Open for breakfast and lunch (and for dinner on Friday), it’s the kind of unpretentious eatery that caters to those who prioritize hot and tasty over hip and trendy. The crowd is a motley mix of blue-collar workers scanning the paper, relaxed tables of retirees drinking coffee and swapping lies, and parents stopping in with teenagers for breakfast before school.
Upon return for a lunchtime visit, we were happily offered a plate lunch special of some of the best chicken and dressing in recent memory. Hot, tender and
Friday nights are the one night Littlefield’s is open for dinner (and live gospel music), so we gathered a crew of friends and our
For dinner, solid thumbs-ups were given for the catfish special — seasoned well and fried to perfection, a deliciously breaded chicken-fried steak with cream gravy and a generous slab of hamburger steak with brown gravy. One companion was complimentary of the chicken in her fried chicken
For dinner, Littlefield’s also offers pork chops, chicken-fried chicken and a pork fritter. The child’s menu includes chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, hot dogs and hamburgers.
It’s worth noting that the waitstaff at Littlefield’s is a very friendly, down-to-earth and comfortable crew. For instance: Our little pal R.J. seemed well-pleased with her macaroni and cheese choice, then announced that she was going off to help herself to a popsicle. She must have charmed the
Worth noting: One will be especially pleased with the prices at Littlefield’s. Budget-conscious eaters can expect solid portions at exceptionally reasonable prices, whether at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Littlefield’s has reportedly just celebrated its 5-year anniversary, which is a milestone for success in a field where restaurants frequently have grand openings and muted closings on dates that are terribly close together. Observations from the Littlefield’s diner counter reveal an easy rapport between cafe staff and a crowd of regulars, with the kind of easy back-and-forth that exists in a community where people grew up together and know to ask after each other’s mommas.
In short, Littlefield’s Cafe is exactly the kind of place your Memaw might have opened if she had a little more ambition and working capital. Comfort food, friendly people and a place where folks come to get a good meal instead of coming to “be seen.” If you’re a diner guy like us, you’ll enjoy a trip (and a repeat trip) to Littlefield’s.
6929 JFK Blvd.
North Little Rock
This place is set pretty far back in a parking lot off JFK, so it’s easy to miss if you’re not careful. Breakfast is usually pretty busy, especially on weekends, so give yourself some time. Daily plate lunch specials are definitely worth asking about. Littlefield’s isn’t open for dinner except for Friday nights — come for the fried catfish special and live gospel music.
7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Beer and wine available, as well as Littlefield’s “signature Mimosa.” Credit/debit cards accepted.