A somewhat pricey, perpetually slammed burger joint in the midst of an outdoor shopping mall may not seem like the prime lunch spot for a couple of thrift-happy vegetarian hipsters, even if those hipsters happen to find themselves stranded in Chenal Parkway shopping purgatory. Certainly it would never have occurred to said hipsters to go out of their way just to eat there. It will now.
Vegetarians of Little Rock, we present Big Orange. Much beloved by carnivorous yuppies for its hormone-free, grass-fed beef and its retro-fusion design, no herbivore should overlook this oasis of full-menu veggie offerings. All of the starters are veggie (some vegan, even), all of the burgers can go blood-free (not vegan, though), and there’s a handful of interesting salads.
We had the White Truffle & Pecorino Veggie Burger, the Curried Falafel & Lentil Burger’wich and the Sweet Potato Fries with mango curry ketchup.
If you want instant gratification, go Curried Falafel. An explosion of textures and flavors, it incidentally exploded all over the plate with our first bite. But we stuffed it back together and soldiered on.
The curry was bold, satisfying, quick. Its heat was tempered by crisp cucumber slices and smooth avocado. Clean cilantro offset the heavy fried falafel and lentils, and the bun was dessert up front — fluffy and buttery, complemented by the faint sweetness of sliced tomatoes. If we have one miniscule complaint, it’s that the patty seemed a little too salty.