How many iconic dishes are there in Little Rock? Having only lived in this city for a couple years, I can’t come up with many…but I’m sure long-timers have a few they’d nominate. But one dish that must be a part of that conversation is a particular cut of cow at Doe’s Eat Place Of course, Doe’s is rich with history, having seen a nearly number of celebrity clients—you walk into Doe’s and you’re alighting on a Little Rock landmark. I imagine there’s many facets of the Doe’s experience that could be considered essential dining for the first-timer, but in my opinion the crown jewel of Doe’s is the 3-lb porterhouse.
If you have not eaten this supernal slab of beef, make this a priority in your life…ignore work, family, schooling and all other tedious and less important things until this steak is in your mouth.
Here’s the deal: go with a friend for lunch (they usually sell out by dinner). Sit. Grab a drink. Order the porterhouse…medium rare. Wait for piles of food to come flying at your table. I think there’s a salad somewhere along the way…my memory is fuzzy pre-steak, honestly. But my heart skipped a few beats when that beautiful bovine was slid onto the table. Huge chunks conveniently cut for easier sharing, but just enough red meat clinging desperately to the succulent, fat-filled bone. It’s cooked perfectly on the inside, clearly under the attention of a person quite experienced in the kitchen. But it’s that darn salt crust that puts the thing over the top—a thick black bark, charred and blistered, accentuating the richness and flavor of the beef without over-seasoning it.
And do not forget about the meat juice in which your beef comes bathed in. Take some of the provided buttered toast and rake it through the shallow layer of thin brown broth—so full of flavor, so delectable. Slurping it up with a straw is also an option.
Doe’s history, friendly service, and unique atmosphere are only icing on the proverbial cake when considering what makes this place a must-try restaurant for any person who finds themselves in Arkansas. But I have heard tales that the original location in Greenville, MS is worth visiting at some point (some actually claiming it’s “in a league of its own”)…a claim I plan to verify in the very near future.