Well, it’s a little cool and rainy today, but the buds on the trees tell us one thing: allergy season is about on us. Wait, no, that’s not what we meant to say — it’s the first day of spring today!
Get excited, foodies, because there is a lot to be excited about as we transition into the new season. The food landscape continues to change, with great local restaurants popping up left and right, and it’s important to give them our business and let them know how excited we are about menu options that appeal to all sorts of tastes and diet preferences. Here are some great things that we’re currently excited about:
*Three Fold Noodles and Dumplings: We can’t open any of our social media accounts without seeing folks gushing about how much they love Three Fold. It has become a spot for meat eaters and veg heads to go and get delicious, authentic Chinese street food. The menu is simple, but the flavors are incredible, and I keep coming back for more. Their grand opening was February 19th, but the city has been sampling their amazing food since the beginning of the year. The buzz for this new, local eatery is contagious, and I’m sure we’ll see great things from Three Fold this year, including expanded menu options including sweet sesame balls and a porky, wonderful noodle bowl called Zhajiangmian.
*That’s So Raw has a Permanent Location in Jacksonville: As we first reported here, That’s So Raw has found a home in Jacksonville. No longer do we have to wait for the farmer’s markets to open back up to get great food from That’s So Raw. Opening earlier this year, with a grand opening February 17th, you can now pop into this Jacksonville location and grab incredible raw and cooked plant based foods that will delight any meat eater. The storefront may be humble for now, but keep an eye on That’s So Raw. They’re sure to continue to expand their business and grow their fan base.
*The New Whole Foods is Open: Whether you do all of your grocery shopping there or not, the new Whole Foods store on Bowman has set itself up to be a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner spot for meat eaters or veggie lovers alike. The salad and hot food bar have almost tripled in size from the last location, with long stretches of tasty food that you can quickly grab and go. The new location has even more hot pizza to go, including delicious looking vegan pizza, as well as several new custom sandwiches that look better than any fast food sandwich joint. Try the Pinnacle Mountain the next time you’re in, with slabs of tofu and veggies worth climbing. Don’t forget, the new Whole Foods has a bar, making it a great destination for a pint and a hot or cold veggie lunch.
*Menus are Changing: Even for carnivores, the fact that the word “vegan” is popping up on more and more menus around the city, from the Clean Eatery food truck to Ciao Baci should warm your heart. Seeing clearly marked vegan entrees is a good sign, and it solidifies that chefs are aware of changing dietary preferences. Even the local breweries are getting on board. The menu at Lost 40 is not incredibly veg friendly at the moment, but I have been assured that vegans and vegetarians will be happy with new spring menu items coming soon. You can help the movement by asking for more veg options at your favorite local restaurants, and you can help the vegan social media movement on Instagram by posting your favorite vegan meals with the hashtag #veganlr.
*Spring is Here: With warmer weather comes fresh, local produce and farmers’ market openings, so keep that in mind the next time the temperature drops. The new issue of Arkansas Food and Farm is out in about a week, featuring recipes from the likes of two-time Beard Award nominee Matt McClure, Little Rock dessert master Matthew Lowman, Superior Bathhouse chef Angela Nix, the everywhere-all-the-time Scott McGehee, travel writer Kat Robinson and celebrity outdoor chef Georgia Pellegrini. It’s an exciting season to be a foodie in Arkansas.
That’s just a small glimpse of the exciting things happening in Little Rock. If you have more to add, please leave a comment below.