Dave’s Place at 210 Center Street in Downtown Little Rock, is a family-owned restaurant serving up lunch five days a week and dinner on Friday nights. In honor of Octoberfest, all October Friday night meals are German influenced.
On the day I headed over to Dave’s, I found easy street parking directly across from the restaurant. Though the sign clearly marks the entrance, the unassuming frontage makes it appear small from the outside. Not so. Once you step foot inside, you’re greeted with a significant number of tables in a clean, simply decorated space. Pick your own table and a waiter will be right over.
Our waiter resembled the character on the menu, but when I inquired as to whether he was the infamous Dave, he said no—but pointed out the owner in the kitchen, along with his son and a couple of other family members.
As an appetizer, I ordered a cup of Tomato Soup. Tomato soup has several variations, some creamy, some not, some sweet, some less so. This version was creamy yet retained some of the acidity of the tomatoes. I enjoyed it, but if your preference is for sweetness to offset the acid, Dave’s tomato soup may not be for you.
For a main, I was in the mood for chicken salad, and our waiter suggested the Chicken Salad Special, a scoop of chicken salad on a lettuce bed surrounded by fruit, cottage cheese and, interestingly, a blueberry muffin. It sounded perfect for a warm summer day, and when it arrived at our table less than five minutes after ordering, I was proven correct. The chicken salad itself was delicious, and I’m certain it would also make a great sandwich. The fruit was fresh, ripe, and generously portioned. When I ate the muffin several hours later, I found a light, not-too-sweet bread with just the right amount of blueberries scattered throughout.
Dave’s menu is straightforward and, I suspect, designed with speed of delivery in mind. There are several salad options, including a small salad bar which can be visited an unlimited number of times for only $8. You’ve also got the choice of several sandwiches, one of which I’ve already selected for my next visit: The Mark, a combination of turkey, bacon, apple, Sriracha, and mayo on cheddar rotel bread. Dave will also let you pick a bread, cheese, and meat to create your own sandwich. And, while a complete breakfast isn’t officially on the menu, you can ask for a three-egg omelet with fruit to get your breakfast-for-lunch fix.
We received friendly, above-par service at Dave’s, and several regulars were greeted by name during the course of my visit. All menu items are well under $10, making this an affordable option for the downtown luncher. Those looking for a quick lunch on a budget that also happens to be delicious will be well-served here.