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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Good Ole Days Are Back at Bruno's Little Italy

Last rainy Friday the line was long, the wait was short, the people were gracious, and the good ole days are back again at my favorite Italian eatery, Bruno's Little Italy downtown on Main. 

Yes, we braved the storms to check out the newly opened Bruno's in the SOMA area and dèjá vu was all over the place! The same delicious crusty bread, perfect glass of house Cabernet, fabulous pasta with Italian sausage and meat sauce, and the most delicious Around the World Pizza I've ever eaten. And, I've been to Italy! 

So glad Jimmy Bruno (the family patriarch whose portrait above the bar oversees the goings on and surely is pleased) was the first to bring authentic pizza to the South way back in 1949. And, double glad he settled in the Little Rock area (remember Bruno's on Roosevelt) and triple glad the boys are back to carry on a delightful family tradition! You must go...

Bruno's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Terry's Finer Foods

Terry's Finer Foods - The Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Daughter and I had lunch at Terry's Finer Foods on Kavanaugh the other day and it was magnificent! Beautiful decor complete with French country flair and exquisite French cuisine. We had a little bit of everything as you can see by the pics however, the green wine bottle was only H2O.  Promise, Daughter had to return to work and who likes to drink alone. Try this place and see for yourself. Be prepared for irresistible urges to return ASAP! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Southern Fried Bacon...A Yearly Thing

WARNING: Do not make Southern Fried Bacon more than once a year!!! And, when you do, always serve with cream style gravy...recipe follows for all you dare devils out there.

How to make Southern Fried Bacon and Creamy White Gravy For One...
3 Thick bacon slices
1 egg
2 T milk
Flour for dredging and 1/4 cup flour for the gravy
2 T oil
Water (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

1. Cut the bacon slices in half.
2.  Mix egg and milk together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Put some flour in another bowl. Dredge the bacon first in the egg mixture and then in the flour.
4.  Heat the 2 Toil in a skillet. Fry the dredged bacon in the skillet for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until crispy and done. Drain on paper towel. Reserve the skillet and drippings for gravy.
5. On a medium heat, add the 1/4 cup of flour to the skillet drippings and stir while browning about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in some water (about 1 1/2 cups) to the drippings. Now add the heavy cream and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy...but only once a year!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pho Thanh My

Anyone who has ever eaten at Pho Thanh My has certainly gone away with an incredible experience of sensible and nutritious eating. No upset tummies here. Just thoughtful bowls of energy laden and non greasy broths balanced with meats, fish, or eggs, noodles, and fresh, mouthwatering vegetables. Such was my experience the other day at this long time existing restaurant in Western Little Rock at 302 N Shackleford Road across from  Kroger. Try the Pho (soup) with tender pieces of squid, shrimp, pork, wontons, and a couple of quail eggs. Di vine. I've never had squid melt in my mouth before. Also, the tasty egg rolls hit the spot with the most delicious light, spicy dipping sauce. For those who want more than soup, there are other meat, rice, and veggie combinations on the menu. But don't be silly...order the Pho! It is a complete meal. How do you say..."Can't wait to go back!" in Vietnamese?

Pho Thanh My on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Maddies Cafe on the Square...good things come in little packages

This tiny little restaurant has been around for many years and I believe Maddie has recently taken over the location. We went in the other day to give this little place a try. Loaded with students from nearby Harding College the tables were full. Always full is a good sign. Waited a few minutes (college kids do have to get back to class) and a booth came open. Service was immediate and we ordered two Chef  Salads with Thousand Island Dressing.  Fresh, fresh, fresh! Lots of shredded American cheese, grated boiled eggs, chunks of ham, tomatoes, carrots, and just the right amount of iceberg lettuce. The homemade Thousand Island Dressing was perfectly creamy and loaded with mayo, catsup, and relish! Extra crispy crackers, too. This means the place has good turn over. Good turn over is a good thing. I usually will not return to a restaurant that serves stale crackers. Call me picky, if you like, but if you don't keep up with the little details, what the heck are you doing with the big ones??? Good things do come in little packages...

Maddies on the square on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 9, 2013

Toscana Italian Bistro in Myrtle Beach, SC

This sweet little Toscana Italian Bistro is a must do in the Myrtle Beach, SC area. Located on King's Highway which runs parallel with Ocean Blvd you can hardly miss it. However, if by chance you pass by a strip mall with a long line of hungry tourists waiting outside, you've gone too far. The locals know to make reservations. Reservations are recommended (not because this place is snooty rather, the place is so cozy and small), but we got there just before 6pm and lucked out.

For starters we had a huge plate of Fried Calamari with a wonderful homemade marinara sauce. We also had the Escargot which was based in a creamy white sauce. Different, but delicious. We both chose soup over salad to go with our meal. Again, different with an egg drop, spinach, chicken broth thing going on but, a good choice. Our entrees were Eggplant Parmigiana and Crema Di Gorgonzola Con Aragosta. Both, served with homemade penne, were very large portions and absolutely divine! The garlic bread was also homemade with just the right amount of garlic and a spunky dipping sauce.

The service was impeccable and a sweet little Italian lady kept coming around to check if everything was OK. Sort of a rarity where I come from... Oh, and the highlight of our meal, Limoncello Cake. To Di for!

Toscana Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Luxury Gone Wild at Marriott Resort & Spa on Myrtle Beach

Recently while visiting my son in the Charlotte area, we skipped on down to the Marriott Resort & Spa on the beautiful Atlantic in Myrtle Beach, SC. The room with a view was perfect, the service staff delightful, and the food and drinks were spectacular! Don't you just love those reward programs!!!

Leaving our gorgeous room and moving on down to the main area we ordered Melon Coladas and Mediterranean Tapas from the Marriott's Ocean Blu Café. Why do those fruity drinks go so well with the ocean... And, the pita bread, hummus dip, Greek olives, and chopped tomatoes were to Di for! They were also deliciously accented with something I would not have thought of, caramelized onions. Yummy!

So, now that we're back in the real world, I would like to share my fave recipe for caramelized onions...try it.  And, do try the wonderful resort and spa at the Marriott in Myrtle Beach! It is luxury gone wild!!!

How to caramelize onions:
2 large onions peeled & sliced in rounds
Salt & pepper to taste
A sprinkle of sugar
Oil for frying

Place all into a large sauté pan. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes or so until soft and dark in color. The trick to perfect caramelization is keeping the onions moist by adding a little water, if   necessary. Yummy with Mediterranean Tapas and lots of stuff like homemade pizza pie!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mamacita's...Another Authentic Mexican Restaurant

Please stop it!!! I do love Mexican food but, give me a break! Had dinner at Mamacita's on Kavanaugh and University the other night and I really couldn't see anything different from all the other million and one authentic Mexican restaurants in the Central Arkansas area. I had the Bacon Wrapped Camarones and guess what? Nothing new here except maybe a slightly sweet dipping sauce. Daughter had the Spinach Enchiladas which did have a pretty darn tasty cream sauce on them.  The hot sauce and chips and the cheese dip...a bit bland. Prices were high (maybe because of the high rent district). Whatever became of the Satellite Cafe which use to inhabit this corner spot??? Oh well...good service, good taste...maybe I'll be back.

Mamacita's on Urbanspoon