In addition to the avocados, Pop Tarts, Klondike Bars, Jell-O and more served up battered and deep-fried at this year's fair, you'll also discover several types of fried pickles, burger varieties and more turkey legs than you can shake a turkey leg at.
'Arkansas' on Serious Eats
Sustainability meets old-style Arkansas at this charming little South Main Street lunch spot. From bun to bun, everything here is locally raised and made, resulting in a refreshingly good burger.
What's better than cornbread? Having this many sorts of cornbread with friends right in the middle of Main Street in Little Rock at the inaugural Arkansas Cornbread Festival. Organized in and around the Bernice Garden, a privately owned public art garden, the event was expected to draw 800 to 1,000 people. Instead, three times that many showed up, ready to eat cornbread.
Lots of new items are available in Little Rock this week for the 72nd Arkansas State Fair , which takes place from October 14 through 23. This year at the Midway and the food court, the emphasis seems to be on hot and spicy, with entries such as Jalapeño Lemonade and Nuclear Wings. Non-fried options such as the Rabbit Sandwich, MOINK Balls, and the BBQ Parfait are also popular. But of course you'll still find your Deep-Fried Watermelon on a Stick and Deep-Fried Corn-on-the-Cob, because what would the fair be without those?
Thousands turned out for the second annual World Cheese Dip Championship after last year's super successful showing. This year the venue was moved to the much larger War Memorial Stadium to accommodate the bigger turnout. Competitors were asked to come with ten gallons each of cheese dip. Arkansawyers sure love their cheese dip!
Crazy fair foods are nothing new. We found several great new fair foods, a couple of scary ones, and one new fair delight that won't disturb your waistline.
What do you do when your child wants something very, very special for a special occasion—and it just can't be found anywhere? In some cases, you go to extremes. In the case of Mary Jo Selig and Clare Thomas Williams, you start a company and make your own specialty macarons.
Chris Monroe is a man with an obsession. That obsession is called Hunka Pie, and it's become the premiere pie stand in Little Rock, Arkansas. Usually you'll find anywhere from five to eight different pies on the menu. But a while back Chris came up with an unusual idea: he decided to bake 100 different pies in a single night for sale in a grand pie extravaganza the next day.
This old country-style dairy diner is still serving up burgers and shakes to hungry tourists and patient locals in rural southwest Arkansas.
When I stumbled upon Curly and Carole Anne, two banjo-playing mushroom farmers, I immediately fell in love. They run an all-organic farm way out in the Ozarks. Driving there took us down all types of dirt roads, over several streams and to a land where GPS and cell phones cease to exist. What followed was three days of shiitake talking, cooking and eating. What really struck me was their discussion of what "local" means and how that can affect sustainable family farms. Watch the video to hear more.
A small town in the Ozarks of Arkansas manages to make a buffalo burger that's not just sustainable, organic, and locally produced, but tasty as well.
Midtown Billiards isn't just for locals. It's just for locals who don't mind braving the smoke and strangeness at odd hours of the night for a cold draft beer with a cumin-laden burger on a buttered bun.
Oklahoma-based burger chain Boomarang Diner serves up its burgers smashed thin, glued to the bun with American cheese and topped with nostalgia.
You never know what sort of pie you'll get in Arkansas: fruit, cream, chess, meringue, fried or icebox. But chances are, it's going to be good. Narrowing down the best pies in the state wasn't easy (as pie, har har) but in honor of Pi Day, we figured it was the right time to address this question.
A pie shop that does burgers? Indeed, Little Rock's Hunka Pie turns out juicy third-pounders with individuality and charm. Don't skip the onion rings.
Ground sirloin, fresh local produce, premium bun, pickles made on site—the chefs at Little Rock's Capital Bar and Grill haven't reinvented the burger. They've just created the best burger they can and put it on the menu. It is quite honestly the best burger I have ever consumed.
I've spent most of the last year looking for the best breakfast in the state of Arkansas for the Arkansas Times. The fruits of my labor (the top breakfasts around the state plus a baker's dozen of pastry places) are in the current issue of the Times. But which of these were my favorites? Here's my personal Top 10.
The Arkansas State Fair, which lasts until October 17, is in full swing in Little Rock. Like many other regional fairs, Arkansas boasts a lot of unusual (and usually deep fried) foods in its food court and on the midway. Here are ten new items joining local favorites like deep fried pickles and okra, Hubcap burgers, fried gator on a stick, and pineapple whips.
Every state has its claim to culinary fame—Mississippi to catfish, Florida to Key Lime Pie, Texas to barbecued beef brisket. But for years Arkansas has been without something that could definitively be traced back to the state. That was until last year, when documentarian Nick Rogers traced the roots of cheese dip back to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Rogers and event organizer John McClure got together with an idea to put Arkansas on the culinary map: a festival celebrating cheese dip.