Last chance to win prizes, support Arkansas Foodbank in North Little Rock Restaurant Month

January flew by, didn’t it? You have only one more week to have fun with North Little Rock Restaurant Month.

We’re giving away something extra special for our final week, and just in time for Valentine’s Day: dinner for two at Riverfront Steakhouse and a one-night stay at Candlewood Suites in North Little Rock. All you have to do is enter our #EatNLR Foodie Contest by taking a photo at any North Little Rock restaurant and posting on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #EatNLR (tagging us, @ExploreNLR, will also help us find you). Full contest guidelines here. Good luck!

Have you shown your support for the Arkansas Foodbank this month? We’re making it easy. Eat out at one of these 16 restaurants, make a donation and help the restaurant win the coveted 2016 Dine Off Golden Plate. Even just $5 helps provide 25 meals to Arkansans in need.

We are still giving away free Little Rock Trojans tickets to the February 4 basketball game against Troy. Bring a receipt from any North Little Rock restaurant to the Visitors Information Center in Burns Park or the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce to receive one free ticket for every $5 spent. We’re picking up more tickets for you this morning because they are going so fast, and it may have to do with how well the Little Rock Trojans are doing this season.

Thank you for supporting North Little Rock restaurants this month, particularly during a time when restaurants experience a lull. So get out and try something new this weekend!



Ready to rumble: North Little Rock Dine Off 2016


When this publishes, it may be a winter wonderland outside and the last thing you want to think about is going out in it. But let’s battle the cabin fever by planning our first venture out – a night on the town in North Little Rock, and just in time for the first annual North Little Rock Dine Off.

Today through February 4, these 16 restaurants are accepting monetary donations to the Arkansas Foodbank in a friendly competition for the coveted Golden Plate. The restaurant that raises the most money will be declared the 2016 North Little Rock Dine Off winner.

By supporting your favorite North Little Rock restaurants you can play a part in fighting hunger in central Arkansas. Just $5 provides 25 meals to Arkansans in need. Can you imagine, particularly on days like this, having to worry about where your next meal will come from? Help Arkansans in need, support your local restaurant owners and enjoy an awesome meal. Sounds like a win win win.

And speaking of “wins,” we’re giving away four tickets to The Joint Comedy Theater & Coffeehouse’s Between Little Rock and a Hard Place to one lucky person who enters our #EatNLR Foodie Contest today through next Thursday (January 28). The show is an original comedy about a Californian who dies in a car accident while passing through Little Rock in 1995.  When he arrives at the pearly gates, St. Peter cannot determine whether to send him to heaven or hell, so he sends him to Little Rock, where he is given a chance to earn his wings.


And of course, you can still pick up free Little Rock Trojans basketball tickets all month. So many ways for you to win, so go get your grub on!

Win a $50 gift card to MADDOX in Argenta Arts District

Congratulations to Randy Jumper, this week’s North Little Rock Restaurant Month winner of two tickets to Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Peter and the Starcatcher! Tickets are still available for this swashbuckling adventure on the high seas, which opens January 22.

On to our next fun North Little Rock Restaurant Month giveaway…

Today through next Thursday (January 21), you can enter to win a $50 gift card to MADDOX, the newest women’s clothing boutique on Main Street in the Argenta Arts District. All you have to do is follow our simple #EatNLR Foodie Contest guidelines. And guys, we want to see your entries too…consider this an easy, awesome Valentine’s Day gift!

MADDOX carries classic, unique, and trendy pieces for women in sizes small to 3X.

“My goal for the shop is to have an upscale ambiance, but for people to feel like they are at home. I even have a man cave,” says owner Heather Baber.

Baber started and ran MADDOX out of a bedroom in her house in February 2015 and was online-only until October 2015 when the Argenta storefront opened.

“I am extremely grateful for all my shoppers and tend to feel like we’re automatically friends; I’ve even loaned my personal shoes and accessories to shoppers I’ve literally just met,” Baber laughs.

MADDOX also hosts themed social events often for those who like to shop and hang out. Tonight (January 15) is Eat | Shop | Sip – Margarita + Nacho Night as part of Argenta Art Walk, with snacks, libations and prize giveaways from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

MADDOX, Argenta Arts District

Around the world: Ira’s Park Hill Grill

Ira1Tucked in the Lakehill Shopping Center on JFK Boulevard in North Little Rock, Ira’s Park Hill Grill is easy to miss. It’s a simple, intimate space that many will remember E’s Bistro previously occupied. But the menu is impressive with fresh seafood dishes, steak, pasta, duck and lamb. Owner Ira Mittleman shares a little background and takes us on a trip around the world.

How has experiencing different cultures and traveling caused your cooking style to evolve?

…I have taken a little from everywhere I have traveled and cooked. I have dishes influenced by the south, by Europe and Asia, and of course the West. That is why I call my food New American cuisine. I hope it represents the melting pot of cultures that is our great country.

Where was your favorite place to cook, and why?

I really enjoyed cooking in California, because of the incredible variety of local ingredients including fruits, vegetables, fish and of course wine. I really liked cooking in Montana, because of the array of people I cooked for. Regular guests included Robert Redford, Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Ted Turner, Edwin Moses and many others.

Describe your most challenging experience as a chef.

There were two very challenging places. One was in Colorado, because the resort was at 10,000 feet above sea level. At that altitude cooking times and ingredient ratios change dramatically.

The other was cooking at a resort in the Bahamas. To open each night so many things have to be done, and so much has to fall in place to have a good shift. Well, to put it mildly, a sense of urgency does not exist there. I would order ingredients and they wouldn’t be on the boat. One Friday I had a full house and at 4:30 p.m. the man delivering the gas to fuel the stoves called and said, “No gas arrive on the island today, not come till Monday. No worries.” What, no worries? I had a full house and no way to cook for them.

What role has family played in your career?

Well, my mom was a great cook and an incredible baker. My dad was a master gardener. We had huge vegetable gardens, and dinner parties were always special. Dinner was a time for family and friends to gather….Especially in this busy world people need a place to go for that special date, important business meeting or just to reconnect.

What’s the best dish you’ve ever had? Where and why?

The dish I remember most was in a small restaurant in San Rafael, California. Wild Boar chop with chestnut puree. Enjoyed with an excellent French Burgundy. The food was simple, yet perfectly prepared and executed. Taste, texture, and appearance were spot on. I remember many a night enjoyed with family and friends telling stories….


Ira’s Park Hill Grill is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. They also serve brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting January 22, Ira’s will be one of 17 restaurants competing in the North Little Rock Dine Off to raise money for the Arkansas Foodbank.

3812 J.F.K. Blvd., North Little Rock, AR 72116 | (501) 771-6900 |


Win “Peter and the Starcatcher” tickets

Congratulations to Stacey Valley, this week’s #EatNLR Foodie Contest winner. Stacey and her family will be going to see The Original Harlem Globetrotters at Verizon Arena tonight, hope they have fun. Tickets for tonight’s game are still available HERE.

Now drum roll please…

Today through next Thursday (January 14), enter to win two tickets to Peter and the Starcatcherthe Tony Award-winning production opening at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre on January 22.

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The Rep says:

“Embark upon a treacherous ocean voyage as Molly, a young Starcatcher aboard the good ship Neverland, races to escape the comical clutches of the dread pirate Black Stache. Accompanied by a trio of Lost Boys from a British orphanage, she is soon marooned on a not-so-deserted island filled with otherworldly enchantments and exhilarating danger around every turn. Each breathtaking adventure leads them closer to the mysterious origins of the Peter Pan you know and love.”

Sounds like fun! Check out our #EatNLR Foodie Contest to enter to win.

One more reason to catch a show at The Rep this spring: the theater announced yesterday the resignation of producing artistic director Robert Hupp. Hupp has been at the reins for 17 seasons at the central Arkansas theatre company and will be assuming a new position with Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, New York, in July 2016. We wish him all the best and are looking forward to the rest of the 2015-2016 season.

North Little Rock Restaurant Month Kick Off!

Happy New Year, fellow foodies!

Today is the first day of North Little Rock Restaurant Month, and we’re starting with a bang. To celebrate, we’re giving away four tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters at Verizon Arena on January 8.

Winning is easy. Just enter our #EatNLR Foodie Contest by eating at any North Little Rock restaurant and posting foodie photos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest using the hashtag #EatNLR. Full guidelines available here.

More things to look forward to in January:

  • We’re doing a giveaway EVERY WEEK. We will pick a winner every Thursday and announce the next week’s prize every Friday. So just keep posting and tagging #EatNLR.
  • Your #EatNLR entries also qualify you for the ultimate prize, to be announced the last week in January.
  • Win Little Rock Trojans basketball tickets all month. After eating out, bring your receipt to the Visitors Information Center in Burns Park (1 Eldor Johnson Drive) or the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce (100 Main Street) to win 1 ticket for every $5 spent. No limits.
  • Starting January 22, support the Arkansas Foodbank by making a donation at one of these 17 North Little Rock restaurants. The restaurant that raises the most by February 4 wins the 2016 North Little Rock Dine Off Golden Plate.
  • Every Tuesday is #TazikisTuesday, meaning you have a chance every Tuesday to win a $25 gift card to Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe on our Facebook page. Be sure to follow us and Taziki’s for the chance to win!
  • Every Wednesday we’ll have Weekly Trivia for prizes on Twitter, so follow us and stay tuned.

And of course, you get to enjoy amazing meals from your favorite North Little Rock restaurants. Spread the word and get tagging!




Start 2016 with a bang

We’re going to make your New Year’s Eve plans super easy – starting with the end.

You know you won’t want to draw straws for designated driver, or try to find an Uber or taxi driver on New Year’s Eve. So establish home base at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, which just so happens to be offering a New Year’s Eve Celebration Package, complete with deluxe accommodations,  free shuttle to the River Market and downtown North Little Rock until 2:00 a.m., a full hot breakfast, and a late check-out at 1:00 p.m. Can’t beat that!

So now that you have an awesome place to stay, take the shuttle to your first stop: the Argenta Arts & Entertainment District.

  1. Celebratory cocktails and champagne are a must, so start the evening with the folks at Good Food by Ferneau. If you’d like to stick around for dinner, they are offering prix fixe meal packages starting at $35. Call (501) 725-4219 to reserve your table. 12291753_1029515557105795_7465968812522953743_o
  2. Mosey down Main Street to Skinny J’s for drinks, a side of famous oysters and live music by Steve Hester and DeJaVooDoo. Music starts at 8 p.m. (Side note: they are also having a New Year’s Jazz Brunch on New Year’s Day starting at 10 a.m.)12304332_1003972282982592_4295879465300703756_o (1)
  3. Cross the street to The Joint at 8:30 p.m. for a special show of their current comedy, A Fertle HolidayTwo Sisters will serve a meal of chicken penne pasta, garden salad, seasoned green beans and garlic bread at intermission. Just before midnight, enjoy complementary champagne to ring in 2016! Stick around for live rock’n’roll and a dance party. Seating is assigned, so reserve your table by calling (501) 372-0205.

Still in party mode? Take advantage of your free shuttle from the Wyndham (see, we told you it would come in handy) to the River Market District until 2 a.m. Libations, live music, food and comedy – all rolled into one epic New Year’s Eve. What a way to start 2016!

#GivingTuesday: Arkansas Foodbank needs your help

#GivingTuesday is here, and our North Little Rock Restaurant Month partner Arkansas Foodbank needs your help.

Here’s what they have to say:

“Last year, we raised enough for 44,000 meals in one day–this year we’re aiming for 75,000! Please consider making a donation to the Arkansas Foodbank while you’re out shopping this year. For just $1, you can buy five meals. It’s the best deal you’ll find!

“Help us spread the word by posting selfies with our #GivingTuesday picture here. Tag us on Twitter, Instagram (@arfoodbank) and Facebook (@arkansasfoodbank) so we can share the love!”

Sounds like a pretty simple way to spread some holiday cheer!


Five things to do over Thanksgiving weekend

Side note: if you’re avoiding the kitchen on Thanksgiving and want a gourmet meal, check out today’s article by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (which we were grateful to see also mentioned North Little Rock Restaurant Month!).

You have family in town for the holidays, so what do you do after the feast? Show them some fun things to do around town, of course! Here are five things to do:

PosterAFH 15-161. A Fertle Holiday, an original two-act comedy for the whole family, opens at The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse on Thanksgiving weekend. The Fertle Family reunites in the tiny town of Dumpster, Arkansas, and struggles to entertain their rich relatives from San Diego. The Main Thing comedy trio brings the quirky family to life by portraying all of the relatives and townspeople. Catch this comedy on Friday or Saturday night at 8 p.m.

AIMM_Tour_5x72. The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum and USS Razorback submarine will be open for tours Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. There are discounts for children under 12, seniors and military.

3. As you’re reading this, seats available for the Thanksgiving Day river cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat are filling up. Including a traditional Thanksgiving feast, the two-hour cruise boards at 12:30 p.m. and requires reservations by calling (501)372-5777.

DSCN3582.JPG4. Visit the Red Door Gallery’s Arkansas “Zany” Holidays on Nov. 28. Artist Tod Crites will be painting in a live demonstration and will personalize your art purchase. Enjoy refreshments and complimentary gift-wrap.

5. And, of course, for all of you shopaholics, start your Black Friday shopping at McCain Mall. The kids can get a photo with Santa between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. that Friday too!



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