Stones Throw Brewing Review Little Rock AR

Stones Throw Brewing Review Little Rock AR

Stones Throw Brewing Review Little Rock ARMeh. Though I didn’t go for the beer, but I hear it gets high marks for a microbrewery. (What’s smaller than a microbrewery? A mini microbrewery?  Anyway, this place is pretty small, in a pleasant residential section of LIttle Rock.

Some friends wanted to meet there, so meet we did. They all ordered beers. I had a diet cola. I always have a diet cola. Or bottle watered. Do I have a drinking problem and purposely stay away?  Nope, never did.  But after I passed into adulthood, paying to consume something that was either going to make me sick or lose a day – seemed silly.  Still does.

Four persons.  Two ordered food.  One ordered the black bean burger, one a catfish strip basket with cole slaw and fries.  Bean burger came with spinach, onions, hummus, and mushrooms with a maple cayenne mustard on a vegan bun.

The joint wasn’t crowded and we were the only ones who ordered food.

Ten minutes. Twenty. Thirty.  I inquire of the (only) waitress.  “What, well I put that order in, let me check.”

She passed by the table a few minutes later with the news “He was just plating it, it will be out in a minute.”

Result?  It wasn’t.  “He” started on the order when she went back.  So at the 45 minute interval, out cames the food, prettily plated (well, in baskets), bean burger first bite – satisfactory.  Catfish first bite. “Does this look raw to you?”

It was.

Good lord, people own up to your mistakes.

And millenials? Speak up when you aren’t happy with goods or service. Expect better.

It was resolved by taking it off the bill.  Really?  That’s it?

Maybe the beer is good.

 

 

Stone's Throw Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stones Throw Brewing Review Little Rock AR

Stones Throw Brewing Review Little Rock AR

American Made General Store Review Pocahontas, AR

American Made General Store Review Pocahontas, AR

American Made General Store Review Tooling around the underbelly of Arkansas the other week, I was heading north on US 67, which runs from the Mexican border to the Quad Cities, in IA/IL. Pocahontas was indeed named after the Native American of renown, and not after any current political candidate.

The town sits 90 miles west of I-55 and the parallel stretch of the Mississippi River. 15 miles north of Walnut Ridge (stop there and ask about the Beatles), I did on a previous trip. It’s 35 minutes northwest of Jonesboro.

Seems a local veteran had a dream to create a store that sold only American made goods and merchandise, and he did a bang up job, opening on July 4, 2018.

While you won’t see billboards for hundreds of miles ahead of time, like Wall Drug in South Dakota, this store could easily become a destination, leading to other development in this burg. With money and marketing.  I did see at least one board, somewhere on the highway south of the city.

To a locavore crazed person like me, this store was a wonderland.  Not only are all of the products (everything you could imagine you wanted and then some) – there are a great many from the local surrounding area.  Dry goods, home canned goods, meat, baked goods, clothing, tools, decor items,old timey candies, stuff for the house, yard,  and more.  I could have spent hours here, if I had hours to spend.

Visit their website, their Facebook page, but most importantly, put it on your bucket list. In the meantime, shop the store online.

Clean restrooms.

They weren’t busy when i stopped by.  Had a nice chat with the main dude. About his Seeburg Jukebox.  1956 vintage he said.  I have a 1952.

American Made General Store Review Pocahontas Arkansas
American Made General Store Review Pocahontas Arkansas

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi Mississippi

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi Mississippi

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi MississippiI write a lot about gas station food because I eat a lot of gas station food.  I’m not talking about a bag of Lay’s and a Slim Jim or six, I’m talking about gas stations that offer hot lunch, either ala carte to take out or the sit down variety.  Fat Baby and Alises offers both, open early til late for carry out or dine in with a hot bar lunch buffet from 11-2.

Different specials daily, but the focus is on local cuisine, seafood, po-boys and the like.  The hot bar buffet is chock-a-block full of regional side dishes like fried okra, greens, greet beans, sweet potato casserole and such.

I ate there a couple times during a week long stop. I had the shrimp po-boy, excellent fry, great seasoning, good bread.  They serve theirs “dressed and pressed” and the ‘pressed’ part is a local thing, unheard of in New Orleans, basically a panini-like squeeze. Doesn’t detract.  “Dressed” is as everywhere – tomato, mayo, lettuce.

I also had the “Royal Reds” – steamed shrimp, these are coldwater, deep water shrimp from 30 miles or so off shore, they are larger than most and so flavorful, people often say “they taste like lobster” and putting aside the melted butter, they really do.  About $10 a half pound, includes two sides.

I opted to get my sides from the hot bar and went with green beans and greens.  Both the best I have ever had.  Anywhere. Period. Full stop. So much flavor.  Not pictured – side of crinkle cut fries with brown gravy. O.M.G.

Drink was unsweetened bottomless tea, they also have soft drinks, coffee, and as a C-store, naturally every single beverage that comes in a bottle or can.

Place your order at the kitchen counter, they give you a slip, gather up anything else you want in the store, pay, take your receipt back to the kitchen counter and they’ll deliver your food to your table or your hands if you’re going home, back to the office, or hotel.

Great food.  Really great food.  Fair pricing. Really nice people. Wish them all the success. Wish you’d stop in if you’re in the area.

Fat Baby and Alise’s is located inside the Marathon Gas station at 1757 Popps Ferry Road, which is handy if you’re at the beach of popping off I-10. Here’s their full regular menu.  Lots and lots of parking.

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi Mississippi

1/2 Shrimp Po-Boy

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi Mississippi

Royal Red Steamed Shrimp

 

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi Mississippi

Fat Baby and Alises Carryout Review Biloxi Mississippi

Chis Chinese Express Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas

Chis Chinese Express Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas Saturday Morning Dim Sum

While they have several locations in Little Rock, its the Chenal Parkway location that serves dim sum, at least on the Saturday morning we stopped by. Chis Chinese Express Restaurant Review Little Rock ArkansasCould happen at other locations or on other days, I didn’t inquire. I’ll leave that to you.

I lived and worked in China for a number of years, so I’m snotty about Americanized Chinese ‘cuisine.’ So I’ve never been in a Panda Express or a P.F. Changs. Let me know if my life is somehow missing some bliss because of that.

So I was skeptical about the offer of a dim sum brunch in Little Rock. I asked all the relevant questions of my dine-mate. “Does it come in little baskets?” “Are there ladies pushing carts around?” “Do they have chicken feet?”

Affirmative to all.

The menu and server explanations were Americanized for sure, but the food was very authentic and very good. Lots of steamed dumplings, Chinese vegetables and the like. Overserved.

The restaurant is very tastefully decorated in subtle tones – surprising for a strip mall location next to Dominos (which was a comfort in case the food was really bad, I could have them run a pizza over) (Yes, I agree, Dominos is awful).

The entire facility, including the restrooms and what I could see of the open kitchen, was immaculate. There are tables that can be pushed together in alcoves to fit modest sized groups. The regular Chinese menu is available concurrent with the dim sum.

Pricing is fair. Recommended.

Chi's Chinese Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chis Chinese Express Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas Saturday morning dim sum
Chis Chinese Express Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas Saturday morning dim sum

Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas

 

Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas

Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine Restaurant Review Little Rock ArkansasDo you remember the very first moment you ever tasted a certain food?

The first time I ever had Indian food was in a seedy, dark, 2nd floor eatery in Wanchai, a neighborhood of Hong Kong, seated across from a stunningly beautiful Chinese woman named Vida. We were co-workers and when she found I had never had Indian food, she was determined to give me an education.

And did she. My recollection is she ordered most of the menu and we plowed through it with abandon, washing down servings with Kingfisher beer.  I loved every bite. Every new flavor, every nuance.

Later in my tenure in Hong Kong, I moved out to a small island an hour ferry ride from the city, and we had our very own, very small Indian restaurant, sat about eight,  and it was my habit to spend most Saturday afternoons there – when I wasn’t traveling Asia for work.

So in Little Rock, Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine is the place.  “Mehfil” means “an evening of courtly entertainment or concert of Hindustani classical music and dance, performed for a small audience in an intimate setting.”

No such entertainment at this elegantly appointed restaurant, and we went for a highly recommended buffet, which as luck would have it, wasn’t being offered that night.

No matter, we ordered old favorites from the very complete menu.

We started with complimentary poppadum (flat, dried wafers of spicy lentil flour, deep fried), moved into naan, both garlic and cheese, with bowls full or raita (yogurt with cucumber and cilantro) for mopping.  A gaggle of chicken dishes came next,  saag,  tikka, and tikka marsala.  All poultry cooked in the tandoori clay oven, giving it that nice charred texture and smoky flavor.

No room for dessert, in fact we took a lot of food home.

The restaurant wasn’t very busy for a Friday nite (perhaps because they cancelled the buffet?) so service was attentive and pleasant.  The gent was kind to explain dishes or ingredients we had questions about.

They did not have Kingfisher beer (sad face) – he said it was “no more” and I thought he meant out of business, but more likely he meant at the restaurant.  They also did not have Tiger Beer, another beer frequently served with Indian in SE Asia.

So it was Stella for me, wine for the rest of the table.

I’d like to go back for the buffet.  They’d regret letting me in.

Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas

Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine Restaurant Review Little Rock Arkansas

Star Inn Motel Review Biloxi Mississippi

Star Inn Motel Review Biloxi MississippiI can stay anywhere I want.  I traveled the globe for business and stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels on the planet.  Actually, you can get sick of them.  I’M NOT KIDDING.

When I travel now, I’m decidedly down market – prefer the lower priced end of the segment, and especially independent mom and pop establishments. Which is what I found in the Star Inn in Biloxi.

It has so many things going for it besides very reasonable rates.  (What we paid for six nites was less than one nite at any of the fancy pants casino hotels down the street).

Comfortable, clean rooms, with everything you’d find in more expensive motels.  Some Jacuzzi suites. Refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron.  King or two queens.  Park right outside your door.  Warm, clean swimming pool.  Modest complementary breakfast each morning, coffee, juice, milk, cereal, yogurt, fruit, breakfast breads.  Free wifi, cable. What more do you need?

Wonderful host family, friendly, helpful.

Spoiler alert.  It is across the street from the magnificent, free, open access Biloxi Beach, which they spend oodles of money keeping pristine. (See the pic below for the very reasonable rules).  Three fun casual restaurants also across the street, a 24 hour Waffle House, and the largest tee shirt/souvenir shop in the area.  Perfect.

I was so impressed I made reservations for a return in a few months.  Hey, one of the best things I did?  Went on a little tour that teaches you all about shrimpin’.  Fun and education.  Book it.

Star Inn Motel Review Biloxi Mississippi

 

Star Inn Motel Review Biloxi Mississippi

Biloxi Beach Rules

 

 

Star Inn Motel Review Biloxi Mississippi

Star Inn Motel Review Biloxi Mississippi

Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippi

Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippi

Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi MississippiIt was just a gleam in the founder’s eye – to turn an old bait shack in Pass Christian, MS into a food and beer joint.

Hurricane Katrina put his plans on hold for awhile, as it did all of us who lived in the area.

But, as he said “sometime later the sun starting shining again and it was time to get to work.”

And work he has, as in just over a decade there are now five Shaggys along the Gulf Coast. Each the same but unique it their own way.  (Shaggys name is an homage to a coast joint from the 40s).

I hit the one on Biloxi beach, overlooking the shimmering blue Gulf of Mexico.  Shaggy’s menu is typical of restaurants in the area, a mix of local seafood, prepared in various ways, along with appetizers and entrees of American cuisine one would expect to find in almost any casual eatery or bar.  And that’s not a bad thing!

Fresh oysters and deep water Royal Red shrimp too!  Thirsty? Of course Shaggys has all the usual ‘beach type’ drinks and some of their own special concoctions.

We had a drink, her a fru-fru umbrella thing, me a Stella.  Split a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp, before moving on to the seafood platter for two, Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippigrilled and fried shrimp, fried oysters, catfish filets. I didn’t share the catfish.  I’m in my catfish period, for some reason.

The food was marvelous, and it’s fairly priced.  The grilled shrimp has some pleasant seasoning, as did the fried pieces. Naturally there are the two local hot sauces on the table. When you live in or near New Orleans – which one is your preference can be fightin’ words.

Dining on the deck overlooking the bay is marvelous.  The beach runs right up to the rear of Shaggys and there is a fenced in kiddy play area.  Not sure about inside, but your four legged Scoobys are welcome on the deck at Shaggys.  (See what I did there?).

Service by Becky was professional and friendly, despite it being a madhouse.

Check out the whole menu, plan a trip.

The main restaurant hours:
Sunday – Thursday 11AM – 9PM
Friday- Saturday 11AM – 11PM

Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippi

Shrimp Caesar

 

Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippi

Seafood Platter

Shaggy's Biloxi Beach Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippi
Shaggys on the Beach Review Biloxi Mississippi

Hartz Chicken Buffet Review Ocean Springs Mississippi

Hartz Chicken Buffet Review Ocean Springs Mississippi

Hartz Chicken Buffet Review, Ocean Springs, MSThere are more than a few AYCE chicken buffets in the Deep South. Even some KFC’s offer them. There are even multiple chicken buffets names “Hartz” including a sizable chain in Texas. No relation. Anymore, at least.

For around $10, you can get all you can eat fried or baked chicken, fried fish, livers and gizzards, a dozen or so side dishes, rolls or cornbread, dessert, and soda or tea. YES I SAID TEN DOLLARS!

The food is excellent. I’m not usually a bone-in chicken kind of guy, too much work, but geez louise, go for just the side dishes, you’ll have green beans, collards, and ‘matoes like you’ve never enjoyed.

Corn, mashed, tater salad and more. Really. That hot bar is alone worth the ten bucks. Or just each the cobbler. Go crazy topping it with soft serve. Syrup. Sprinkles.

You are in charge. Disposable flatware and plate/trays make it more economical for the operators and easy for you. Ever seen a flatware dispensing machine? Made by Dixie. I’ll see if I can find a pic online.  Scroll down to see if I was successful.

So go to this place. Crowded all the time, but it’s a buffet, so there’s hardly ever a wait.

Lighter appetite? You can buy some bits and pieces at the drive thru. Here’s the menu.  Open 10:30A – 9P. Since 1975.

Hartz Chicken Buffet Review, Ocean Springs, MS

 

Hartz Chicken Buffet Review, Ocean Springs, MS

Dixie Cutlery Dispenser

 

Hartz Chicken Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hartz Chicken Buffet Review Ocean Springs  Mississippi

Bootleggers Pizza Review, Biloxi, MS

Bootleggers Pizza Biloxi Mississippi

Bootleggers Pizza Review, Biloxi, MS

Bootleggers Pizza Review, Biloxi, MSBootlegger’s Pizza in Biloxi, Mississippi touts themselves as the home of authentic Chicago thin-crust pizza. As I live in Chicago part time, naturally I had to check it out.

The downstairs of the facility is for ‘family’ dine-in experiences from their full menu featuring pizza, pasta, wings, burgers and sammiches.  Weekdays they feature lunch specials.

Upstairs they have a 21+ room, with likker, music,  and games.

I went to place an order to carry out, take back to the hotel. I ordered a 14″  “Big Al’s Supreme” – which includes sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, black olives.

It was done quickly, and after decades of pizza take-out orders, I still haven’t learned to open the box before leaving the joint. They either skipped some ingredients or I got someone else’s pie

Not going to hold it against them, because they do indeed do a good job of emulating a Chicago thin crust pie (which we refer to as “tavern style” – made with a cracker thin crust and cut in squares, not slices).

Bootleggers crust makes the grade, so does their cheese, and sausage for flavor and texture.  Sauce is a little bit sweet for my taste, but that didn’t stop me from eating the entire pie. Personal preference?  Larger chunks of sausage, please.

If you’re a regular reader, you know my “true test” of a great pizza is how it tastes the next morning after being left out on the counter over night. And Bootleggers passes the test, bigly. Yuge.

I’m in Biloxi a few times a year.  I’ll be back for another pie for sure.

Bootleggers Pizza. Dine in. Carry out. Delivery.

Bootleggers Pizza Review, Biloxi, MS

Bootleggers Old Chicago Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bootleggers Pizza Review, Biloxi, MS
Bootleggers Pizza Review, Biloxi, MS

Biloxi MS Shrimp Tour

Biloxi MS Shrimp TourIf you’re vacationing, on business, or just passing through the Mississippi/Louisiana/Alabama Gulf Coast, make plans and time to take the 90 minute Biloxi Shrimping Trip, a tourist attraction since 1954.

Your affable captain and mate will take you on a highly education yet entertaining cruise through Biloxi Bay, explaining the local shrimp industry, the life of the shrimp, all about the different colors and sizes and how they are caught.

A hands-on demonstration will show you a net cast into the bay and pulled aboard to reveal the bounty of the Gulf Coast waters, including shrimp, fish, crabs and more. Each species brought aboard will be labeled and explained.

The trip is only $20, and the return is much more rewarding than what you’ll get in a casino.

In the summer, they sail three times daily, 10:30, 1:30, and 3:30.

Soft drinks, bottled water  and beer are available onboard for a very nominal price.  The entire trip takes place at a slow speed in the placid waters of the protected bay, so it’s a calm, smooth cruise.

If you’re interested in grabbing a mess of Gulf shrimp to take home, at very reasonable prices, the Captain can direct you to the best locations to buy directly off the boats.  I took their advice and was very pleased with the outcome.  Of course they know all the best local restaurants, too, if you need suggestions.

The tour is pet friendly.  Fancy some off-shore fishing?  The same crew can arrange short guided trips on a very economical basis.  Brochure for both outings below.

All departures are from the small craft harbor at 693 Beach Blvd, in Biloxi. Traveling east, the turn in is on your right just past the Hard Rock Casino.

I cannot recommend this highly enough.  Reservations needed ONLY for very large groups:  228-392-8645.

Biloxi MS Shrimp Tour

Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biloxi MS Shrimp Tour

Biloxi MS Shrimp Tour

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