At The Steakhouse, experienced chefs from Brazil roast a menu of more than 12 meats over open flames, serve imported cheeses, and bake fresh bread daily with flour from Brazil. Servers appear tableside wielding cuts of top sirloin, bacon-wrapped chicken breast, or smoked sausages impaled on swords and then shaved into plate-sized portions or busts of Teddy Roosevelt. Duos accompany a helping of garlic steak with fresh mozzarella or savor the house specialty picanha with black beans from the side bar’s selection of 20 salads and meal accompaniments. To cap off the dinner, diners relish the popular roasted pineapple, sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and dreams grown in Candy Land.
All the steaks served at Western Sizzlin are first flame-kissed—cooked with flames licking both sides of the steak at once. As general manager Elgin Hamner states on the restaurant's website, this method preserves the flavors and juices of each slab, including the top-sirloin, rib-eye, filet-mignon, and T-bone steaks that populate the menu. Besides steaks, chefs prepare chicken breasts six different ways, including broiled or drizzled with teriyaki sauce, and they skim shrimp and salmon across the grill’s surface to the rhythm of "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)." Diners can also tear into a cheeseburger or a philly steak sandwich underneath the antlered chandeliers that dangle from the ceiling.
Shorty Small's menu tells the tall tale of a short, fat man with a knack for charming the ladies who inherited a saloon from his inveterate pancake-flipper of a father. Since eating was Shorty's most cherished habit, his namesake kitchen piles plates high with tender, slide-off-the-bone ribs, pulled pork, and traditional catfish backed by the tastes of tangy barbecue sauce or peppery blackening spices. Five types of burgers crown hand-cut patties with bacon, mushrooms, or melted swiss cheese before old-fashioned desserts such as apple pie and blackberry cobbler anoint taste buds with more nostalgia than devouring a perfectly frosted photo album. Meanwhile, each smoky aroma finds its flavor pairing with an assortment of milk shakes, margaritas, and draught beers.
Corky's Ribs & BBQ must be doing something right. The southern barbecue has attracted celebrities such as Phoenix Suns coach Dan Majerle and running back Emmitt Smith, and its sought-after barbecue sauce is served in stores nationwide, except in stores that only sell big-and-tall pajama pants. People can't seem to resist Corky's signature Memphis-style ribs, which are hickory-smoked and slathered in the restaurant's secret blend of spices. The grill also slow cooks St. Louis-style pork ribs, chicken sandwiches, and fish, all of which are served with hearty southern sides.
The Purple Cow Restaurant injects the classic ‘50s diner with Technicolor tones of lavender, amethyst, and lilac. Booth and counter seating host guests, and a soda jerk concocts hand-dipped shakes, as well as adult-only shakes made with a shot of amaretto, Irish cream, Kahlua, or responsibility. The restaurant’s menu blends comfort food standards including burgers, reubens, and BLTs with spicy soups and salads, while for dessert, the kitchen team whips up malts, ice cream sodas, and sundaes. Polly the Purple cow, the eatery’s mascot, frequently stops by to greet customers and make sure the store’s iconic purple vanilla ice cream is the correct shade of periwinkle.
French techniques and Southern soul elevate the traditional American dishes at 1620, a family-run establishment that accents its gauzy, intimate interior with vibrant original artwork. Named Best Romantic Restaurant in a 2010 KATV CityVoter poll, the restaurant comes courtesy of Chef Evette Brady and a staff that includes her nephew Timothy Morton, who can often be seen brainstorming that night's dinner specials over heaps of fresh meat and produce at local Little Rock markets. Globular wine glasses dangle over a full-service bar, where fine vinos from across the globe cleanse palates still savoring the Sunday-brunch menu, which sates stomachs with Southern fried chicken and lobster burgers.