Monthly Archives: December 2013

Juicing up for the New Year? Go local

This article first appeared in the January issue of Arkansas Life magazine. Check it out online, on our free iPad app or in print, out now!

Juice gives Wilson Wood superpowers.

A tall glass of cold-pressed green juice packed with kale and other nutrient-dense produce has him flying from home to work and straight through the day. All without a single cup of coffee. And for most people, a caffeine-free life is anything but ordinary.

“Juicing provides your body with this crazy energy that I’ve never had before,” Wood, co-owner of Native Nectar in Fayetteville, says. “It’s like this vibrating feeling through your body. You’re basically mainlining vitamins and nutrients.”

Juices at Garden Press | Photo by Arshia Khan

Juices at Garden Press | Photo by Arshia Khan

Packed with kale, spinach, apples, oranges, ginger, turnips, carrots, ginger, herbs and more, this juice isn’t just for breakfast. For Wood and other juice devotees, their fresh fruit-and-vegetable blends are revered like liquid food gold, suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And sometimes all three, by themselves, for days, as part of trendy juice cleanses.

Fresh juices have been a hit on the West Coast for years. BluePrint-brand juice can be found stocked on the shelves at Whole Foods, and even

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Let’s talk about “Doing theButt”

Be sure to check out the latest issue of Sync Weekly for my review of Table 28, the restaurant that took over the old Vesuvio Bistro space.

Chef Scott Rains is doing good things. The cocktails were some of the best I’ve had in town. And my smoked pork butt? Pretty good.

And then I took a second glance at my receipt:



In case you’re having a hard time squinting….yes. My smoked pork butt with a whiskey-baked apple and cabbage confit. The one that cost $22? Apparently that dish is listed as “Doing theButt” in the system at Table 28. Table 28, a place where the average dinner for two is $100 and the average patron is 60 years old.

Judging by the receipt, I’d say I’m not the only one who has ordered this dish and had it ring up this way.

So I’ll leave you with this question: Funny? Offensive? Inappropriate? Inside joke?

Leave me a comment, let me know what you think.


 … Read more >

Eat This: 5 Can’t-Miss Kansas City Bites

It’s been four years since I called Kansas City home, and turns out a lot has changed in the dining scene since I left.

Last week, I got the chance to explore the city for a few days for an assignment, and had just enough time to hit up a few of the spots I’ve been missing and dying to try.

Kansas City is an amazing food city (despite what the New York Times might say) with loads more to try than barbecue. That being said, if you are in the mood for some fine charred meats, my loyalty is to Oklahoma Joe’s.

Of course, there was plenty I wasn’t able to get to on this trip. Don’t overlook some longtime favorites including Extra Virgin, Justus Drugstore, Blanc Burgers + Bottles, Le Fou Frog and Blue Koi.

But what I did get to try was stellar. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway with plenty of good eats, put KC on your list. It’s an easy drive in a day (pro tip: Use the 1-65 N route. No matter what Google Maps is telling you, it’s much faster) and not too pricy.  Here’s the best of what I … Read more >

Chef Antunes hints at Ashley’s revamp

Wish Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel was a bit more relaxed? You may be in luck.

I had the chance to sit down with executive chef Joël Antunes to chat about his adjustment to Little Rock and Southern cuisine for our February issue of Arkansas Life. In his first year on the job at the Capital Hotel, Antunes has completely revamped the Ashley’s menu, focusing on the local produce and the fresh, simple preparations he loves. Now, it seems he’ll be overhauling the menu again as Ashley’s goes through a renovation this spring.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ERIC HARRISON

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ERIC HARRISON

Antunes says the work is set to being in March and finish mid-April, and Ashely’s will be closed for five or six weeks while the construction takes place. The Capital Bar and Grill will remain open.

“I’m going to keep a very similar direction for the menu, but we’ll have new equipment for the kitchen…a nice grill for meat, so that will change things,” Antunes says.

The menu will retain an international focus (as opposed to the Southern-influenced Bar and Grill), and Antunes says he

plans updates for the banqueting menu and pastry menus as well.

There are also plans to include what Antunes … Read more >

Arkansas dining year in review

Can you believe it’s already time for our ‘Year in Review’ stories? This article originally appeared in the December issue of Arkansas Life. Grab a copy on stands now!

The past year was a packed one for Little Rock’s bar and restaurant scene. From buzzed-about openings and patios packed with margarita-crazed masses to quick name changes and new local brew options, we sorted through the year to come with our list of the best—and worst—moments in central Arkansas food this year.

Brick and mortar

Central Arkansas locavores have long been supportive of the area’s farmers markets and food trucks, which is why it didn’t come as much of a surprise when several alfresco favorites leveraged their success into covered locales this past year. Hot Dog Mike raised funds to move from slinging dogs via cart to a small River Market storefront. Crowdsourced funding also helped Little Rock chef Travis McConnell move one step closer to a butcher shop and restaurant when he raised more than $8,000 online, drawing on the fan base that swarms his stall at the Bernice Garden Farmers Market on a weekly basis. Fellow farmers-market staple Mylo Coffee Co. also took a big step in 2013, … Read more >