Friday, February 29, 2008

Thai Food Friday

I think we kind of officially meet every Friday at AP's now. And though the group gets larger or smaller each week, Panne never fails us. Last week was a table full of fish dishes and this week we reprised some curries we'd already tried.

We started off with the curry rolls which are a real treat. We don't get them very often because they are very tedious to make.

Then she brought out those wonderful Thai egg rolls with the unctuous sauce and the green lettuce leaves to wrap them in. One of my favorites of the appetizers.

Next came the papaya salad, spicy hot, fresh and very healthy tasting. We wrapped the salad in an unfamiliar bitter tasting leaf that made the entire mouthful an explosion of heat and flavor.

The main course was green curry with Thai eggplants and little skeins of noodles, spicy and boldly flavorful, this is a regular dish for us here. Becoming a lot like comfort food to me. That and the noodle soup.

All things must come to an end. If you want to meet up with us next Friday, drop me a line at greg at and I'll get you the details. We'll make you feel at home...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Market Cafe Makes Mondays Even More Difficult

BJ's Market Cafe
45 Market Plaza, North Little Rock, Arkansas. 501-945-8884

Monday is a tough day for me to go to the Market Cafe. That's because the specials on Monday include corned beef and cabbage or liver and onions. I like them both,
they're not either one easily found in this area, and I don't like having to make Sophie's Choice type decisions.

Located in the Farmer's Market, over the railroad tracks, near the end of McCain, the Market Cafe has been serving up some good home style cooking for as long as I can remember. Every day presents different lunch specials and knowing which days to go is definitely a plus. For instance, being a dressing junkie, Tuesdays are good for me because they have chicken and dressing. Chicken fried steak and baked ham are the other choices that day, but the dressing is what I get. Wednesday is spaghetti, Thursday is either fried pork chops or chicken and dumplings. But the smoked sausage and kraut has tempted me a few times until I relented. That's good too. Friday is catfish or meatloaf. And everyday has vegetables like beans, squash, homemade mashed potatoes, greens, mac and cheese... well you get the idea.

The closest thing I have to a complaint is the gravy. Don't get me wrong, it's standard cafe fare - thick brown sauce. But it looks, feels and tastes like it comes out of a jar. And, one of the great by-products of liver and onions is the savory liver gravy that you drown your potatoes or rice in. Well, they don't make that gravy, it's the same brown gravy as every other day.

Don't let the crowds intimidate you, they have three rooms of seating and everything moves pretty quickly. You'll be in and out in no time. And you can pick up some veggies for supper at the farmer's market next door.

Pricing is lower end, lunch and drink for less than nine dollars. But very good in quality.