Tuesday, August 16, 2011


After more that 50 years in business Browning's sadly closed in the early 2000's. My husband remembers going there as a child with his parents and sister. I remember going there in the 60's and 70's. The new Browning's didn't make it either. Sad. Time moves on!

Wow!  Chuck and I decided to eat out after his guitar lesson.  I read until he finished then we headed to Cantrell Road.   We have been curious about Chipolte that just opened in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center. Well, imagine our surprise...they were lined out the door to get in to eat.  We are not patient "waiting in line" customers.    After circling the parking lot we headed to the Heights for Chinese until we remembered that Browning's had reopened under new management.  Since our taste buds were still set for Mexican so we settled for Browning's.  

Yes, we are talking about the Browning's Mexican Food Restaurant that has been a Little Rock fixture for over 60 years.  I say 60 years because that is how long Chuck remembers eating at Browning's. In the 1940's his family would travel from Benton to Little Rock for a night out.  There were very few places to eat out in Little Rock:  Hank's Dog House, Bruno's, The Embers, Tijuana and Browning's...can you think of more?

We are back to the "Wow"!  What a transformation!  It is very open, updated and very trendy.  
This is what should have been done the last time Browning's opened under new management...but no they had to give in to public pressure and go for the "same ol'; same ol'" stuff.  We love the new ambiance.  The acoustics aren't great, but bearable. It keeps your conversation private even if you can't hear yourself think.  There are TVs for sports, booths, tables, and a great bar area...something for everyone!  ...and the best part, scrumptious Margaritas!

Saltillo Plate
Chuck had the Saltillo Plate and I had the Summer Plate. They are both menu items from the original Browning's.  Chuck had a punch for nostalgic reasons. The helpings are bigger and the guacamole side is definitely a step-up.

When we go back and we will, we are going to sit at the bar and try some new menu items: Salmon Vera Cruz and Grilled Shrimp Tacos and White Cheese dip when they figure it out. It wasn't available because they had not perfected it...so said the waitress.  Speaking of waitresses, none of the original crew was to be seen.  I think they finally retired. There is a youngish wait staff full of energy and ready to serve.  Just when I said, "I think our food should have been here by now", it arrived.  It was delicious!

Highly recommend you give Browning's a try!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Magnolia Grill, Natchez, Mississippi Thumbs Up!

We took an overnight trip to Natchez to decide if we wanted to commit to their annual Balloon Race Event*.  Natchez is about 5 hours from Little Rock.  We left early Sunday morning and arrived in time to find a hotel room and a quick tour of the town.

Let me tell you...there is not much going on in Natchez on Sunday afternoon.  However, we did luck out when we found the Magnolia Grill for dinner.  

It is located "Under the Hill" and around the corner from the Riverboat Casino.  We did a quick run through the casino and I do mean quick.  It was dinner time or in the South we call it supper. 

We were so early that we were the only ones in the restaurant.  We really enjoyed the view of the Mississippi.  Actually, it was like we had our own private restaurant until others started arriving...locals, I suspect.  I think we were the only tourists.  Obviously, everyone else knows nothing is going on in Natchez on Sunday.

The wait staff was great.  Chuck had Grilled Shrimp with Baked Potato and a Side Salad and I had the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Fries and Grilled Asparagus.  All of it delicious.  

If you are ever in Natchez, don't miss the Magnolia Grill.  I am sure, however, it will be packed on any other day than Sunday. Time it so you can eat early and beat the crowd for supper.

Magnolia Grill on Urbanspoon*BTW, we decided not to go back for the Balloon Race...maybe in the Spring when all of the azaleas are in bloom.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kitchen Bouquet!

What would I do without it???? 

Dinner tonight: I am cooking frozen meatballs thawed in Mushroom Soup (any brand--who can tell the difference between Campbell and the store brand?) from Kroger, LaSueur English Peas, and egg noodles...add a Combination Salad*..voila, dinner.

Ugh!  the mushroom soup gravy is white! Enter: Kitchen Bouquet.  Ah-h-h-h...rich brown gravy!

No, I cannot give it up.  I refuse to make brown gravy from scratch. Maybe...someday, but not any time soon!

* You do know what how to make a Combination Salad? or is it a Southern "thing"?  Iceberg Lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and mayo...mixed together.  How hard is that?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If you like Beets!

I love beets!  That is, I love "cold" beets.  I do not like "hot" beets.  

I love beets at Franke's.  This recipe is as close to Franke's Beets that I have ever found.

If  you agree with the above, try the recipe and see what you think.

So Simple:


Drain Beets.

Put in a liquid cup measure:
1T    Liquid sweetener
Fill to 1/2C with white vinegar.
Fill rest of cup with water. 

Cover drained sliced beets w/liquid mixture; put in Fridge. 

*Given to me by my friend Evelyn in 1991.