Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Faded Rose - The Restaurant That Made Me the Hero of Little Rock

We were in North Little Rock for a conference and wanted to catch up with friends over dinner.  So the group decides to let the foodie make the call.  While I don't mind choosing the restaruant it can also turn bad real quick.  If the chosen eatery is having a bad night or isn't all that its cracked up to be then everyone wants to blame the person who made the choice.  There's only one thing to do . . . research!

Fried Green Tomatoes
First, I find out what everyone is in the mood to eat.  It could have been worse but probably not by much.  I got several who said 'anything' which of course is a loaded answer.  It means anything you want that I'm hungry for but I'm not gonna tell you what that is!  There was also the stand by - I need a steak.  Add to that someone that is itching for some fried catfish (yes, I know - oddly specific for Little Rock).  There was also one the wanted Italian but offered steak as a second choice.

Fried Frog Legs
Second, I scout out Urbanspoon to see what everyone thinks and to look down the list of cuisines to see if I can find a match.  As I close in on the restaurant of choice I look further at the menu and the website of each restaurant.  Yes, I took it seriously!  We all love to eat and we had one night to make the best of Little Rock.  I knew that there had to be some good choices since we were in President Clinton's stomping grounds.

Fried Seafood Platter
I narrowed the decision down to four opportunites and talked with our group about them.  I got another loaded response - 'whatever you choose will be fine with us'.  Really!?  I wasn't buying it but what the heck at this point I'm hungry.  I went for the safest route and called the best steakhouse I had on the list.  They were booked but had room in an hour.  We just got out of the conference and it was 8:00 pm, no one was going to be able to wait that much longer.  I know I procrastinated until the last minute and I just knew that was going to cost me big time!

Shrimp Creole
The next restaurant that could really fit the bill for what everyone was looking for was a complete unknown to all of us.  Two locations with the one closest to us at 84% but the second location was in the 70s.  Little beads of perspiration are beginning to pop out on my head now.  The choice has to be made, its a gamble but not too risky.  We caravan over to the Faded Rose on Rebsamen Park Road.  By the way, I love Urbanspoon and its ability to let me switch over to my GPS to guide us right to the front door.

Bread Pudding with Rum and Brandy Sauce
We had a mixed crowd looking for a variety of foods. Faded Rose menu promises just that . . . and delivers! The apps of fried frog legs, fried green tomatoes topped with shrimp the size of Texas, fried crawfish were all fantastic. But wait, there's more! The creole salad was great too, you've got to try it. I love the spice in it! But wait, don't stop yet, there's more to come! The entrees were wonderful as well! I tried a little from across the table. The ribeye was tender and flavorful, my shrimp creole was perfect (I did add hot sauce), the Ragin' Cajun burger was great, the rest was just as good! Save a little room for dessert and share the bread pudding.  Its not a huge serving but you will be full by this time and it is dense.  The rum and brandy sauce that it sits in pulls it all together though!  You bet I recommend this one!

Exterior of the Faded Rose
Wow!  Sometimes a little risk can make you a hero.  I wasn't sure what to order.  I was nervous about the steaks in a cajun restaurant but I was also afraid that the seafood wouldn't be fresh and tasty.  The apps set my mind free as far as the seafood, hence my decision to go with the Shrimp Creole.  My father-in-law gave me a bite of his ribeye when it arrived and I had nothing to worry about either way.  This is a restaurant that knows food.

With my reputation still intact thanks to the Faded Rose, the next time we all meet will just be that much more difficult to keep myself on this tiny little pedastal.

Contact Information
(501) 663-9734
1619 Rebsamen Park Rd
Little Rock, AR 72202

Faded Rose Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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