In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at The Faded Rose.

When the idea of a Lunching in Little Rock blog was beginning to take shape, there were certain places that immediately came to mind. These places are staples of Little Rock, places that have defined and established the food scene. One of those places (and one of my favorites) is The Faded Rose.

Since 1982, The Faded Rose has been feeding Little Rock and travelers who have come to expect great steaks, New Orleans-style creole dishes and a comfortable vibe. I have fond memories of first dates with my wife, splitting a steak at The Faded Rose.

The Faded Rose sandwich

Around our office, we don’t say “Would you like to go to The Faded Rose for lunch?” Someone will just say “beans?” and everyone knows that means we are going to The Faded Rose. My co-workers and usual lunch partners, Dan Kirkpatrick and Patrick Laughlin, are devout about their red beans and rice topped with grilled andouille sausage. I always order the Tilapia Meuniere, lightly breaded and fried with the most amazing tart brown meuniere sauce and topped with lemon butter. You’ve had meuniere sauce, but not like this. It’s light, silky, and doesn’t overpower the fish. Perfection. Typically, I order this dish with a side of crawfish rice, but right now I am trying to cut carbs. Don’t judge me, you read my diet; it’ll pack the pounds. The lunch special comes with a soup or salad as well, so I order an extra big soaked salad as my starter and side. They were very obliging and the salad they brought was extra big.

The restaurant was packed for lunch and everyone was going full speed to service everyone, but every rose has its thorns. We had a couple mishaps with wrong drink orders and my fish was grilled instead of fried, but it was still good and no one complained.

If you’ve never been, you haven’t been in a while, or you were just there last week, The Faded Rose never disappoints. Grab a friend and head out for some “beans” this week.