Lunching in Little Rock: Cheers in the Heights

 

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 Cheers in the Heights.

Here is to spring FINALLY arriving. Now that this wonderful time of year has landed, I am really looking forward to fresh food, warm sunshine, cool breezes and patio dining. There are some great places around town with great patios, but one of my favorite patios is at Cheers in The Heights.

For as long as I can remember, Cheers has always been a casual but excellent place to eat. It’s always at the top of people’s list whether looking for a lunch date, lunch meeting or dining alone. They have been doing some updating lately and the menu and décor have only improved.

Fried green tomatoes from Cheers in the Heights, as featured in Lunching in Little Rock.

Fried green tomatoes from Cheers in the Heights. Photo courtesy of Cheers.

On the day we visited, there was still a little bit of a chill in the air, but lots of folks were sitting outside, inside the closed porch or in the dining room. The menu is as fresh as the season and reminds me of dining straight from the garden. I went in expecting to order the Cheers “Big Easy” Salad, a Creole soaked salad made of romaine lettuce with green olives, tomato and fresh Parmesan cheese. Every bite is a bang of flavor. The daily special upsold me: Fried Green Tomatoes with Creole Shrimp and a “Small Easy” Salad.  Even though it’s a little early in the season for green tomatoes, I am a sucker for them every time. These were especially perfect: thick cut, juicy, lightly breaded and golden fried. I like a fried green tomato that is hearty and firm enough to pick up with your hands. The shrimp were particularly plump and the seasoning had just the right amount of Creole punch.  In hindsight, I am glad I got the salad as a side with nothing on it, like chicken or fish. The flavors are so good on their own; I wouldn’t have wanted to tamper with perfection.

Raise your glass and celebrate the long-awaited arrival of spring at Cheers this week. Share your favorite patio dining spots in the comments.

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