Flying Fish – Little Rock, AR {In the Kitchen – Restaurant Review}

A few months ago Richie and I discovered a really great restaurant in Little Rock called Flying Fish.  They also have locations in Bentonville, AR, Memphis, TN and several in Texas.

On any given day the lunch line at the Little Rock location is out the door and their large seating area is typically full.  You can take your chances or take my advice and visit during their “off” time which only seems to be between 3 and 4 before the dinner crowd starts picking up.

When you enter the restaurant you will proceed to their counter where you will place your order.  Their menu is extensive and I have yet to have the same thing twice. Sometimes a huge menu is off-putting to me.  It often implies that they really can’t cook anything well so they offer a ton of stuff to make up for it.  Clearly NOT the case with Flying Fish.  Everything I have had there has been hot, fresh and made to order. (With the exception of one time we were there during an unusually slow time and the catfish my husband ordered, while tasty, was not piping hot and fresh out of the fryer like it typically is.  We assume this was a fluke.)

Once you place your order you will be given one of those buzzer things that typically tell you when your table is ready at other restaurants.  This will signal when your food is ready.  You will want to take time to get your drinks and make sure you have plenty of ketchup and tarter sauce.  You will then need to find a seat.

Once seated you will notice the big tray on your table full of everything you may need during your meal. There are napkins, salt and pepper, a variety of hot sauces, malt vinegar, saltines and fresh horseradish.  True, the saltines and horseradish are intended for the raw oysters but I love to grab a cracker, smear it with horseradish and pop it in my mouth. Yes, the whole thing!  At first you will just taste, then you will start to get the sharp burning sensation of the horseradish and then your nose and eyes will start to water from the intense but short lived heat.  It is a feeling similar to when you are swimming and water goes up your nose.  Only it is much more pleasant.  Okay YES I am a freak, but PLEASE try it at least once!  If nothing else, it is a great way to pass the time while your food is prepared.

Once your buzzer goes off you will return to the counter to pick up your meal.  Silverware will be placed with your food.  Do take note that everything you order, including any “appetizers”, will come up at the same time.  Head back to your table and enjoy the delicious fish and seafood delicacies.

Here are some shots of recent meals we have enjoyed!

The Catfish basket comes with Fries and Hushpuppies.  I’m not even a fan of catfish but this was pretty good!

Grilled Rainbow Trout with Grilled Squash and Red Beans and Rice.  I added the Veracruz sauce which is a mild tomato and pepper based sauce which is quite yummy.  Grilled fish can sometimes be a little dry and this sauce solves that problem and can be added to any grilled fish for $1.29.

Crawfish Chowder.  This was really yummy! It was quite spicy and full of crawfish, big chunks of soft potatoes and bits of golden sweet corn.  The chowder was very thick like a good chowder should be! (And I’m from New England so I know GOOD chowda!)

The above two pictures are of the Red Snapper Veracruz.  It is a WHOLE red snapper, deep fried and served with rice and grilled squash and topped with their delicious Veracruz sauce.  Don’t let the idea of a WHOLE FISH scare you! It is absolutely delicious and they cover the eye with a slice of lime so it won’t look at you!

Raw oysters are often a questionable food.  In the past I have only ordered them from restaurants right on the coast that receive fresh caught shipments daily.  Oysters should be fresh.  Fresh oysters should not cause illness so I always recommend that you take extreme precautions when consuming them.  Trust your instincts.  I have only once been in Flying Fish when it wasn’t really busy and often I see a lot of people ordering the oysters.  I assumed with that amount of business they must be fresh.  I was not disappointed. They were very good and compared well with other raw oysters I have had in the past.

What We Loved

  • The menu selection
  • The price
  • The quality of the food
  • The Red Snapper Veracruz – a big hit with both of us

What We Liked

  • The buzzer – easier than listening for a number to be called
  • The condiment bar with lemons, onions, ketchup, tarter sauce and cocktail sauce
  • The “Billy Bass Adoption Wall” (You just have to go see it for yourself!)

What We Disliked 

  • Hard to find a table during busy times
  • Appetizers and the meal all come up at the same time

What We Hated

  • NOTHING!

The Flying Fish in Little Rock has quickly become one of our favorite restaurants and a place we love to visit when we are in the “Big City.”  We have been known to drive all the way to Little Rock just to eat there!

Richie making a goofy face!

Julie enjoying the Flying Fish!

 

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