Editor’s note: People often wonder about the diet of Kevin Schalin, author of the popular book Facebook food blog The Mighty Rib. Does he eat three times a day? How is he not 600 pounds? What is his work schedule because his restaurant looks great? Just won the best blog in the annual rankings Arkansas Times The best in Arkansas, we thought it was time for a detailed three-day food diary from Central Arkansas’ favorite food blogger. Join to find his favorite Margarita in Little Rock (hint: you’ll never guess) and why you should always tip your barista.
Do you eat out three times a day?
“Why don’t you weigh 600 pounds?”
– How many hours do you have?
I hear these questions in my sleep. Such is life when you’ve been writing about food for 12 years, and all the while typing a continuous stream of articles about what seems to be almost every publication in Little Rock at one time or another. It’s not even my first time writing an article for Eat Arkansas. I bet, Arkansas Times don’t remember that literary masterpiece.
My name is Kevin Shalin besides what I write, I also do social media poster for my blog, mighty rib. TMR is my pride and joy, my home base, my way of interacting and connecting with foodie audiences across Arkansas, many of whom often wonder how I handle such a hectic pace of food coverage. Well, I hope this three-day food diary helps shed some light on how I skate. At my core, I try to practice moderation and portion control, two concepts that mean different things to different people. However, enough about that. Let’s get down to business.
Thursday, June 2
I’m trudging this morning, but hopefully my regular Peet’s K-Cup will get me going. I’ve never liked breakfast, especially during the week, so Nature Valley Cookies (with peanut butter) should help me before lunch. And since it’s a “cookie”, my mind interprets it as a bar. This is a bar, right? Wrong. Cookie. Yes, I usually have cookies for breakfast while I make Wordle. This morning is no exception. I live an exciting life. You may also be glad to know that I don’t post my Wordle result on Twitter and Facebook for my friends and family to see, as I am fully aware that no one gives a F after seeing this.
Still trudging so I’m heading towards Guillermo for cold brewing (black). While I’m getting your attention, stop being cheap and always tip your barista. All time. And only for the reason that it is right. Anyway, I’m cranking out the article for OnlyinArk.com about cheese dishes across the state, sip on my cold drink and have a great time doing what you love. Still not hungry, which is a little surprising. As already mentioned, I am not a fan of breakfast, but I love an early lunch. With that said, today is Thursday and tomorrow is my big day of the week. I like to dine in several places on Fridays, either in Little Rock or across the state. This is when I get most of the material for the week, which means Thursdays are usually easy for you to grab a bite to eat for real.
School ended in the summer, so my 13 year old son is hanging out with me today. To thank her for sitting in a boring coffee shop, we go to Benton for cookies. Yes, I know, today again with cookies. But it’s not just cookies. it crumbly biscuits. I shell out $195 for six (just a slight exaggeration) and watch her tear into them. This company, thanks to its expert social media skills, has convinced every 13-year-old in the country that their product is the second coming of Harry Styles. Kudos to Crumble, but to be honest, it’s just butter and sugar, so I can handle a few bites.
Came home and I’m hungry. A couple of handfuls of pita chips paired with boar’s head hummus will do the trick. I’m helping coach my daughter’s softball team and we have our last game tonight and then the after party at Pizzeriaso dinner is likely to be more satisfying.
The softball game ended in rain, but luckily the pizzeria has a roof and we need to eat. Food flies with this team, but I end up with a slice of Pop Supreme pizza, half a Caesar salad, a margarita, and a couple scoops of ice cream. Don’t even get me started on that chocolate ball. I love this dessert like a member of my family. Here’s the truth bomb for you: the pizzeria serves the best margarita in town. Better than Local Lime, Heights Taco and Baja Grill which is hard to believe because they are all outstanding margaritas. Trust me on this.
Friday, June 3
It’s too early to get up, but such is life when your oldest daughter has to be at the airport by 6. To prepare for the 25-minute journey, I consume… you guessed it… a bar and a cup of coffee. Just to prove that I’m not some lame person who eats the same thing every morning, I opt for the KIND bar with peanut butter and dark chocolate.
Have you ever been to Judsonia, a small town two drives north of Searcy? First time for me. A delicious looking photo of a sandwich that someone posted on my blog inspired me to make an hour-long hike from Little Rock. KJ’s Market & Sandwich Shop this place and these sandwiches are worth it. I order three – Italian Hero, Jalapeno Popper Turkey Melt and Ham & Spicy Pimento Melt – then a quarter of each sandwich. In the end, I eat a total of three-quarters of the sandwich and a couple of brownie pieces. I know it’s a weird way to eat, but then again, without any moderation things get out of hand. I pack up the rest of my things and head back home, making a quick stop in Searcy at one of my favorite BBQ bars in the state. Barbecue Knightfire Craft. If you’ve never been, go and be sure to grab a plate with a sampler. This cue spreads well, plus there are far worse things to drive home with than the smell of sliced brisket and pork steak wafting through the car.
I like to go to restaurants on Fridays. Such energy! Today, however, things are different. I’m a longtime fan of the New York Rangers and playoff hockey is superior to everything else on the planet. I’m sorry. Those are the facts, and it’s been eight years since my team got this far. No problem, that’s why the Knightfire popup happened. Eating barbecue within my house while watching the Rangers destroy the Tampa Bay Lights is going to be a fun night out. UPDATE: Rangers won 3-2.
Saturday 4 June
Woke up and I don’t feel well. Damn this allergy that everyone seems to have. Fortunately, this is not COVID (verified). Do you want to guess what I have for breakfast? Bingo, cup of coffee and Nature Valley cookies. Sorry for the broken breakfast record. I am old and stubborn.
Who has two thumbs and loves a farmer’s market on a Saturday morning? This guy. I’m heading towards Hillcrest Farmers Market to see what’s shaking. Unfortunately, we are not yet in the midst of the growing season, so the choice of goods is small. I check out Wye Mountain Mushroom, Rattle’s Garden, and Natural State Microgreens for mushrooms, onions, and microgreens. Fresh blueberries and leftover strawberries from a couple of other farmers also end up in my reusable bag. What could be better than fresh local strawberries? Maybe a tomato, but they won’t be ready for a few weeks.
Remember yesterday’s dynamite sandwiches? Yes, they are for lunch today. Pro tip: Place the cold sandwiches in a cast iron skillet, set the oven to 450 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Perfection. Jalapeno Popper Turkey Melt warms up well.
My allergies still persist, but I just found out that a new bakery caked upLiterally just opened in the Heights. Luckily, my wife brought us half a dozen cupcakes to sample. Of the six, the strawberry cheesecake was my winner. The double chocolate with sprinkles was no joke either. Here’s your 10 second review: great muffins, big, super moist, flavorful, and deep frozen. I’d be back for some in no time.
No restaurants for me tonight. More leftovers. You see, I don’t really eat out three times a day. The rumors are not true. A cup of fresh strawberries and a sandwich with sliced turkey, cheese, microgreens and Duke’s mayonnaise will suffice. I’ll go to bed early in a couple of hours, but maybe a few more pieces of cupcakes if my kid left me some.