From the outside, Brewsters 2 looks like a dark old lounge that’s seen its better days. There’s no good parking, either. Don’t let that turn you away. I park across the street next to that old closed up bakery. But get on inside and take a gander at that big menu. There’s the fried side where you get your choice of catfish, chicken, pork chops or shrimp, and there’s the big wing menu, and then there’s the burger and sandwich menu.
Truly, it’s a big beast of a menu, and I didn’t know where to begin. So, like any good gastronome, I omakase’d this and asked the lady at the register to just go ahead and feed me. She chose what ended up being the best catfish of my life.
My plate was stacked with three or four really nice pieces of catfish, some fries, sweet potatoes and hush puppies. The catfish was nice and crunchy, not all greasy like it can be at other places. You know that kind of crunch; that dry crunch that can stand up to tartar sauce or ketchup or both tartar sauce AND ketchup and keep coming back for more. There was nothing muddy in the background either—just all good eating.
The next time I stopped by I omakase’d again and she ordered me this beautiful fried pork chop plate with black eyed peas, turnip greens and two cornbreads. I got my pork chop fried, but they also do it dressed with gravy. That’s a hard choice to make. I might order the double pork chop plate the next time and fry them both, dressing just one chop.
I really loved this pork chop. It was all savory tender meat with a nice crispy crunchy coating. A chop so good I kept saying mmmn mmmn as I tore through it. I thought the sides were good, but may have wanted a little more salt on the peas. Good thing they have that tableside. The turnip greens had a nice savory vinegar to them, and a deep flavor from the pot. There was a nice spoon of pot likker over the top. I added some hot sauce. Dare I say it, but I think this is a serious contender for the best plate lunch in town.
On my next visit, I ordered for myself, choosing the bacon cheeseburger with fries. The burger came with a great smoky smell. It had a nice char; not too much not too little. And mercy me, it was beautifully hand formed. I know I’m putting Brewsters 2 on the list for a second time, but this bacon cheeseburger needs to be a contender for best burger in Little Rock. It comes served with cold iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and some fries. The fries are good but I’d like them fried a minute longer and salted more heavily.
If you know me at all, I you know I always pay attention to the quality of service. Service is great. At Brewsters 2 they’re glad to see you, and glad to feed you. Ms. Katina will help you in the dining room (which, by the way feels a little bit like someone’s living room, especially when the tv’s tuned to Judge Mathis). Ms. Katina will fetch you a refill on your drink, bus your table, and take good care of you. Be sure to leave her a couple bucks for her kind efforts.
Brewsters 2 is all professional. A heavy hitter. It is clear that they take the food business seriously—their food is top notch and the staff is super pleasant. This place isn’t a hidden gem, it’s the whole tiara. Go get you some.
This restaurant review originally appeared as part of our regular series, He Said, He Said on Kevin Shalin’s wonderful blog The Mighty Rib. This is my director’s cut of that review, adding in additional comment and photos.