Thursday, May 29, 2008


Katharine “Kat” R. Robinson
(nee Katharine Bear-Diemer)

September 2007 to now
Published in:
Today’s Man magazine
Little Rock Family magazine
Little Rock Free Press/Arkansas Free Press
Living in Arkansas magazine
U of A Cooperative Extension Service
… and more.

July 1999 to September 2007
Today’s THV (CBS Little Rock)
Morning Show Producer

May-July 1999
Producer/Project Coordinator
Ron Sherman Teleproductions
Little Rock

September 1998-May 1999
Various job opportunities, including:
Office Staffer
Little Rock

Office Staffer
Olsten Office Staffing
Little Rock

Radio Traffic Reporter
Little Rock Traffic Center

November 1995 to Sept. 1998
News Producer
KAIT-TV (ABC Jonesboro)

July 1994 to September 1995
News Producer/Master Control
KARN Newsradio

Other related job experiences:
Sept. 1991 to December 1994
KXRJ Radio (Russellville)
Radio Ombudsman

June 1993 to June 1995
KABF Community Radio
On-Air Personality ({Th'XNTRYK Show)

B.A. Journalism, Music Education and PR emphasis, Arkansas Tech University, May 1995
Diploma, Parkview Magnet High School, May 1991

Awards and Merits:
Individual Hunger Hero of the Year, Arkansas Foodbank Network October 2007

Webby Award (for work on station website) August 2007

Citation for work with THV Summer Cereal Drive June 2007

Today’s THV Star of the Quarter March 2007

Citation for work with THV Summer Cereal Drive July 2006

Service Award, KAIT Russellville 1993 and 1994

Worked on broadcast end of THV Summer Cereal Drive, 2001-2007

Regional officer, Society for Creative Anachronism, January 2001 to September 2004, August 2006 to February 2007

Event coordinator, Society for Creative Anachronism
Including the organization of an international event, NOLA June 2006; a 500+ person event in September 2003; a 300 person event in October 2007; and two smaller, 150+ person events in August 1999 and May 2008.

Event caterer, Society for Creative Anachronism
Included the organization of several banquets, including one eight course, 56 dish banquet in August 2005 and six other similar events.

College service fraternity: Tau Beta Sigma (music service)

Participant in CASI (Chili Appreciation Society, International) chili cook-offs.

I hold a non-commercial radio-telephone operators license from the FCC.

B.J. Sams
Today's THV Morning Show Anchor

Robyn Richardson
Former THV Morning Show Anchor

Tom Brannon
Today's THV Morning Show Meteorologist

Craig O’Neill
Today's THV Sports Director

Jerry Dutton
Security Systems Installer
(contact for SCA activities)

Doug Krile
Former Television Anchor

Kelli Reep
Freelance PR Wunderkind

Portfolio links:

Super Sales Help Families With Costly Necessities
Little Rock Family Magazine, September 2008

Five Generations of Winemaking in Altus
Tie Dye Travels in the Arkansas Free Press, August-September 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes in Arkansas Wine Country
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, August 2008

A Great Free Festival in Arkansas (Cave City Watermelon Festival)
Tie Dye Travels, August 2008

No Longer Falling Down (London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, AZ)
Tie Dye Travels in the Arkansas Free Press, July-August 2008

A Day and a Night In St. Louis
Today's Man Magazine, July 2008
Alternate posting at Tie Dye Travels

Keeping Your Pets Cool During The Summer Months
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, June 2006

Lions, Tigers, Bears and Cougars (Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge)
Tie Dye Travels in the Arkansas Free Press, June-July 2008

75 Years of Arkansas State Parks
Little Rock Family Magazine, June 2008
Similar extended article in Living in Arkansas magazine

New Orleans, A Culinary Escape
Today's Man Magazine, May 2008

Dinner for the Indecisive (Morrilton Drive-Inn Restaurant review)
Tie Dye Travels in the Little Rock Free Press, May 2008

A Day and a Night in Phoenix
Today's Man Magazine, May 2008

Spray Paint Edifice in a Cow Pasture
Tie Dye Travels in the Little Rock Free Press, April 2008

Planning Summer Adventures
Little Rock Family Magazine, April 2008

A Temple to Comfort Food
Tie Dye Travels in the Little Rock Free Press, March 2008

Springtime Strolls Great Chance To View Flora, Fauna
Northwest Arkansas News, February 24, 2008
and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

A Day and a Night in Boston
Abridged version appeared in Today's Man Magazine, March 2008

An Intimate Experience with Friends (Tuscan Grill in Waltham, MA), February 2008

Consider Alternative Treats This Halloween
Hot Springs Village Voice, October 24, 2007
and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

Where In Arkansas? omnibus for Fall 2006
Today's THV website

more available upon request

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My impression of how BBQ ought to taste.

Being an Arkansas resident that travels through the American South on occasion, I have consumed my share of barbeque. I've sampled dry rubs and wet ones, brisket and chicken, chopped meat and sliced meat. Before I developed my adult allergies, there were few things in this world that outclassed sloppy pork ribs in my book.

I've had sauces that have ranged from thin and vinegary to thick and spicy. I've dabbed on molasses doubling as sauce and savored Texas style brisket without it. And everywhere I go, I tend to find a favorite barbeque palace to frequent.

But there's just one place in this world that makes a barbeque that tastes like what I think barbeque should taste like -- to the very essence of the meat and the thickness of the sauce.

That would be Russellville's own Old Post Bar-BQ.

I was introduced to this Arkansas Avenue eatery my first week of college while hanging out with other members of the Arkansas Tech University Band of Distinction. As with many of our get-togethers, dinner was a pick-up affair, with meat and bread and fixins for 200 hungry musicians and flag line members. Though I'd grown up on the sweet vinegar tang of Sim's and the smoky full-body taste of The Shack, there was something about this particular sauce that just shook me awake from my epicurean sleep. Between good smoky and juicy meat and a hearty well-balanced sauce, I was happy and satisfied.

Years went by, and I moved, first back home to Little Rock, then up to Jonesboro, and eventually back home again. Over those years, there was the occasional impulse drive to Russellville for the three pillars of culinary civilization: Whatta-Burgers, Stoby's cheese dip (until it came out in grocery stores), and Old Post Bar-BQ sauce. From Jonesboro it would be about a five hour round trip, with a pit stop somewhere, and you only had to get out of the car once -- since Whatta-Burger didn't have a drive-thru. While my colleagues at the TV station were making beer runs to Harrisburg, I was thrilled to be able to make the round trip back before gas last topped a dollar a gallon.

Preparing for a five day stint along the northern section of Scenic Byway 7, I overnighted in Russsellville, hoping a good night's sleep would start me off on a great adventure the next day. But before I even checked in to my room, I ran by for a late lunch at Old Post, to quench the need for good sauce and iced tea.

The restaurant changes little from year to year, though every couple of years they shut down for a bit and do a thorough cleaning from top to bottom (maybe it's a Russellville thing; Whatta-Burger does it, too). Booths are private by nature, with high wood-beam backs that are surprisingly comfortable. There are tables, too -- and lots of Coca-Cola memorabilia, too. In fact, unlike a lot of local restaurants, Old Post doesn't split its loyalties between the Razorbacks and Tech's own Wonderboys. During sports seasons, it's the Cyclones (Russellville High's team) that you'll see promoted here.

Old Post Bar-BQ offers a lot of different choices -- if you like meat. The menu sports an array of dinners -- sliced beef, pulled pork, smoked ham and turkey, Polish sausage, chicken, and ribs. There's the sandwich choices -- any of those plus French Dip in regular or jumbo sizes. And there's a nice variety of sides -- beans, slaw, potato salad, fried okra, mac and cheese, Kurley Q Fries and banana pudding. They offer a mean Chef's salad with your choice of smoked meat, stuffed baked potatoes, and chicken nuggets for the kids. Add in fried pickles and tater skins, and that's about all there is to the menu.

On this particular Tuesday in May, I dropped in with a hankering for a chopped beef sandwich. I was rewarded with the Old Post Special -- a jumbo sandwich with your choice of meat and two sides. On Mondays and Tuesdays, they throw in a drink with it. I placed my order and sat down.

You can hear the hum of conversation easily in the restaurant -- a family of three talking about a dog the son was hoping his mom would let him keep, a couple of old men talking about high gas prices. From the back the patter of gossip ranged from what was interesting on Dial-A-Trade that day to what one of the younger girls was planning to do for her wedding. The sizzle of the deep fryer signaled the okra was in the grease, and soon a young woman brought me a red tray with my lunch.

Like most places around these parts, you get fed. A lot. My beef sandwich took up an end of the oval platter, shared with a mess of fried okra and a cup of macaroni and cheese. The beef isn't the dry stuff of chain restaurants. Instead, the natural juices of the brisket are allowed to remain with the meat, making it juicy enough to eat without the sauce. But the sauce? Oh my. Can't go off without that sauce. It's the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, smoky and spicy.

The okra was nice and light -- obviously just-cooked, as evidenced by the heat. The mac and cheese is soft but not "gloopy" like you get at places where the sauce comes out of a can. Paired up with a cold iced tea, it's a lovely sight.

There is one thing about this sandwich that differs from many Arkansas establishments. Here, cole slaw is a side item, not a condiment, and unless you ask for it you won't find it between the buns. However, this also reduces your sandwich to a fork-only proposition, since the bottom bun disintegrates below the heft and juice of good meat. That's all right -- this is one place where you can find a real metal fork.

If you go by and get yourself a take-home order, be sure to invert your sandwich over onto the top bun before you go to eating -- this will save you a mess in the car and allow you to taste some of the fresh bun as well. Never fear -- Old Post Bar-BQ also offers family packs for four or six -- where the meat, sauce, and bread are all packaged separately. I picked up one of these packs on the way back home the following Saturday, and it kept nicely on the drive back to Little Rock -- along with the four (four!) side items -- potato salad, mac and cheese, fried okra, and banana pudding.

On some days, the restaurant also offers local favorites -- maybe a pie or a cobbler, or devilled eggs. You can't go wrong with any of it, as far as I'm concerned.

Old Post Bar-BQ has been in the same location since the late 1970s, right there at 407 South Arkansas Avenue, sharing a building with Subway. Chances are, they'll still be there 30 years from now. And if you want some of that sauce, they now sell their own brand for $4.50 a bottle. Call ahead orders are welcome -- (479) 968-2421.

Old Post Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Old Post Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Orleans: A Culinary Escape

Some people travel to New Orleans for Bourbon Street, some to see their favorite teams play at the Superdome. Some go for the history, others for the shopping. One thing that most people will agree upon, though, is that you go to New Orleans to eat. Here are nine great places you should try -- some of them well known, others under the radar -- that will help guide your way through the city’s culinary history.

The places everyone talks about:

Café du Monde. The famous coffee and beignet shop opened in 1862, and still serves thousands of locals and visitors every day. Café au Lait (half hot coffee, half hot milk) is still the drink of choice, and the beignets come out hot and covered with plenty of sugar. Street
musicians entertain at all
hours -- and that’s no joke. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- it only closes on Christmas Day and when hurricanes come too close to New Orleans. Watch out for the militant pigeons -- they will actually land on your table if you allow them.
Café du Monde * 800 Decatur Street * (540) 525-4544 *

Central Grocery. This is the home of the muffaletta -- a gigantic round sandwich on a split Italian loaf, packed with Genoa salami, Cappicola ham, Provolone cheese and the store’s own famous olive salad.

Diners sit on barstools at long counters or ask for their order to-go. The line at lunch stretches through the store and out onto the street.

You can also find hard-to-find staples such as foreign olives, chocolate, and confections here -- and you can buy a jar of olive salad to take home.
Central Grocery Company * 923 Decatur Street * (540) 523-1620

The less talked about:

The Court of the Two Sisters. The most elegant dining you’ll ever experience at a buffet. The World Famous Jazz Brunch is served every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choose from dozens of items on the hot buffet (Grits and Grillades, Shrimp Creole, Jambalaya, BBQ Pork Ribs), the cold buffet (seafood mousse, curried chicken salad, ceviche, pasta salads, fresh fruit), piles of cooked crawfish and shrimp, and desserts. You can also special order Eggs Benedict or the house favorite, Shrimp and Crawfish Omelet. Dinner offerings include Duck a l’Orange and Veal Oscar and a host of flaming desserts.
The Court of the Two Sisters * 613 Royal Street * (540) 522-7261 *

Red Fish Grill. The first place to receive a health certificate after Hurricane Katrina, this low-key Ralph Brennan enterprise is home to eclectic offerings such as BBQ Oysters and Crawfish Green Onion Sausage.

The house salad is unusual: romaine lettuce spears topped with red onions, roasted sweetened pecans, tomatoes, and Stilton cheese with an apple walnut vinaigrette. The signature Hickory Grilled Redfish is smoky and delicate and topped with Louisiana crawfish tails. You’re doing yourself an injustice if you don’t save room for the Quarter’s best bread pudding -- the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding is cooked to order (order it with your meal), a dark and semi-sweet bread pudding topped with white and dark chocolate ganache and almond bark. Get yours a la mode.
Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill * 115 Bourbon Street * (540) 598-1200 *

Places you’ve never heard of (that you won’t forget):

Petunia’s. This delightful little restaurant off Bourbon Street is known to the lucky as the best stuffed crepes in the world.

Breakfasts are large and feature lovely omelets and gigantic sausages -- but you’re cheating yourself if you don’t hop over to the lunch crepe menu and enjoy a Crepe St. James: a thin crepe packed full of shrimp, Louisiana crabmeat, onions, peppers, and cheese. Large portions, and the best mimosa in the French Quarter.
Petunia’s * 817 St. Louis Street * (540) 522-6440 *

Attiki Grill. Escape the ordinary Cajun and Creole fare and relax in this comfortable Decatur street Mediterranean experience.

Guests enjoy a wide selection of martinis and hooka offerings along with an extensive menu of Greek and Middle Eastern specialties like kebabs and pastas.

Try the Mazze platter if you’re indecisive, but share it
with a friend -- it’s way
too big for one.

Open for lunch and late night, too.
Attiki Bar and Grill * 230 Decatur Street * (540) 587-3756 *

Coop’s Place. When you’ve tired of watching the amusements on Bourbon Street late at night, head over to this Decatur Street bar. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside the diminutive pub you’ll discover culinary delights like Charbroiled Lamb Ribs with Red Pepper Jelly and Crabmeat Stuffed Jalapenos. Satisfy all your cravings with the Coop’s Taste Plate -- a heaping platter full of Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp Creole, Rabbit and Sausage Jambalaya and rice and a piece of pan fried chicken, with a side of Seafood Gumbo. And don’t miss out on one of the most incredible subtleties you’ve ever tried -- Smoke Duck Quesadillas, a perfect blend of cheeses, smoky meat, and piquant sweet sauce.
Coop’s Place * 1109 Decatur Street * (540) 525-9053 *

Igor’s. The menu may be small, but the portions are not.

This legendary Garden Distict eatery is also one of the best bars you’ll find outside the Quarter. It’s also a Laundromat, pool hall, and book store. The menu is limited to burgers, fries, and pub fare, but you won’t find a bigger burger at a better price.

The half pound Igor Burger is the gold standard; but if you’re looking for an extra kick, go for the Cajun Burger.

Best thing? Igor’s is open 24 hours a day, and you can stay as long as you want.
Igor’s * 2133 St. Charles * (540) 568-9786

A pilgrimage for


The New Orleans School of Cooking. Don’t limit yourself to eating Cajun and Creole fare only when you’re in New Orleans. Spend a morning at the New Orleans School of Cooking.

Every morning at 10 a.m., another course is offered on the staples of Louisiana cooking --
Shrimp Creole,
Seafood Gumbo,
Corn and Crab Bisque,
Bread Pudding,
and more.

Best part is, you get to eat the items on the day’s menu as part of your class. Dishes are served with iced tea, Abita beer and root beer, or coffee.

Be sure to allot extra time to check out the General Store.
New Orleans School of Cooking * 524 St. Louis Street * (540) 525-2665 * ‎

Things I have eaten.

It started out as a joke.

I'm always looking for new experiences to document for Tie Dye Travels, so any time I'm out and about at a restaurant, I'm taking pictures of the food. Sometimes it's difficult to explain -- because there are folks out there who assume that if you are a writer and you have a camera on you, you're going to review the restaurant. However, I don't review all the places I visit -- heaven forbid, that'd take about all the free time I have! So my friends jokingly came up with this idea, of this website I should do, called "Things I Have Eaten."

Over these past several months, I've worked hard to hone in on my amateur food photography. And it's coming along, sure. But I am still quite a novice.

All of the pictures you'll find here were taken on a Canon P50 in all sorts of lighting situations. I have tried to properly chronicle all of the pictures by the month and restaurant at where they were taken. I've also made a point here to show just food that I have eaten; though I do take pictures of the food of my companions, all the pictures here contain food that I have consumed.

Papadum and hot chai at Star of India, February 2008

Star of India's refreshing Kachumber Salad.

Chicken Tikka Korma, one of my favorite dishes.

A lamb-filled paratha bread.

My own recipe -- Indian Honey Chicken (with my own curry powder mix), rice, and uttapam, February 2008

Prelude to the most expensive meal I've ever consumed: an onion roll at Wright's at the Biltmore -- Phoenix, AZ, February 2008.

Arugala, tomato, and shrimp salad and beet chips.

A fine example of American Lodge cooking -- lamb medalions, eggplant puree, and a green salad.

A fine dessert plate -- housemade cheesecake and key lime sherbet with spun sugar and chocolate accents.

Acadia Farms at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ in February 2008 -- a delicious Southwest Chicken Pie.

Dinner at C4, the restaurant at the Clarendon Hotel+Suites, Phoenix, AZ. A fine asada steak with fingerling vegetables. This steak was way too much food to consume in one setting!

Sometimes simple is best. Coffee and toast at Matt's Big Breakfast, Phoenix, AZ, February 2008.

Cheese omelet and home-style potatoes with herbs.

One of my favorite, most simple dishes -- Crepes Suzette at Cibo, Phoenix, AZ, February 2008.

A great place to experience my favorite food -- the cheese platter at Cheuvront Restaurant and Bar, Phoenix, AZ, February 2008. Three delicious cheeses, fresh fruit, and fresh bread. Simple and divine.

I so wish I could find fry bread in Arkansas! A green taco at the Fry Bread House in Phoeniz, AZ in February 2008.

Pure divinity -- fry bread with honey -- light, luscious, hard to put down because it's oh so good.

Tomato and basil brioche, chocolate croissant, and cafe au lait at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas, March 1, 2008.

An incredible dinner at Twin Creeks, the fabulous restaurant in the Silverton Casino Lodge, March 1, 2008. That's a delicious blueberry martini.

First time I've ever tried foie gras. Here, presented seared on a dehydrated mango chip with espresso foam. Amazing.

Colossal pan seared scallops and a boxcar.

A fine selection of breads.

Roasted monkfish with eggplant puree, poached asparagus, and truffled potatoes.

French pressed house blend coffee with whole cream, champagne ice, Chocolate Caramel Cake, and The Tropics (passion fruit sorbet over coconut tapioca over fresh sliced mango).

So pretty, I had to shoot it twice.

Sapporo, Las Vegas -- 1am on March 2, 2008. Rainbow roll with assorted sashimi. Sushi always photographs beautifully.

The same with curried lamb chops, edame, and Diver scallops.

Miso soup and the house salad, along with my trademark iced tea without lemon (or sweetener).

Another view, including Teppankayi Chicken Breast and Calimari Steak, fried rice, and veggies.

One more view -- this one was actually included in the May 2008 issue of Today's Man magazine.

Sadly, an out of focus shot -- In and Out burgers and fries, Lake Havasu City, AZ, March 2008.

Skip's on 43 near Picayune, MS -- a seafood platter including catfish, oysters, crab fingers, fried shrimp, crab cake, hush puppies, and sweet potato.

Late night danishes at the Degas House, New Orleans, March 2008.

Breakfast juice, eggs, and peaches at the Degas House.

Lunch at Igor's, our favorite Garden District joint -- Igor burgers and fries, March 2008.

Late night fare at Felix's off Bourbon Street, including seafood gumbo and a half a shrimp po' boy, March 2008.

Mimosa at Petunia's, March 2008.

Crepe St. Louis -- a seafood and cheese filled delight.

A small bite and Pomegranate tea at Red Fish Grill, March 2008.

Barbeque oysters.

Fresh bread and a unique, delicious and light salad.

Chicken Creole at the New Orleans School of Cooking, March 2008.

Bread pudding and a praline.

Combination enchiladas at El Rio in Pine Bluff, March 2008.

Beef brisket sandwich with sauce and cole slaw, Hickory House BBQ, Forrest City, March 2008.

Rock 'n' Roll roll at Nagoya Japanese Restaurant, Southaven, MS, March 2008.

Sushi and tempura sampler with beef tataki.

Dinner aboard the Showboat Branson Belle, including beef pot roat, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies (usually comes with chicken cordon bleu, but I can't have the ham), April 2008.

Lemon icebox pie with strawberry topping and a frothy cappuccino drink.

Honey Pecan Chicken Salad sandwich on Bronze Wheat bread with Asiago Cheese soup and chips, Neighbor's Mill, Harrison, April 2008.

Turkey sandwich and broccoli cheese soup, War Eagle Mill, April 2008.

Blackberry cobbler a la mode.

International lunch spread at Silver Dollar City -- including Greek salad, Souvlaki, calzone, terikayi beef, and more -- Apri 2008.

Fried zucchini and mushrooms, Montana Mike's Steakhouse, Branson, April 2008.

Sirloin steak and sauteed mushrooms with roll.

Volcano roll and crunchy shrimp roll, Mt. Fuji Restaurant, Little Rock, April 2008.

Meatloaf with fried squash, macaroni and cheese, and japaleno cornbread, Ed & Kay's Family Restaurant, Benton, April 2008.

A half-slice of Mile High Chocolate Meringue Pie.

Groom's cake at wedding of John and Stephanie Bell, April 2008.

Salad and buttered crackers at Don's Seafood House, Shreveport, April 2008.

Crabmeat and eggplant au gratin, with potato.

Beef brisket sandwich, mac and cheese and fried okra, Old Post BBQ, Russellville, May 2008.

Fried chicken at the Old South, Russellville, May 2008.

Hickory burger and fries, Stoby's Russellville, May 2008.

Deep fried burger, Ozark Cafe, Jasper, May 2008.