A family run operation serves up soul food on the south side of downtown Little Rock. Kat and Grav check out David Family Kitchen.
Little Rock has recently undergone a restaurant renaissance – with the introduction of the local foods movement and a bevy of new eateries making their mark across the Heights, Hillcrest, the River Market and the South Main District. But there’s a longstanding family operation that’s worth checking out – especially if you like good home cooking and soul food.
David Family Kitchen looks a little odd from the outside. Housed in an old white building on south Broadway decked with the line “with God, all things are possible,” it doesn’t look like much. There’s a tag on the door admonishing certain diners to not let their pants sag.
Still, the scents that welcome you even before the door is opened will convince you that this is where you’re eating today, no matter how hungry you might or might not be.
Forget curtains or tablecloths – here it’s a cafeteria-style bar to the right, old tables to the left and… well, what does the rest of it matter, because there’s a mature lady manning the stove and vittles galore under the heat lamps. Oh golly, it’s lunchtime.
David Family Kitchen was opened in 1998 by Stoy and Pearl David, who saw a need for more good eats in a neighborhood vacated by most chains. The place is open every weekday for breakfast and lunch, and every Sunday for brunch. Don’t come between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – it’s reset time, when the eggs and biscuits are put away and the oxtails and pork chops are put out.
I picked up my first recommendation on the case about five years ago, specifically on the need to go get some greens. What I did find when I got there stunned me – the fattest, largest chicken legs I had encountered at a commercial operation in Little Rock, tender and juicy and clad in a fine light and crispy crust. They were paired with yams almost impossibly sweet and syrupy and big fat fluffy rolls for sopping. Those legs have to be the best soul food chicken in Little Rock, in my humble opinion.
Oh, but there are other things. The fall-apart marrow-filled oxtails are to die for. Meatloaf is just like your mother’s if she’s a good home cook. Smothered pork chops are big and sloppy and I have seen people suck the bone. And chicken and dumplings would be a sin if they weren’t so holy.
So head south of I-630 on Broadway and look for that white building on the left. Consider breakfast – croquettes sit alongside chicken and waffles and all sorts of breakfast classics there – and be sure to wipe your mouth. Good stuff.
You'll find David Family Kitchen at 2301 Broadway in Little Rock. For more information, call (501) 371-0141. The restaurant is open 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.