Tori Morehart began her career as a nurse but found her true calling when she switched to the restaurant business more than 17 years ago. She has lovingly operated DownHome Restaurant and Catering in Little Rock for the past five years, much to the delight of regular diners.
Morehart, a charming woman with a smile that lights up the room, always ensures that guests feel welcome and that their food is just right. “We want everyone that comes into DownHome to feel like they are part of our family,” she said. “Our recipes came from family, friends and many other contributors.”
I am a regular at DownHome Restaurant, so I can attest that any and all of the daily specials are super good. My favorites include the chicken spaghetti, footlong chili dogs, fried chicken, hamburger steak, fried pork fritter, chicken-fried steak and catfish. There is also a full menu offering sandwiches, salads and many other great selections.
The homemade chicken spaghetti is delicious. The secret-recipe cream sauce and spices are the stars of this dish, as they make the chicken and noodles fabulous. I eat this often and, don’t tell anyone, but it is as good as my mom’s.
My favorite dish at DownHome is the fried chicken. I’m talking fresh, hand-breaded and fried to a perfect golden brown just like my grandma used to do.
In the beef category, both the hamburger and the chicken-fried steaks are outstanding, featuring USDA Angus beef. The tender hamburger steak is nicely smothered in grilled onions and brown gravy. The chicken-fried steak is hand-battered, fried to a golden brown and topped with a make-you-smile homemade white gravy. The footlong chili dogs at DownHome are all-beef, half-pound hot dogs topped with homemade chili and coleslaw. I love them, but you’d better be hungry!
On Fridays, customers flock to enjoy fried or grilled USDA farm-raised catfish filets with fries, coleslaw and all the fixings, including pickled green tomatoes.
The chicken and dressing/turkey and dressing have convinced me to let DownHome make mine for Thanksgiving whenever I eventually host. Their dressing tastes just like my family’s long-standing, treasured recipe.
Sides include black-eyed peas with cornbread, sweet potato smash, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, corn, fried okra, green beans, french fries, corn nuggets and other daily vegetable specials. I love the greens, squash casserole and cabbage.
Salads at DownHome are extra special, particularly the chef salad with hand-shaved turkey and ham that is beautifully arranged with crumbled bacon on the large serving of garden goodness.
DownHome’s top-notch breakfast options are served any time. I love the big country breakfast with two eggs, bacon, hash browns and a huge biscuit topped with gravy. The pancakes are very good too, especially on Saturday when cinnamon roll pancakes are featured. I’ve never steered you wrong. Try these!
The fried pies and regular pies are made in-house. Fried options include chocolate, apple and strawberry cheesecake. I’m partial to DownHome’s peanut butter, coconut, chocolate and possum pies. Tori and her team make sure each creation is perfect.
Stop by DownHome Restaurant and Catering. If I’m in Little Rock, I’ll probably see you there.
Dining recommendations? Contact Rob Roedel at email@example.com