Once nothing more than a boulder-like rock formation on the side of the Arkansas River used as a landmark by passing navigators, Little Rock has evolved to be the state's capital city and also its most heavily populated. That wasn't an overnight transition however and it took a couple of centuries of settlement before Little Rock became what it is today. The Arkansas River played a major role in Little Rock's development. Buildings began to be constructed around the crossing point on the river where the prominent outcrop of rock named La Petite Roche by a French explorer stood. That point of the settlement eventually grew to be a major shipping port which brought other industries to the city concreting its economic stability. Little Rock's rapid expansion made it the perfect location for ambitious restaurateurs of all nationalities to set up their businesses. Among those were Italians who introduced pizzas to the Little Rock community.
There are two types of pizza, thin crust and thick crust, that are predominant on the pizzeria menus in Little Rock. The pizza that Little Rock is known for though is thin crust. It's a type of pie the pizza chefs of Little Rock make exceptionally well and a firm favorite with their local clientele. A thin crust pizza is in all ways but one exactly the same as a traditional Italian thick crust pie. The only difference in its preparation is there's less dough used in the base and what dough is used is rolled or pressed out thinner. It's a minimal difference, but one that completely alters the texture and appearance of the pie. A thin crust has a much crispier crust and base than a thick crust and cooks a lot quicker too. If it's not baked well it can end up looking like a charred and deflated pancake, but done well, it's totally delicious.
When you're hankering after the best delivery pizza in Little Rock, order one from The Pizzeria and you'll get it. The Pizzeria don't mess about giving their pie shop a fancy name, they just bake and deliver the best pizza they can. How do they do it? By baking their pizzas in a wood-fired oven is how. The Pizzeria is on Little Rock's Kavanaugh Avenue in a premises that looks like it could have been converted from a timber yard. There's wood everywhere. On the walls, on the ceiling, the bar is made of wood and there are piles of kindling stacked and ready for use. That said though, it has a rustic appeal which goes as well with pizza making as the topping ingredients they choose. Get a delivery pie from The Pizzeria and you'll get one topped in true Italian style, and there really is no better pizza than that.
If you've been out to the suburbs of Little Rock to take a look at the amazing Big Dam Bridge where it spans the Arkansas River or been hiking or camping in the Pinnacle Mountain State Park, don't go into Little Rock for a take-out pizza. Why? You're just a few minutes away from Jim's Razorback Pizza on Cantrell Road and they make the best take-out pizza in Little Rock. Jim's premises are in a row of stores lining the side of the road which are part of the Bella Rosa Commerce Center which has a big parking lot out front where you can pull in. You won't miss spotting the pizzeria as its signage is huge and the entrance is right beneath the mall's sign. Once you're inside, you'll see it's higgledy-piggledy décor is a sort of combination between diner and fast food joint. While the interior may lack a certain sophistication, the same can't be said about Jim's pies which are of the very best thin and crispy kind.
Pinnacle is a twenty-minute drive from Little Rock and the spot to head for when you need to escape the city. Drop in at the Pinnacle State Park Visitor Center to pick up a trail map then head for the hills or the Arkansas Arboretum for a hike. Hit the right trail and it'll take you by a scenic mountain pond and to the Maumelle Pavilion on the banks of the meandering Maumelle River. If you didn't pack a picnic you can pick up a pizza to take with you on your tramping from Jim's Razorback Pizza on Cantrell Road.
If you ever wanted to know what it's like to live in a place that will eventually become a ghost town, take the US-165 out of Little Rock and drive over to Scott. While there's not a lot of life in the town itself, the Scott Plantation Settlement has thirteen historic buildings to browse around and a store which has been converted into the Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park. If you pass that way between April to November you can get a hay wagon or horseback ride at the JP Ranch before dropping in at Seaton's Scott Place for a bite of pizza.
Have a history lesson combined with a scenic outing by driving down to the Toltec Mounds Archaeological Site twenty miles south-east of Little Rock. The Native ceremonial site is one of the most complex mound sites known to man and sits on the edge of a small lake called Mound Pond. Have a look at the informative displays in the visitor center then take a stroll around the park pathways which wind around the various earth mounds. It's a tranquil outing best finished off by eating a pizza on your way back into Little Rock at Larry's Pizza Downtown.
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