Girls’ Night Out? Sweet!

words Tonya McCoy and Marla Cantrell

-Decadent Desserts of Downtown Fort Smith-

Romantic love is the superstar of Valentine’s Day, but there are others we love, who’ve been with us through breakups and makeups and so many bouts of laughter and tears they’ve become like family. If you want to show your girlfriends just how special they are, plan your own night out, and get ready for some sweet treats in downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Decadent Cupcakes
Creative Kitchen • 309 Garrison Ave. • 479.646.3233
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 5:30 PM.
Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM.
Cost $2

First, treat yourself like a princess at Creative Kitchen. This cozy shop makes you remember the days when Prince Charming still seemed real and you begged mom for cupcakes for your birthday. “What’s great about it is everyone grew up eating cupcakes, so it takes you back to when you were a child,” says Jami Coleman, co-owner of Creative Kitchen. Their bakery uses the highest quality ingredients including very finely ground powdered sugar. Each cupcake is handmade, and they’re almost too pretty to eat. They’re dressed up in elaborately decorated holders, some topped off with white chocolate hearts. Big sellers this month are: cherry almond, strawberry, red velvet, and white chocolate.

Rolando’s Bananas
Rolando’s Restaurante • 223 Garrison Ave. • 479.573.0404
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 AM – 9:30 PM.
Friday and Saturday, 11 AM – 10 PM.
Sunday, 11 AM – 8 PM.
Cost $2

Add some spice with “Nuevo Latino” cuisine at Rolando’s Restaurante. Before Rolando’s opened in Fort Smith, owner Rolando Cuzco carved out figures from the gold plaster walls of his restaurant to create decorative murals. He’s also carved up golden bananas creating his own version of bananas foster. This dish has quickly become a city favorite. Rolando’s recipe from his native country of Ecuador is creamy and tangy. The warm bananas are drizzled with rum and banana liqueur and sprinkled with brown sugar.  The dessert is served ala mode with vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream.

Sea Salt Caramel Fries
Bricktown Brewery • 318 Garrison Ave. • 479.434.2739
Monday – Thursday, 11 AM – 11 PM.
Friday & Saturday, 11 AM – Midnight.
Sunday, 11 AM – 10 PM.
Cost FRIES $6 CRISP $5

The new kid on the block, Bricktown Brewery, which opened in the fall of 2014, is housed inside one of Garrison Avenue’s oldest buildings. Go straight for the appetizer menu and find the Sea Salt Caramel Fries, made with sweet potatoes. Need more convincing? Sweet potatoes are trendy now because they’re a superfood. (Super delicious!) These fries are topped with spicy caramel sauce and a little sea salt. What could make them even better? BACON. Bacon, bacon, bacon. Chopped into little pieces. Yummy!

Feel like you could handle even more? Try the Sizzling Apple Crisp. Served in its own skillet, it’s one of those down-home desserts that remind you of dinner at grandma’s house. The difference is they add a caramel sauce over the top that turns this dish into something closer to a Crème Brule. Sounds delish, doesn’t it?

Black Forest Torte
Emmy’s German Restaurant • 200 North 13th St. • 479.242.3669
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 5-9 PM.
Cost $6

Head just off of Garrison to Emmy’s German Restaurant. There you’ll receive a warm willkommen (welcome) with some fantastic chocolate cake. The Black Forest Torte is a chocolate cake with a cherry twist. Chefs mix in chocolate chips and bits of maraschino cherries. Cream cheese strips are wedged between rich layers of chocolate. The cake is drizzled with kirsch cherry liqueur and topped with whipped cream. It’s as good as mom’s chocolate cake, because the recipe is from a mom – owner Joe Caldarera’s mother – who baked the cake for the restaurant for six months, then taught other chefs her secret.

Nutty Caucasian Martini
21 West End • 21 North Second Street, Ste. 102 • 479.434.4213
Hours: Thursday, 5:30 – 9 PM.
Friday and Saturday, 5:30 – 10:30 PM.
Cost $9

It’s not a girls’ night out without a couple of martinis, right? How about dessert martinis? Go directly to 21 West End just off Garrison. Get a little nutty with 21 West End’s Nutty Caucasian. Owner Kevin Dorey was inspired by the “caucasian” (White Russian) drink from the cult classic movie The Big Lebowski. The Nutty Caucasian recipe includes a mix of vanilla vodka, Kahlua and a splash of cream. The crew adds Frangelico hazelnut liqueur to give the cocktail that “nutty” taste.

Lemon Drop Martini
21 West End • 21 North Second Street, Ste. 102 • 479.434.4213
Hours: Thursday, 5:30 – 9 PM.
Friday and Saturday, 5:30 – 10:30 PM.
Cost $8

Do you like extra sweet lemonade? If so, let the Lemon Drop take you back to summertime. This invigorating martini mixes freshly squeezed lemon juice with citrus vodka, Triple Sec, sweet and sour, and Splenda is added. Tip: If you’d like yours slightly more tart, kindly ask the bartender to add less Splenda.

Bread Pudding
R. Landry’s New Orleans Café • 613 Garrison Ave. • 479.783.2505
Hours: (Lunch) Tuesday – Thursday, 11 AM – 2 PM.
(Dinner) Monday – Thursday, 5-9 PM.
Friday, 5 – 10 PM. Saturday, 1 – 10 PM.
Cost $8

Mardi Gras falls just after Valentine’s Day, so put on your beads and head to R. Landry’s New Orleans Café for a surprisingly addictive treat. Landry’s has what may be the best kept dessert secret around town: A New Orleans tradition – bread pudding. This dessert is one of the most often requested items on the menu. It’s perfect for a cold February night, and has been described by diners as “a little bowl of heaven.” These little squares of moist sweetness are drenched with a sweet creamy sauce and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Tip: Some great musicians play at Landry’s. Check their website for upcoming performances. Some Guy Named Robb (story page 24) is playing on February 13 at 7 PM.

French Bouquet
Bravo Italian Restaraunt  • 613 Garrison Ave. • 479.226.3254
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11 AM – 2 PM, 5 PM – 9 PM.
Friday & Saturday, 11 AM – 2 PM, 5 PM – 10 PM.
Cost $8

There’s more than one way to enjoy flowers this Valentine’s Day. The French Bouquet is a signature cocktail at Bravo Italian Restaurant. It’s made with Grey Goose vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Grand Mariner, and cranberry juice. Fun fact: Elderflowers are the color of butter, smell sweet and spicy, and must be picked before noon to preserve their best qualities.

The French Bouquet is served in a martini glass, is girly girl pink, and tastes like flowers. Wonderful!

Now that the night is over, CALL A TAXI, grab that bottle of water, a couple of aspirin, and don’t try to add up the calories.  You can always work out tomorrow.

Always drink responsibly. Never drink and drive.


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