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The Lindsey Millar Diet: How to Eat Lunch Like an Arkansas Times Editor


When Lindsey Millar announced that he was leaving his position as editor of the Arkansas Times to become a carpenter, the newsroom was collectively devastated for countless reasons. Sure, Millar, no thanks, has been tirelessly reporting on issues important to Arkansans during her time here, and we’re all the better for it. She has hired many great writers like Benjamin Hardy, Austin Bailey, Stephanie Smittle. She launched a nonprofit news network to make resources available to journalists for sustained reporting on difficult issues. But our collective editorial angst came mostly from a selfish place; we were going to miss him. His sense of humor, Fun Hat Friday, his signature “teaming up” conclusion to our Monday morning meetings, listening to him conduct phone interviews like a total pro, effortlessly shifting from the kind of casual banter that felt like I was making a new friend. for life to the pivot of getting down to business, “let’s get in the weeds”, polishing the conversation with “What haven’t I asked you about that you want to talk about?”

But it wasn’t until I realized we weren’t going to hear him order lunch anymore that I really realized how bleak the future was going to be. When we hear him pick up his office phone around 11 am, one of us usually yells out what he thinks he’s going to order, less cheese, of course (Millar suffers from severe lactose intolerance). It is one of my favorite parts of the day. It could be one of his weekly staple salads, or a sandwich for a special occasion, it could be a bowl of piping hot birria or a poke bowl. If the day called for a lunch meeting, she could count on him to complain that he needed a nap after the fried chicken at Samantha’s, or to confess that yes, he had been to Maddie’s for the second time that week. Whatever the order, Millar ordered lunch like a man who had done his due diligence; no notes needed.

“I just want taste sensations.” —Lindsey Millar

on Monday
Every time the weekly editorial meeting ends

Millar doesn’t say anything about his Monday order because he completes the transaction online. He, too, manages to escape the office somehow undetected, but when one of us sees him through the window strolling elegantly south down Scott Street, we know he’s on his way to triple to pick up his weekly triple salad with tofu, which he eats almost exclusively at his desk, which probably has permanent triple salad dressing stains on it. Millar wrote a great article in Three Fold in 2019.

Due to Millar’s prolific lunch orders, coupled with the fact that I’m so impressionable, this particular salad is now part of my weekly rotation as well. It’s one of Little Rock’s best and most unique salads, featuring Three Fold’s signature cabbage and carrot salads, an almost neon green dressing, and a tea-scented egg. Millar said in a column that it’s almost perfect.

Rhett Brinkley
TRIPLE SALAD

However, you don’t always get the salad. If Three Fold is running a special, it looks for it. On an unusually warm day last November, Millar pivoted:

“Earlier in the week, perhaps wishing it felt more like fall outside, I felt the need for some soup and remembered that Three Fold’s Beef Noodle Soup was outrageously good. It’s flat rice noodles, huge chunks of tender beef shank, raw cut carrot chunks, cooked tomatoes, and a few vegetables in a deliciously complex beef broth. Put it spicy, so you sweat a little. Like the pho and homemade chicken noodle soup, it tastes like it has healing powers.”

Tuesday
11am

When I was growing up, many schools had a first lunch and a second lunch. I was always assigned the second lunch, which was annoying, not because I was hungry at 11 a.m. . I can only assume that Millar was assigned the first lunch because he is so punctual. Sometimes he goes out for lunch at 10:45 a.m. Tuesdays vary, but most of the time, Millar likes to get his omega-3s early in the week, and he’s just a short walk from Flying fish in the River Market. His phone call, verbatim: “I would like to place an order to pick up. … Grilled rainbow trout, snappy. For Miller. Thank you.”

The spicy seasoning that the Flying Fish cooks use on the trout always makes Millar’s lunch smell especially tasty at 11:30 a.m.

Rhett Brinkley
SNAPPY: Flying Fish’s grilled rainbow trout.

I stopped by this past Tuesday to try my own grilled rainbow trout. The Flying Fish cooks still yell “make it quick” when you ask for the hot seasoning. It also happened to be the daily special ($10.99) that day which made me wonder if there was a smart saving on Millar’s quick retort.

I asked him if his Tuesday order had anything to do with the specials for the week.

“Did not say. “I’m not sure there is consistency in their specials. But sometimes it just hits the spot.”

“This is not what I need! This is salad day.” — Lindsey Millar when offered and accepted a bag of Blue Heat Takis before lunch.

Wednesday
11am

Millar has been known to go all out on hump day and occasionally drop by HAM market for their inspired Italian steak sandwich, available most Wednesdays. He wrote about it for our recent story 25 Bites: Food We Crave in Central Arkansas.

“HAM offers semi-regular specialties of muffuletta and pate sandwiches, but the king among their offerings is Italian beef. Just like the Chicago classic you drool over on FX’s “The Bear,” this is thinly sliced ​​roast beef topped with jalapeno olive slaw, provolone, and a healthy au jus sauce on a hoagie bun. It’s a deeply satisfying mess.”

“I don’t want to spoil my lunch!” — Lindsey Millar’s response to being roasted for only eating half a glazed donut from Mark’s Donut Shop.

Thursday
11am

With Millar’s time at the paper running out, he has been known to extend his lunches into the 2-3 hour time slot allotted for senior editors. On Thursdays he can sometimes be found in the courtyard of Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grillwhere he goes for the blackened grouper sandwich or the three-piece fried chicken Thursday special, which he says reigns supreme.

“It’s expertly fried and seasoned and comes with a side of brown gravy that tastes like Thanksgiving dip. Also, you get Texas toast and two sides. You may have to steal a nap at your desk later in the afternoon, but it’s worth it,” Millar wrote.

Friday
?

To be completely honest, I don’t know what Millar does regularly on Fridays. But I would confidently bet $200 that he has called Iriana’s more than once. a regular Arkansas Times staple, Iriana’s has been a lunch favorite for editors like Max Brantley, Leslie Peacock and perhaps her biggest fan, Austin Bailey. Millar usually opts for one of three items: The Big Salad with ham, without cheese, with oil and vinegar; the Clean The Floor (Iriana’s supreme version) without cheese, of course; and the Sausage Chopper (his most common order of his) served on French bread, without cheese, with peppers, mushrooms and onion. I always assumed the grinder would feature sliced ​​Italian sausage just like a pizza, but I was wrong. It’s a full link and looks like a River Market sleeper hit. Arkansas Times editor Stephanie Smittle recently ordered the Lindsey Millar-esque pinwheel when she was out of the office. (What can we say? We miss the guy.) “Is this Lindsey without cheese?” Iriana’s employee allegedly asked.

“I think pecans might be the best nut.” –Lindsey Miller

Some other Lindsey Millar lunch favorites:

Arepas or Baleadas from El Sur, the crab cake salad from 42 Bar & Table, hot chile tamales from Doe’s Eat Place (for special occasions).