Longtime local Meredith Poland is a mom, wife and pet enthusiast -- and has a howl of a good time doing it.
1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Meredith (Lary) Poland; I am a Shell Distributor Marketing Manager for Quality Petroleum. I have lived in what I like to call “Central Arkansas” since 1988. While I was born in Little Rock, my first home was in Gould, AR, then Louisiana, Texas and Alaska all before I was five (one might think I was a military brat, when actually I was an oil brat). We came back to Arkansas to my mother’s hometown of Conway, then Maumelle. While my father was still working around the world in various places, my mother created a hobby of buying and selling houses. We had addresses in North Little Rock, West Little Rock and Conway. At one point growing up, I had more addresses than I was old. A graduate of Arkansas State University, my current address, for the past 5.5 years, is in Sherwood.
2. If you could only eat at one local restaurant for a month, what would it be? It is so hard to pick just one local restaurant, we have so many good ones, but if I had to pick just one to eat at for 30/31 days, I would go with Brave New Restaurant – mostly because Peter has been known to create a dish not on the menu just to please my taste buds. We love the patio in the warmer months, and Peter and his staff are always so gracious and welcome our family. We have never been to a restaurant that caters to our daughter like Brave New does. They always make her feel special upon every visit.
3. It's a Saturday -- what's on your agenda? I am Mom to one very active 8 year old daughter. Saturday’s usually consist of dance class (and possible dance rehearsal for performances) at Marissa’s Dancers (Sherwood), and basketball games (for Clinton Magnet Elementary School) where she cheers her heart out. Once those activities are done, we are usually doing something as a family – which may involve going to watch a movie, hanging out in the River Market District (Bosco’s is always nice to have a snack and drink on the patio during the warmer months), taking the Great Dane for a drive (he loves to ride and meet new people), shopping and eating local (there is usually a Big Orange burger and some Smokin’ Buns BBQ consumed at some point.) If there is a football game going on – that is where you will find me -- I’m an Arkansas State Red Wolves fan – and while I may not be able to go to many games (due to activities mentioned above) you will find me parked near a TV on game days Howling at the TV – or yelling at the referees for a bad call.
4. Where do you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? Having out of town guest in town is so much fun. We love to take them to the River Market (especially during the Farmers Market), Argenta area, Clinton Library, Museum of Discovery, Little Rock Zoo, State Capitol Building, and (depending on their age) the Old Mill -- to name a few. We always like to take our guests to a local restaurant to eat. From Local Lime to South on Main to Café 42 – there really isn’t much Little Rock doesn’t have to offer. One thing that is never a miss for the first time out of town guest --- is a stop at Doe’s Eat Place. It is always fun to watch people’s eyes when a 3lb. steak is delivered to the table and everyone is told to dig in.
5. What do you think is LR's best kept secret? I have two … 1) The people of our city are truly a treasure. You never meet a stranger. 2) Our local restaurants and shops. While big box stores and large retail and restaurant chains serve their place –- there is something to be said for our local establishments. Our local restaurants make food with local products and with love. Yes… love – and you taste that with every bite. Our local retail shops are incredible, and the staff that works there knows you by name – and remembers you when they get something in they think you will like. While I may not be a big “shopper” … a prime example of this is Lila Ashmore at Vesta’s. Lila can style anyone – for any occasion and loves doing it.