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This Little Rock family restaurant is cooking up soul food made with love

On this week's Eat It Up, Skot Covert visits Fat Jaws Soul Food & Southern Eats, a family-owned and operated Little Rock restaurant cooking up food from the heart.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Soul food for the sophisticated palate! That’s the mantra at Fat Jaw’s Soul Food & Southern Eats, one of downtown Little Rock’s newest restaurants.  

Fat Jaws is a family-owned and operated eatery that seeks to honor their ancestors with time-tested, family recipes. 

From music and art to customer service, culture is important here and you’ll find that reflected in the décor and staff.  

William Watkins and his family are the minds behind Fat Jaws— but William’s background may surprise you.  

Like his grandfather and father, William’s background was in law enforcement. 

His grandfather was the first Black sergeant on the Hot Springs police force and served for 30 years, while his father was a member of Little Rock SWAT. 

In fact, William said he spent most of his life not knowing he had a passion to cook! 

So how’d he end up running a restaurant?  With a big smile, he proudly credited his grandmother, granny, and mother. A beautiful mural pays homage to these three ladies at the front of the restaurant. 

Everything he learned about food and culinary arts can be traced back to the kitchens of these three influential women.  

Wondering what kind of food you'll find on the menu? Food full of flavorful spices and as William jokingly proclaimed, “kinda healthy.”  

The philosophy behind everything William and his family serves is that soul food must come from the heart— and he means it when he says it!  

You’ll find classic soul food staples, but often with a twist. For example, their chicken and waffles are served on a bed of peach cobbler. And the chicken wings are HUGE.  

Speaking of chicken wings, they are one of the most popular items on the menu. You can choose from two sauce flavors. Honey whiskey hot sauce is a favorite among those who enjoy a bit of spice, while the Hennessy barbecue is enjoyed by the rest of us!   

It’s no secret I’m a sucker for fried catfish, so when I saw catfish tacos on the menu I just had to order some. These fried catfish tacos are served with collard greens on top. What a combo!  

Beginning June 21, Fat Jaws will be open for breakfast from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Wednesday through Friday and re-open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Their menu can be found on their Facebook page here. 

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