The Grind burger

Quality counts at Grind Burger Kitchen

When you’re buying a car, a suit, a pair of shoes, a watch, or even a hamburger, quality makes a difference. Leather seats or plastic in your family limo? All-weather wool from Armani or shiny polyester from T.J.Maxx? Mephisto loafers, or sneakers from Payless? Tag Heuer or a fake Rolex?

Oh, hell, this is too complicated. Let’s go get a burger.

?Or not.
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Lengua tacos at El Molcajete

Feeling offal? Check out your local taqueria

Menudo, the fabulously strong flavored and fiery Mexican stew made from pork chitlins (“chitterlings,” to the prissy, or, if you insist on a definition in English, pork intestines) is one of the world’s most trusted hangover cures.

This may relate to the truth that, no matter how bad you feel, if you can hold down a stenchy ration of menudo, you can probably hold down just about anything.
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Soup Dumplings at The Joy Luck

Soup dumplings? Soup in dumplings wins at The Joy Luck

When I was a child, country-style chicken and dumplings wasn’t a thing in my citified family, but I wanted them to be. I would read about dumplings in children’s books and dream of tasting these succulent-sounding goodies.

“You wouldn’t like them,” my mother said, declining to make some for the family table.

Eventually I got to try some, and sure enough, Mom was right as usual. Thick rectangles of flabby dough, floating in chicken stew? Meh.

But that was before most folks in these parts knew of Chinese dumplings. Continue reading

La Parrillada at Palermo Viejo

Please your palate, polish your Spanish with Palermo’s Parrillada

Psst! Señoras y Señores! Want to practice your Spanish? Here’s a tip: Go to Palermo Viejo and order the classic Argentine meat platter, La Parrillada.

The name of this dish (literally “The Grill Platter”) offers the Spanish-impaired student a double challenge, as it mashes up two of the toughest consonant pairs in Español: double-r and double-l.
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Downtown Louisville from the Big Four Bridge

Welcome, PGA visitors! Looking for Louisville’s best eats?

The gang over at the LouisvilleHotBytes forum has just completed a monthlong process of narrowing down to the city’s favorite restaurants, with 14 worthy eateries making the final cut.

Whether you’re here in our town for the PGA goings-on or other tourist, convention, vacation or business matters, or if you’re a local looking for new ideas, the HotBytes favorites will offer you a good “bucket list.”
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Polenta Pave at Jack Fry's. Photo by Robin Garr.

The more Jack Fry’s changes, the more it stays the same

Jack Fry’s! The very name of this Highlands landmark makes many of us smile. Fry’s feels like an enduring landmark, a piece of Louisville culinary history that always stays the same. Which is kind of funny when you consider that it has changed both owner and chef since my last review.
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The Phantom of the Opera at Stevens & Stevens.

We Get Our Deli on at Stevens & Stevens

Mary took a bite of her sandwich – no easy task considering its oversize girth. She chewed gently, looked thoughtful, then firmly opined: “This is almost too much meat.”

Yes, this is one of those things that no one said, ever … until someone said it.

And it betrayed a basic failure to comprehend the simple reality of delicatessen tradition: “Too much meat,” meaning “generously, gloriously piled high,” is just what delis do.
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Marsha Lynch

I should have asked

I’ll call him Doug in this story, since that was his name. Doug was a young man of 24, a co-worker at the restaurant where I work. He’d been hired a few months previously as a delivery driver with some other duties: light prep work, food running when not out on deliveries, expediting the pass. Not rocket science, but a job certainly requiring more brainpower than “just” being a delivery driver.
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Stir-fry of broccoli, tofu and black beans over tender rice noodles.

Thai Cafe: Not Quite “Consummate,” But Fun

Well, hey now. What’s this? A new restaurant reviewer at The Courier-Journal? How about that! This sort of thing fascinates me because I used to occupy that pulpit myself, as dining critic for the late, great Louisville Times (and, after its death, The CJ) until I left the building in 1990.
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Veggie pizza at Harvest. LEO photo by Frankie Steele.

Harvest inspires our critic’s rant

For a change of pace this week, let’s start with a rant. A political rant! A rant about food politics!

I don’t want to say Michael Pollan or Mark Bittman are latecomers to the party. But I’m sure I’m not the only Boomer who woke up to the issues of food justice a generation earlier when I read Frankie Moore Lappé’s “Diet for a Small Planet” and “Food First” back in the ’70s, when being a “foodie” -a name not yet invented -was just becoming a thing.

The idea that there was a connection between stuffing our faces, feeding hungry people locally, fighting hunger around the world and pushing back against the food industry’s excesses from Frankenfood chemistry to horrific concentrated animal feeding operations came as a new and exciting notion back then.
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