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

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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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Eggs in a hole and cheese grits at Eggs Over Frankfort.

Eggs Over Frankfort Rings Diner-Style Breakfast Bell

Frankfort Avenue – or just plain “The Avenue,” as its neighborhood business association likes to call it – has come a mighty long way in the generation since the late, lamented Deitrich’s started serving creative cuisine in an upscale environment in the old Crescent Theater, a place that at the time had seen considerably better days.
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Seared snapper at The Brewery. LEO photo by Frankie Steele.

We study Reinheitsgebot and good eats at The Brewery

I like to think I’m a bit of a beer geek, but our friend Don puts me in the shade when it comes to knowledge of things malty and hoppy. I’ll bet he could recite the rules of the ancient Reinheitsgebot beer laws forwards and backwards, and our multilingual pal Anne could help us do it in the original German.
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Butts at Vint

Smoke gets in our eyes? Not necessarily …

Sometimes it is good to be wrong.

Consider, for example, this prophecy I uttered in 2010: “Since the passage of Louisville’s no-smoking law for restaurants and bars, the patios have become the de facto smoking section. If this doesn’t bother you, great! But to be blunt, it makes most patios no-go zones for me.”

That forecast made sense at the time Continue reading

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