All posts by LEOs Eats with Robin Garr

Looking backward: A retrospective progressive dinner

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” the great 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once said, and Kierkegaard should have known: The founder of existentialism, he coined the word “angst.” He called out for us to live passionately, worrying more about the problem of living life than trying to fit the social order.

What’s more, Kierkegaard came from Denmark, which also gave us the great film Babette’s Feast, that deep dive into human nature that is also perhaps the greatest foodie flick ever.

There has to be a message for us here. I think it’s calling on me to take a late-summer pause in the neverending flow of reports on eateries old and new, just for this week following the philosopher’s counsel to look backward as a way to guide our journey forward. Continue reading Looking backward: A retrospective progressive dinner

Dragon King’s Daughter achieves enlightenment

The dragon king’s daughter, ancient Buddhist tradition tells us, was an eight-year-old female dragon who became the first woman ever to reach enlightenment. Female, young, in the form of an animal? It seemed impossible for such a creature to attain Buddhahood – and yet she did it.

There could be no more appropriate spirit animal for Toki Masabuchi, proprietor of the popular Dragon King’s Daughter restaurants on Bardstown Road and in Southern Indiana. We crossed the river recently to check out its new, larger location on New Albany’s Market Street. Continue reading Dragon King’s Daughter achieves enlightenment

80/20 @ Kaelin’s makes the old tradition new again

Kaelin’s is back, and it’s got cheeseburgers!

Well, let’s parse that a little: Meet the new 80/20@Kaelin’s. It’s not like the old Kaelin’s, but it’s certainly rooted in the mystique of the beloved old eatery at Speed Avenue and Newburg Road.

The original Kaelin’s was a Louisville favorite for most of the past century, family-owned from 1934 until its family owners sold the business in 2004. Owner Carl Kaelin was allegedly inspired to invent the cheeseburger on a brisk October day in 1935. Continue reading 80/20 @ Kaelin’s makes the old tradition new again

Anoosh Bistro’s memorable fare delights

You’d think I’ve been doing this culinary critiquing long enough that I’ve been just about everywhere and tried just about everything. But the other night Anoosh Bistro delivered a first: An appetizer so fine that I couldn’t eat just one. Continue reading Anoosh Bistro’s memorable fare delights

Expand your Ethiopian food horizons at Abyssinia and Addis

To gain real insight into other people, walk a mile in their moccasins. This simple old wisdom still feels fresh, maybe more than ever these days. Here’s another saying, not so famous, because I just made it up: To get to know friends from around the world, sit down to a meal of their food. While you’re there, talk to the owners and workers if you can, and thank them for making our town a more diverse and interesting place.

This is easy for me. I’ve always been excited by the opportunity to try food from all over the world, and to get to know the people who make it. I recommend it to you, too. Here’s a good way to start: drop by either – or both – of the downtown Ethiopian restaurants where I’ve enjoyed lunch recently: Addis Grill on the north side of the business district, and Abyssinia Authentic Ethiopian toward downtown’s southern end. Continue reading Expand your Ethiopian food horizons at Abyssinia and Addis