All posts by Robin Garr

Road trip ramble

Burger Boy
The new and improved Burger Boy. LEO photo by Ron Jasin

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes
(Burger Boy, A.J.’s Coffee ‘n’ Cream, Polly’s Freeze, Mike Linnig’s)

“Road trip!”

With the possible exception of “smog alert,” no two words say summer better.

For the inveterate foodie, no road trip would be complete without stopping to sample roadfood, a concept that the writers Jane and Michael Stern made famous, defining it as “memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America.”

With summer finally blazing at its peak, we’ve done some road time lately, visiting a few old friends on the highways around Louisville, and discovering a bright new face on a roadfood-style inner-city eatery that has lifted itself from a dive into an inviting diner. Let’s start there.
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White Oak brings Kentucky’s treasures home

White Oak

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes
(By Paige Moore-Heavin. LEO photo by Ron Jasin)

The top current food trend can be summed up in one word: local. The Obamas have planted a garden at the White House. Farmers markets are all the rage. Even big chain groceries spotlight a bit of local produce.

In 2009, farming is cool.

“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” Barbara Kingsolver’s account of eating homegrown and regionally produced food, has gotten me on the local bandwagon, too. Enter The White Oak, now open in the East Market Street space formerly occupied by Artemisia. Chef and co-owner Allen Heintzman (who was chef at Artemisia from 2005 to 2008) said on that the restaurant would feature “Kentucky comfort food” and “almost 100 percent local” ingredients. Locavore and progressive, like many of you, I had to check it out.

The long, narrow main dining room has undergone more than just a name change. Gone are the dark red walls, replaced with lighter colors, soft yellow and fresh green tones that complement the works of local artists on the walls. Like to eat al fresco? The shady patio remains an option.
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Here’s anuddah New York pie. Got a problem widdat?

Perfetto sausage pie

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes

Pizza originated in prehistoric times, food experts say, when Stone Age tribes pounded wheat grains into a coarse batter and baked rough rounds on hot stones. Then they would top this primitive flatbread with whatever roadkill or gleanings were available. They didn’t call it “pizza,” but we think they probably called it good.

Tomatoes and cheese weren’t added for a few millennia, but by the time pizza as we know it was created in Naples and emigrated to the New World in the Ellis Island days, aficionados were surely already fighting over whose style was best.

Locally, folks who’ve tasted the joys of New York City pizza engage in a constant quest to find something akin to the Italian-immigrant style of pie that’s sold on almost every street corner in Gotham. It’s not an easy quest, as Louisville’s own pizza form (perhaps best demonstrated in the mile-high Impellizzeri pie) has earned a strong following in its own right.

Nevertheless, the quest continues, and when I heard that Perfetto Pizzeria had recently opened in the Plainview quarters last occupied by the short-lived Slice of NY, I rushed eastward to check it out.
Continue reading Here’s anuddah New York pie. Got a problem widdat?

The eponymous pastry seals the deal at Danish Express

Brown Derby eggs

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes

You can, and probably do, call it a Danish pastry, but its roots lie in Vienna. Nevertheless, the Danes have made this rich and delicious pastry their own, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one in the Old Country than you can enjoy right here in Louisville at Danish Express.

This quaint St. Matthews storefront occupies a cozy space with big plate-glass windows that make up the entire front wall, facing east to bring in bright sunlight in the morning.

It’s open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily (except Sunday), offering breakfast throughout and lunch at midday. The breakfast menu – including but not limited to the rich, oversize Danish – makes it one of the city’s top spots to break a fast. At lunchtime, it’s still a decent place for a quick meal, but facing much sterner competition, it’s not quite as close to the front of the pack.

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Fried chicken? Falafels? Captain Pepper Jack’s mixes it up

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes
(By Paige Moore-Heavin)

When my friend Lynn suggested Captain Pepper Jack’s Aero Bistro for girls’ night out, I was a little confused. This place, which opened near Bowman Field in May, was new to me. “It’s part Southern American and part Mediterranean,” she said. Well, that’s an odd combination. But, ever the foodie, I was willing to give this culinary mash-up a try.
Continue reading Fried chicken? Falafels? Captain Pepper Jack’s mixes it up