Category Archives: Baxter, Bardstown, Highlands

For a good pho, call Eatz Vietnamese

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Last week I had to try calling Vietnam Kitchen a half-dozen times before I could break through the busy line. I guess I wasn’t the only Louisville foodie aching to find out for sure if they were really back from a month-long vacation.

But one reality remains: Vietnam Kitchen, the beloved South End storefront eatery that introduced many of us to Vietnamese cuisine, isn’t going to stay the same, assuming it stays at all. The shop is definitely on the market as a turnkey operation, and owner Alex Lam will eventually either hand it over to new owners or close it.

We wish the Lam family and Vietnam Kitchen’s many fans well, but let’s face it: If you haven’t done this already, it’s past time to begin exploring the metro’s other Vietnamese restaurants. There are at least a dozen, and each has its own particular pleasures. But when I’m hankering for pho, the traditional and soul-consoling Vietnamese soup, I head for Eatz Vietnamese. Continue reading For a good pho, call Eatz Vietnamese

Faces wins with creative food and drink

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

When Chef Eric Morris opens a restaurant, I pay attention. I loved his Hull and Highwater and Gospel Bird eateries in New Albany, and I loved his citizen journalism and photography during the Breonna Taylor demonstrations (#SayHerName), although that’s another story.

So when Morris opened his eclectic new spot Faces Bar/Bistro in Louisville’s Highlands last year, I was eager to check it out. Continue reading Faces wins with creative food and drink

Stevens and Stevens fills us up with deli delights

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Just about everyone likes a good New York deli, but judging from my mailbox, an awful lot of people around Louisville don’t know where to go to find one. Here’s the bad news: Purists, unfortunately, will have to drive 110 miles to nosh at Shapiro’s Deli in Indianapolis.

But if you’re not a stickler for 100 percent authenticity and are willing to be satisfied with consistent high quality in New Yorkish deli fare with a mix of Jewish and Italian traditions and a distinct Louisville accent, here’s your option: You can’t go wrong with Stevens and Stevens, the popular 30-year-old deli tucked into the back of Ditto’s Restaurant on Bardstown Road. Continue reading Stevens and Stevens fills us up with deli delights

We find our way to good eats at Joy Luck

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

It doesn’t seem reasonable to say that it’s hard to find good eats on Bardstown Road on a Sunday afternoon, but I was sure feeling that way the other day.

Trekking through this usually busy restaurant row on a sizzling afternoon, I struck out at three places before we got to Joy Luck. Success! Heck, I really wanted Chinese food anyway, or so I told my easily convinced self. Continue reading We find our way to good eats at Joy Luck

La Suerte serves a fine Latin-style brunch

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

In the joy of this almost post-pandemic summer, diners are rushing back to local restaurants. But servers, line cooks and other restaurant workers aren’t in such a hurry, so if you’re dining out in Louisville these days, you may encounter a wait.

You’ve heard the stories: A three-hour delay at a popular riverside fried-fish eatery. Two hours for seating at a popular watering hole, with many open tables in sight. Kitchens so backed up that you can’t even place an order. Harried staffers pulling multiple duty as greeter, server, cook, and cashier.

Indeed, a host warned of a “15-minute hold” at La Suerte recently, when the brunch crowd was apparently slamming the kitchen and slowing the pace of orders coming out. Continue reading La Suerte serves a fine Latin-style brunch

Seviche always satisfies

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

More than a year later, when the local food critic finally heads out to a fine local restaurant for a relaxing sit-down dinner, where does he go? For me, the answer is simple: It has to be Seviche.

I’m always reluctant to name any restaurant my Number One, as any of five or ten favorites could wear the crown on any given day. But Seviche always makes me happy. Continue reading Seviche always satisfies

V-Grits is head-spinning good, even if you’re not vegan

I had a pit beef barbecue sandwich the other day that was so good it made my head spin. And here’s the kicker: This sandwich was vegan, made entirely from vegetables without a trace of meat.

How can this be? This sandwich, so delicious that I can still taste it in my mind’s palate a couple of days later, came from V-Grits, not just one of my favorite vegan restaurants but one of my favorite restaurants … period. Continue reading V-Grits is head-spinning good, even if you’re not vegan

Ice cream for Christmas because why not?

Tell me about favorite desserts and sweet treats for the holidays: What have you got? If you celebrated Hanukkah in your household, you’ve enjoyed such deliciousness as hamentaschen, jelly donuts, and all manner of fried sweets. Christmas brings a wealth of sugary delights, from gingerbread cookies and Yule log cakes to the ubiquitous fruitcake and whatever the hell sugar plums are.

But wait! Where’s the ice cream? Yes, knocking back a pint of frozen cream can bring down your core temperature, but inside a warm and cozy house, in front of a fireplace, ice cream can be a festive treat. Continue reading Ice cream for Christmas because why not?

Queen of Sheba offers an Ethiopian feast

If you like to eat Ethiopian food the traditional way, you’ll eat with your hands, tearing off pieces of tangy, tan injera flatbread and using it to grab morsels from the common plate while your friends are doing the same.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has put an end to that practice at Queen of Sheba restaurant for now. Dine-in service will be on individual plates only for now, the popular Ethiopian restaurant tells us on its online ordering page. Following standard protocols, customers must wear face masks when away from the table, and everyone is expected to practice social distancing. Continue reading Queen of Sheba offers an Ethiopian feast

Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Following on his success with vegan takes on popular fast-food dishes like the Farby, an Arby’s knockoff made without a molecule of meat, Morels Cafe’s proprietor Stanley Chase has now turned his attention to a seemingly even more impossible task.

Behold, Morels Vegan BBQ Smokehouse, where Chase is creating vegetarian barbecued pulled “pork” and meat-free sausages that one could easily mistake for the real thing. Chase says vegetarian barbecue is a new concept, with similar restaurants in only two other places in the U.S. that he knows of, both very popular on their home ground: Homegrown Smoker in Portland, Oregon, and Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse in Brooklyn. Continue reading Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat