Category Archives: Downtown, NuLu and Butchertown

Hog Father Pizza Shop brings pizza back to Butchertown

When one door closes, another opens, the sages say. And this simple wisdom appears to be true, at least insofar as the city’s pizza scene goes.

It was sad news for local pizza lovers when Butchertown Pizza, one of the city’s best, closed its doors in September 2019. Then more bad dining news struck when Couvillion restaurant shut its doors last November.

But then those fabled doors started opening. The space that had housed Butchertown Pizza, nicely renovated, became home to Hog Father Pizza Shop last month. Better still, WLKY-32 reported on its opening day, Couvillion’s head chef Crosby Reasor came on as Hog Father’s top chef, and brought many of the Couvillion crew along. Continue reading Hog Father Pizza Shop brings pizza back to Butchertown

Support our local restaurants: This week, Royals Hot Chicken

The Louisville dining scene is facing a grim scenario as I write this, and we’ll be looking down the barrel of a disturbing deadline when you read this. Let’s talk about this, but first, as I’ve told you before: Get out there and order as much takeout food from local restaurants as you can, and tip ‘em as if you’re Scrooge McDuck. They need all we can do for them right now.

Here’s the heart of the problem: Restaurants and bars are perceived as potential pandemic hotspots, with reason: Even with social distancing, they attract people to gather indoors in crowds, and to make matters worse, it’s impossible to mask up for others’ protection while you’re eating and drinking.

That’s why restaurants and bars have borne a disproportionate share of regulation since Covid-19 came to town last winter. Continue reading Support our local restaurants: This week, Royals Hot Chicken

Emmy Squared brings Detroit pizza from Brooklyn

Pay attention, now, because what I’m about to tell you might not make sense if you hear it with only half an ear: A popular Brooklyn restaurant that features Detroit-style pizza has opened in Louisville.

Yes, that’s right: Say hello to Emmy Squared, new in NuLu, where you can get fine square pizzas in the fashion of Detroit, plus worthy burgers and a lot more goodies that you won’t find in your usual pizza joint. Continue reading Emmy Squared brings Detroit pizza from Brooklyn

Cochinita pibil at Mayan Cafe takes us straight to Yucatán

Cochinita pibil. These two Spanish words – one common, the other not so much – shine a bright light on both the Mayan cuisine of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula and neighboring Guatemala and into one of Louisville’s favorite South-of-the-Border restaurants, Mayan Cafe.

So what’s a cochinita pibil? A little pig – that’s the easy part – long and slowly roasted in a tart, flavorful marinade of sour oranges and Mayan spices, housed in a large metal box and lowered into a pib, the traditional Mayan fire pit.

Mayan Cafe doesn’t have a giant fire-in-the-hole in the tiny kitchen of its NuLu home, but I can testify that Chef Bruce Ucán’s oven-roasted rendition is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen done to pork. Continue reading Cochinita pibil at Mayan Cafe takes us straight to Yucatán

bar Vetti lands in its new space

I hate moving. I can’t imagine that anybody would really like the sorting, culling, boxing, shifting, trucking and heavy lifting that comes with a move. Now imagine moving during a pandemic, with masks and serious social distancing in a play, and you’ll have some idea what it must have been like for bar Vetti last month. Continue reading bar Vetti lands in its new space

Butchertown Grocery Bakery bakes up deliciousness

The funky, stylish storefront offers European-style artisan breads, pastries, desserts, and an intriguing menu of creative sandwiches, salads, greens and grains, plus espresso drinks, beer and bourbon out front of its expansive bakery space. Nope, it’s not Blue Dog, but it follows a similar path to deliciousness as the Crescent Hill icon: We’re looking at you, Butchertown Grocery Bakery. Continue reading Butchertown Grocery Bakery bakes up deliciousness

Shirley Mae’s puts the soul in soul food

Some say that the art of soul, in music or in food, can never be mastered by white folks, and I can buy this hypothesis: Lacking a history of slavery and oppression, we just don’t have the tools born of heritage. But we can certainly enjoy soul, and honor it, whether we’re listening to Aretha or dining at someplace like Shirley Mae’s. Continue reading Shirley Mae’s puts the soul in soul food

Six Forks: simple, affordable quality

A restaurant doesn’t have to be expensive to be good, and it doesn’t have to be elegant to be pleasing. I present in evidence Six Forks Burger Co., an amiable little eatery that specializes in hamburgers, hot dogs, and more.

Six Forks recently arrived in a Shelby Park street-corner storefront that, in years past, housed Louisville’s only Pakistani restaurant and later a fried chicken-and-fish shop. Continue reading Six Forks: simple, affordable quality

The wurst is good at The Hall

Many years ago, we were wandering around Europe on a Eurailpass when one of us said, “Let’s go to Munich,” just on a whim. That’s how I found out what a beer hall is, and Oktoberfest, too.

Ah, memories. Memories of friendly Germans lined up along long communal tables, drinking excellent beer out of sturdy steins, chowing down on delicious sausages, and singing.

Now we have the Hall on Washington, and it’s something like that too, but with a Louisville twist, no singing, and a strong sense of history thanks to its location in the walkout basement on the Washington Avenue side of Whiskey Row. Continue reading The wurst is good at The Hall

Down One Bourbon Bar, two thumbs up

Thoughts upon an evening of snacking and sipping rye whiskey in Down One Bourbon Bar: Bourbon has been around for well over 200 years, and its history has been tied to Kentucky for all that time.

What’s more, bourbon is booming, with the state’s distillery roster almost quadrupling from 18 to 78 properties in the past 10 years..

So riddle me this: Why do you suppose that Louisville, stuck with a shabby downtown that closed up at night since white flight, expressways and suburban malls shelled it out during the ‘60s, took until now to figure out that bourbon makes a great fuel for tourism and urban development? Continue reading Down One Bourbon Bar, two thumbs up