Category Archives: Frankfort Ave., Clifton, Crescent Hill

Secret to a great Chinese banquet: Cook for me, chef!

Table topper
This table-topper at Red Pepper Chinese Cuisine featured cranes carved from daikon radish, perched on “rock piles” made from yams, decorated with what looked like taxus yew sprigs from the bushes out front. Photo by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Are you the kind of adventurous diner who has always wanted to experience an authentic Chinese banquet but have despaired after too many meals of sweet and sour pork, fried rice and the like at chopsticks houses and Asian buffets?

Here’s good news: With a little advance planning, a willing spirit and a smile, you can enjoy a Chinese spread right here in Louisville that will take you surprisingly close to what you’d be served in Shanghai or Beijing.

All you have to do is get together a group of like-minded foodies, drop in on your favorite Chinese restaurant and ask the management’s assistance in organizing a special banquet.

This approach probably won’t work at a fast-food Chinese eatery or buffet. It requires a quality Chinese restaurant with a highly skilled chef. Louisville boasts several of these, my current favorite being Red Pepper Chinese on Brownsboro Road, where Sichuanese Chef Shen Hong Huang boasts restaurant experience in Chicago and in Chinese embassies around the world.
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We kick back at Big Al’s Beeritaville

By Kevin Gibson

It’s no secret that Louisville has an excellent fine-dining scene, especially for a city its size. Still, sometimes you just want to kick back with a good sandwich and a beer.

Enter Big Al’s Beeritaville in Clifton. With a cozy bar, front patio with tables and an outdoor beer garden complete with a horseshoe pit and cornhole, it’s a fun, laid-back place to spend a Saturday afternoon or a weeknight happy hour. LEO Weekly’s own Bar Belle, Sara Havens, wrote earlier this year that the bar at the newly made-over Mac’s is “like hanging out in a friend’s basement,” which pretty much says it all.
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Make mine migas at North End Café

Migas at North End Cafe
North End Café’s migas are the Tex-Mex breakfast of champions. Photo by Robin Garr.

Looking for a tasty Tex-Mex breakfast? One of my favorites comes from North End Café, a popular eatery renowned for its breakfast but not often counted among the city’s destinations for Border Country cuisine.

North End’s expansive breakfast menu features more than two-dozen goodies, including such traditional items as biscuits and gravy ($4.75), steak and eggs ($11.99), or even a warm bowl of oatmeal ($4.79). Some dishes add creative touches – you can get your biscuits, for example, with the option of vegetarian mushroom gravy; and French toast ($5.49) gets a subtle touch from the addition of orange spice flavors.

Down at the bottom of the menu you’ll find a tasty Tex-Mex snack: Continue reading Make mine migas at North End Café

Turbo-charged BLT at KY BBQ Co

Turbo-charged BLT
Kentucky Bar-B-Cue’s BLT sandwich. Photo by Robin Garr.

Bearing in mind Columnist Marsha Lynch’s dissertation last week on selecting the special menu item at local indie eateries, I took her advice and tried a truly offbeat special last week at Kentucky Bar-B-Cue Co.

This relatively new outfit, located in the drafty, homey old Clifton saloon that used to house Café Lou Lou, now sports a new coat of red interior paint and a gallery of beer signs. It’s the latest home of the smoked-meat establishment formerly known as Bourbon Brothers BBQ.
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Meeting John Barleycorn at Bourbons Bistro

Bourbons Bistro
Chef Michael Crouch of Bourbons Bistro offers thoughtful, creative dishes that may be rooted in down-home Ohio Valley flavors but travel around the world for inspiration. Photo by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes.com

We did an odd thing at Bourbons Bistro the other night. You might expect a place named after Kentucky’s native nectar to feature steak, potatoes and red wine, but we ended up with a delicious selection of seafood and vegetarian dishes.

That’s the delicious secret (although it’s not much of a secret) at Bourbons Bistro: Bourbon has outgrown its reputation as the potent, old-style liquor that your Old Grand-dad used to sip and has moved into the modern era. Bourbons Bistro, arguably bourbon whiskey’s No. 1 temple in the metro, provides fare to match, with Chef Michael Crouch turning out thoughtful, creative dishes that may be rooted in down-home Ohio Valley flavors but travel around the world for inspiration.
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Wrapping it up in The Grape Leaf

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes

Back over on the Louisville side, we were feeling the need for a little affordable comfort, too. I keep talking about hitting The Grape Leaf, a popular Clifton spot, for dinner, but until I get around to that, lunch seemed like a mighty good idea. Grape Leaf is generally crowded at noon, and service is sociable, friendly but not particularly quick. No matter, if you’re not in a hurry. The Middle Eastern food is worth the wait.
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