Category Archives: Frankfort Ave., Clifton, Crescent Hill

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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A moveable feast: Barbecue brothers land in Clifton

Israel Landin
Kentucky Bar-B-Cue Co., successor to Bourbon Bros., has moved into Cafe Lou Lou’s former home in Clifton. Photo by Robin Garr.

(Kentucky Bar-B-Cue Co., Voice-Tribune, Dec. 31, 2007)

The Bourbon Brothers have moved on down the road again, towing their big black smoker to a new home in Clifton and hoisting a new moniker – Kentucky Bar-B-Cue Co. (“KBC”) – outside the freshly painted quarters that had housed Cafe Lou Lou before that local eatery’s recent move to St. Matthews.

The new setting, like Baby Bear’s porridge, may be just right for the barbecue joint that had started in a tiny building, a one-time neighborhood bakery on Brownsboro Road, that was a little too small. Then it moved across the road for a very short stay in a looming Moorish-look building, once Shariat’s, now Red Pepper Chinese, that seemed by a fair margin too large.

Now, settling comfortably into this ancient, drafty yet homey old Clifton saloon that still bears evidence of its long life as a tavern, it may have found its niche.
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We laissez les bon temps roux-lez at J. Gumbo’s

BBC
To help you get into the Mardi Gras spirit, J. Gumbo’s offers a hint of Carnival flavor with its delicious Cajun-style gumbo, Louisiana beer and beads. Lots of beads. LEO Photo by Sara Havens.

LEO’s Eats with Louisville HotBytes
(J. Gumbo’s in Clifton; Sala Thai’s City Wok)

Want some “lagniappe,” an extra treat, a little freebie like the 13th donut in a baker’s dozen? Say “Lan-yop,” as Louisiana’s French-accented Creoles and Cajuns do, and you’ll be right in the spirit of Carnival, the month-long time of fun, festivity and wretched excess in Latin countries – and, of course, in old New Orleans and the Cajun bayous.

Carnival rules from Twelfth Night, the 12th day of Christmas, until Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday,” slams the door on deliciously sinful fun as the gloomy and repentant Lenten season begins.

If all this sounds a little bit like Derby time in Louisville, that’s more than coincidental, right down to the 24-hour party that ends the festivities with a bang.
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Maido: Not just another sushi bar

Maido
Maido Essential Japanese is Louisville’s only example of “izakaya” dining, a combination of pub, sake bar and eatery. Pictured are owners Jim and Toki Masubuchi Huie. LEO Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Maido Essential Japanese)

Here’s a dining critic’s dilemma: I live in Crescent Hill, so I drive past Maido Essential Japanese often. Every time I do, I look over and feel a warm, loving feeling pass over me as I think, “I love that place.” Yet, because duty calls me to dine somewhere different every week, I rarely get to come back to Maido and other favorites … and that’s just wrong.

So it was to my great delight that I turned over a calendar page the other day and saw that enough time had passed since Maido’s 2004 opening to justify a return trip. Hai!

Maido, it should be noted, is Japanese, but it is not just another sushi bar. In fact, it’s not a sushi bar at all, although sushi is made in the kitchen. It’s something much more interesting: Louisville’s only example (and one of the few between the coasts) of “izakaya” dining, a combination of pub, sake bar and eatery that’s beloved by “sararimen” (“salary-men” or business workers) in Japan’s second city, Osaka, and the Kansai region around it.
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We go Malaysian in the autumn heat

Satay
Whether you go for the Malaysian dishes or prowl the East on August Moon’s eclectic menu, this 20-year-old eatery remains a favorite. The chicken satay recipe comes from Chef Peng Looi’s hometown of Ipoh, Malaysia. LEO Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(August Moon, Festa Italiana)

When the weather forecast for the first weekend of autumn calls for high temperatures in the middle 90s, something just plain isn’t right.

What can we do about it? I’ll leave the big picture details to Al Gore, but as for me, I’ve got a plan: We’ll go with the climate flow, but gradually switch over to dining on tropical cuisines. I figure folks who live within shouting distance of the equator probably know something about eating to beat the heat.

Happily, it’s not hard to find tropical cuisines in Louisville, where warm-climate dining options range among such favorites as Vietnam Kitchen, Mayan Café, Thai Taste, Queen of Sheba, Taste of Jamaica, the recently relocated Chez Seneba and many more.

The other day, though, sitting around with the air-conditioning cranked up and nursing an appetite, I found myself craving authentic Malaysian satay. Continue reading We go Malaysian in the autumn heat