Category Archives: Southern Indiana

Brooklyn and the Butcher’s medium-rare outside skirt steak with Oscar trimmings.

Brooklyn or New Albany? Brooklyn and the Butcher blurs the line

The other night, as we rolled across the Sherman Minton Bridge to New Albany for an evening at Brooklyn and the Butcher, it crossed my mind that New Albany is actually a little bit like Brooklyn.

New Albany, like Brooklyn, is a city across a river from a larger city, long ignored by its neighbors, but suddenly awash with excellent new places to dine, drink and have a good time. And as with Brooklyn, crowds are starting to make their way over to check it out. Continue reading

Gospel Bird's Southern Fried Chicken

We’re singing in Gospel Bird’s choir

What in the Hell is a Gospel Bird?

No, wait, better make that, “What in Heaven’s name is a Gospel Bird?”

I’m pretty sure it’s not a winged creature that knocks on your door and asks if you have found Jesus. It’s not a dove that comes down with wind and fire, either. Continue reading

A pair of roti at the Hub Cafe: Bees Knees and The Wizard

Let’s go to the Hub! No, the other Hub …

It went down like this:

“Hey, wanna go eat at The Hub?”

“Sure! I’ve been looking forward to that.”

A few minutes later we were whizzing across the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge, and Mary started getting skeptical. “Are you lost? That place is right next to the Comfy Cow. I’m pretty sure that’s Indiana ahead.” Continue reading

Chile Relleno and a burrito at Mango's

On the Mexican road again …

“On the road again” … “En la carretera nuevamente …” Hmm. Willie Nelson’s classic ballad doesn’t translate very well, rhythmically speaking. You just can’t make the syllables fit the notes. But that’s not important right now. What’s important right now is Mexican food, because it’s filling and spicy and delicious.

I like Mexican food, and I like languages, and I’ve still got a lot to learn about both things. But there’s always room for more learning, both in the food department and the linguistic department. Like most Americans — er, Norteamericanos, that is — my language skills are weak.

“Eureka,” I said, an exclamation that works in English, Spanish and Greek. “Why don’t I go eat at some Mexican restaurants? I can practice my Spanish on the servers!”
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Slider showdown!

Signs of the apocalypse: The White Castle veggie slider

I can’t resist mentioning this briefly, since my mini-report on the HotBytes forum and Facebook on New Year’s Day blew up with “Likes” and comments, hinting that there’s public interest in this bizarre development: White Castle, at least for a while, now offers a veggie burger, of all things. They’re only 99 cents each, cheap, but like their meatful siblings, it takes a few to satisfy an appetite.
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The sweet potato veggie burger at Bread and Breakfast

Can you say “Bread and Breakfast” three times fast?

Let’s head over to New Albany and get some bed and break … um … bed and break … DAMMIT! I mean BED AND BREAKFAST! No, BREAD! AND BEKKFAST! DAMMIT AGAIN!

Let’s face it. If I was mean enough to mark a place down because its name is hard to say, then this charming little bakery and b-r-e-a-k-f-a-s-t and lunch eatery at the corner of New Albany’s Main and Bank streets would be in a heap of trouble.
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Toast on Market's spicy chipotle grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.

Toast on New Albany’s Market lights our fire

I should have known that Toast on Market’s spicy chipotle grilled cheese sandwich was going to be hot, because spicy chipotle.

But I didn’t quite expect flames to come shooting out my mouth while my endorphins took off in a wild and crazy rush around my brain. Wooee! That sandwich is HOT! In fact, even the accompanying bowl of roasted tomato soup boasted a distinct kick of cayenne. Let me tell you, that was one feisty lunch.
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Pad-Thai at TanThai.

It’s worth fighting the bridges to get to TanThai

The news that Thai-Siam had closed after 25 years of dishing up Thai cuisine to Louisville-area diners came with more of a sense of nostalgia than loss, I’d say.

When it opened in 1989, I was beside myself with joy. Having discovered Thai cuisine in California way back in the day, I loved it so hard, and ached for it to make its way east. Continue reading

Black raspberry chip ice cream at the Comfy Cow.

Comfy Cow growing into a herd

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” Once a popular ditty of the “Roaring Twenties,” this folk wisdom has grown into a simple truth.

Who doesn’t like ice cream? As Mary’s father used to say, even after an ample meal, “There is always room for ice cream.” And with Spring belatedly breaking after one of the most relentless Winters in recent memory, the signs of the season include, in addition to green buds, bright flowers and insane allergy-pollen levels, long lines of hungry supplicants forming around just about every ice-cream shop in town. Even the perennial ice cream trucks have brought their clangy rendition of “Camptown Races” back to the streets of our fair city. Continue reading

Polenta and black-beanfritters at Exchange Pub + Kitchen.

Exchange Pub + Kitchen, a Pillar of Its Community

How good is Exchange Pub + Kitchen? Why, it’s a Pillar of its community.

I mean that literally: This month the popular spot in New Albany’s buzzing downtown dining scene won one of the city’s Pillar Awards, which recognize contributors to downtown restoration and renovation. Exchange Pub won the Horizon Award, honoring co-owners Ian and Nikki Hall for their 2012 move from the Grant Line Road area into the historic 1875-era Shrader Stables building downtown, the New Albany Tribune reported.
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Gyros at A.J.'s

Road food road trip!

I can’t believe it’s Labor Day weekend already and I hadn’t made my annual (short) road trip across the Ohio to enjoy old-style roadside dining at two local favorites, A.J.’s Gyros and Polly’s Freeze.

We rectified this lapse today with a delicious lunch of gyros and falafel sandwiches and a plate of dolmades at AJ’s, followed by a soft-serve Brown Derby cone and a butterscotch shake at Polly’s. “This is what fast food was like before there was McDonald’s,” Mary mused over gyros. True. It’s fast food as our parents knew it, and our grandparents, too, before there were interstates. Continue reading