Category Archives: Southern Indiana

On wings of fire

Back Door wings are legendary. Have them mild, medium, hot or “Burner.” LEO Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Nine fine spots for wings)

The calendar says it’s September, and just about everybody in town is fired up for the Cards vs. Cats weekend. So where are the colorful leaves, that hint of wood smoke in the air and the crisp, hazy autumn afternoons that define “football weather”?

OK, so it’s a little early for that, with temperatures still hitting the 90s and few signs of autumn around. But one constant of the season remains: Whether you’re tailgating at the stadium or planning a hearty repast for an afternoon of football on TV, it’s hard to imagine a better football snack than a mess of spicy, crispy Buffalo-style chicken wings.
Continue reading On wings of fire

Things are looking bright on the Sunny Side

The Speakeasy in New Albany was modeled after Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. The idea originated from proprietors and local musicians Lori (pictured above) and Brad Tharp. Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Treet’s Bakery Cafe, Speakeasy, Connor’s Place)

With three interesting new restaurants recently joining Bistro New Albany, Federal Hill, La Rosita and others in historic downtown New Albany, Louisville’s Sunny Side is looking mighty bright these days.

I’ve been eager to get over and check it out, but the scare stories about miles-long traffic backups during the recent I-64 construction had me so nervous that I wimped out and asked a Hoosier buddy, GREG GAPSIS, to pick up his knife and fork and tell us what’s going on over there.
Continue reading Things are looking bright on the Sunny Side

Asian adventures, New Albany style

The Onion
The Onion Restaurant and Tea House has built quite a following since it opened in New Albany a few years back. LEO photo by Nicole Pullen

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Onion Restaurant and Tea House, Tran Japanese Steakhouse)

It’s been a great pleasure, in recent years, to see such a surge of restaurant-related activity on the north side of the Ohio. The arrival of a growing variety of eateries in Southern Indiana is good news for “foodies” on both sides of the river.

In addition to the obvious – the boomlet of chain eateries on the riverfront and across the Clarksville strip – the region has been gifted in recent years with interesting, locally-owned independent restaurants that range from taquerias and Asian spots to casually sophisticated dining rooms. We’ll have more on that, and a deeper look at the New Albany restaurant renaissance in particular, coming soon.

One of the many epicenters of Southern Indiana eats activity, perhaps just a bit out of sight and out of the way for Kentucky diners, lies along Grant Line and Charlestown roads near I-265 on New Albany’s north side. Continue reading Asian adventures, New Albany style

Butterburger better?

Some pals with roots in Wisconsin (let’s not call them “cheeseheads”) were all but agog with delight when the Culver’s Butterburger chain came to town early this year, and I have to confess that the very idea of a butterburger intrigued me, too. Butter … burger … fat cooked in fat! What’s not to like?

It’s a pretty little fast-food place, too, a sizable cottage in blue and white, neat as a pin, with little square-paned windows that give it a sort of corporate faux-Colonial style.

The signature Deluxe Butterburger was thin and irregularly handformed, not unlike the burgers my mother used to make when we were young. It had a good beefy flavor but was too thin to make rare or juicy, and if there was any butter in it, I sure couldn’t tell by tasting it. The “deluxe” model came with a thin layer of bland yellow cheese, iceberg lettuce and pale tomato and pickle chips, perched on a large, boring white bun that dwarfed the burger.

A side of “cheese curds,” a Wisconsin specialty, proved to be balls of bland cheese, breaded and greasily fried. Frozen custard was the hit of the meal, properly creamy and smooth, although the chocolate flavor was very mild, more like cocoa than dark chocolate. Hmm … Butterburger, breaded-and-fried cheese and rich custard … I don’t think I should get my cholesterol checked today.

My wife’s choice, the Wisconsin Swiss Melt, was an even thinner burger topped with a paper-thin slice of bland white cheese and a ration of limp, greasy fried onions, grilled on rye until the rye was crunchy (and greasy, too). It came with limp and uninteresting fries.

With two soft drinks, all this came to $19.06, a bit spendy for a fast-food burger. I’d certainly choose it over Mickey D’s or Burger King, but it’s not worth a return trip to its suburban locale for me. Next time I want a burger, I’ll get the real thing at Granville Inn or maybe W.W. Cousin’s.

Culver’s of Louisville
4630 Hurstbourne Pkwy.
(There’s also a Culver’s in Corydon, Ind., at 240 Federal Drive, 812-738-6464.)

Travel back in time at Schuler’s

The crowded parking lot at Schuler’s in Henryville, Ind., signals a popular neighborhood establishment. Photo by Fred Schloemer.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes

Imagine a world without fast-food restaurants, with no golden arches beckoning hungry travelers. It’s almost unthinkable in this day and age, but if you can do it, you’re probably at least 50. For anyone younger, fast food has always been a fact of life.

So says local free-lance writer (and psychotherapist) FRED SCHLOEMER, who favors us this week with this reminiscence of Schuler’s Family Restaurant in Henryville, Ind., a veritable gustatory time machine that can whisk us back to the days when the Beatles were young and Elvis was still alive.

Tell us about it, Fred!
Continue reading Travel back in time at Schuler’s