Category Archives: West End

V-Grits works vegan magic with meat-free seafood and fish

You’d be surprised to know how many people who give up eating tasty animals for reasons pertaining to the environment, health or animal welfare nevertheless harbor a nostalgic memory for the comfort-food pleasure of the meat that they won’t eat any more.

But there’s good news for vegetarians and vegans who want life to be more than a boring run of side dishes: There’s a variety of humane alternatives that can approximate that experience without Bossy or Porky having to die for their pleasure. Continue reading V-Grits works vegan magic with meat-free seafood and fish

Go west for meat-and-three at Irma Dee’s

We’ve got a great idea to restore vibrant commerce to Louisville’s West End, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Walmart or a hip food park.

No, our plan is much simpler: We start by erasing that infamous and wholly imaginary wall along Ninth Street. We go to the West End. We make friends. Then we give our business to the local institutions that are already serving the community with pride.

I can’t think of a better place to begin than Irma Dee’s, a charming, bright little cafe that opened a few weeks ago on a main street in the city’s Parkland neighborhood. Continue reading Go west for meat-and-three at Irma Dee’s

Pay what you can or pay it forward at The Table

Everything about The Table seemed so cool! Its lovely adaptive reuse of a sturdy 19th century warehouse building, comfortable and cozy, making fine use of exposed brick, rough-hewn wooden tables, attractive art and bright flowers. The lunch menu that isn’t overly long, but it was full of intriguing goodies that makes thoughtful use of fresh, locally produced ingredients. And the room crowded with happy people, filling the space with laughter and smiles. Continue reading Pay what you can or pay it forward at The Table

We take the Soul Train to Big Momma’s

When the Supreme Court axed Louisville’s long-standing school-desegregation plan this summer, an ABC News team came to town to report local reaction, and while they were here, they took their cameras to lunch at Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen and declared this tiny West End eatery “a true oasis of lovingly prepared home cooking that delivers great taste at a great price.”

That’s strong praise, so we headed west on Broadway to Shawnee Park, where Big Momma’s occupies a tiny, white-painted building just large enough for a service window and five tall stools along a short lunch counter.

Open for lunch and early dinner daily, Big Momma’s offers a lot of soul food for a little price. Each day’s menu changes slightly, but fried chicken and a few other items remain constant. A main course and two sides is $7 to $7.50; sandwiches are $3.50, mostly.

We filled up on crisp, juicy fried chicken and an oversize breaded pork chop smothered in gravy, with excellent long-simmered green beans and bacon; white beans; creamy, rich mashed potatoes; and long-cooked chunks of cabbage, all well-seasoned and flavored and prepared with obvious TLC. That’s what “soul” is all about. We dropped a good tip in the jar and left with smiles and change from a $20.

Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen
4532 W. Broadway
772-9580

Mexican hat trick: tacos three ways

Jay Denham
Lining up for lunch at Taco Tico. LEO photos by Nicole Pullen

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Taco Tico, Taco Bell, El Zarape)

Way back at the dawn of time (oh, all right, during the 1970s), back when most people in Louisville thought “nacho” was just a cool way of saying “righto” and even the cognoscenti pronounced “taco” as “tack-oh,” indeed even before the first Taco Bell rang the region’s chimes, there was Taco Tico.

(Actually, for the sake of historical accuracy, the first Taco Tico was founded in Wichita, Kan., in 1962. Glen Bell opened his first eponymous taqueria in Downey, Calif., that same year. Louisville, however, slow during that era to embrace culinary change, failed to embrace the fast-food taco for a while.)

Taco Bell, of course, prospered and grew. Now a property of Louisville-based Yum! Brands, it boasts about 6,000 outlets around the world. Taco Tico, on the other hand, topped out in the ’80s with about 120 outlets before falling off to about half that peak. It’s in just eight states, the lion’s share in Kansas and nearby states, with a handful in Kentucky.

But now, after a 10-year hiatus, Taco Tico is back in Louisville Continue reading Mexican hat trick: tacos three ways