Category Archives: $$ Modest ($20-$40)

Kayrouz Cafe does food and safety right

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Show me a fourth generation family restaurant that traces its heritage back through several locations to the 1920s, and I’ll show you a restaurant that’s doing things right. That would be Kayrouz Cafe, and it should come as no surprise that the current generation is handling Covid safety with style and grace too.

“Our entire kitchen and wait staff have been fully vaccinated,” a sheet on the front door assures customers. There’s ample outdoor dining, with a half-dozen patio tables offering a significant boost to the tiny eatery’s interior seating. Continue reading Kayrouz Cafe does food and safety right

Peking City Express cracks the Chinese restaurant code

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

If you’ve never wondered why so many Chinese restaurants use what appear to be very similar menus, you probably don’t get much Chinese takeout. The menus look alike, and the dishes are pretty much the same wherever you go.

What’s that about? It took me a lot of digging, but the often-reliable Internet finally led me to the secret: Most of the menus come from a group of printers packed into a few blocks in New York’s Chinatown, using newspaper-size printing presses to run hundreds of thousands of similar Chinese menus for the whole country!

This may help explain why most of Louisville’s 50 to 60 fast-food Chinese restaurant menus seem very much alike. Continue reading Peking City Express cracks the Chinese restaurant code

Nerd out on Indian regional delights at Bombay Grill

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Maybe I’m a nerd. Okay, probably I am. But I love discovering the geography behind what I eat. I can travel around the world in my imagination, sailing from continent to continent on a dinner plate. Or better yet, I can learn about my international neighbors by savoring what they eat.

Consider our delicious lunch for three at Bombay Grill. We didn’t just enjoy excellent food. We enjoyed the fare of India’s Chettinad, Andhra, and Chennai regions and more. To my mind, learning about the world food while I enjoy it adds real dimension to my meal. Continue reading Nerd out on Indian regional delights at Bombay Grill

For a good pho, call Eatz Vietnamese

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Last week I had to try calling Vietnam Kitchen a half-dozen times before I could break through the busy line. I guess I wasn’t the only Louisville foodie aching to find out for sure if they were really back from a month-long vacation.

But one reality remains: Vietnam Kitchen, the beloved South End storefront eatery that introduced many of us to Vietnamese cuisine, isn’t going to stay the same, assuming it stays at all. The shop is definitely on the market as a turnkey operation, and owner Alex Lam will eventually either hand it over to new owners or close it.

We wish the Lam family and Vietnam Kitchen’s many fans well, but let’s face it: If you haven’t done this already, it’s past time to begin exploring the metro’s other Vietnamese restaurants. There are at least a dozen, and each has its own particular pleasures. But when I’m hankering for pho, the traditional and soul-consoling Vietnamese soup, I head for Eatz Vietnamese. Continue reading For a good pho, call Eatz Vietnamese

Faces wins with creative food and drink

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

When Chef Eric Morris opens a restaurant, I pay attention. I loved his Hull and Highwater and Gospel Bird eateries in New Albany, and I loved his citizen journalism and photography during the Breonna Taylor demonstrations (#SayHerName), although that’s another story.

So when Morris opened his eclectic new spot Faces Bar/Bistro in Louisville’s Highlands last year, I was eager to check it out. Continue reading Faces wins with creative food and drink

Noosh Nosh satisfies at any time of day

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Here is the eternal question about dining out: Do we want to go someplace excellent but pricey, or shall we hit an eatery with great affordable fare?

Thanks to the wit and wisdom of Chef Anoosh Shariat, you can jump in the car and hold that decision until you swing into your parking place. Continue reading Noosh Nosh satisfies at any time of day

Pints & Union, a London pub in New Albany

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Let’s head over to New Albany for a London pub experience at Pints & Union! It’s the real deal: They’ve got great beers, ales, porters and stouts! They’ve got that dark and cozy British pub vibe! They’ve got great fish and chips! And they’ve got Indian tikka!

Wait! What?

Yes, you heard that right: The most characteristic British pub-style dish is not the fish and chips that I can hear you assuming, but chicken tikka, the spicy chicken curry dish that Indian immigrants brought to Britain and shared with the world. Continue reading Pints & Union, a London pub in New Albany

Stevens and Stevens fills us up with deli delights

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Just about everyone likes a good New York deli, but judging from my mailbox, an awful lot of people around Louisville don’t know where to go to find one. Here’s the bad news: Purists, unfortunately, will have to drive 110 miles to nosh at Shapiro’s Deli in Indianapolis.

But if you’re not a stickler for 100 percent authenticity and are willing to be satisfied with consistent high quality in New Yorkish deli fare with a mix of Jewish and Italian traditions and a distinct Louisville accent, here’s your option: You can’t go wrong with Stevens and Stevens, the popular 30-year-old deli tucked into the back of Ditto’s Restaurant on Bardstown Road. Continue reading Stevens and Stevens fills us up with deli delights

We find our way to good eats at Joy Luck

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

It doesn’t seem reasonable to say that it’s hard to find good eats on Bardstown Road on a Sunday afternoon, but I was sure feeling that way the other day.

Trekking through this usually busy restaurant row on a sizzling afternoon, I struck out at three places before we got to Joy Luck. Success! Heck, I really wanted Chinese food anyway, or so I told my easily convinced self. Continue reading We find our way to good eats at Joy Luck

Wild Eggs scores with every plate

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

One cloudy, stormy looking March afternoon last year, when lockdown had just begun and we all were starting to reckon with the scary reality that the pandemic was here to stay for a while, I got out and walked through a completely deserted Westport Village.

I walked up to the big windows at Wild Eggs and saw an eerie scene, chairs perched upside down on tables in the empty room, and a vacant expanse of empty parking lot reflected in the big plate glass windows.

In that moment I decided to come back for a meal, or maybe a few, when things returned to normal. Continue reading Wild Eggs scores with every plate