Category Archives: $$ Modest ($30-$50)

Currito impresses with flavorful grains, greens, and more

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

I don’t review chain restaurants often. I’d much rather talk about Louisville’s great independent local eateries. But when a new corporate shop like Currito comes to town and people tell me the food is really good, I’m willing to take a look.

I believe the last time I did such a thing was in November 2018, when I finally got around to sampling the amazingly tasty fried free-range chicken at The Eagle on Bardstown Road, one of the first ventures of its Cincinnati-based corporation outside its home town.

Here we are, three years later, and I’m doing it again, this time at Currito. Continue reading Currito impresses with flavorful grains, greens, and more

Sonal masters Indian vegetarian cuisine

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Louisville has three all-vegetarian Indian restaurants, and to tell you the truth, the question isn’t why there are so many, but why it took them so long to arrive.

We have about 15 Indian restaurants now, and I’m happy to pull up to a table at every single one.

But all-vegetarian Indian? That’s new. Shreeji Indian Vegetarian Street Food opened in November 2018. Honest Indian Restaurant opened just about a year later, at the end of 2019. And somewhere in that same brief window of time – “three years ago,” the guy behind the counter told me – Sonals Kitchen Homemade Authentic Indian Vegetarian Restaurant popped up in a former Moby Dick shop on Chamberlain just north of Westport Road. Continue reading Sonal masters Indian vegetarian cuisine

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