Category Archives: $ Budget (under $20)

The Grind burger

Quality counts at Grind Burger Kitchen

When you’re buying a car, a suit, a pair of shoes, a watch, or even a hamburger, quality makes a difference. Leather seats or plastic in your family limo? All-weather wool from Armani or shiny polyester from T.J.Maxx? Mephisto loafers, or sneakers from Payless? Tag Heuer or a fake Rolex?

Oh, hell, this is too complicated. Let’s go get a burger.

?Or not.
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Lengua tacos at El Molcajete

Feeling offal? Check out your local taqueria

Menudo, the fabulously strong flavored and fiery Mexican stew made from pork chitlins (“chitterlings,” to the prissy, or, if you insist on a definition in English, pork intestines) is one of the world’s most trusted hangover cures.

This may relate to the truth that, no matter how bad you feel, if you can hold down a stenchy ration of menudo, you can probably hold down just about anything.
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The Phantom of the Opera at Stevens & Stevens.

We Get Our Deli on at Stevens & Stevens

Mary took a bite of her sandwich – no easy task considering its oversize girth. She chewed gently, looked thoughtful, then firmly opined: “This is almost too much meat.”

Yes, this is one of those things that no one said, ever … until someone said it.

And it betrayed a basic failure to comprehend the simple reality of delicatessen tradition: “Too much meat,” meaning “generously, gloriously piled high,” is just what delis do.
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Eggs in a hole and cheese grits at Eggs Over Frankfort.

Eggs Over Frankfort Rings Diner-Style Breakfast Bell

Frankfort Avenue – or just plain “The Avenue,” as its neighborhood business association likes to call it – has come a mighty long way in the generation since the late, lamented Deitrich’s started serving creative cuisine in an upscale environment in the old Crescent Theater, a place that at the time had seen considerably better days.
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"The New York fold" at Old School NY PIzza.

Red Checks and Brooklyn Pie at Old School NY Pizza

Has Louisville reached the saturation point for pizza? Some of my foodie friends are aghast at the seemingly endless march of pizzerias that keep arriving in town. The Baxter Avenue/Bardstown Road and St. Matthews strips are particularly pizza-rich environments, but they’re everywhere – even, in today’s excursion, the far East End. Continue reading

Meat loaf blue plate special at Cottage Cafe.

Cottage Cafe Shines on Middletown’s Old Main Street

Middletown’s Main Street, a quaint strip of Victorian houses, steepled churches and storefront shops, served as the suburban community’s main drag for many years as its commercial center and a slow-down, look-around opportunity for traffic on the old U.S. 60.

Then came the age of the suburb. Middletown got a four-lane “bypass” that sped traffic around the old town center and that quickly sprouted with shopping centers and strip malls, and Main Street settled into a quieter, gentler place. 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

Spinach empanada at Gara Empanadas

Dashboard Dining With Latin flavor At Gara Empanadas

Wow! I’ve got to tell you about the cozy little place where we ate on a trip out to Oldham County the other day.

It was a small space, intimate but surprisingly comfortable as we sat surrounded by walls of glass that let in plenty of sunlight and the suburban view. The colors were muted, almost spartan, wsoft upholstery and crisp edges in shades of gray. The seating was most comfortable of all, form-fitting and even adjustable; and we could take our pick among scores of entertainment channels. Really, about the only downside I could see was the the big steering wheel in my lap that made it kind of hard to get at my food.

Yep, we were dashboard dining! Continue reading

The red C of shame?

We ‘C’ no evil at Alwatan

I’ve been eager to get back to Alwatan ever since I heard that this lovable little Eastern Mediterranean eatery had outgrown the small space it shared with its sibling Palestinian bakery and moved into larger quarters next door. We wheeled in and grabbed the last parking spot. Suddenly, a scream shattered the wintry silence.

“GAAAAH!” Mary was staring at the door. No, she was staring at a placard on the door.

“GAAAAH!,” she repeated, pointing at a large, scarlet letter. “THEY GOT A ‘C’!”

D’oh! Yet, while this may surprise some of you, we went right in, enjoyed a fine Mediterranean meal and survived to tell the tale. Continue reading

Mushroom and artichoke pizza slice at Papalino's Springhurst.

Papalino’s Settles in at Springhurst

After nearly four years serving its gigantic New York-style pizza and other goodies to hungry hordes on the Baxter Avenue night-life strip, Papalino’s NY Pizzeria opened its second location in the somewhat less frenzied environs of the sprawling Springhurst center out in the East End.
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