Category Archives: $ Budget (under $20)

Frosting the Hoosier pumpkin

Huber's
Server Dacqueri Mahar shows off Huber’s finest, the country platter dish of fried chicken and ham. Photos by Sara Havens

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Stumler’s, Joe Huber’s)

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock …
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence …
O, it’s then the time a feller is a-feelin’ at his best.

Ahh, autumn, time of harvest and nippy nights, hearty cider and cozy fireplaces. Autumn doesn’t get any better than it does in rural Indiana, and it’s no surprise that the poet who penned those words in 1883, Indiana’s own James Whitcomb Riley, was a Hoosier through and through.

Riley, who’s been a hero of mine ever since I learned that he started out as a newspaper reporter and was once fired from the Anderson Democrat for being a little too creative with his prose, knew a good thing when he saw it, and so do we.

The leaves are getting serious about turning colors now, and any random pumpkin is likely to wake up in the morning sporting a touch of frost. Let’s celebrate Riley’s memory with a leaf-peeping, eating and drinking expedition to the tourist farms of Starlight, Ind. Continue reading Frosting the Hoosier pumpkin

Chili today, hot tamale

Flabby's chili
Flabby’s chili is a simple, classic preparation – coarsely ground beef in chunks with tender red beans and just enough short strands of spaghetti to make it Louisville-style. Photos by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Five noteworthy bowls of red; Karma Café)

Tomatoes or no tomatoes? Beans or no beans? Chopped meat or ground meat? Chile powder or dried chilies or fresh? And by the way, is it “chile” or is it “chili”? Gimme a break! This is almost like listening to the Kentucky legislature arguing about whether evolution or intelligent design should be taught in our schools.

Much of the chili debate centers around the argument that chili is a historic dish with a long tradition that started in the Texas-Mexico border country and was spread across the heartland by cowboys on the open range, and that it must be a pure, unadulterated combination of beef and chile peppers, nothing more, without adulterants or fillers no matter how delicious those additives might be.
Continue reading Chili today, hot tamale

Fast food follies

Corn dog nuggets
How does A&W get those little dogs to roll around in corn? Photos by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(A&W’s corn dog nuggets, White Castle’s chicken rings; also Primo and more)

The life of a food critic is not all white tablecloths and fawning service and foie gras for breakfast. Take it from me, folks, sometimes I do these things so you won’t have to.

Occasionally it becomes necessary to follow a food trend wherever it takes us, even when it takes us down a road that I would just as soon avoid.

Let us consider, then, the corn dog nugget.

As I reported in our State Fair feature in August, I feel a once-a-year craving for corn dogs that can only be satisfied with one, annual dog-on-a-stick. OK, maybe two.

But what if these crunchy, fatty delights were available year-round, as close as a familiar fast-food spot?
Continue reading Fast food follies

Feeling the harmonious vibes

Jerusalem Cafe
Jerusalem Café, which opened in July near U of L, is the most recent entry in Louisville’s eclectic and growing collection of Middle Eastern eateries. Photo by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Jerusalem Café, Kim’s no-beef burger tour)

One of the world’s most historic cities, Jerusalem is sacred to three major religions. It seems kind of pitiful that they’ve spent much of the last couple of millennia fighting over it.

Happily, though, there doesn’t seem to be any conflict about Jerusalem Cafe, the most recent entry in Louisville’s eclectic and growing collection of Middle Eastern eateries: Just about everybody agrees it’s really good. (NOTE: Sammy Barghouthi, who was chef at the time of this review in September 2006, moved to Saffron’s Buffet under its new ownership in January 2007.)

Located in the short strip shopping center just west of the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus, Jerusalem Cafe speaks Middle Eastern with a Palestinian accent. It adds a hint of the Levant to the storefront space that used to house a branch of City Cafe, an impression not diminished by a couple of good Persian carpets spread on the white tile floor and, of course, an appetizing scent of grilling kebabs.
Continue reading Feeling the harmonious vibes

Dining among the antiques

Bluegrass Bistro
The Bluegrass Bistro recently opened inside the Derby City Antique Mall in Buechel. Photos by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Bluegrass Bistro, Hippo Wings, WingZone)

If you want to find a really good lunch in Louisville for a really good price, go shopping for antiques.

Here’s my theory: People who enjoy the hunt for serious antiques and who know how to distinguish the good stuff from junque are also likely to have a well-honed skill at scouting out lunch.

Evidence abounds. One of the best lunch spots in town is The Cafe at the Louisville Antique Mall on Goss Avenue. Shelbyville’s august Wakefield-Scearce Galleries boast the memorable Science Hill dining room. Middletown’s old Main Street, a major destination for antique-hunters, is well served by the estimable Alley Cat Cafe, and the new A Little Peace Cafe is earning good reviews at the Mellwood Arts Center. East Market and Main streets and Frankfort Avenue and Bardstown Road are all famous for both their antiques and their eateries.

Now add Bluegrass Bistro to the mix. Continue reading Dining among the antiques

Earlier reviews of restaurants in the $20 and under price range

The links below go to earlier reviews:

Alley Cat Cafe
Annie Cafe
Asian Buffet
La Bamba
Bazo’s Fresh Mexican Grill
Blue Dog Café and Bakery
Bombay International Market
bw-3 Buffalo Wild Wings
Check’s Cafe
China Inn
City Cafe
Clarksville Seafood
Clifton’s Pizza Company
Dizzy Whizz Drive-In
Double Dragon
Emery’s
The Fishery
Flabby’s Schnitzelburg
Genny’s Diner
Graeter’s Ice Cream
Grape Leaf
Fat Jimmy’s Pizza
Great Wall
Great Wok
Heine Brothers’ Coffee
La Herradura
Jalapeno’s
Jucy’s

Jumbo Buffet & Grill
Ken-Tex Bar-B-Q
Lolita’s Tacos
Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago
Luigi’s
Mazzoni’s
Meridian Café
Mexico Tipico
Mr. Z’s Kitchen
Nancy’s Bagel Grounds
A Nice Restaurant
El Nopalito
Nord’s Brown Bag
Ollie’s Trolley
Omar’s Gyro
Panera Bread
Papa Murphy’s
El Paraiso
Petrus
Polly’s Freeze
Prospect Fish Market
El Rey Mexican
Rich O’s
Royal Garden Buffet
Rufad’s Kebob
Santa Fe Grill
Sarajevo
Sonic Drive-In
Spinelli’s Pizzeria
Stan’s Fish Sandwich
La Tapatia
Tacqueria la Mexicana
El Tarasco
Thai Taste
Tony Boombozz Pizzeria
Twice-Told Coffeehouse
Twig and Leaf
Vietnam Kitchen
Vince Staten’s Barbecue
W. W. Cousins
The Widow’s Walk