Category Archives: Ethnic & Eclectic

Pho Phi gives your money’s worth

You say “pho,” I say “fuh.” Which is the right way to say it, anyway? Inspired by a couple of bowls of pho, er, fuh, at Phi Pho (“Fee Fuh”), a new, fast-casual pho shop in St. Matthews, I dug into the roots of pho, and – somewhat to my surprise, since I thought I already knew this stuff – I learned a thing or two. Continue reading Pho Phi gives your money’s worth

Al Hamra’s lavish buffet takes us to Jordan and more

Pulled chunks of Al Hamra’s whole roast lamb are surrounded by a stuffed grape leaf, okra, rice, hummus, yogurt-cucumber mix, and tomatoes, eggplant and lamb.
Pulled chunks of Al Hamra’s whole roast lamb are surrounded by a stuffed grape leaf, okra, rice, hummus, yogurt-cucumber mix, and tomatoes, eggplant and lamb.
Here’s something you won’t often hear me say: I love an all-you-can-eat buffet. Specifically, I love the buffet at Al Hamra Halal Mediterranean Buffet at Mid City Mall. Buffet, schmuffet: This is the only place I know of where you can fill up on Jordanian specialties and pull forkfuls of tender, juicy meat off a whole roast lamb. Continue reading Al Hamra’s lavish buffet takes us to Jordan and more

Simply Thai comforts us with flavor and spice

When you need comfort food, nothing else will do. When you’re feeling down, pulling up to a plate full of comfort may be the best thing you can do for yourself. So it was for me last week when I had to say good-bye to my beloved cat Spike, a ginger-color furball buddy who’d been my special friend and constant companion for more than 17 years. It was either ugly-cry or fill up on comfort food, so I decided to do both.

But here’s the funny thing: When I needed comfort food, I realized that comfort for me does not come from the nurturing culinary memories of a Louisville childhood. No, my culinary comfort needs are filled with the bright, potent flavors of Southern and Southeastern Asia. Make mine Indian, Vietnamese, Indonesian or Thai, and I can feel the tension and sadness quietly draining away.

I hadn’t been to Simply Thai in St. Matthews for quite a while, so it felt like the perfect destination for a bittersweet yet consoling dinner in memory of Spike. Continue reading Simply Thai comforts us with flavor and spice

J. Gumbo’s feeds our Mardi Gras faces.

If you woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning, ready to get to work, you probably did not celebrate Mardi Gras in the traditional way last night. Lent starts today, and for those who observe the penitential season, there’ll be no more joyful excess until Easter arrives on April 21.

But we’ve got you covered! Even if you missed Mardi Gras, J. Gumbo’s is still good and affordable. Even after Fat Tuesday has come and gone, it stands ready to meet your Cajun dining needs. Continue reading J. Gumbo’s feeds our Mardi Gras faces.

Exquisite pho sets a high standard at Eatz Vietnamese

I was re-reading Anthony Bordain’s nook Medium Raw the other day, or I should say I was reading it, until I got to his loving, sensual passage on pho. Then I had to put down the book and go check out the state of the pho at the new Eatz Vietnamese. Continue reading Exquisite pho sets a high standard at Eatz Vietnamese

Ramen Inochi offers a fine, warming noodle bowl

Thoughts upon dining at the amiable new Ramen Inochi, latest in the city’s growing circle of Asian soup eateries: If you’re ever in the mood to start a foodie fight, ask your friends whether ramen or pho is better. I tried this on Facebook and Twitter the other day and had three dozen arguments going by lunch.

But you don’t have to be a social media troll to love these traditional Asian soups, and Louisville clearly knows this. In the past few years we’ve seen a mini-tsunami of restaurants that specialize in these memorable soups.

So what’s the difference between ramen and pho, anyway? Continue reading Ramen Inochi offers a fine, warming noodle bowl