Category Archives: Ethnic & Eclectic

Let’s take Oskar’s out for a picnic!

I’ve been doing a lot of takeout dining in the past couple of months, and I’m content with that.

But I have one big problem with takeout: Unless I choose from a handful of restaurants within a five-minute drive from my house, my takeout dinner is likely to be lukewarm or worse by the time I get it on the table.

?The solution is obvious, especially in summer time: Let’s have a picnic! Select a restaurant with a park nearby Grab your meal and hustle it to the nearest shady glen. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner is served! Continue reading Let’s take Oskar’s out for a picnic!

Funmi’s delights with the flavors of Nigeria

Here’s something important to keep in mind about supporting Black-owned restaurants and other Black-owned businesses: We can’t do it just once. To make this right, we need to get into the habit of dining and shopping regularly at businesses owned by our Black, indigenous, and other brothers and sisters of color.

According to U.S. Census data, Louisville is about 70 percent white and moving toward one-quarter black, with smaller numbers of Hispanic, Asian, and other ethnicities. I might not commit to a rigid pattern of stopping at one Black-owned eatery for a certain number of reviews, but it must be done regularly, not one-and-done.

So, the quest for something different and delicious led me this week to Funmi’s Cafe. Hidden away in a nook cut into the back of Gardiner Lane Shopping Center, it’s Louisville’s only Nigerian restaurant. It’s known for friendly, welcoming service and a delicious introduction to African fare. Continue reading Funmi’s delights with the flavors of Nigeria

We dine well at a proper distance on Selena’s patio

I’ve never been tempted to sample fugu, the Japanese pufferfish whose internal organs are filled with poison so powerful that even a speck left in your sashimi by a careless chef can drop you dead after a few horrifying hours of pain. Plenty of Japanese gourmands will pay upwards of $200 for a fugu meal, but not me.

Why bring this up? Because the idea of sitting down for a meal at a local restaurant during this pandemic felt way too much like bellying up to a fugu bar. I needed to think it over before sitting down to something that’s sounds like fun but that could kill you.

And yet we did it anyway, settling in on the pretty, shady and very properly distanced patio at Selena’s at Willow Lake Tavern this week. We had a good meal and a good time, too, albeit against a backdrop of nervous unease perhaps similar to the emotions that fugu aficionados must feel. Continue reading We dine well at a proper distance on Selena’s patio

Carry out your Guinness, and dinner too, at Irish Rover

Some people crave potato chips or chocolate. The other day I started craving Guinness stout. The more I thought about that dark, malty, bitter-chocolate beer with its creamy head so thick that you could float a farthing on it, the more I wanted a pint.

Thanks to Kentucky’s newly enlightened alcohol laws, a call to the Irish Rover put that right, and got us a delicious Irish dinner to enjoy with it too. Continue reading Carry out your Guinness, and dinner too, at Irish Rover

You can’t beat the pho at NamNam Café

It’s easy to overlook NamNam Café. It’s tiny, you don’t hear a lot about it, and it’s off on a St. Matthews side street.

But you really shouldn’t miss it. It’s one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants, even among a dozen strong competitors.

[During the Covid-19 closure of dine-in restaurants, NamNam is offering carryout and curbside pickup for phone orders. Diners may also arrange delivery via Postmates or DoorDash.] Continue reading You can’t beat the pho at NamNam Café

Around the world on a plate at Diamond Street Grub

I’m generally a bit skittish about restaurants that offer a mix of different world cuisines that extend well beyond the chef’s personal DNA. How can one chef master so many culinary arts?

So I wasn’t sure what to expect when Diamond Street Grub & Hops came to town last summer: Its international menu draws randomly from the street-food traditions of an edible United Nations. Continue reading Around the world on a plate at Diamond Street Grub