Category Archives: Ethnic & Eclectic

Dr. Livingstone would have loved Chez Seneba

The world has shrunk a great deal since the days when the journalist Henry Stanley found Dr. David Livingstone, we presume, in what was then known as darkest Africa. Curiously enough, that famous meeting occurred only a few short years before Steinert’s was to open its doors in New Albany.

To this day, most Americans remain a bit iffy on African geography, not to mention African cuisine. For the record, then, Chez Seneba represents West Africa in Louisville’s world atlas of eats: The owners hail from Senegal, which is pretty much directly across Africa from Ethiopia on the continent’s eastern side, a nation whose spicy cuisine is represented locally by Queen of Sheba on Bardstown Road. More about that another day.
Continue reading Dr. Livingstone would have loved Chez Seneba

Inside story at Sahara Café

Sahara Café chef Mavash Rubino is from Iran, and the range of Middle Eastern fare that she prepares shows a distinct Persian accent. Sahara ranks right up there with other local Persian spots. LEO Photos by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Sahara Café, Wild Eggs)

A small puzzle accompanies Sahara Café, a new Middle Eastern eatery in St. Matthews: Is it a restaurant inside a shop, or is it a shop inside a restaurant?

I think maybe it’s both. Located in the new retail building at the northeast corner of Lexington Road and Bauer Avenue, just down the street from Lotsa Pasta, its close but comfortable quarters incorporate the family-owned Sahara Café and A Small World, a gift shop featuring, they say, “handcrafted home-decor items from around the world.”
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We take the Soul Train to Big Momma’s

When the Supreme Court axed Louisville’s long-standing school-desegregation plan this summer, an ABC News team came to town to report local reaction, and while they were here, they took their cameras to lunch at Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen and declared this tiny West End eatery “a true oasis of lovingly prepared home cooking that delivers great taste at a great price.”

That’s strong praise, so we headed west on Broadway to Shawnee Park, where Big Momma’s occupies a tiny, white-painted building just large enough for a service window and five tall stools along a short lunch counter.

Open for lunch and early dinner daily, Big Momma’s offers a lot of soul food for a little price. Each day’s menu changes slightly, but fried chicken and a few other items remain constant. A main course and two sides is $7 to $7.50; sandwiches are $3.50, mostly.

We filled up on crisp, juicy fried chicken and an oversize breaded pork chop smothered in gravy, with excellent long-simmered green beans and bacon; white beans; creamy, rich mashed potatoes; and long-cooked chunks of cabbage, all well-seasoned and flavored and prepared with obvious TLC. That’s what “soul” is all about. We dropped a good tip in the jar and left with smiles and change from a $20.

Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen
4532 W. Broadway

Looking for the source of the Nile

Thai Taste
Thai Taste in Clifton had a full contingent staffing its WorldFest booth. From left, Ratunaporn Sangrung, Hammarach Nuangkhamma, Malai Nuangkhamma and Samorn Thanawattako. Photos by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Seven worthy ethnic eats)

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

At some point during the colorful WorldFest celebration over the weekend, I started to feel a bit in common with Dr. David Livingstone, the 19th century British explorer famous for his dogged quest for the source of the Nile River in Africa’s deepest jungles.

Like Livingstone but on a much smaller scale, I spent a good bit of time and energy during the two-day event on the Belvedere in quest of The Nile.

The Nile Restaurant, that is. This mysterious reference turned up on WorldFest’s list of more than two dozen food booths run by local restaurants, social and civic groups, a worldwide array of mostly ethnic goodies that even extended to a couple of corn dog and funnel cake vendors. A Sudanese restaurant! In Louisville! Always eager to add another ethnic eating experience to my list, I made a beeline to Booth 144.
Continue reading Looking for the source of the Nile

Plus ça change at Café Lou Lou

Cafe Lou Lou
One of the reasons Café Lou Lou’s new locale works is the retention of the original look, including striking art pieces. LEO photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes

The 19th century French satirist and polymath Alphonse Karr was not, as far as we know, a food critic. But when he penned the lines, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (“The more things change, the more they stay the same”), he might as well have been talking about Louisville’s Café Lou Lou.

A lot of us obligate urbanites were horrified to learn earlier this year that Chef Clay Wallace and co-owner Helen Ellis planned to move the popular eatery’s quarters from Frankfort Avenue in Clifton to St. Matthews, literally across the street from where Sears used to be.

Leaving the artsy, hippy-dippy diversity of Clifton for almost-suburban St. Matthews? How can this be, we wailed! Café Lou Lou can’t possibly stay the same! How can it survive in the whitebread land of SUVs?

As it turns out, the answer to these questions turns out to be, “Very nicely indeed.” Or, if you prefer, “Plus ça change.”
Continue reading Plus ça change at Café Lou Lou