Category Archives: Commentary

Robin Garr’s musings about food and restaurant matters that don’t fit neatly into the “review” category.

Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Following on his success with vegan takes on popular fast-food dishes like the Farby, an Arby’s knockoff made without a molecule of meat, Morels Cafe’s proprietor Stanley Chase has now turned his attention to a seemingly even more impossible task.

Behold, Morels Vegan BBQ Smokehouse, where Chase is creating vegetarian barbecued pulled “pork” and meat-free sausages that one could easily mistake for the real thing. Chase says vegetarian barbecue is a new concept, with similar restaurants in only two other places in the U.S. that he knows of, both very popular on their home ground: Homegrown Smoker in Portland, Oregon, and Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse in Brooklyn. Continue reading Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Pollo chicken food truck lands in Clifton storefront

“From food truck to brick and mortar. A dream has come true!” With palpable joy, Troy King and Selena Johnson, the owners of the Pollo food truck and Shelby Park’s popular Six Forks Burger Co., announced on social media last month that Pollo has landed in a Clifton storefront.

Pollo – or “Pollo – a gourmet chicken joint” if you want to be formal about it – has been a familiar sight around town with its rolling quarters in an old, short school bus painted dark gray. It’s been operating since 2014, but King and Johnson were eager to add a land-based location just as Six Forks marked its first anniversary this month. Continue reading Pollo chicken food truck lands in Clifton storefront

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

Secrets of the burger chefs

Some days you feel like a burger. Some days you feel like a steak. But let’s make one thing perfectly clear: This is not a matter of better and best. The simple, honest burger in no way takes second place to the faux nobility of the tenderloin, rib eye, strip, or porterhouse. Sometimes, when you’re in a certain mood, nothing but a burger will do.

Feeling like a burger and having a burger on your plate can be two different things, though. Do you get out and buy dinner, or do you make your own? There’s a lot to be said for making your own: You save costs, and you control the ingredients, the preparation, the heat, the toppings, even the decision whether to add a slice or two of cheese.

But how do you make your burger as good as it can be? To find out, we asked for advice from a half-dozen local burger experts, restaurant chefs who’ve earned the people’s ovation and fame forever for the quality of their grilled ground-beef patties. Continue reading Secrets of the burger chefs

Our directory of Black-owned restaurants in Louisville

This is our preliminary list of as many Black-owned restaurants as we could find in Louisville. Please give them your support!

The list is compiled from our own records, bolstered by lists assembled by social-media friends. You should be able to quickly find more information by searching the restaurant names on Facebook or your favorite search engine; in coming days we’ll also work to provide links and additional information.

Please let us know if you would like to suggest corrections, additions or deletions. Continue reading Our directory of Black-owned restaurants in Louisville

A moment of silence for restaurants closed by the pandemic

It’s been almost two months since Gov. Andy Beshear ordered Kentucky restaurants closed to sit-down dining in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and even with the partial reopening of restaurants at 33 percent indoor capacity (moving up to 50 percent on June 22), the restaurant scene looks very different than it did before the pandemic. Continue reading A moment of silence for restaurants closed by the pandemic