Category Archives: Commentary

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

Naïve’s sustainable ethos yields delicious fare

It is so tempting to start with a joke about a restaurant named Naïve that I’m just going to resist temptation and not even go there. Seriously, the ethos behind the name of this charming new spot on the edge of Butchertown is so sweet that it deserves to stand on its own:

“We see the world as a place of hope,” Naïve’s owners write on the restaurant website. “Maybe that’s naive. But maybe it’s one of our greatest strengths. Because we’re not afraid to think big, with no preconceived notions. With a connection to what’s real, from the food we eat to the relationships we nourish.” Continue reading Naïve’s sustainable ethos yields delicious fare

Go East to Con Huevos and Joella’s

Three years ago two interesting new locally owned fast-casual eateries came to town, and I loved them both: Con Huevos set a new standard with its delicious, chef-driven Mexican breakfast and lunch. Joella’s first introduced us to Nashville-style hot chicken, a feisty genre that might remind you of Indi’s hot fried chicken but that’s really not the same.

Both eateries have recently opened branches in the metro’s eastern suburbs. Naturally I had to check them out. Continue reading Go East to Con Huevos and Joella’s

Discover the Jamaican joys of Roof Top Grill

Let’s tear down that wall, the imaginary one along Ninth Street that some people think separates our West End neighbors from the rest of us. I can’t think of a better time than Derby season to do it, and I’ve got a great destination in mind: Roof Top Grill, a friendly eatery that turns out some of the best Jamaican food around. Continue reading Discover the Jamaican joys of Roof Top Grill

Do’s and Don’ts of Derby dining

Derby Week is almost upon us! All over the city, chefs and restaurant managers are tweaking their menus, their training and their scheduling, anticipating the many Louisvillians and out-of-towners who will flood their establishments in the coming days. You and your guests can have successful Derby dining experiences in the River City during this whirlwind time if you follow a few simple guidelines. Continue reading Do’s and Don’ts of Derby dining

We came to Aladdin’s for labneh. We stayed for all the food.

I love labneh, the thick, tangy, strained-yogurt cheese of the Eastern Mediterranean. It was a treat to get a dab of labneh, dotted with pumpkin seeds, atop a risotto at Marketplace last week, but a bite only made me want more. So we headed over to the highly regarded Aladdin’s Cafe in New Albany the other day, where you can get the stuff in a sandwich or on a plate.

We came for the labneh, and we ate all the food, or a good share of it anyway. Continue reading We came to Aladdin’s for labneh. We stayed for all the food.

La Lupita stands out in Clarksville

Can a dining decision be political? You bet! When nightly news shows horrifying images of immigrant parents ripped from their families while partisans shout for a border wall, it’s time to call B.S. The best way I know to do that is to take my dining business to local restaurants run by Latino neighbors, such as the spectacularly good La Lupita in Clarksville.

And while I’m there, happily noshing, I want to thank the owners and servers and tell them I’m glad they’re here: “Me gusta que tu eres mi vecina,” I’ll say in fractured Spanglish, reaching out with a few words in their language. “I’m happy that you are my neighbor.”

Continue reading La Lupita stands out in Clarksville