Category Archives: Commentary

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

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

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

Jake and Elwood’s masters the Chicago pie

Jake and Elwood’s opened its Chicago-style pizzeria in Clifton at 11 a.m. Monday, March 16. Does that date sound familiar? Yep! That’s the day that Gov. Andy Beshear told all the state’s restaurants to put a halt to dining-in at 5 p.m.

“We are mandated to close for dine-in at 5 p.m. today,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page less than two hours later. “CARRYOUT is available!!! We’re working on delivery. The blues will prevail!” Continue reading Jake and Elwood’s masters the Chicago pie