Category Archives: LEO’s Eats

What’s up, Chef? Next year’s food trends are old stuff here

Is this town trendy or what? For foodies, I mean. I understand Louisville has the reputation as a place where the latest fashion trends arrive five years after they’re oh-so dead in New York.

But when it comes to food, if the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Culinary Forecast is any guide, we’re not only on top of most national eats trends but we also have already seen a few of them crest, surf over the top and fall back. Continue reading What’s up, Chef? Next year’s food trends are old stuff here

Clay Oven fires up Indian goodies

Ponder this: An Indian cooking technique based on clay pot principles as old as civilization can generate temperatures up to a roaring 900 degrees F. That’s hot enough to put even your neighborhood pizza oven to shame, and it’s even hotter than your home oven gets when it’s self-cleaning at full-blast and locked up for your protection. Happily, you can sample food kissed with primal fire in the cylindrical clay oven called tandoor (“Tahn-DUR”) at quite a few local Indian restaurants. Continue reading Clay Oven fires up Indian goodies

Cheddar Box? Cheddar Box, Too

My friend Tom has been in Louisville for a few months now, and he knows his way around pretty well. But he got a little confused when we got together for lunch the other day at Cheddar Box Too.

Tom said his GPS wasn’t offering much help, but when he wheeled into the Chenoweth Square shopping center from the east, rolled past Majid’s and Paul’s and then spotted my car parked right under a sign that read “Cheddar Box,” he figured he was there. Not quite, Tom. But close. Continue reading Cheddar Box? Cheddar Box, Too

Economic recovery: The 99 percent get lunch

It is being reported that economic recovery is back, at least for the 1 percent, who get to eat $100 dinners at pricey new spots like Brasserie Provence, or nosh from the upscale end of the dinner menu at El Camino. For the 99 percent, though – the rest of us who are still struggling paycheck to paycheck – well, we’re getting by on a load of new lunch spots where an appetizing midday repast won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Continue reading Economic recovery: The 99 percent get lunch

No, Bar Belle! El Camino is surfin’ good

My pal the Bar Belle is also the boss of me when it comes to this column, but that sure doesn’t stop me from calling Bullwinkle when I just have to. So, yo, Bar Belle! You’ve got it all wrong when you go hatin’ on El Camino! How did this debate work out? Well, our conversation went something like this:

Your Humble Critic: We checked out El Camino the other night. It’s the new place with the Cali-Mex surfer/tiki-bar vibe that’s run by the Silver Dollar peeps in the old Avalon space on Bardstown. It is truly awesome.

The Bar Belle: I went the other night and wasn’t impressed.

Critic: Whaaa? Continue reading No, Bar Belle! El Camino is surfin’ good

LEO’s Dining Guide 2013: What helps one helps all

Garage Bar in NuLu

Good eats make good neighbors in ‘restaurant clusters’

Birds of a feather flock together, it is said. And now it appears that maybe restaurants do, too. For many generations, after all, the dining scene that our parents and grandparents knew required a trip downtown for that special dining-out occasion. Neighborhood dining was largely limited to your friendly corner bar and grill, a diner or cafeteria or maybe a Woolworth’s lunch counter, or perhaps one of the city’s early pizzerias or chop-suey joints.

But then the Baby Boomers grew up and things changed. The ’70s and ’80s brought us Bardstown Road as the city’s first “Restaurant Row.” A decade later, the Frankfort Avenue renaissance took off. And now there’s an even newer trend, not only in Louisville but around the nation. “Restaurant Row” is so ’90s now. Say hello to the “Restaurant Cluster.”
Continue reading LEO’s Dining Guide 2013: What helps one helps all