Springing back into action after way too long a break (forced by the demands of my WineLoversPage.com website and wine-related travel to Portugal early in the holiday season), I resume this journal with excellent news for local fanciers of good things to eat: Saffron’s, veteran restaurateur Majid Ghavami’s classy Persian spot that I rank among the city’s best places to dine, is about to open a second downtown location.
Saffron’s Buffet will open soon in the space at 558 S. Fifth St., just north of Chestnut Street, that had housed Manoosh’s until the latter put up the shutters last autumn. (It was originally scheduled for opening in January, but significant renovation needs have prompted some delay. Watch this space for more news.)
Saffron’s Buffet will feature many of Saffron’s popular Persian dishes, styled for buffet service and priced to enjoy at $7.95 for all you can eat. Continue reading Saffron’s, Part Deux
If you haven’t yet got around to checking out Gumbo A Go-Go, what are you waiting for? Just about all the “foodies” I know share the opinion that this popular new New Orleans-style spot features some of the best spicy Cajun and Creole chow around, and best of all, just about everything on the short Louisiana-style menu goes for a highly affordable $5.
Continue reading Festive fun at Gumbo A Go-Go
Kevin Nelson, the new executive chef at the just-reopened Jay’s Cafeteria, got a few chuckles when he told a Courier-Journal business reporter, “My goal here is to make it the African-American Vincenzo’s.”
I’ve got news, folks: Based on the polished and professional service we received when we dined here at midday today, Vincenzo’s might just want to start thinking about trying to be the Italian-American Jay’s. The food was excellent, too: Urban soul food, served cafeteria-style – at least for now, it’s an all-you-can-eat deal at $10.99 a person for adults and teen-agers on Sundays – very well prepared by skilled chefs, several of whom I noticed proudly wear the Sullivan University culinary school logo on their whites.
Continue reading Jay’s is back, better than ever
I’m updating this report with the happy news that Café Glacé has quietly opened its doors in a “soft opening” this week, looking to a more formal “grand opening” (and, with any luck, the arrival of its sign) next Friday.
We spotted activity in there today, popped in and found the genial proprietor, Aziz Ghazipour, in attendance with his staff (including his brother and partner Azim and his wife), and a dozen gelato pans all filled brimful with seductively rich Italian ice cream made in a fancy, imported-from-Italy Carpigiani gelato machine. (Pink grapefruit was a grown-up ice cream, more tangy than sweet; mocha was gently coffee-and-cream, a great match with an iced lattè from Heine Bros. next door. They’re $2.35 for a small cup.)
Continue reading Café Glacé opens for business
Here’s one of those dark secrets that culinary experts usually speak of only in muted tones: You know the classic Danish pastry, the delight of pastry lovers and brunch fanciers for nearly two centuries? Listen close, I’m going to whisper: It isn’t really Danish. It’s Viennese.
Depending on which story you prefer, it’s either a matter of corporate spying (Danish Royal baker Christian Ludvig Olsen “borrowed” the recipe from an Austrian baker he met in Germany in 1834 and brought it home), or of management union-busting (the Danish King summoned “replacement workers” from Vienna when his bakers went out on strike, and the strike-breakers brought the secret of this tasty delight along).
Either way, the Danes have made this succulent pastry their own, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better model in the Old Country today than you can have right here in the Derby City at Danish Express, (102½ Cannons Lane,  895-2863).
Continue reading The deep, dark secret of Danish
Again today I forge into Southern Indiana, following where a fellow foodie has led. This time I’m indebted to LEO’s erudite Marty Rosen for the published pointer to La Rosita Taqueria (2535 Charlestown Road in New Albany,  948-0401), which jumps into a dead heat with, Rosticeria Luna (5213B Preston Highway,  962-8898), as my favorite 100 percent authentic Mexican eatery in town.
Continue reading A bouquet for La Rosita