Hyderabad House brings the biryani

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Biryani: India’s mouth-watering rice dish, a meal in itself, stands tall against other national rice-based competitors such as Spain’s paella, Italy’s risotto, Nigeria’s jollof rice, Indonesia’s nasi goreng, Louisiana’s jambalaya, or Persia’s pilaf.

What is biryani, anyway? It’s a hearty rice dish layered with lamb, chicken, fish, or vegetables, scented with saffron and aromatic Indian spices, sauced with a thick gravy, and roasted in a covered pot until the flavors join in a resounding gustatory chorus. Continue reading Hyderabad House brings the biryani

The fish just keep on coming

Louisville is well into Lenten fish season now. Hungry supplicants are reportedly lining up at Friday church fish fries and local fish eateries too. And I’m not embarrassed to say that my fish fry report last month went locally viral enough to fill up my email and direct messages for a while.

Most of your comments were kind and grateful. A few were kind and constructively critical, politely telling me what more I could have done. I can live with that, as long as kindness is part of the equation.

So here’s the story: I didn’t do wrong in my report of Louisville-area church fish fries and a handful of personal favorite restaurants where fried fish is a year-round speciality.

But, some of you say, I could have done more. Continue reading The fish just keep on coming

Vietnam Kitchen stayed, and we are so happy

The rumors started more than four years ago, and they spread quickly: “Vietnam Kitchen is going to close! The owner wants to retire! Next time they close for vacation, they won’t open again!”

The fear was real. Vietnam Kitchen – VK, as its fans invariably abbreviate it – is the longest-standing Vietnamese restaurant still open in Louisville. It was founded in 1993 by Vietnamese immigrant Alex Lam and his family. Continue reading Vietnam Kitchen stayed, and we are so happy

Happy Lent, and thanks for all the fish

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Easter is late this year, and working backwards, that means that Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday are a little behind schedule, too. Fat Tuesday is coming up on March 1, and Ash Wednesday, beginning the penitential season of Lent, arrives next week, on March 2.

In other words, if you’ve been craving fried fish a little more than usual lately, there may be a reason for that: In a more typical year, Lenten fish-fry season would already be well under way. Continue reading Happy Lent, and thanks for all the fish

Impellizzeri’s takes us back in pizza time

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

If you’d like to time-travel back to the ‘70s and taste pizza the way our parents and grandparents did, all you need to do is head for Impellizzeri’s.

Let me tell you why: Pizza impresario Benny Impellizzeri has been making pizza in Louisville since he started cooking at the fabled old Mario’s in Hikes Point in 1968, when LBJ was president and the Beatles’ White Album was high on the charts. Continue reading Impellizzeri’s takes us back in pizza time

A trip to Jamaica in a takeout box from Eden & Kissi

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

My friend Erica posted a Facebook challenge: “Y’all…look. This place. These wings. Go. Robin Garr, have you been here yet?” It came with a photo of a succulent golden brown chicken wing the size of a turkey wing, a tantalizing treat from Eden & Kissi.

That was last September, and I really meant to get right out to this little takeout spot in Buechel. But one thing after another got in the way. So here we are, 4 1/2 months later, and suddenly, with the Omicron variant hanging around, great Jamaican takeout sounded good. Continue reading A trip to Jamaica in a takeout box from Eden & Kissi

Burger vs Burger: It’s a win-win at Shady Lane Cafe

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Ahh, Shady Lane Cafe! This lovable little East End diner-style cafe has been a popular lunch (and weekend dinner) spot since Bill Smith and Susi Wood opened it around 2004. It earned deserved popularity for its iconic Brownsboro burger and much more.

All good things eventually move on, though, and in August 2019 Bill, short-order chef and poet, and his wife Susi, amiable host and professional singer, turned the business over to another couple – Carol Reeves and Satbir “Shan” Singh – in August 2019.

The new owners have maintained the same high level of quality and popularity. When I dropped in to pick up a takeout lunch on a recent Saturday, every table in the little space was filled with apparently happy diners, and the line to the counter extended all the way back to the door. Continue reading Burger vs Burger: It’s a win-win at Shady Lane Cafe

The Language of Food: This book helps us interpret the menu and more

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

“Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? Food, and how we describe it, can tell us a lot about what it’s going to cost us when we go out to eat tonight.”

The Louisville Free Public Library’s e-book blurb about Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky’s 2014 book, The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu, got my attention fast. I knew a book that dives into culinary linguistics and statistics too would be a great read for a word nerd and food geek like me. Continue reading The Language of Food: This book helps us interpret the menu and more

Delicious tofu takeout at Heart & Soy

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

I’m pretty sure I unleashed a small rant last autumn when the Delta variant was coming on, threatening to retreat into takeout dining until things blew over a bit.

I didn’t actually do that. I’m vaccinated, and now boosted too, so what, me worry?

But the other day, eyeing news reports about the Omicron variant and rising positivity tolls, I started thinking about takeout again. Continue reading Delicious tofu takeout at Heart & Soy

When KFC gets faux chik’n, plant-based meat’s time has come

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

If you still think the recent wave of faux meats made from plants is just a passing fad that won’t last, consider this: On Monday, KFC rolled out Beyond Meat’s new plant-based chicken nuggets for a short-term test at all 4,000 U.S. shops, boxed not in the traditional red but a tasteful environmental green. Continue reading When KFC gets faux chik’n, plant-based meat’s time has come

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