All posts by LouisvilleHotBytes

Exchange Pub + Kitchen, a Pillar of Its Community

How good is Exchange Pub + Kitchen? Why, it’s a Pillar of its community.

I mean that literally: This month the popular spot in New Albany’s buzzing downtown dining scene won one of the city’s Pillar Awards, which recognize contributors to downtown restoration and renovation. Exchange Pub won the Horizon Award, honoring co-owners Ian and Nikki Hall for their 2012 move from the Grant Line Road area into the historic 1875-era Shrader Stables building downtown, the New Albany Tribune reported.
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Jet’s Takes Off With Detroit-Style Pizza

If there was ever any doubt that pizza has truly become an all-American treat, it was surely put to rest with Pizzagate this week, when New York City’s new mayor Bill de Blasio provoked screams of outrage when he attacked a gooey pie at a Gotham pizzeria with – the horror – a knife and fork. “Blasphemy! No one would ever do such a thing in Italy,” the angry hordes shrieked.

Actually, that’s not really true. Continue reading Jet’s Takes Off With Detroit-Style Pizza

A Year of Delight in Memorable Dishes

Ho hum, it’s New Year’s Day, or mighty close to it, anyway. Shall we do another boring end-of-the-year wrap-up on the Louisville eats beat?

Hmm. NuLu, NuLu, Nulu, small plates, locavore, snout-to-tail, Food Network, tapas, noisy, trendy, comfort food. Naah. Been there, done that, over and over again.

Let’s try something a little different! To mark the cosmic calendar’s flipping over to 2014, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the dishes I’ve enjoyed over the past year in restaurant reviews – along with a couple more picked off in casual dining expeditions over the holidays. Continue reading A Year of Delight in Memorable Dishes

Take a healthy, tasty break at Earth Friends Cafe

’Tis the season … no, I’m not talking about that season. ’Tis the season for spectacular over-eating, indulging ourselves a the delicious risk of life and health because, well, that’s what we do at holiday time.

If you’re ready for a break, though, or plan to be later, allow me to suggest a trip to Earth Friends Cafe & Coffee Bar, where virtuous dining can also be delicious.
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Fried pie? Boombozz fried pizza wins our applause

When I was a kid, I looked forward to road trips as an occasion for fried pie, a rare culinary treat that seemed to exist only in those exotic places where people lived among cornfields and tobacco patches and spoke in a slow drawl.

Fried pie! We never had anything like that at home. It was a pie-crust turnover, loaded with fruit filling – apple was as popular as Mom or the Flag – folded over, sealed into a fat half-moon and deep-fried until it sizzled. Hot and crisp, juicy and sweet, it was just the right size for eating out of hand. Yum!

A single fried pie probably packed 1,000 calories, but at that age I didn’t mind. Now I do, and I haven’t indulged for years, maybe decades. The other day, though, I ran across an even more tempting take on fried pie that I just couldn’t resist.
Continue reading Fried pie? Boombozz fried pizza wins our applause

Make Mine Grilled Cheese, Pleese!

Ahh, it finally feels like autumn, and I’m thinking of comfort food.

This nostalgic meme rarely attaches itself to the light, low-calorie and cooling dishes of summer. “Comfort” means stews and hearty soups, spaghetti and meatballs or maybe a thick pan of lasagna – the kinds of warming, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that Mom used to make, or at least you wish she had. Nor need comfort food be complicated or hard to cook.
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Vietnam Kitchen: 50,000 K8’s Sold?

Okay, let’s run the numbers here. Vietnam Kitchen has been open for about 20.5 years, six days a week. That’s roughly 6,500 days of serving the public since Alex and Kim Lam brought this lovable institution to town in 1993.

Thinking out loud, that means that if every day they sell five orders of “K8,” the menu shorthand for H? ti?u Saté, a delectable rice-noodle dish that’s surely one of Vietnam Kitchen’s top hot-and-spicy dishes, they must have stir-fried way more than 30,000 orders of it by now.

If the Lams were more boastful types, they could put out a flashing sign that boasts, “Nearly 50,000 K8’s sold!” (Yeah, I know I guesstimated 30,000, but hey, nobody fact-checks Mickey D’s “billions and billions” either, right?)
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Don’t judge the name. Try Hay!! Chi Wa Waa

Hey, Chihuahua? What kind of a name for a restaurant is that? With a wacky Señor Gonzales accent? Really? Are they talking about the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, or calling a little dog? Or maybe, just possibly, poking a thumb in the eye of “Yo quiero Taco Bell“?
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North End Cafe: Now a local institution

North End Cafe has just about become a Louisville institution, and it didn’t take all that long to do so. Co-owner and Chef Christopher Seckman celebrated the 10th anniversary of the original North End Cafe on lower Frankfort Avenue last spring – it’s a place of enduring popularity. Now the second North End Cafe, located at the Douglass Loop in the former Club Grotto location, appears to be going strong after a year and a half.
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Marketplace: Top Chef, No Hype

We live in the age of the chef-driven restaurant. Across the nation and around the city, chefs have become outside personalities, featured on stage, screen and TV. Louisville has been no exception to this principle, with our top chefs turning up on Food Network, competing in chefly combat and scrambling after awards, honors and, of course, sweet, profitable publicity for Louisville’s eateries and for the city.
Continue reading Marketplace: Top Chef, No Hype