All posts by Robin Garr

When bad things happen to good food

By Robin Garr

Your steak is too well-done for your liking. It’s dry, tough, and leathery. Your partner’s tenderloin is too rare for their liking. It’s dripping bloody juices that make them go “ick.” You find dirt in your dish. Mold in your dish. A hair, or several!

Grossed out by now? You haven’t heard anything yet. You find a dead cockroach in your potatoes. Or even a live parasite squirming in your swordfish.

And how about that time you told the server about your kid’s allergy and got a dish that triggered it anyway?

Continue reading When bad things happen to good food

Four Pegs scores with smoky wings, ribs, and … jackfruit!?

By Robin Garr

It’s easy to run out of superlatives when we’re talking about the barbecue at Four Pegs in Germantown.

  • You’ve got those hefty, flavorful wings that come in a squadron of memorable flavors.
  • You’ve got those firm, flavorful, impeccably sauced baby back ribs.
  • And you’ve got that tender, mouth-watering pulled jackfruit


Continue reading Four Pegs scores with smoky wings, ribs, and … jackfruit!?

Blue Dog’s new owner keeps on keeping on

By Robin Garr

It was a chilly, cloudy Saturday morning in January. The temperature was hovering around 37º. Even so, the sidewalk tables in front of Frankfort Avenue’s beloved Blue Dog Bakery & Café were filling up just the same, hungry travelers clad in parkas and mittens, eagerly awaiting a steaming coffee drink and pastry treat.

Inside Blue Dog’s warm, cozy space was jammed with more eager supplicants. Counter service would begin any moment, and they were ready.

“It’s always like this,” Blue Dog’s new owner Libbie Ackerman Loeser said with a smile.

Continue reading Blue Dog’s new owner keeps on keeping on

El Mundo’s new brunch warms and satisfies

By Robin Garr

I felt pretty sad last month when I read El Mundo’s social-media post announcing management’s decision to “put the original, quirky, tiny Frankfort Avenue location on pause until the Spring.”

The good news was that El Mundo’s newer, larger Highlands shop, which opened during the Covid-19 pandemic, remains open. It has expanded service to seven days a week, and recently launched an impressive Saturday, Sunday, and Monday brunch.

Continue reading El Mundo’s new brunch warms and satisfies

Let’s improve the restaurant menu!

By Robin Garr

Menus: Can’t live with ‘em. Can’t live without ‘em! You step into a restaurant, take your seat, and pick up the menu. How does this make you feel? Joy at anticipating a tasty meal, or fear that something is about to make you crabby?

Why must menus disappoint us in so many ways, from look and feel to organization and design to the way they communicate? The menu has just one job, and sadly, it doesn’t always get that job done.

Continue reading Let’s improve the restaurant menu!

We love Sankalp Indian, once we found it

By Robin Garr

I try not to miss much when it comes to developments in local restaurants. It happened this month, though, when I finally got to Sankalp Louisville for what proved to be one of the best Indian meals ever.

Where has this place been all my life? Or to be more specific, why was I so clueless about this large, stylish Indian eatery that had announced its opening in an Instagram post almost exactly 18 months ago?

Continue reading We love Sankalp Indian, once we found it

Here come 2024’s restaurant trends, like ‘em or not!

By Robin Garr

Well, here we are. It’s 2024, another year has gone into the history books. We’re at that annual point when we talk about New Year’s resolutions (and how quickly we break them).

This is also when we fondly remember that jolly old Roman deity Janus. whose name gave us “January” because he bears a face on both sides of his head: One to look forward and one to look back.

Continue reading Here come 2024’s restaurant trends, like ‘em or not!

Banish the winter chill with warming pho at Eatz

By Robin Garr

Vietnam is a tropical country, mostly. In its southern reaches, around Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and the Mekong Delta, it’s searing hot and sopping humid virtually all year.

So how did a country so torrid give birth to pho, that aromatic, beefy soup-as-entree that’s delicious all year ‘round but lovably warming during winter’s icy blasts?

Continue reading Banish the winter chill with warming pho at Eatz

Whoa, 2023! What was the big hurry?

By Robin Garr

What? another year has gone by already!? How in the heck did that even happen?

We’re another year away from the Covid-19 pandemic that came out of nowhere to scare the hell out of us, and we’ve become so blasé that only a tiny fraction of Americans have even bothered to get the updated and curated 2023-2024 vaccine. (It’s your call, but I’ve got mine.)

Moreover, a year later, the restaurant industry continues to grapple with business issues that the pandemic brought into clear sight …

Continue reading Whoa, 2023! What was the big hurry?

Have a (disco) ball at Paseo

By Robin Garr

When was the day the disco died? Surely the dance and the surrounding culture were already fading by the late 1970s. But historians trace its ultimate demise to July 12, 1979, when a wacky “Disco Demolition” night at Chicago’s Comiskey Park boiled into a riot that caused at least nine injuries, 39 arrests, and the forfeit of that night’s Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.

It was a momentous occasion, I’m sure. But riddle me this: Why am I recalling this sad event to introduce this week’s restaurant review? Stay with me. I’ll get there as fast as I can.

Continue reading Have a (disco) ball at Paseo