Category Archives: A RESTAURANT LISTING…

Meat or no meat: The Smokery has you covered

By Robin Garr

A vegan walked into a barbecue joint. What’s the punchline?

Actually, there’s no punchline. I’m not a vegan myself. But I can see the ethos: The commercial agriculture that’s necessary to have everyone eating tasty animals is bad for the environment. It’s bad for our health. And it’s pretty obviously bad for the animals who have to be killed for our gustatory enjoyment.

For reasons such as these, growing numbers of people have gone vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian recently, and that’s why I always try to include at least one meat-free dish in each review.

This can be a challenge, though, when I visit a new barbecue joint. Like this week, when I followed the delicious scent of hickory smoke to The Smokery, a new eatery in a small building on Frankfort Avenue in Clifton. Continue reading Meat or no meat: The Smokery has you covered

Streaming and dining: Korean drama imparts a crave

By Robin Garr

I had never envisioned myself as a fan of South Korean K-dramas, but that was before a Netflix promotion drew me into the fictional life of Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

Now I’m almost through binging this sweet, sometimes challenging drama about the brilliant 20-something Korean attorney Woo Young-woo (played by Park Eun-bin), who, as Netflix explains it, “faces challenges in the courtroom and beyond as a newbie at a top law firm in Seoul and a woman on the autism spectrum.”

Before long I had added a Korean module to my Duolingo routine so I could learn characters in hangul, the Korean alphabet. And most of all, I found myself deeply craving the only food item that Young-woo enjoys: Kimbap. Continue reading Streaming and dining: Korean drama imparts a crave

Quoth The Raven, “Gimme more fish!”

By Robin Garr

It’s fish fry season in Louisville again! We’re back in that season of Lent when you don’t have to be Catholic to go gaga over Friday fish fries at dozens of local parishes … and a couple of Episcopal churches, too.

Now, for the record, all year is fish-fry season in this river city. Perhaps owing to a substantial rush of German, Irish, Italian, and Lebanese Catholic immigrants during the 19th century, when the L&N railroad would rush fish and oysters up from the Gulf in ice-filled boxcars, Louisville is crazy for seafood all year ‘round.

But that fishy history doesn’t deter us from piling on another layer of culinary excitement when those Friday Lenten fries return. If you’d like to track down a favorite church fish fry, or discover what’s available near you, here are a few handy sources: Continue reading Quoth The Raven, “Gimme more fish!”

Con Huevos, a favorite for breakfast or lunch

By Robin Garr

Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this before, but breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, and I’m happy to enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

What’s more, Con Huevos is one of my favorite places for breakfast, although to my occasional sorrow, it’s open only for breakfast and lunch. If I want it for dinner, I have to get by with takeouts picked up earlier in the day. Continue reading Con Huevos, a favorite for breakfast or lunch

El Mariachi, a favorite, moves and grows

By Robin Garr

If I’m going to go out for Mexican food, I’d really rather find my way to a taqueria or other small eatery run by immigrant neighbors. Someplace where the food is the real thing, where I need to be prepared to order in my awkward Spanish or by pointing at an item in the menu with a smile.

Someplace, in other words, like El Mariachi Restaurante Mexicano. This East End eatery, more than just a taqueria, has long been one of my favorite local spots for Mexican fare thanks to the quality of its food, the breadth of its menu, and its colorful, happy-making decor.

Not long ago, running an errand out Lagrange Road, I noticed to my surprise that things have changed. Continue reading El Mariachi, a favorite, moves and grows

Bahn Thai & M returns Thai flavor to Holiday Manor

By Robin Garr

It’s not usually difficult for a restaurant critic to learn about new eateries around our town. Either the owner or chef clues me in with an email, text, or news release, or I’ll hear about it on social media or the Louisville HotBytes forum.

Now and then, though, an appealing new place will fly under the radar until, like Columbus “discovering” America, I stumble into it myself.

So it was the other day when I rolled into Holiday Manor, planning a quick run to Kroger, when I suddenly noticed a bright new storefront sign: “Bahn Thai & M.” Continue reading Bahn Thai & M returns Thai flavor to Holiday Manor

Tasty Vietnamese fare and cool cocktails elevate District 6

By Robin Garr

Not long after the turn of this century, I’m not sure that many of us would have predicted the rise of St. Matthews as one of the city’s most active bar and nightlife zones.

So I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that this suburban village has suddenly become a go-to zone for Asian eateries with estimable bars.

Say what? Continue reading Tasty Vietnamese fare and cool cocktails elevate District 6

You don’t need artificial intelligence to love North of Bourbon

By Robin Garr

“I recently had the pleasure of dining at North of Bourbon, a New Orleans-style restaurant in Louisville. From the moment I walked in, I was transported to the vibrant, colorful world of the Big Easy.

“The atmosphere at North of Bourbon is lively and energetic, with good music, colorful Christmas decorations, and the smell of good food and spices in the air. The menu is filled with classic New Orleans dishes as well as more unusual offerings. The portions are generous, and the flavors are bold and spicy.

“But the real star of the show is the bourbon.”

Okay, hold it right there. Continue reading You don’t need artificial intelligence to love North of Bourbon

Please, sir, may I have Smør? And a Maya Bagel too?

By Robin Garr

Within less than a mile of each other on Poplar Level Road, two splendid new bakeries beckon the hungry pilgrim. Neither is a traditional Louisville bakery with its echoes of 19th century German immigrants, and that’s all right.

One – Maya Bagel Express – is turning out the best Louisville-made bagels I’ve tasted yet. The other – Smør Nordic Bakeri – offers a warm sense of Scandinavian hygge to surround its Nordic treats. We found our way to both on the same day last week, and I came home with a happy carbohydrate buzz that lasted for hours. Continue reading Please, sir, may I have Smør? And a Maya Bagel too?

Hauck’s Corner returns, dainty and all

By Robin Garr

Last summer, 110 years after Hauck’s Handy Store opened as a neighborhood grocery on a Schnitzelburg street corner – and three years after it closed following the death at 100 of owner and patriarch George Hauck – this local landmark returned as a restaurant and bar.

In 1912 you could buy a baloney sandwich on white bread at Hauck’s and get change from a dime. Today, a century and $1 million in renovations later, you can still get something like that, but they spell it “bologna” now, and it will cost you $14.95 for a thick-cut, smoked slice perched on a brioche bun with stone-ground mustard, pimento cheese, pickles, and an over-easy egg. Continue reading Hauck’s Corner returns, dainty and all