Category Archives: Downtown, NuLu and Butchertown

Señora Arepa serves delicious Venezuelan street food

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Covid-19 has been rough for NuLu restaurants. The pandemic has taken at least partial blame for the loss of Harvest, Rye, and most recently, Decca.

For the Martinez family’s Olé restaurant group, though, challenges create opportunities. They opened the Cuban restaurant La Bodeguita de Mamá in July 2020, early in the pandemic, in the former headquarters of Creation Gardens at 725 E. Market St.

Señora Arepa came next, opening in the spring of 2021, serving Venezuelan street food in the smaller building behind Bodeguita at 721 E. Market St., once the home of Ghislain on Market. Continue reading Señora Arepa serves delicious Venezuelan street food

We enjoy the chicken and the egg at Chik’n & Mi

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

I’m not going to say I’ve solved the ancient riddle about whether the chicken or the egg came first, but I can tell you that we enjoyed both those good things and more in a delicious brunch at Chik’n & Mi.

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the fare is excellent at Chik’n & Mi, as it’s the only local eatery I know of where both owners/chefs – the husband-and-wife team of Jason McCollum and Aenith Sananikone McCollum – are graduates of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Continue reading We enjoy the chicken and the egg at Chik’n & Mi

D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s-eye view of the supply-chain roller-coaster

Imagine yourself as the owner and cook at a popular short-order diner. Suddenly you look around and discover that the price of your cooking oil has tripled, and you can’t buy biscuits for love or money.

Those challenges make things tough when your customers are looking for breakfast all day and the many fried delights that make diner fare so delicious. And that’s just the beginning, says Gibin George, owner and chef at D. Nalley’s Diner. Continue reading D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s-eye view of the supply-chain roller-coaster

Mussel & Burger Bar’s wacky concept seems normal now

Early in 2013 when Mussel & Burger Bar opened its first shop in Jeffersontown, I couldn’t help but make fun of this previously unimagined combination. “‘Let’s go get some burgers and mussels,’ said no person ever,” I wrote, chortling.

Now, 8 1/2 years later, Mussel & Burger Bar’s founders have moved on to other ventures, but Mussel & Burger Bar appears to be going strong under new ownership. My recent visit to the J’town operation for lunch with a group of friends satisfied me that it remains just as good as ever. Continue reading Mussel & Burger Bar’s wacky concept seems normal now

Hog Father Pizza Shop brings pizza back to Butchertown

When one door closes, another opens, the sages say. And this simple wisdom appears to be true, at least insofar as the city’s pizza scene goes.

It was sad news for local pizza lovers when Butchertown Pizza, one of the city’s best, closed its doors in September 2019. Then more bad dining news struck when Couvillion restaurant shut its doors last November.

But then those fabled doors started opening. The space that had housed Butchertown Pizza, nicely renovated, became home to Hog Father Pizza Shop last month. Better still, WLKY-32 reported on its opening day, Couvillion’s head chef Crosby Reasor came on as Hog Father’s top chef, and brought many of the Couvillion crew along. Continue reading Hog Father Pizza Shop brings pizza back to Butchertown

Support our local restaurants: This week, Royals Hot Chicken

The Louisville dining scene is facing a grim scenario as I write this, and we’ll be looking down the barrel of a disturbing deadline when you read this. Let’s talk about this, but first, as I’ve told you before: Get out there and order as much takeout food from local restaurants as you can, and tip ‘em as if you’re Scrooge McDuck. They need all we can do for them right now.

Here’s the heart of the problem: Restaurants and bars are perceived as potential pandemic hotspots, with reason: Even with social distancing, they attract people to gather indoors in crowds, and to make matters worse, it’s impossible to mask up for others’ protection while you’re eating and drinking.

That’s why restaurants and bars have borne a disproportionate share of regulation since Covid-19 came to town last winter. Continue reading Support our local restaurants: This week, Royals Hot Chicken

Emmy Squared brings Detroit pizza from Brooklyn

Pay attention, now, because what I’m about to tell you might not make sense if you hear it with only half an ear: A popular Brooklyn restaurant that features Detroit-style pizza has opened in Louisville.

Yes, that’s right: Say hello to Emmy Squared, new in NuLu, where you can get fine square pizzas in the fashion of Detroit, plus worthy burgers and a lot more goodies that you won’t find in your usual pizza joint. Continue reading Emmy Squared brings Detroit pizza from Brooklyn

Cochinita pibil at Mayan Cafe takes us straight to Yucatán

Cochinita pibil. These two Spanish words – one common, the other not so much – shine a bright light on both the Mayan cuisine of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula and neighboring Guatemala and into one of Louisville’s favorite South-of-the-Border restaurants, Mayan Cafe.

So what’s a cochinita pibil? A little pig – that’s the easy part – long and slowly roasted in a tart, flavorful marinade of sour oranges and Mayan spices, housed in a large metal box and lowered into a pib, the traditional Mayan fire pit.

Mayan Cafe doesn’t have a giant fire-in-the-hole in the tiny kitchen of its NuLu home, but I can testify that Chef Bruce Ucán’s oven-roasted rendition is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen done to pork. Continue reading Cochinita pibil at Mayan Cafe takes us straight to Yucatán

bar Vetti lands in its new space

I hate moving. I can’t imagine that anybody would really like the sorting, culling, boxing, shifting, trucking and heavy lifting that comes with a move. Now imagine moving during a pandemic, with masks and serious social distancing in a play, and you’ll have some idea what it must have been like for bar Vetti last month. Continue reading bar Vetti lands in its new space

Butchertown Grocery Bakery bakes up deliciousness

The funky, stylish storefront offers European-style artisan breads, pastries, desserts, and an intriguing menu of creative sandwiches, salads, greens and grains, plus espresso drinks, beer and bourbon out front of its expansive bakery space. Nope, it’s not Blue Dog, but it follows a similar path to deliciousness as the Crescent Hill icon: We’re looking at you, Butchertown Grocery Bakery. Continue reading Butchertown Grocery Bakery bakes up deliciousness