Category Archives: Downtown, NuLu and Butchertown

Shirley Mae’s puts the soul in soul food

Some say that the art of soul, in music or in food, can never be mastered by white folks, and I can buy this hypothesis: Lacking a history of slavery and oppression, we just don’t have the tools born of heritage. But we can certainly enjoy soul, and honor it, whether we’re listening to Aretha or dining at someplace like Shirley Mae’s. Continue reading Shirley Mae’s puts the soul in soul food

Six Forks: simple, affordable quality

A restaurant doesn’t have to be expensive to be good, and it doesn’t have to be elegant to be pleasing. I present in evidence Six Forks Burger Co., an amiable little eatery that specializes in hamburgers, hot dogs, and more.

Six Forks recently arrived in a Shelby Park street-corner storefront that, in years past, housed Louisville’s only Pakistani restaurant and later a fried chicken-and-fish shop. Continue reading Six Forks: simple, affordable quality

The wurst is good at The Hall

Many years ago, we were wandering around Europe on a Eurailpass when one of us said, “Let’s go to Munich,” just on a whim. That’s how I found out what a beer hall is, and Oktoberfest, too.

Ah, memories. Memories of friendly Germans lined up along long communal tables, drinking excellent beer out of sturdy steins, chowing down on delicious sausages, and singing.

Now we have the Hall on Washington, and it’s something like that too, but with a Louisville twist, no singing, and a strong sense of history thanks to its location in the walkout basement on the Washington Avenue side of Whiskey Row. Continue reading The wurst is good at The Hall

Down One Bourbon Bar, two thumbs up

Thoughts upon an evening of snacking and sipping rye whiskey in Down One Bourbon Bar: Bourbon has been around for well over 200 years, and its history has been tied to Kentucky for all that time.

What’s more, bourbon is booming, with the state’s distillery roster almost quadrupling from 18 to 78 properties in the past 10 years..

So riddle me this: Why do you suppose that Louisville, stuck with a shabby downtown that closed up at night since white flight, expressways and suburban malls shelled it out during the ‘60s, took until now to figure out that bourbon makes a great fuel for tourism and urban development? Continue reading Down One Bourbon Bar, two thumbs up

Amici satisfies with fine pasta and more

I love pasta in all its forms. Heck, I love it that there are so many forms. From skinny angel hair to broad pappardelle; long, short, or in-between, gimme. Pasta is my comfort food, and I’m delighted to report having achieved maximum pasta comfort at Amici Café in Old Louisville the other day. Continue reading Amici satisfies with fine pasta and more

Ehrler’s is back, and it’s good

Nothing goes much better to rid your palate of the sad and mournful taste of raw kale than a scoop of delicious, creamy ice cream, and the serious shot of bourbon in Ehrler’s bourbon pecan fudge ($3.60 for a kiddie cup big enough for two kiddies) did the trick for me. Continue reading Ehrler’s is back, and it’s good

Expand your Ethiopian food horizons at Abyssinia and Addis

To gain real insight into other people, walk a mile in their moccasins. This simple old wisdom still feels fresh, maybe more than ever these days. Here’s another saying, not so famous, because I just made it up: To get to know friends from around the world, sit down to a meal of their food. While you’re there, talk to the owners and workers if you can, and thank them for making our town a more diverse and interesting place.

This is easy for me. I’ve always been excited by the opportunity to try food from all over the world, and to get to know the people who make it. I recommend it to you, too. Here’s a good way to start: drop by either – or both – of the downtown Ethiopian restaurants where I’ve enjoyed lunch recently: Addis Grill on the north side of the business district, and Abyssinia Authentic Ethiopian toward downtown’s southern end. Continue reading Expand your Ethiopian food horizons at Abyssinia and Addis

Naïve’s sustainable ethos yields delicious fare

It is so tempting to start with a joke about a restaurant named Naïve that I’m just going to resist temptation and not even go there. Seriously, the ethos behind the name of this charming new spot on the edge of Butchertown is so sweet that it deserves to stand on its own:

“We see the world as a place of hope,” Naïve’s owners write on the restaurant website. “Maybe that’s naive. But maybe it’s one of our greatest strengths. Because we’re not afraid to think big, with no preconceived notions. With a connection to what’s real, from the food we eat to the relationships we nourish.” Continue reading Naïve’s sustainable ethos yields delicious fare

Even on a quiet night, Marketplace rocks

We had such a good time checking out Main Street last week that we decided to hit the other end of downtown for dinner at Marketplace. Hmm. This block is different.

Walk down Fourth Street toward Broadway on a quiet evening when there’s nothing playing at the Palace, Mercury Ballroom or the Brown Theatre, and you may not meet another human being. Until you get to Marketplace Restaurant, anyway. Continue reading Even on a quiet night, Marketplace rocks

Yum Center bound? Dine at BBC first

Say what you will about the Yum Center – and I say it looks like the offspring of an unnatural union between a toaster oven and an ink-jet copier – you have to give it credit for helping foster a boom in good places to eat in its Main Street neighborhood. Like Bluegrass Brewing Company. And other good places, too, but BBC, I’m looking at you right now. Continue reading Yum Center bound? Dine at BBC first