By Robin Garr
Let us take a moment to mark the virtual extinction of the all-you-can-eat buffet. Rendered terrifying by the pandemic and images of contagious hands dipping into communal pans, the restaurant buffet has all but disappeared from our lives.
I for one won’t mourn it much, with a solitary exception: I miss Indian restaurant buffets, and you should, too. My reasoning on this is simple: A lot of people are still discovering Indian food, and the buffet makes it easy. Even if you don’t know the difference between aloo and bhindi (all right, potato and okra), you can learn a lot by grazing the buffet. Try a little taste of this, a dab of that, and before long you’ve gotten to know the cuisine. Continue reading Clay Oven’s star shines in our Indian galaxy →
Now that I’ve resumed dining in with last week’s Monnik Beer Co. review, it’s back to sitting down at a restaurant table every week, right?
Well, no, not necessarily. This week, for instance, I got takeout from Simply Thai. Before I tell you about the food, let’s talk about this. Continue reading Simply Thai makes takeout delicious and easy →
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 →
Back in the ‘90s, I lived for a while on New York City’s Lower East Side. It was quite an experience for a Louisville boy, and one of the best things about it was my proximity to Indian Restaurant Row.
That’s what we called the block of Second Street between First and Second avenues, anyway, and the name fit: Every single storefront on the south side of the block housed an Indian restaurant, and they were all good. Their menus were all similar, prompting the rumor that they all shared the same kitchen. Doubtful, I know, but it seemed right.
Now, Louisville is not New York City, but it crossed my mind the other day that we’re kind of, sort of developing our own Indian Restaurant Row. It’s not as dense as New York’s, and there’s no question of a shared kitchen. But hey! Six Indian culinary establishments – four restaurants and two groceries – in a three-mile stretch of Hurstbourne Parkway isn’t bad in a city where we once had to drive to Cincinnati to get Indian food. Continue reading New Indian grocery leads us back to Shreeji →
I should have probably gotten out to I Love Tacos in Jeffersontown sooner. It certainly got my attention when its owners were brave enough to open up (takeout and curbside service only) on March 25, one week after Governor Andy shut down dining in across the state.
And then there’s that “I ?? Tacos” logo with an emoji heart. I don’t think I’ve ever checked in at a restaurant with an emoji in its name until now. Continue reading We love tacos, and I Love Tacos does them right →
When the pandemic abruptly shut down all the restaurants in March, Dakshin Indian Restaurant’s owner Sanjay Taxak took many of the same steps as other local eateries: He started offering takeout service and curbside pickup, and he began offering his restaurant’s Indian fare delivered via Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats.
But that wasn’t enough. Taxak was making and serving the food that he loves, but the situation left a hole in his heart. A lot of people were suffering. Furloughed, out of work, families would have a hard time feeding themselves. He couldn’t imagine his two children going hungry, and he didn’t want to think about it for anyone else. Continue reading Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch, at Dakshin →
Way back in 1975, when hardly anyone around here knew what street food was, Vijay Agrawal took his first steps toward culinary success when he added bhaji pav – a popular Mumbai veggie curry dish served with white rolls – to the selection of his outdoor chaat (snack) cart in downtown Ahmedabad, India’s fifth-largest city.
People loved it, and before long Agrawal opened his first sit-down restaurant. He called it “Honest,” and the food was honest, and before long he had shops all over Ahmedabad, then all across India, prompting jokes about “The Indian McDonald’s.” Continue reading What’s a bhaji pav? Honest Indian’s new delights →
SOU might mean “South.” It could represent “soul.” Yet the proper way to pronounce the name of this new Plainview-area eatery is not “sow” or “soo” but “So-you.” Intentional ambiguity seems to lie at the heart of this upscale dining room in a thoroughly renovated former Skyline Chili parlor, and that’s all right. Continue reading However you pronounce SOU, we sure like it. →
It came as no real surprise when I discovered that Las Margaritas Mexican Cuisine features margaritas at its well stocked bar. After all, lots of Mexican restaurants do. But this place takes it to the next level, offering a choice of a dozen house margaritas, from traditional models built with tequila or mezcal to hibiscus, prickly pear or jalapeño models and – wait for it – a bourbon margarita. Continue reading Las Margaritas isn’t just about the margaritas →
Once upon a time, within living memory for many of us, Italian dining meant hearty, red-sauced pasta, garlic bread, maybe a little lasagna, and fake ivy on the ceiling.
Then, just like that, back in the ‘70s, Italian went upscale. Before we knew it we were all gaga about what we called Northern Italian cuisine, with nary a drop of marinara in sight.
But in our hearts we know we still crave the comforting old-school family-style Italian-American fare, don’t we? If you’re suddenly craving some ravioli or chicken parm – and pizza of course – then here’s my advice: Head for Milantoni Italian Restaurant and mangia, mangia, mangia! Continue reading Milantoni offers fine Italian, the old-fashioned way →