Category Archives: $$ Modest ($30-$50)

We chaat it up at Shreeji Indian

By Robin Garr

I’m not great at small talk, but I love chaat. Okay, I can hear the chorus of boos from here. I’ll just show myself out.

Seriously, though, the Indian street food delight known as chaat appeals to me, so much so that a search on the word in the Louisville HotBytes archives brought up references at a dozen different local Indian eateries. I’ve eaten plenty of chaat, and I’ve spent plenty of words trying to describe it. Continue reading We chaat it up at Shreeji Indian

The Goose has landed, and we’re happy about that

By Robin Garr

Two popular East End restaurants did a kind of corporate musical chairs this fall: It all started when Goose Creek Diner closed its shop on Goose Creek Lane after more than 20 years, and Sal’s Pizza & Sports Pub on Lyndon Lane closed last December after a dozen years.

Neighbors promptly begain grieving the loss of their familiar watering holes, but the events seemed unavoidable. Goose Creek Diner’s landlord decided to raze its building. Sal’s owner simply decided it was time to retire. Neighbors at both places wondered where they were going to go for down-home fare in a friendly environment.

It didn’t take long for Goose Creek to answer that question. Continue reading The Goose has landed, and we’re happy about that

New Uptown Cafe, a lot like the old Uptown Cafe

By Robin Garr

As autumn 2020 chilled into the first Covid winter, one of the hardest hits of a run of bad restaurant news came when Uptown Cafe announced that it was closing on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, seemingly ending a 35-year run as a fixture on Bardstown Road’s Restaurant Row.

Uptown was comfortable, cozy, reasonably affordable, yet stylish, more a bistro than a diner. If it wasn’t a place where everyone knew your name, at least it was a place where your face was always familiar. Continue reading New Uptown Cafe, a lot like the old Uptown Cafe

Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

By Robin Garr

Blue Dog Bakery celebrated a quarter-century of making great bread for Louisville’s people this year, and it’s hard for me to believe that it has been that long.

It feels as if it was only recently, but it was actually way back in 1998 that I knocked on Blue Dog’s back door in the dark hours before dawn and met owners Bob Hancock and his wife Kit Garrett. Continue reading Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

We go for the big cheese, and charcuterie too, at Harvey’s

By Robin Garr

Charcuterie. Not long ago, most of us weren’t even sure how to pronounce it. Now, says the National Restaurant Association, “Charcuterie makes the cut for 2023. A Top 3 hot menu trend and No. 1 in appetizers … charcuterie is a rising star on menus.”

Indeed, charcuterie is showing up in restaurants all over town. You can get a board on the menu at Red Hog, North of Bourbon, Mussel & Burger Bar, Monnik Beer Co., where the $21 charcuterie plate features local meats and cheeses … did I mention that charcuterie is trending? We’re even getting shops that specialize in charcuterie: Board and You in New Albany will fashion you a board to go, and so will Cultured – Cheese and Charcuterie Bar in Butchertown. Not to mention Harvey’s in Clifton, a newish spot that I’ve been meaning to check out since it opened at the end of February, when it moved into this storefront in the Clifton Lofts condo building from its former stand in the Logan Street Market. Continue reading We go for the big cheese, and charcuterie too, at Harvey’s

We pick a plate of pickle pizza at Craft House

By Robin Garr

I’m sure I’ve confessed this before: I’m a pizza snob. I learned pizza in New. York City, with graduate studies in Italy, and I want my pizza authentic, artisanal, and made according to tradition. Pineapple pizza? Harrumph! I’m not even comfortable with jalapeños or broccoli on my pie.

But then I spotted a pickle pizza with Pop’s Pepper Patch Spicy Habagardil pickles on top. Hey, now! A strange yet irresistible call lured me out to Craft House Pizza’s new shop on Hurstbourne Parkway. I need this in my life! Continue reading We pick a plate of pickle pizza at Craft House

We anticipate Taco Week at Gustavo’s

By Robin Garr

I hope everyone enjoyed Louisville Taco Week last week and ate your fill. There’s a lot to like about a promotion that brings you tacos for $2.50 a plate at close to 20 local Mexican-style eateries!

I had big plans, but peaked too soon. All the advance advertising gave me such a powerful taco crave that I rushed out to Gustavo’s Mexican Grill and ate my fill a week before the event.

It was worth it.
Continue reading We anticipate Taco Week at Gustavo’s

Is this Paradise? Indian buffet is back

By Robin Garr

Remember back before Covid when restaurant buffets were commonplace? Lots of people love a buffet meal, and why not? You get abundant choice, all you can eat, and there’s no wait for a server and chef to do their work before you can pitch in.

That’s a lot to like, but a lot of people are wary of the buffet, and with good reason. Continue reading Is this Paradise? Indian buffet is back

Every day is St. Patrick’s Day at The Irish Rover

By Robin Garr

Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, Louisville’s Irish Rover famously holds a humongous party, featuring an oversize tent that covers most of the parking lot, live Irish music, and plenty of great Irish food and gallons of dark Irish beer.

It’s fun, I’m told. But I’ve never been. Big, noisy crowds guzzling draft beer outdoors on a brisk March day, even with the comfort of a tent loaded with toasty heaters, is just not my style.

But catching up with The Rover for lunch the day after St. Patrick’s, enjoying the warm and cozy Irish pub comfort of The Rover’s historic Frankfort Avenue building on a more normal day? Priceless. Continue reading Every day is St. Patrick’s Day at The Irish Rover

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