Category Archives: BBQ, Burgers & Down-Home

Big Bad Breakfast brings another morning option

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

After Lynn’s Paradise Cafe closed abruptly in 2013, it left a vacant building and a crowd of nearby merchants crying over the loss of a neighborhood commercial anchor.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint filled the space for a couple of years, but soon became a victim of the pandemic.

It took another year for the latest occupant to fill the space again. Bad Breakfast looks like a good fit, though. Like Lynn’s, the new entry – first Kentucky franchise of a small but growing chain based in Oxford, Mississippi – offers hearty breakfast and lunch dishes in a down-home setting. Continue reading Big Bad Breakfast brings another morning option

Burger vs Burger: It’s a win-win at Shady Lane Cafe

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Ahh, Shady Lane Cafe! This lovable little East End diner-style cafe has been a popular lunch (and weekend dinner) spot since Bill Smith and Susi Wood opened it around 2004. It earned deserved popularity for its iconic Brownsboro burger and much more.

All good things eventually move on, though, and in August 2019 Bill, short-order chef and poet, and his wife Susi, amiable host and professional singer, turned the business over to another couple – Carol Reeves and Satbir “Shan” Singh – in August 2019.

The new owners have maintained the same high level of quality and popularity. When I dropped in to pick up a takeout lunch on a recent Saturday, every table in the little space was filled with apparently happy diners, and the line to the counter extended all the way back to the door. Continue reading Burger vs Burger: It’s a win-win at Shady Lane Cafe

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

No ghosties, no ghoulies: Hillcrest Tavern offers pure comfort

Halloween has come and gone, taking with it another piece of collateral damage from the pandemic: There was no Hillcrest Avenue halloween decoration extravaganza this year.

But there is still a doggone good reason to go to Hillcrest – or to be more exact, to cross the railroad tracks, turn left onto Frankfort Avenue, and drive a few blocks past Louisville Water Co. to Hillcrest Tavern.

You won’t be sorry. Continue reading No ghosties, no ghoulies: Hillcrest Tavern offers pure comfort

Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Following on his success with vegan takes on popular fast-food dishes like the Farby, an Arby’s knockoff made without a molecule of meat, Morels Cafe’s proprietor Stanley Chase has now turned his attention to a seemingly even more impossible task.

Behold, Morels Vegan BBQ Smokehouse, where Chase is creating vegetarian barbecued pulled “pork” and meat-free sausages that one could easily mistake for the real thing. Chase says vegetarian barbecue is a new concept, with similar restaurants in only two other places in the U.S. that he knows of, both very popular on their home ground: Homegrown Smoker in Portland, Oregon, and Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse in Brooklyn. Continue reading Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Pollo chicken food truck lands in Clifton storefront

“From food truck to brick and mortar. A dream has come true!” With palpable joy, Troy King and Selena Johnson, the owners of the Pollo food truck and Shelby Park’s popular Six Forks Burger Co., announced on social media last month that Pollo has landed in a Clifton storefront.

Pollo – or “Pollo – a gourmet chicken joint” if you want to be formal about it – has been a familiar sight around town with its rolling quarters in an old, short school bus painted dark gray. It’s been operating since 2014, but King and Johnson were eager to add a land-based location just as Six Forks marked its first anniversary this month. Continue reading Pollo chicken food truck lands in Clifton storefront

Let’s take Oskar’s out for a picnic!

I’ve been doing a lot of takeout dining in the past couple of months, and I’m content with that.

But I have one big problem with takeout: Unless I choose from a handful of restaurants within a five-minute drive from my house, my takeout dinner is likely to be lukewarm or worse by the time I get it on the table.

?The solution is obvious, especially in summer time: Let’s have a picnic! Select a restaurant with a park nearby Grab your meal and hustle it to the nearest shady glen. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner is served! Continue reading Let’s take Oskar’s out for a picnic!

BurgerIM fights off challenges to bring the burgers

If you’ve been wondering about the odd name of that new gourmet-style hamburger joint in the Vogue Center, wonder no longer: The Hebrew plural ending “-im” on the English word “Burger,” yields “BurgerIM,” a crafty way to make a common word a trademark.

We brought home a bunch of burgerim, er, burgers, the other day and found them estimable, particularly considering the double whammy that the franchise owners have had to face during their first months in business. Continue reading BurgerIM fights off challenges to bring the burgers

Secrets of the burger chefs

Some days you feel like a burger. Some days you feel like a steak. But let’s make one thing perfectly clear: This is not a matter of better and best. The simple, honest burger in no way takes second place to the faux nobility of the tenderloin, rib eye, strip, or porterhouse. Sometimes, when you’re in a certain mood, nothing but a burger will do.

Feeling like a burger and having a burger on your plate can be two different things, though. Do you get out and buy dinner, or do you make your own? There’s a lot to be said for making your own: You save costs, and you control the ingredients, the preparation, the heat, the toppings, even the decision whether to add a slice or two of cheese.

But how do you make your burger as good as it can be? To find out, we asked for advice from a half-dozen local burger experts, restaurant chefs who’ve earned the people’s ovation and fame forever for the quality of their grilled ground-beef patties. Continue reading Secrets of the burger chefs

Galan’s offers a tasty oasis in a West End food desert

Many of Louisville’s West End neighborhoods are defined as food deserts, places where low-income neighbors don’t have easy access to supermarkets. But Carlos Galan is trying to do something about that.

Galan, who came to Louisville from Florida five years ago with his wife, Kim, saw potential in the West End, and he is taking practical steps to bring food to the Market Street neighborhood where Russell meets Portland. Continue reading Galan’s offers a tasty oasis in a West End food desert