By Robin Garr
If you’ve never wondered why so many Chinese restaurants use what appear to be very similar menus, you probably don’t get much Chinese takeout. The menus look alike, and the dishes are pretty much the same wherever you go.
What’s that about? It took me a lot of digging, but the often-reliable Internet finally led me to the secret: Most of the menus come from a group of printers packed into a few blocks in New York’s Chinatown, using newspaper-size printing presses to run hundreds of thousands of similar Chinese menus for the whole country!
This may help explain why most of Louisville’s 50 to 60 fast-food Chinese restaurant menus seem very much alike. Continue reading Peking City Express cracks the Chinese restaurant code
By Robin Garr
It doesn’t seem reasonable to say that it’s hard to find good eats on Bardstown Road on a Sunday afternoon, but I was sure feeling that way the other day.
Trekking through this usually busy restaurant row on a sizzling afternoon, I struck out at three places before we got to Joy Luck. Success! Heck, I really wanted Chinese food anyway, or so I told my easily convinced self. Continue reading We find our way to good eats at Joy Luck
By Robin Garr
If you’ve got a hankering for Chinese food, you can take comfort in this statistic: According to the trade journal Chinese Restaurant News, there were more than 43,000 independent Chinese restaurants in the United States in 2019.
The pandemic has surely seen closures, but still, that was triple the 13,443 U.S. McDonald’s locations in 2021. I’d much rather have a bowl of Jasmine Asian Bistro’s Sichuanese cucumber salad than a Big Mac anyway. Continue reading Jasmine Asian Bistro offers first-rate Chinese fare
I’ve been a big fan of Jade Palace’s dim sum ever since the late 1980s, when this popular eatery in what is now Westport Village introduced Louisville to these tasty, bite-size Chinese snacks.
But the other day I had a pandemic-related revelation: In these days when many of us are wary about dining indoors at a crowded restaurant: Dim sum makes a great takeout alternative. In fact, Jade Palace is closed to dining in during the pandemic, but it does offer takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery. Continue reading Jade Palace’s dim sum makes great takeout
I still vividly remember the excitement of my first tastes of Sichuan cuisine. We had to travel to New York City, San Francisco or Chicago to get such goodies back in the late ‘70s, but Sichuan, aka Szechwan, fare did get to Louisville finally, and for a decade or two, these spicy regional cuisines were among the city’s most popular dining options. Continue reading Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors
“Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.” Yogi Berra purportedly said that, making the aphorism famous even if he didn’t say it first. Now I want to take an unlikely shot at similar fame with this Yogi-style observation: “I go to August Moon so often that I haven’t been there lately.” Continue reading Shine on, August Moon
We’re just a few days into the New Year, and most of you foodies are probably already tired of reading many versions of the same basic story about all the new restaurants that joined the metro’s culinary community last year. So let’s not do that.
I’d like to tip my fedora to Baby 2016, though, by pulling up for a wider view: Was there any consistent flavor in the boiling, simmering, seething stew of the city’s eats beat in 2015? Continue reading We look back at 2015, and way back at Oriental House
There we were, Mary and I, sitting and chatting as we waited for our apps in the comfortably cozy confines of Tea Station Chinese Bistro. We sipped Tsing Tao beers and gazed out at the main drag of Norton Commons, the new subdivision with the old-time look, trying to figure out why this village somehow feels both appealing and a little creepy all at the same time.
Norton Commons was Louisville’s first large venture into the “New Urbanism” (or at least the first since St. James Court was developed in 1887). Hey, New Urbanism is cool! Something new, made to look old, compact and walkable, retro in style, quaint but, um, “safe.”
So what’s not to like?
Continue reading New urbanism, same old Chinese in Norton Commons
“I like rice,” the late, wacky stand-up comic Mitch Hedberg famously said. “Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2,000 of something.”
This is funny because it’s a presumably true statement about a reality that we’ve probably never considered before, and yanks a laugh out of our bellies before we suddenly come up short with the obvious follow-up: “So what?”
Continue reading We eat 2,000 grains of rice at charming Bentuhua Teahouse
When I was a child, country-style chicken and dumplings wasn’t a thing in my citified family, but I wanted them to be. I would read about dumplings in children’s books and dream of tasting these succulent-sounding goodies.
“You wouldn’t like them,” my mother said, declining to make some for the family table.
Eventually I got to try some, and sure enough, Mom was right as usual. Thick rectangles of flabby dough, floating in chicken stew? Meh.
But that was before most folks in these parts knew of Chinese dumplings. Continue reading Soup dumplings? Soup in dumplings wins at The Joy Luck