Goodfellas makes us an offer we can’t refuse

By Robin Garr

Let’s welcome Goodfellas Pizzeria to Louisville! The first local outlet of a small but quickly growing Lexington-based chain, this corner spot in the Baxter Apartments at Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue joins sibling eateries in Indianapolis and the Cincinnati area.

The pizza is good, the meatballs impressive, and the scene looks like a spot in New York City’s Little Italy. Well, a little bit, anyway. Continue reading Goodfellas makes us an offer we can’t refuse

Some like it hot: Our favorite fiery fare

By Robin Garr

The hottest, fieriest, most palate-scorching dish I ever ate at a local restaurant was not Indian, nor any other cuisine traditionally associated with culinary fire.. Nope. It was a down-home entree – a simple grilled cheese sandwich – served up at the currently closed New Albany branch of Toast on Market.

Yeah, it was a chipotle grilled cheese sandwich, but still. As I wrote in my 2014 review, I didn’t quite expect flames to come shooting out my mouth while my endorphins took off in a wild and crazy rush around my brain. Wooee! That sandwich is HOT!” Continue reading Some like it hot: Our favorite fiery fare

Big Bad Breakfast brings another morning option

By Robin Garr

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

Struggling restaurants fight for federal fund boost

By Robin Garr

The pandemic hasn’t been kind to small businesses, and that certainly includes local restaurants and food-service ventures. Just ask Chase Barmore, who had spent more than nine years building his Lifebar smoothie bar concept.

Barmore’s healthy, hand-crafted all-organic smoothies had earned Life Bar deserved popularity through sales in three regional Rainbow Blossom stores, and business was looking better … until Covid came. Continue reading Struggling restaurants fight for federal fund boost

VinBun Vietnamese introduces us to bún and more

By Robin Garr

We’ve learned to love Vietnamese food. We’re big fans of pho, and we’ve learned to call it “phuh” when we order it.

Now let’s warm up to Vietnam’s other iconic dish, bún, which rhymes with “boon.” Want to get to know bún? You can’t go wrong by trekking out to the metro’s newest Vietnamese eatery, Vin Bun in Middletown, where the name of the dish is part of the restaurant’s moniker! Continue reading VinBun Vietnamese introduces us to bún and more

Lessons from history for this restaurant economy

By Robin Garr

If you’ve been fretting about high gasoline prices and skyrocketing grocery costs lately, you are certainly not alone.

And if you own a restaurant or work in one, already wrestling with well-publicized supply chain and staffing issues driven by the pandemic, you’re looking down the barrel of scary times ahead as inflation and a possible economic recession join the mix. Continue reading Lessons from history for this restaurant economy

Hyderabad House brings the biryani

By Robin Garr

Biryani: India’s mouth-watering rice dish, a meal in itself, stands tall against other national rice-based competitors such as Spain’s paella, Italy’s risotto, Nigeria’s jollof rice, Indonesia’s nasi goreng, Louisiana’s jambalaya, or Persia’s pilaf.

What is biryani, anyway? It’s a hearty rice dish layered with lamb, chicken, fish, or vegetables, scented with saffron and aromatic Indian spices, sauced with a thick gravy, and roasted in a covered pot until the flavors join in a resounding gustatory chorus. Continue reading Hyderabad House brings the biryani

The fish just keep on coming

Louisville is well into Lenten fish season now. Hungry supplicants are reportedly lining up at Friday church fish fries and local fish eateries too. And I’m not embarrassed to say that my fish fry report last month went locally viral enough to fill up my email and direct messages for a while.

Most of your comments were kind and grateful. A few were kind and constructively critical, politely telling me what more I could have done. I can live with that, as long as kindness is part of the equation.

So here’s the story: I didn’t do wrong in my report of Louisville-area church fish fries and a handful of personal favorite restaurants where fried fish is a year-round speciality.

But, some of you say, I could have done more. Continue reading The fish just keep on coming

Vietnam Kitchen stayed, and we are so happy

The rumors started more than four years ago, and they spread quickly: “Vietnam Kitchen is going to close! The owner wants to retire! Next time they close for vacation, they won’t open again!”

The fear was real. Vietnam Kitchen – VK, as its fans invariably abbreviate it – is the longest-standing Vietnamese restaurant still open in Louisville. It was founded in 1993 by Vietnamese immigrant Alex Lam and his family. Continue reading Vietnam Kitchen stayed, and we are so happy

Happy Lent, and thanks for all the fish

By Robin Garr

Easter is late this year, and working backwards, that means that Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday are a little behind schedule, too. Fat Tuesday is coming up on March 1, and Ash Wednesday, beginning the penitential season of Lent, arrives next week, on March 2.

In other words, if you’ve been craving fried fish a little more than usual lately, there may be a reason for that: In a more typical year, Lenten fish-fry season would already be well under way. Continue reading Happy Lent, and thanks for all the fish

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