A full plate from the lunch buffet at Shandaar Indian Restaurant.

Something old, something new

Let’s touch down for a couple of quick hits on the metro dining scene this week. Uptown Café has been a Bardstown Road landmark for 20 years, serving always reliable fare in a friendly setting that keeps bringing people back for more.

Shandaar Indian is so new that its well-crafted Facebook page still has that new-page smell. So far out in the East End that it feels closer to downtown Shelbyville than downtown Louisville, it proved to be well worth the trek.
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Did they used to call this New Lew?

We’ve got Dystopia: Louisville’s food scene in 2065

LOUISVILLE, New South United People’s Zone, April 1, 2065 – The recent discovery of a large trove of 50-year-old LEO Weeklys, lost in the rubble-filled basement of one of the old buildings in the old city’s fabled New Lew (Nulu?) district before it was destroyed in the Troubles of ’37, sheds fascinating light on the city’s dining scene in those times.

How different it all seems from our perspective! Continue reading

Industry Standard - Marsha Lynch

It’s my party

My (long-suffering) fiancé, John, had a celebratory dinner with workmates scheduled last Saturday for 7 p.m. at a popular sushi-hibachi restaurant in Fern Creek. At 7:45, he texted me: Still waiting for a table.

Sure, it was Saturday night, and the place was packed, but that seemed a little bit too much of a delay. I replied: Lordy. Didn’t you have a res?
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The Ville Taqueria's Veggie Taco

The cat ate my review. No, really!

After quite a few years writing a weekly column about food, I’ve learned a thing or two. For instance:
* When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
* That which does not kill us makes us strong.
* The deadline monster must be fed.
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Rumplings' Piggy Bowl

Ramen guys do ramen and dumplings at Rumplings

Warmed by the delights of four big bowls of steaming ramen at Rumplings in five day’s time, I asked my baby boomer pals on Facebook a simple question this week: When did you first encounter instant ramen? What did you think of it when you did?
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The Dundee Gastropub's Dundee Dip

Dundee done be a gastropub now

What’s a gastropub, anyway? This culinary neologism has been floating around since the middle of the last decade, and some say it cries out for mockery. “Gastropub”? It sounds, a bit unnervingly, like some kind of medical condition afflicting the digestive system.

What’s more, plenty of the more pompous food scribes decry the term. I still remember an odd analysis by one local food reviewer, who dismissed “gastropub” as an annoying label, misused and meaningless, reserved for bars that wanted to serve house-made ketchup.
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Donuts and coffee at Clifton Donuts

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your donuts here

What warms an icy winter morning better than a hot, freshly made donut? Are you with me? Then you’ll want to Schoolhouse Rock right over to LowBrow across from Kroger, where a charming little donut shop run by a friendly Cambodian immigrant family recently opened in the tiny building that recently housed Chicago Gyros.

If you can’t wait to get them home or scarf them in your car, you can settle right down at either of two cozy tables. Go. You’ll be glad.

Clifton Donuts
2317 Brownsboro Road
749-6806

It’s No Day for a Snow Day

It’s irresistible, isn’t it? The thought of an officially sanctioned day of playing hooky, all safe and warm with your kids and your dogs, snuggled up at home with a full pantry, three hundred cable channels and a bottle of wine for later. The oven’s cranking a pot roast and dough’s rising underneath a gingham tea towel in a ceramic bowl on the counter. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting up in here!
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Cafe Lou Lou's Mediterranean Pizza

The pizza caper goes down at Cafe Lou Lou

Who’d like to get in on a caper? I’m not talking about a hilariously wacky criminal plot. Even if it were victimless and presumably foolproof, I’m naturally nervous about activities that could land me behind bars. Nor an ancient Celtic jumping and bounding dance, either. I’ll take my exercise in milder doses, thanks!

No, I’m mentally munching into an edible caper, those little green BB-shaped things made from the pickled bud of a Mediterranean lily-like flower, an item that most of us buy in little briny jars from Lotsa Pasta and stash on a refrigerator shelf, never to be seen again.
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Bentuhua Teahouse's Ga-li Fan

We eat 2,000 grains of rice at charming Bentuhua Teahouse

“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?”
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The Orechiette at 8UP

8UP is stunning, but how about the food?

Even after many years of wisecracking about food, I have to doff my toque to Calvin Trillin, whose culinary scribblings in The New Yorker and elsewhere surely qualify him as the funniest food writer ever.

So, upon my recent visit to 8UP, the self-described “Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen” atop the new downtown Hilton Garden Inn, it was with great glee that I went a’Googling in search of my favorite Trillin quote about rooftop eateries.
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