Delicious tofu takeout at Heart & Soy

I’m pretty sure I unleashed a small rant last autumn when the Delta variant was coming on, threatening to retreat into takeout dining until things blew over a bit.

I didn’t actually do that. I’m vaccinated, and now boosted too, so what, me worry?

But the other day, eyeing news reports about the Omicron variant and rising positivity tolls, I started thinking about takeout again. Continue reading Delicious tofu takeout at Heart & Soy

When KFC gets faux chik’n, plant-based meat’s time has come

If you still think the recent wave of faux meats made from plants is just a passing fad that won’t last, consider this: On Monday, KFC rolled out Beyond Meat’s new plant-based chicken nuggets for a short-term test at all 4,000 U.S. shops, boxed not in the traditional red but a tasteful environmental green. Continue reading When KFC gets faux chik’n, plant-based meat’s time has come

Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

Back in the late winter of 1984, I did my first restaurant review for The Louisville Times. I enjoyed a great dinner at a short-lived Lebanese restaurant on Bardstown Road with a Lebanese-American friend who spent a short time at the city’s afternoon paper before moving on to bigger things.

Here we are, almost too many years later to count, and I’ve just finished a tasty repast from Simply Mediterranean, which I believe is the city’s first ethnic Lebanese restaurant since then. Continue reading Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

Two more closings end a bleak 2021

And the hits just keep on coming. It seems appropriate, in a meta kind of way, to quote a hit by the musician and songwriter Michael Nesmith, who died this month, to mark the passing of two more Louisville restaurants as the year nears its close.

Both spots – Faces Bar/Bistro at 1604 Bardstown Road, and The Fuelery Restaurant and Cafe at 2011 Frankfort Avenue – were born, lived, and died during the pandemic. Faces opened in June 2020, pushed back by the looming pandemic from a planned March opening. The Fuelery opened at the beginning of 2021. Continue reading Two more closings end a bleak 2021

Why leave? Local chef becomes a full-time Dad

Just about a year ago, sadly listing about 30 favorite restaurants that had closed forever during the first full year of Covid-19, I wrote, “the arrival of a pandemic that none of us saw coming at this time last year turned 2020 into a swirling black whirlpool that didn’t make anyone happy.”

Would 2021 be better? With a vaccine on the near horizon, a new national administration coming in, we dared to hope so, even while caseloads and positivity levels remained high.

So here we are, almost at the end of 2021. Most of us are doubly vaccinated now, and many are boosted. That’s good, right? Continue reading Why leave? Local chef becomes a full-time Dad

Eggholic lights up egg dishes with Indian flavors

Eggs are popular. Most people love them for breakfast, lunch, and even breakfast-for-dinner. So it’s no surprise that egg-centric eateries draw crowds in Louisville. Wild Eggs landed some 15 years ago; Con Huevos brought its Mexican flavors to our world of eggs in 2015.

Now Eggholic has come to town to tantalize us with delicious egg dishes in the style of the Gujurat region of Northwestern India. Continue reading Eggholic lights up egg dishes with Indian flavors

The Great Resignation: Why a CIA-trained chef quit

If I was asked to name a local chef most likely to join the Great Resignation, I would never have thought of Meghan Levins. Yet now she’s a full-time webinar monitor for a national virtual education firm.

Look at Levins’ biography, you might think, “There’s a chef for life.” She’s been working in restaurants since she was 15, when her Mom told her that if she wanted a car she was going to have to earn it. She took the challenge, grabbed an after-school job at the Molly Stark Tavern in her home town in New Hampshire.

Her job was bussing tables, she said, but she quickly fell in love with working in the kitchen. Management nurtured her, created a pantry chef job for her, and by her senior year in high school, gave her the recommendation that got her into CIA, the Culinary Institute of America. Continue reading The Great Resignation: Why a CIA-trained chef quit

Derby City Pizza scores with pizza and pasta

Everybody knows that I’m a huge fan of pizza, but I have my standards! I like pizza best the way they make it in New York City, or even Italy: It’s good bread, flatbread, with toppings added proportionately, not overloaded.

You want a thin but substantive crust, and you want a puffy browned edge – the “bones” – dotted with plenty of browned leopard spots.

Or that’s what I thought until I picked up a pizza to go from Derby City Pizza in Clifton the other day. Continue reading Derby City Pizza scores with pizza and pasta

D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s-eye view of the supply-chain roller-coaster

Imagine yourself as the owner and cook at a popular short-order diner. Suddenly you look around and discover that the price of your cooking oil has tripled, and you can’t buy biscuits for love or money.

Those challenges make things tough when your customers are looking for breakfast all day and the many fried delights that make diner fare so delicious. And that’s just the beginning, says Gibin George, owner and chef at D. Nalley’s Diner. Continue reading D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s-eye view of the supply-chain roller-coaster

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

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