Like food? Learn about food justice. This form can help

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

I’ve liked food for a long time. Coming of age in the time of Julia Child and James Beard and culinary stars like that, it didn’t take me long as a young adult to get interested in cooking and dining out.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the restaurant critic’s mic: The more interested I became in food and cooking, the more I wanted to learn about food. Where does it come from? How does it grow? How is it distributed? And maybe most of all, why is it that some people on this green Earth have so much food that they can throw it away, while others might want to fight for those scraps? Continue reading Like food? Learn about food justice. This form can help

For a top-notch Sichuanese meal, call J-a-s-m-i-n-e

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

China’s $1.4 billion population in 2022 is roughly four times the size of our 335 million people, and all those hungry Chinese enjoy, depending on where they live, at least eight major regional cuisines dating back thousands of years.

So why is it, if we don’t think twice about enjoying the varieties of American fare – Southern chow, Cajun cuisine, Texas barbecue and so many more of our own regional cuisines – that most Americans for many years assumed that all Chinese food was summed up in the menu at the local chop suey house? Continue reading For a top-notch Sichuanese meal, call J-a-s-m-i-n-e

Everything – well, some things – you wanted to know about appetizers

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Appetizers! There’s something about simply hearing the name that gets your taste buds working, or mine, anyway. It even sounds so much more appealing than the hoity-toity French “hors d’oeuvres,” am I right?

So what is an appetizer, anyway, and where did this idea of offering a small, tasty bit before the main course come from? Continue reading Everything – well, some things – you wanted to know about appetizers

Bavarian-inspired Common Haus Hall, a great new arrival

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

The beloved German restaurant Gasthaus closed last month after nearly 30 years of delighting us with delicious schnitzel sauerbraten and more. So what are we going to go now, when we’re hankering for wurst or some flammenkueche or even a giant German pretzel?

Good news! A quick trip across the Ohio will bring you to Common Haus Hall, an outstanding recent arrival on the local dining scene. Continue reading Bavarian-inspired Common Haus Hall, a great new arrival

Half-price wine, what a deal!

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

It may be true that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or at least that a free lunch rarely comes without a quid pro quo. But half-price wine? Now, that is a thing!

Locally and around the nation, a surprising number of restaurants choose at least one evening per week to offer all or part of its wine list at half-price, usually with the purchase of a meal. A few, like Louisville’s Volare Ristorante, go a step further with half-price wine seven days a week for patrons dining at the bar. Continue reading Half-price wine, what a deal!

Alley Cat Cafe has no cats, just great cheap eats

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

“We do not have cats,” a sign in the front window of Alley Cat Cafe’s little dining room warns, perhaps to ward off disappointment from visitors expecting to delight in a cat cafe with cute kittens jumping on the tables.

There are, in fact, a few ceramic cats on a tchotchke shelf in a corner. But Alley Cat Cafe is best known as a destination for delicious, affordable breakfast and lunch, attracting crowds on Middletown’s old Main Street for 21 years. Continue reading Alley Cat Cafe has no cats, just great cheap eats

It’s not your grandma’s church supper when Chef Lamas is in the house

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Chef Anthony Lamas wrapped a towel around the handle of a screeching hot black iron skillet, swung around and showed off a dozen beautifully seared fresh-caught dry scallops the size of baseballs to an eager crowd.

“This is how you do it,” he said with a smile. “Dry scallops, never stored in liquid. Season them, slap them in a dry skillet as hot as you can get it, and don’t turn them until they come loose.” Continue reading It’s not your grandma’s church supper when Chef Lamas is in the house

Yen for enchiladas lures us to La Cocina de Mama

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

I hate to say that my food cravings are easily influenced what I see and hear. It’s true, though. All it takes is a tempting phrase in a cooking article or an attractive food photo in a culinary video, and I’ve got to have it right now.

This time it was The New York Times that sent me out looking for Mexican food thanks to a lyrical dissertation, “All Enchiladas Are Perfect. But These Are My Favorite,” in the April 27 edition.

Oh! Yes! I had to have enchiladas, and I needed them right now. I’d been meaning to check La Cocina de Mamá for quite a while, anyway. “Mom’s Cooking,” what could be more lovable than that? Continue reading Yen for enchiladas lures us to La Cocina de Mama

Inflation poses tough pricing choices for chefs and owners

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Dan McMahon sat with a Sharpie and an extra copy of his restaurant’s trifold menu and pondered a difficult decision.

McMahon, general manager of Danny Mac’s Pizza in the Mellwood Art Center, knew he would have to raise prices. With grocery prices rising fast, gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon locally, and inflation the United States hitting the highest levels seen in decades, that was a done deal.

“We just went through all of our invoices and found out that lots of our business supplies went up about 20 percent in the last month,” he said. “All food and packing supplies went up. Twenty percent can put you out of business fast if you don’t change your prices.” Continue reading Inflation poses tough pricing choices for chefs and owners

Goodfellas makes us an offer we can’t refuse

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

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

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