La Suerte serves a fine Latin-style brunch

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

In the joy of this almost post-pandemic summer, diners are rushing back to local restaurants. But servers, line cooks and other restaurant workers aren’t in such a hurry, so if you’re dining out in Louisville these days, you may encounter a wait.

You’ve heard the stories: A three-hour delay at a popular riverside fried-fish eatery. Two hours for seating at a popular watering hole, with many open tables in sight. Kitchens so backed up that you can’t even place an order. Harried staffers pulling multiple duty as greeter, server, cook, and cashier.

Indeed, a host warned of a “15-minute hold” at La Suerte recently, when the brunch crowd was apparently slamming the kitchen and slowing the pace of orders coming out. Continue reading La Suerte serves a fine Latin-style brunch

We welcome Half Peach back after a rough spell

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

It has been almost two years since a maintenance-related roof collapse abruptly closed four popular restaurants in the Gallerias at St. Matthews strip on Oechsli Avenue in St. Matthews.

The roof remains unrepaired, the building is up for sale, and litigation is pending. Under the added weight of the Covid-19 pandemic, each of the four eateries – Del Frisco’s, Havana Rumba, Charim Korean Restaurant, and Half Peach Bakery & Cafe – has struggled to deal with insurance and legal issues as they fought to recover and relocate. Continue reading We welcome Half Peach back after a rough spell

The restaurant critic ponders the new normal

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Slowly, gradually, with some stutter steps, Louisville’s restaurant scene, like the nation’s, is edging back toward normal, and I for one am delighted to see that.

But even with widespread vaccination and declining positivity rates that mean many of us are pocketing our masks much of the time, it’s a new kind of normal. Some restaurants have been lost. A few new ones have arrived. Takeout, delivery, even curbside service seem likely to stick as more frequent options than ever before. Continue reading The restaurant critic ponders the new normal

Jasmine Asian Bistro offers first-rate Chinese fare

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

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

Clay Oven’s star shines in our Indian galaxy

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Let us take a moment to mark the virtual extinction of the all-you-can-eat buffet. Rendered terrifying by the pandemic and images of contagious hands dipping into communal pans, the restaurant buffet has all but disappeared from our lives.

I for one won’t mourn it much, with a solitary exception: I miss Indian restaurant buffets, and you should, too. My reasoning on this is simple: A lot of people are still discovering Indian food, and the buffet makes it easy. Even if you don’t know the difference between aloo and bhindi (all right, potato and okra), you can learn a lot by grazing the buffet. Try a little taste of this, a dab of that, and before long you’ve gotten to know the cuisine. Continue reading Clay Oven’s star shines in our Indian galaxy

Old School NY Pizza adds authenticity to Norton Commons

By Robin Garr
LouisvilleHotBytes.com

If you can’t make it to Southern Italy to indulge in traditional Neapolitan-style pizza at the source, New York City’s take on pizza is arguably second-best: And you won’t find a better slice in Louisville than at Old School NY Pizza.

A round of thin, crisp crust bearing portions of spicy sauce, melty cheese, and topping toppings discreetly applied so all remains in balance, fired in a high-temperature gas or wood oven until the cheese bubbles: That’s the recipe for Gotham’s finest, and Old School does it right. Continue reading Old School NY Pizza adds authenticity to Norton Commons

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