Category Archives: Reviews

  1. Review: Premium meat from Mattingly worth the investment

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    December 3, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    A box of meat from Mattingly. Christmas came early?

    Let’s get the tough part out of the way. This blog post is going to feature expensive meats firmly settled in Treat Yo’ Self territory.
    Yet, I was torn. The selection of meat from Mattingly is of premium quality with prices that reflect that commitment. Of the meat I sampled, the New York Strip is $13.75 a pound, pork chops are $5.50 per pound, and the hamburger patties are $3.50 per pound.

    We’re all regular folks, here. You know and I know that the prices made us gulp. But if you’re going to go big, go with Mattingly.

    Bringing home Mattingly Meat was like sneaking into the kitchen of my favorite steakhouse, clunking the chef over the head, and stealing slabs of beef from the fridge. My galley kitchen was instantly upgraded when I cooked a New York strip.

  2. Stevens and Stevens Deli serves up local, lunchtime realness

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    November 13, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    Chicken noodle soup.

    Sometimes, I get by with a little help from my friends. These are friends who love food as much as I do and introduce me to their favorite places to eat in the city.

    I have Jay and Renee Valentine, fellow bloggers/podcasters and past guests on Deliciously Louisville, to thank for introducing me to Stevens and Stevens Deli, a hidden gem of a lunch spot on Bardstown Road. The Valentines raved about this restaurants wide selection of sandwiches, tasty toppings and good prices and invited me to join them for an early weekday lunch. They had me at sandwiches.

    I’ve driven or walked by Stevens and Stevens dozens of times without noticing this restaurant. I blame the odd restaurant/roommate situation. The deli shares a space with Ditto’s Grill near the busy intersection of Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive. The Ditto’s whimsical sign eclipses the simple Stevens and Stevens masthead on the front of the building. And the entrance to Stevens and Stevens is down a narrow parking lot toward the rear of the building’s left side. The relationship between these two restaurants gets even cozier inside. To my right, I had a clear view of the staff preparing the dining room of Dittos for the approaching lunchtime crowd. To the left, customers had started to pop in and order from the Stevens and Stevens counter and sit in the deli’s smaller dining area.

    The selection at Stevens and Stevens is worthy of front-of-the-house attention. There are more than 50 types of sandwiches, which are all made to order right at the counter. There is a sandwich for everyone, and a quirky name to go with it. I’m a sucker for a fun menu. Here are some of my favorites:

    • Mr Ziegfeld Mr. Ziegfeld: rueben with corned beef, sauerkraut, Jarlsburg swiss cheese and Russian dressing
    • Hogs and Heffers: hot honey ham, applewood bacon and warmed pimento cheese
    • Arc de Fromage: grilled challah bread with Jarlsburg, cheddar, applewood bacon and tomato
    • Sleeps with the Fishes: hand-sliced lox from New York City, arugula, garden tomatoes, red onions, capers and mayo on toasted challah bread

    Don’t worry, picky eaters — you can get plain ol’ sandwiches, too. But who wants a turkey on white when you can get a Dr. Zhivago (turkey, Russian slaw, and Jarlsburg swiss cheese)?

    Stevens and Stevens also makes a variety of pasta and green salads and soups that you can pair with a sandwich, but are hearty enough to eat on their own.

    The pick two options at the deli are wonderful for trying a little bit of everything they have to offer. Customers can two half portions of soup, salad or sandwich for $6.50 ($7.50 if you pick half of a specialty sandwiches, aka the ones with the fancy names). After much studying and fretting, I picked the Benowitz When in Doubt, a turkey sandwich with Chinese slaw, melted provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, and honeycup mustard on challah bread. I made it a pick two and paired my half sandwich with a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

    Half the reason I ordered the sandwich was the name; I was, after all, in doubt. But I was also intrigued by the addition of an allegedly crazy slaw to a turkey sandwich. The cabbage slaw, trapped under the melted provolone, was sweet and crunchy. The honey mustard slathered on top was tangy and matched the slight spicy kick from slaw perfectly. The stack of turkey was large enough to tango with these medley of flavors. And the challah bread? Dense, soft and heavenly.
    The soup was full of chopped carrots, hunks of chicken and tender noodles. If I had a cup of this for every cold day, I would be a happy woman.

    I owe the Valentines big time for introducing me to Stevens and Stevens. This deli quickly became one of my favorite places to grab a sandwich in Louisville. Now, I just need some friends to help me get through that sandwich selection.

    Stevens and Stevens Deli

    1114 Bardstown Road

    Louisville, Ky.

    www.stevensandstevensdeli.com

  3. I ate an $8 grilled cheese sandwich at Atlantic No. 5. Was it worth it?

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    October 29, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    Employees assemble orders at Atlantic No. 5.

    Cold weather and a long line outside of The Main Eatery prompted my first visit to Atlantic No. 5, a new restaurant on Main Street in downtown Louisville.

    Last Friday, I had my heart set on a tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich from The Main Eatery. It was the first cold Friday of the fall, so the line for other seekers of that legendary soup-and-sandwich combo was out the door and to the corner of the block.

    It was 12:15. I didn’t have time for that.

    Atlantic No. 5 was just a few doors down. I glanced inside and saw that the line was contained to the warm interior of the bistro. Customers hovered over cups of soup as they skimmed newspapers. A server walked around the counter with something that could pass for a grilled cheese. That was enough for me to give this restaurant a try.

  4. Havana Rumba Express livens up Bardstown Road with tapas at low prices

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    July 30, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    Fancy potatoes from Havana Rumba Express.

    I need to allot a portion of my paycheck to the owners of Havana Rumba Restaurant. I visit the restaurant’s Middletown location when I want to enjoy the weather on the lush patio. I go to Mojito Tapas Restaurant, a slightly different concept from the same owners, when I feel a little fancy. And when all else fails, I can count on the original Havana Rumba location in St. Matthews to provide consistently good Cuban food, strong tropical drinks and an atmosphere that will liven up any weekday.

    Now, the creators of Havana Rumba have gone and opened another restaurant, or, as I shall call it, the Highlands Depository of Ashlee’s Hard-Earned Money.

    Havana Rumba Express and Tapas Bar opened last month at 2210 Bardstown Road, close to Douglass Boulevard. This new branch of the Cuban food family is two restaurants in one — a fast-casual restaurant perfect for meals on the go and a tapas bar for a casual evening out.

  5. Review: Menu and Hours app for Android is worth the wait

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    March 20, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    A screenshot of Menu and Hours. This is a portion of the Dish on Market menu.

    Let me start this review with a few disclosures.

    I’m friends with Michelle Jones, the creator of the Menu and Hours app. Michelle began to publish my $10 Challenge pieces on her popular blog, Consuming Louisville, back in 2010 when I was just a fresh-faced blogger fresh out of a traditional newsroom. I consider her a role model and a friend.

    I’m a financial supporter of Menu and Hours. I donated money to the Menu and Hours Kickstarter campaign, which means I received this app for free as a reward for my donation.

    I’m not a tech writer. I still haven’t figured out the technology behind fax machines (something about pictures or magic, I think).

    We square?

    Good.

    *clears throat*

    Menu and Hours is a Louisville-centered restaurant app that provides you with the basics — the menu, hours, location and phone numbers of some of the region’s local restaurants. There’s no reviews, PDFs or other annoyances I’ve found on similar food-centric apps. Instead, Menu and Hours uses a slick, clean design to relay the information that really matters when you’re hungry.

    Menu and Hours debuted on the iPhone in September and arrived in the Google Play store last week. As a devoted Android operator, it’s been a long few months of seeing iPhone-leaning friends plug the usefulness of this app. Now it’s my turn.

    The app’s appearance immediately grabbed me. There’s no pictures and not a lot of color, just some bright blue spot color and a couple of clean sans serif fonts. It’s odd to see a food app without a lot of bells and whistles, but the sparse displays help me hone in on the basic information I want from my favorite restaurants.

    The restaurants are sorted into basic categories such as American, Chinese and Breakfast/Brunch, but I really like the special categories listed at the bottom — Louisville Classics, New and Noteworthy and Fancy Cocktails, to name a few.
    Restaurants are easy to find throughout the app, whether you search by keyword, location or type of food. When you find a restaurant that you particularly enjoy, you can add them to your favorites by typing the star in the top right-hand corner so the name will appear in the left sidebar for easy access any time you use the app. This will come in handy when I want to show friends and co-workers the items available at some of my go-to establishments (I’m looking at you, Dish on Market and Wild Eggs).

    The menus are comprehensive in the Menu and Hours listings. Prices and descriptions are available for most restaurants. It gets a little dicey with places such as Sweet Surrender bakery that have menus that change daily. But Menu and Hours includes a note when a restaurant has a flexible selection and, in the case of Sweet Surrender, lists all the items that could be offered on a given day.

    Some of my favorite Louisville restaurants haven’t agreed to be listed in Menu and Hours — yet. I remember Michelle making the rounds of some Louisville businesses to ask for their inclusion in this app. Now that Menu and Hours has arrived in the Android space, I hope restaurants can see the value of providing her with their information for inclusion in Menu and Hours. I’d also like to see restaurants working with Michelle to make sure the most up-to-date menu is available on the app. I found one case (Café Lou Lou, specifically) in which the menu had been changed in real life, but not on Menu and Hours.

    Even though Menu and Hours is a fairly new addition to the smartphone horizon, I already wonder what I did without it. Menu and Hours is one of those few apps that I can see myself using every day, right along with Twitter and Facebook. This app tells me where to go and what to expect when I get there. I don’t just love Menu and Hours because I’m a Louisville food writer. I love Menu and Hours because I’m a Louisville food eater.

  6. [Review] Middle-class dreams of healthy eating come true with Green BEAN Delivery

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    December 14, 2011 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    (Blogger’s note: For one week, Green BEAN Delivery is offering Ashlee Eats readers 50 percent off the price of a …
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  7. [Review] The Motorola Xoom will help you cook, grocery shop and blog. Just don’t drop it.

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    December 12, 2011 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    (Blogger’s note: This isn’t a review of the Xoom’s tech specs and other things I don’t understand. This is all about …
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