October 14, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I’m in a pickle. I don’t know what restaurant to visit for the next $10 Challenge. Granted, this is a wonderful problem to have — there are so many good, interesting and/or new restaurants around Louisville that it’s hard to pick which one to focus on.
So I’ll let you guys make the tough choice for me.
Ashlee Eats readers will pick the next $10 Challenge restaurant. I have some suggestions, and I want you to vote on the one you want to read about. Vote in the poll below through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. I’ll tally the votes and post the $10 Challenge about the winning restaurant Monday, Oct. 21.
Here are the contenders for the first crowd-sourced $10 Challenge:
- Mussel and Burger Bar: This is one of my favorite newer restaurants in the area, but it is indeed a challenge to only spend 10 bucks for hand-crafted deliciousness on a bun (or in a bowl if you get the mussels).
- Proof on Main: I’m not gonna lie — some of the menu descriptions are a little scary (charred octupus?). But this restaurant inside the 21c Museum Hotel has gotten a lot of attention nationwide for its cuisine. Could I find something delicious and inexpensive?
- Simply Thai: I love Thai food, but I’ve yet to make it out to this often-recommended eatery in the East End.
- KFC Eleven: OK, it’s a “concept” dining experience from a corporate fast-food behemoth, so this pushes the boundaries of keeping the $10 Challenge local. But I’m curious to see fried chicken turned fast casual at Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road.
- Bonnie & Clyde’s Pizza Parlor: I’ve gotta throw in a South-end option. A co-worker was disappointed I hadn’t tried what she called some of the best pizza in town. Should I be the judge of that?
Ready? Let’s do this!
Leave a comment
October 11, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
LEO Weekly released its annual list of Readers’ Choice Award winners in this week’s issue of the local alt-weekly. The issue highlights the best in arts, goods, and business in the Louisville area. This is all great information, but I read this edition strictly for the food picks.
I’m happy that I’ve tried a healthy portion of restaurants that got top honors among LEO readers. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it out to every food joint in town.
These restaurants I must visit based on all the superlatives they raked in this year:
- The Village Anchor Pub and Roost — Best Fine Dining, third place; Best Outdoor Dining, first place; Best Place for a Romantic Dinner, first place; Best Restaurant (Louisville), first place; Best Wine list, first place
- Feast BBQ — Best BBQ, third place; Best Restaurant (Southern Indiana), first place
- Selena’s at Willow Lake Tavern — Best Cajun/Creole Restaurant, first place; Best Restaurant (Louisville), third place
And these are restaurants that I’m ashamed that I still haven’t visited:
- Jack Fry’s — Best Fine Dining, first place; Best Place for a Romantic Dinner, first place; Best Place to Eat When Someone Else is Buying, second place; Best Restaurant (Louisville), second place
- Mayan Café — Best Latin Restaurant, third place
- Stevens & Stevens Deli — Best Deli/Sandwich Shop, first place
Leave a comment
October 9, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Lilly’s Bistro is a pretty fancy restaurant that provides opportunities to sample the menu without increasing your personal debt ceiling …
October 8, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I thought I had made it. I had a secure job at a huge company. I could pay my bills on time. I bought Rice Krispies instead of Crispy Rice.
For the past few months, I’ve visited more upscale restaurants high on the fumes of financial security. My budget has upgraded from dollar menu to value meal.
Then I received an $80 dinner bill that kicked me in the pants. I blame the
one twothree cocktails for my lapse in fiscal responsibility during a birthday dinner at a delicious restaurant that shall remain nameless (I’m protecting the innocent; it’s not the restaurant’s fault I balled so hard).
I felt all the feelings after that splurge:
- I felt full (seriously, that food was delicious)
- I was thankful that I could afford that meal
- I was guilty that I had abandoned this blog’s original pledge of eating frugally and had wiled out in the name of YOLO*
- I was sad that there are still folks in my city who can’t afford a meal anywhere, let alone an $80 one
- I felt motivated to refocus Ashlee Eats around the four tenets of my food philosophy: buy local, be green, eat frugally, and fight hunger.
I’ve eaten some delicious food since I started calling myself a food blogger. And sometimes, great food comes with an even greater tab. I’m not saying that I or anyone who can afford it should refrain from treating ourselves sometimes. I’m also not saying that I’m anywhere within spitting distance of rich, or even being able to regularly throw down almost 100 bucks for dinner.
But for me, that $80 ticket reminded me of how long it had been since I followed my own advice about eating on the cheap. It reminded me that I had stopped writing so much about hunger and frugality in exchange for the more upscale dining I’ve encountered. I stopped being a good steward of my own food philosophy, on this blog and in real life.
I’ll write more about good deals around town, either at fancy places or just regular ol’ spots. I’ll share more recipes, since you can save so much money by staying in a few nights a week. And I’ll broadcast more events that provide an opportunity to give back to our community so we collectively kick hunger’s behind.
Oh, and I’ve gone back to Crispy Rice.
*YOLO — You Only Live Once; an urban version of carpe diem; my motto for the past few months; an outdated term I refuse to abandon
Leave a comment
September 11, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
If you have an aversion to swine, look away.
Still on board? Then you might be interested in the first-ever Butchertown Porktoberfest from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at The Pointe, 1205 East Washington Street.
Here’s a blurb about the event from the Butchertown Neighborhood Association:
This barbeque and pork inspired culinary competition will feature live music by Hog Operation and Johnny Berry, local brew from Apocalypse Brewery and food samples from more than 15 of Louisville’s finest restaurants. …
Participating restaurants include Atria, Cellar Door Chocolates, Decca, Farm to Fork, Harvest, Holy Grale, Jack Knife, Momma’s Pickles Mustard and BBQ, Monkey Wrench, Morels, RYE, St. Charles Exchange, Stellar Sweets, The Bristol and Wiltshire.
Don’t fret, vegheads (I say that term lovingly) — there will be vegetarian options at the event.
Admission is free, but bring some cash to buy samples, proceeds from which will benefit the Butchertown Neighborhood Association.
5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11
The Pointe, 1205 East Washington Street
For more information: http://www.butchertown.blogspot.com/
September 5, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
The Hubs and I have been on our grown-up game. We’ve spent the past several months developing a budget for our household, which means a heck of a lot of staring at receipts. And I’ve discovered gold in these slips of paper.
At the bottom of most receipts, there’s a web address that customers can visit to fill out a survey about their experience. Most retailers, such as Target and Dollar General, will enter you for the chance to win a gift card to the store. But Kroger, dears, offers something a little more tangible — fuel points.
Kroger Plus Card members get 50 fuel points for filling out the survey at the bottom of the Kroger receipt. These fuel points translate into discounts on Kroger gas. You also get fuel points every time you make a Kroger purchase, so filling out the survey gives you a double helping of discounts on gas.
I know this is a ploy by an Evil Corporate Empire to get me to shop at their store. And I have had some legitimate beef with Kroger’s prices. HOWEVA, if I have to shop there for certain items, why not take an extra five minutes to get a discount on gas?
Drinks with Many Ladies: Learning about fancy ice cubes and proper daiquiris at Sidebar on Whiskey RowLeave a comment
September 4, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Blogger’s note: This is a post I wrote for the Drinks with Many Ladies blog. DWML is a meet-up of ladies that includes socializing and learning about adult beverages. I’ve been to several of these meet-ups, and I’ve had a great time meeting other alcohol enthusiasts and plain ol’ nice people. For more information about the group, visit the Drinks with Many Ladies blog or email me.
August 28, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I’m a sucker for an outdoor festival, especially the ones with free admission and a bunch of participating food vendors. WorldFest has all that going for it, plus some.
WorldFest, an international festival in its 11th year, will take place this weekend, Aug. 30 – Sept. 2, on the Belvedere in downtown Louisville. Here’s some of what you’ll find at WorldFest, courtesy of Louisville Metro Government:
- More than 50 bands and performers
- More than 30 food vendors
- Nearly 150 booths with information about different cultures
- A naturalization ceremony
- A Parade of Cultures down Jefferson and Fifth streets
- Cooking Up Cultures culinary demonstrations — with free samples (!)
WorldFest, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, the Belvedere, downtown Louisville
Aug. 30, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1: Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sept. 2: Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 26, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I’ve embraced the “if not now, when?” motto in 2013. But all this change calls for some things to stay the same. I guess that’s why I refuse to order something new from Addis Bar and Grill.
Maybe the sweet sting of curry I smell when I enter the restaurant puts me into a trance. Maybe the wealth of options makes me panic and I choose something familiar and safe. Or maybe I’ve just found one dish at one restaurant that makes me happy enough to never branch out.
Addis Grill is an Ethiopian and Mediterranean restaurant on Fourth Street about a half a block south of Main Street in downtown Louisville. If provoked, I could probably give exact latitude and longitude coordinates — my day job is within spitting distance to Addis. Yet, it took me more than a year to stop in and try this eatery that is tucked away in the shadows behind concrete pillars. I ignored Addis as I walked several times a week to the more bustling food corridors of downtown Louisville for lunch.
One day, I got sick of the usual line-up of sandwiches, salads, and Mexican-inspired fare that I usually turned to for lunch. A co-worker recommended Addis, a more international option than my usual standbys that was less than a five-minute walk from the office.
Leave a comment
August 23, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
(Blogger’s note: This is a guest post from reader Adam Price. Thanks, Adam!)
I spent last Saturday morning at the Beechmont open air (farmer’s) market talking about the 4th annual Taste of South Louisville to benefit South Louisville Community Ministries (SLCM). I spoke with a woman there who lamented that so many people have a negative perception of South Louisville, often formed without having spent much time here.
I suspect anyone who lives in South Louisville has encountered that at some point, and to be sure there are real poverty and crime issues. SLCM serves approximately 22,000 residents in zip codes 40214, 40215, 40208 and 40209, more than a quarter of those 22,000 live below the poverty line. We operate multiple Meals on Wheels routes, a food pantry, and offer direct assistance with utility, rent and medicine assistance. We also offer counseling through a partnership with Campbellsville University. SLCM is working on the front lines to help those most in need and is making a real difference in people’s lives.
As I responded to the woman I spoke with on Saturday, the best way to combat that negative perception is to showcase the great things happening in our area. With a strong history of ethnic diversity, it is no surprise that many of the city’s best international restaurants reside in South Louisville.
This year, the Taste of South Louisville is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24 at Churchill Downs Millionaire’s row from 6-8 p.m., tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for kids 5-11. There will be a silent auction that will include items like a football signed by AJ Green and an autographed Jennifer Lawrence poster. All proceeds go to benefit South Louisville Community Ministries.
Come have a great time, eat some wonderful food, and learn a little more about a great part of town, all for a good cause. You can find out more about our programs here or the taste of South Louisville here.
Cardinal Hall of Fame Café PRP Pizza
DaLats Gateaux & Cafe Rubbies
Flavours Catering Seven Up/Snapple
Jimbos Shack in The Back
Levy Restaurants at Churchill Terri Ann’s
Little Jerusalem Tuscany
Main Street Deli Vietnam Kitchen
Golden Grain Bakery Khalil’s
Adam Price is a Louisville native, accountant at the University of Louisville, volunteer, and serves on the board of directors for South Louisville Community Ministries. He enjoys sports (especially UofL), the arts, craft beer and Kentucky bourbon…not in that order.