Tag Archives: Fast casual restaurant

  1. Strati Wild Italian unites the Pasta Partners

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    January 8, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    A small pasta bowl at Strati Wild Italian. And yes, it pairs well with a little bottle of wine.

    When I was a student at Western Kentucky University, my friend Beth and I dubbed ourselves Pasta Partners. The name came from our affinity for the pasta station in the dining hall in Garrett Conference Center. The student newspaper office was located in this building, which meant I spent more time here than any location during my undergraduate education.

    The dining room was in the basement of Garrett. The pasta station was located right between the door and the cash register at the end of a half-circle of meal stations. The Pasta Ladies were suited up in stained white chef’s jackets and hats to match, but their demeanor was more lunchroom lady than Top Chef.

    Beth and I loved the pasta ladies who made each dish to order. They squirted oil into a skillet and plopped in a small spoonful of garlic to begin each order. The scooped the meat and veggies we wanted for our pasta from black plastic containers nestled in ice. Penne noodles went in next, followed by a ladle of marinara or alfredo sauce or one of each for the adventurous among us. Once the Ladies tossed everything together over their individual burners, they slid the pasta onto black plastic plates and sprinkled a handful of cheese on top of it all. A hearty helping of carbs got Beth and I through many long afternoons and evenings in the newspaper office.

  2. 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.

  3. Bits and Pieces: KFC Eleven, food truck follow-up and other Louisville food news from the web, 7.27.13

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    July 27, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    News

    • KFC gave media folks a sneak peak of the fried chicken chain’s foray into fast-casual dining called KFC Eleven located at the corner of Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue. From what I can tell from the Eater Louisville slideshow of the restaurant (slated to open to the public in August), the art is funky, the bathrooms are clean and the Colonel is sparse. (Eater Louisville)
    • LEO Weekly took a look at the health inspection scores of Louisville food trucks as a follow-up to the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter story that questioned the safety of these mobile eateries (check out my reaction here). Turns out, food trucks are just as clean and safe as brick-and-mortar restaurants. Food truck friends, go ahead and drop the mic in triumph. (LEO Weekly)
  4. Chipotle Mexican Grill scheduled to open today in downtown Louisville

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    March 13, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    The time has come, friends. Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant, will open its first Louisville location today, March 13, according to WHAS 11.

    Chipotle is located at 315 S. Fourth Street, and it will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The restaurant faces Qdoba Mexican Grill, a similar restaurant concept with its own legion of fans. Bazo’s Fresh Mexican Grill, a local eatery, is right down the street, too, so the battle for Mexican food supremacy could get interesting.

    If any of you plan to hit Chipotle for lunch or dinner, let us know what you think in the comments.

  5. Let the Mexican grill showdown begin: Team Chipotle or Team Qdoba?

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    December 13, 2012 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    It could get downright ugly down on Fourth Street.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill will officially open its first Louisville location at 315 S. Fourth Street, a space attached to the Hyatt Regency Louisville, Business First of Louisville reported Wednesday.

    This puts the fast-casual restaurant across from Qdoba Mexican Grill, a very similar competitor. My office-mates and I have already had heated debates over the merits of each of these Mexican-ish chain restaurants. The fans on both sides are passionate and decisive.

    I’m on Team Qdoba. Here’s why:

    • Qdoba is all I know. I’ve only been to a Chipotle once. I’m not opposed to eating there; I’m just rarely in the same city with a Chipotle franchise. I live across the street from a Qdoba. Convenience is important, people.
    • Qdoba has some pretty sweet rewards. With a Qdoba card, you get a free meal with every 10th meal. On Tuesdays, you can get double points for your meal. And if that’s not enough, you get email coupons out the wazoo.
    • Qdoba has wheat tortillas. A small triumph in my battle against white grains.

     

    So where do you stand in the Battle of Mexican-ish Fast-Casual?

  6. Smashburger comes to Louisville, will induce food comas across Kentuckiana

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    September 7, 2011 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

    (Blogger’s note: The following company provided free food to me and other blogging and media types. If something’s bad, even …
    Continue reading

Louisville Diners

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