Tag Archives: Louisville Kentucky
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January 24, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I knew it was time to write about Manny & Merle’s when I panicked over what I thought was the restaurant’s closing. Rob and I happened to be downtown on a Monday evening and we decided to stop by this modern honky-tonk on Main Street. Instead of tacos and country music, we were greeted with a locked door. Dark had settled over the long, narrow restaurant. The tall seats I had climbed onto during some good happy hours were clipped upside down on the table. Was my favorite downtown spot was closed? I took to Twitter for answers to ease what I hoped was just an overreaction. Fortunately, the fine folks behind the Manny & Merle Twitter account let me know they’re closed on Sundays and Mondays, so I just needed to chill the eff out (my words, not theirs). But in that moment of panic, I realized that I had grown to love Manny & Merle.
January 8, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
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.
January 2, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Now, I have a college degree under my belt and I’m working on one more. I’m smart enough to know that there is indeed rhyme and reason that explains how the folks at Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ get the skin of the restaurant’s wings crisp and flavorful while leaving the chicken meat moist and juicy. There’s probably some science to how long to cook their pork before a set of magical hands pulls the tender meat off the bone and onto a Klosterman bun. But I’ve come to believe in a little bit of magic after several visits to Momma’s. It’s the only way to explain how this restaurant produces consistently fantastic food that charms newcomers, pleases regulars and inspires the staff to deliver warm, down-home service that matches the meals they serve.
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December 12, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
BBC Taproom at 636 E. Main St. will offer $1 pints in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy for the charity Toys for Tots. I can dig it. (Insider Louisville)
In the corporate world, this would be called “synergy.” In my world, it’s a plain good idea. Great Flood Brewing Company on Bardstown Road has teamed with Grind Burger Kitchen on the brewery’s 100th batch. The beer, called G&G Blowin’ Smoke, will compliment the food truck/restaurant’s B&B, a heavenly burger of brie, bacon and habenero jam. I’m old enough to be secure in my dislike of most beers. However, I’m willing to give this one a try with my next B&B. (Insider Louisville)
There might be a plant coming to the West End that will convert food waste to methane gas. This plant will be a part of the West Louisville Food Hub, “a 25-acre food distribution center being developed at 30th and Market streets.” (Business First of Louisville)
Feast BBQ, a restaurant located in New Albany, will open a Louisville location on East Market Street next Thursday, Dec. 18. This doesn’t help in my quest for reasons to visit southern Indiana. I’m a little weary of this communal dining concept, though (check out this slideshow). Everyone doesn’t need to see exactly how messy I am when I eat, especially barbecue. (Business First of Louisville)
December 2, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
It’s a good thing I’ve settled my imaginary beef with Bobby Flay. It looks like this celebrity chef is making serious googly eyes at Louisville.
The Courier-Journal reported back in September that Flay was scouting possible locations to open a restaurant in Louisville. And Insider Louisville is hearing some buzz that Flay’s going to set up in the former Burger’s Market on Grinstead Drive.
I used to have an unreasonable dislike for Flay. I didn’t like how he rolled into town with his Food Network show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, like he owned the joint and challenged chefs. Quit showing off, Flay. Then I met him in person when I was a reporter on the red carpet at the Barnstable Brown party. He was actually pretty nice, which completely squashed the rivalry I had built in my head.
So, I’m cool with Flay coming to Louisville. It’s just that there are a few other celebrity chefs and TV personalities that I would like to see make a restaurant home in Louisville. Come along with me as I play pretend with folks I’d like to see in our city.
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November 26, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I’m thankful that I’ve never gone hungry.
Sure, I’ve chomped at the bit waiting for my next meal. I’ve even been hangry a time or three. Fortunately, there has always been food in my fridge and cabinets.
That’s not the case for many families in our community. In Jefferson County, 17.2% of people are food insecure, according to the non-profit Feeding America. That means that 127,320 people have at some point had inadequate or uncertain access to nutritious food.
Dare to Care, a food bank that serves the Kentuckiana region, has done a lot to address hunger in our community. Tonight, the organization will host a candlelight vigil to honor Bobby Ellis, the nine-year-old boy whose death from malnutrition on Thanksgiving Eve 1969 sparked the Dare to Care movement.
Before you dive headfirst into the Thanksgiving spread tomorrow, take some time to remember a little boy who went hungry in our own city and consider what you can do to stop hunger.
November 25, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I did it. I wrote a book.
Last week, I turned in the final version of my manuscript about Louisville diners to my publisher, History Press. My book is called Louisville Diners, because life is too short to dance around the point.
The past few months have been brutal. I’ve never written so many words all at once in my entire life. I also discovered the true depths of my procrastination, which runs as deep as the ocean. I’ve panicked, worried, drank a lot of wine, and eaten my weight in Trader Joe’s organic blue corn tortilla chips.
August 28, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
There’s a dog at my heels convinced that he needs a potty break, an empty suitcase that I need to fill in the next 24 hours and a boatload of news and information that I want to share.
You could say I’m in a bit of a tizzy.
This is going to be a down-and-dirty post. There’s so much happening in Louisville and in my own life that I have to do some USA Today-style bullets to give you a rundown of all the fabulous food events happening in town and a couple of updates from Ashlee Eats HQ.
So take a deep breath, and pray that my dog, Roscoe, can hold his composure until I finish this post.
August 19, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
The Monkey Wrench has changed its game up this year. A new chef and new outlook means this bar, once known mostly for burgers, is putting more of a Southern flair into its menu.
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August 14, 2014 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
My love for the Kentucky State Fair is deep, and it is real. It is so real that my friends Samantha, Beth and I started planning our trip to the fairgrounds last month.
There is so much to see, do, and eat. The dogs herding ducks. Goats, pigs and cows giving mean side eye. A deep-fried Hot Brown? Why, I don't mind if I do. All this activity requires proper planning.
The gates opened today, Aug. 14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The fair runs through Aug. 24. Visit the fair's website for information on parking, admission and everything you need to know about making your fair visit fun.
I'm not going for another week. In the meantime, I will start hoarding Mylanta for all the deep-fried deliciousness.