It’s cookie time. Have you found your Girl Scout?

I was never a Girl Scout. I blame my brother, who quit Cub Scouts after my mom had bought all the swag. The wasted money sullied any kind of scouting for me.

That absence in my childhood fed my admiration for the Girl Scouts. I’m all for the empowerment of girls — and accessories that display your talents and achievements.

Old-school Girl Scouts. (Flickr Creative Commons)
Old-school Girl Scouts. (Flickr Creative Commons)

Late last year, I became a volunteer for Troop 628 of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, thanks to my friend Christine. Now, I get to see how powerful it is to teach girls they can do anything. I get to watch girls who are eager to learn new things and not ashamed of that hunger for knowledge.

I also have a good line on where to get some Girl Scout cookies.

Sweet, glorious Girl Scout cookies. (Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr Creative Commons)
Sweet, glorious Girl Scout cookies. (Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr Creative Commons)

Buying a box is a lot more than just breaking your New Year’s Resolutions (like you were going to make it past February with those, anyway). We’re raising little entrepreneurs. From Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s website:

The Girl Scout cookie program is much more than a fundraiser. It’s a fun way for girls of all ages to earn the money that fuels their dreams. And it’s a powerful, hands-on leadership and entrepreneurial program where girls learn goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

The Girl Scout cookie program can lead to bigger things for girls in business, in society and in life. Helping girls dream more, have more opportunities and do more than they ever thought possible.

Want to support girls? Just want something to calm that aching sweet tooth? Here’s how you can get your hands on some Girl Scout cookies:

  • You’ll see Girl Scout cookie booths popping up in front of stores around the city Feb. 21 to March 16. A certain awesome troop will be stationed at the Holiday Manor Kroger during the coming weeks. Come say hi and buy a box or two.
  • You can also ask a Girl Scout you know if she’ll take an additional order.
  • There’s a neat Girl Scouts app to lead you to your nearest Girl Scout booth.
  • Remember, cookies are $3.50 a box.
  • On Feb. 26, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana will host the annual Desserts First fundraising event. Chefs from around Louisville will make desserts using Girl Scout cookies. Click here for more information about the event.

 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for an important question: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Bits and Pieces: Grind food truck, Gelato Gilberto and other Louisville food news from the web, 2.17.14

Blogger’s note: Y’ALL. I have been buried in the delightful terror that is grad school. I’ll have to tell you about it one day. I’m blogging while I’m up for air.

News

  • Louisville loves Liz and Jesse Huot. How do I know? I linked to a story about the pair behind Grind food truck opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and it’s the most read post EVER on the Ashlee Eats Facebook page. The couple plans to open a restaurant in the building that used to house Oasis Sushi on Preston Highway. Congratulations, you crazy kids. (Courier-Journal)
Picture courtesy of Kristin Gilbert.
Picture courtesy of Kristin Gilbert.
  • Gelato Gilberto, a gelato shop in Norton Commons, will head to Portland (Louisville, not Oregon) for wholesale production of its sweet, sweet deliciousness. (Business First of Louisville)
The Chicken Peppadew pizza at Boombozz in Westport Village.
The Chicken Peppadew pizza at Boombozz in Westport Village.
  • Boombozz Pizza will open a new location in the planned Middletown Commons, a shopping outlet that is being built on Shelbyville Road near the Gene Snyder Freeway. The restaurant plans to open in late 2014. (Business First of Louisville)

 

Events

  • We’re in the middle of The Comfy Cow’s fourth annual Chocopalooza. The ice cream shop is offering 10 flavors of chocolate ice cream at its three locations, and 10 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Make a Wish Foundation. I’ve got my eye on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie. (Comfy Cow website)
  • Tomorrow is National Drink Wine Day, which begs the question, “What day isn’t National Drink Wine Day?” But anyway, Eddie Merlot’s is celebrating with half priced pours of the restaurant’s vintages from 4 to 11 p.m. Feb. 18 in the lounge and bar area. The restaurant is at 455 South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville. (Eddie Merlot’s news release)

 

Etc.

  • Here’s a fun little tidbit about Kentucky’s most famous native son, Abraham Lincoln (sorry, George Clooney): he knew his way around a kitchen. A new book called Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen: A Culinary View of Lincoln’s Life and Times, “looks at our 16th president’s life through the extraordinary stories of what he ate, cooked and served, along with recipes modified for the modern kitchen.” (NPR)

Bits and Pieces: Grasshoppers, tacos and other Louisville food news from the web, 12.6.13

Closing

  • RIP Grasshoppers Distribution. This local service that provided produce from area farmers to Louisville customers will shut down today. (WDRB)

News

  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer created a super-official work group to figure out how to make a hot spot for good food and spirits. The 34-member group includes local chefs and restaurateurs, local distillers and bourbon aficionados, and tourism officials. I assume my invitation got lost in the mail, Greg… (Insider Louisville)

Openings

Photo courtesy Wild Rita's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy Wild Rita’s Facebook page.
  • Tacos are having their moment in Louisville right now.
    • El Taco Luchador, from the genius minds behind Guaca Mole and Mussel and Burger Bar, will open at 938 Baxter Avenue sometime in December. The restaurant in a particularly bad-luck spot, the same building the once housed the former Lil’ Cheezers restaurant and 14K Cupcakes. (Consuming Louisville)
    • Wild Rita’s will open in the former location of Mozz at 445 East Market Street. This restaurant bills itself as a “modern Mexican and tequila bar” and is the latest creation from the Wild Eggs people (if you couldn’t tell by the logo). (Megabites Louisville)
  • In non-taco news, Big Four Burgers + Beer has opened in downtown Jeffersonville. Once the Indiana side of the Big Four Bridge is open, I’d be tempted to walk over for a gourmet burger. But isn’t that defeating the purpose? (News and Tribune)

Speaking of openings, Papalinos to debut second location in Springhurst this month

A slice from Papalinos.
A slice from Papalinos.

Papalinos Pizza serves some of the best New York-style pizza in the city with a bevy of house-made toppings.

The pizzeria’s first location on Baxter Avenue has  thrived since it opened in 2010, and I’ve rooted for Papalinos to open another storefront since I wrote about the closing of their second location in Cardinal Towne adjacent to U of L’s campus.

Did someone hear all my cheerleading for this restaurant?

Papalinos plans to open a location sometime this month near Springhurst Towne Center in the East End, Business First of Louisville reports. The restaurant, which will operate at 3598 Springhurst Blvd., will be different than the Baxter Avenue store. From Business First:

The restaurant will offer table service and will have a bar and expanded menu, including more salads and appetizers than the first store.

For more information on the Springhurst opening, keep an eye on Papalinos’ Facebook page and Twitter feed.

As a couple of restaurant doors close, many more open in Louisville

El Camino. Photo courtesy of ConsumingLouisville.com.
El Camino. Photo courtesy of ConsumingLouisville.com.

I feel like I’m missing something.

Restaurants are opening up around town like gangbusters, and I can’t figure out why. Is this a sign of the economy bouncing back? Has Louisville’s appetite for eating out reached epic proportions? Am I just noticing this uptick more because I write about food? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I’m going to take a Dayquil and ponder this. In the meantime, here is a round-up of some notable openings (and a closing or two). Click the source links for more info.

Butchertown

Douglass Loop/Highlands

Downtown/River Road

Employees assemble orders at Atlantic No. 5.
Employees assemble orders at Atlantic No. 5.
  • Open: Atlantic No. 5 (Ashlee Eats)
  • Opening: Unnamed restaurant from the same management company behind Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar and La Coop: Bistro a Vins (Business First of Louisville)

Fourth Street

Outer Loop

LEO Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Award winners make me hungry

Grab your own copy of the latest issue of LEO Weekly.
Grab your own copy of the latest issue of LEO Weekly.

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

Click here for a complete list of winners, or, if you’re like me, click here for the winners in the  dining category. Which winning restaurants do you want to visit?

Bits and Pieces: Damaris Phillips, Wild Turkey and other Louisville food news, 8.16.13

Blogger’s note: I haven’t been under a rock for the past week or so. Rather, I’ve been under the thumb of The Man. My responsibilities at the day job really kicked into gear this week. After 10-hour days of looking at a computer screen, I had to give my mind and eyes a break from the digital world when I got home. I think I’m past the worst, though. So, onward!

News

Damaris Phillips, winner of Food Network Star. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
Damaris Phillips, winner of Food Network Star. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
  • A big ol’ congratulations to Louisville native Damaris Phillips, who won the reality competition Food Network Star. Damaris is a culinary arts instructor at Jefferson Community and Technical College. (Eater Louisville)
  • "Dinner Impossible" chef Robert Irvi...
    “Dinner Impossible” chef Robert Irvine giving his verdict on finished item (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    And speaking of Food Network, celebrity chef Robert Irvine brought his show, Restaurant: Impossible, to Louisville this week to revamp Coach Lamp Restaurant and Pub in Germantown. The restaurant received a makeover and is now Brooke and Billy’s Back Patio. Insider Louisville has a good write-up of the changes. (Insider Louisville)

  • Lawrenceburg, Ky.-based Wild Turkey Distillery has a new rye and bourbon combo called Forgiven, a product that was created by accident. (Business First of Louisville)
  • Anybody heard about the cronut, the croissant/doughnut hybrid that has become wildly popular in New York City? Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Cafe has its own version called doughssants. Good luck getting one — these things sell out fast. (Eater Louisville)

Drink, socialize to support Louisvillian Damaris Phillips as the next Food Network Star

Look, a Louisville person! In Food Network Magazine! And on Food Network!
Look, a Louisville person! In Food Network Magazine! And on Food Network!

I blame my lack of cable on being tardy to the Damaris Phillips party (also, my computer’s inability to play videos right now, but that’s a different story).

Damaris is a Louisville native who is one of three finalists on the ninth season of Food Network Star. If she wins, her concept for a show is called Eat, Date, Love, which sounds delightful.

If you’re reading this post before 9 a.m. Eastern time, you can still vote for Damaris to take home the Food Network Star title here.

If you’re a late riser, join a bunch of ladies and gentlemen at Molly Malone’s in the Highlands to watch the finale episode this Sunday, Aug. 11. This weekly watch party has been going on all season, so my apologies for completely missing that boat. Here’s some info about the viewing party from the Louisville blog Drinks with Many Ladies:

From what I can gather the party starts at 8pm and goes till about 11pm.

So who is with me?

Oh and this “drink up” is not just for the ladies this time.

Men, this is your chance so come on out.

Also go VOTE, VOTE, VOTE! You can vote up to 10 times a day, until Wednesday, for Damaris- http://star.foodnetwork.com/

You can follow Damaris on twitter- @chefDPhillips

If you would like more info a few good articles have been written:

http://insiderlouisville.com/news/2013/08/05/vote-for-louisvilles-own-chef-demaris-phillips-for-next-food-network-star/

http://www.wave3.com/story/23044324/vote-for-louisville-chef-to-win-food-network-star-finale

Good luck, Damaris. And thanks for representing Louisville.

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

Sanders remains the official face of Kentucky ...
Sanders remains the official face of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and appears on its logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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)
  • Employees at a Creole restaurant called Le Bossier Café at Muhammad Ali Boulevard and 18th Street will be part of a union, a rarity in the restaurant world. (LEO Weekly)

Openings

  • One of the founders of the bar Meat will open an upscale bar called Meta this fall in downtown Louisville. The bar will be located in the former Show-n-Tell Lounge adult nightclub on Chestnut Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. I just hope they keep some of that old signage. (Business First of Louisville)
  • The folks behind the restaurant Rye in NuLu will open a bistro later this year called Atlantic No. 5 at 605 W. Main Street. One of the owners said to expect “sandwiches, salads, rotisserie chicken, smoked fish, pork, lamb, house-made charcuterie and bagels at breakfast.” I could be down for that. (Insider Louisville)
  • Bristol Bar and Grille plans to open a café in the Mellwood Art Center by Sept. 1. (Courier-Journal)

My two pennies on the Louisville food truck fiasco

Spotted on Main Street in Louisville.
Traveling Kitchen, one of many Louisville food trucks.

I hesitated to dip my toe in the recent conversation that has dominated Louisville social media about the cleanliness of food trucks.

In case you missed it, WAVE 3 aired a story recently by reporter Eric Flack about the sanitation and safety of food trucks, mobile eateries that park on the street or at events and serve dishes out of the sides of the vehicles. Eric reported that Metro Health and Wellness inspections “reveal trucks that were cited for food on the floor, dirty kitchens, cheese sauce at potentially hazardous temperatures, mislabeled toxic items and cooks without hair nets.” He went on to interview the chief health inspector with Metro Health and Wellness, who said she never eats at food trucks because of sanitation concerns. You can read and watch the full story here.

This feature lit up on the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of food trucks and customers. The overall feeling was that WAVE 3 at best, got the story wrong, or, at worst, sensationalized a non-issue.

Cheese makes everything better.
Lil’ Cheezers, another food truck.

I used to be a journalist in a former life. I know what it’s like to catch a lot of criticism for a story that captures a subject in a harsh light. But this story ignited so many feelings because it just wasn’t fair.

  • In his story, Eric highlighted a food stand with some questionable cleanliness. As I understand it, food stands and food trucks are different and held to different standards. An apples to apples comparison isn’t appropriate.
  • If there is an issue with the cleanliness of food trucks, the story should have included some basic facts to support that claim. How many trucks have been shut down because of health concerns?
  • I would’ve liked to see a comparison of percentage of food trucks that have violated health guidelines versus the percentage of brick-and-mortar restaurants that have made the same violations. This story gives the impression that food trucks are not as safe as restaurants in stationary locations, but fails to use statistics to back up that assumption. I watch a lot of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares — traditional restaurants can be disgusting and unsafe, even if they serve food in buildings rather than from trucks.
  • Food truck operators said they didn’t feel like Eric made an effort to reach out to them. There are a couple of united groups of food trucks, the Louisville Street Food Alliance and Louisville Food Truck Association, that would have been good sources to include in this story to provide an overall perspective of health and safety in the trucks.
  • I’ve eaten at a lot of food trucks since they hit the Louisville landscape a couple of years ago. I’ve never had any concerns about my health after eating at these trucks. I’ve never gotten sick. I’ve never seen unsafe practices. I’m only one person, but a lot of people share my views (search Twitter for Louisville food trucks).

Eric did a follow-up story in which a metro councilman said there could be guidelines in the future that mandate the display of health inspection grades in food truck windows. Here are some other blog posts you should read, too:

Mary, one of my Moth StorySLAM buddies, getting a burger from Grind back in October.
Mary, one of my Moth StorySLAM buddies, getting a burger from Grind back in October.