All posts by louisvillebeerguy

Mellwood Tavern chix is chick inn-esqe

From LEO Weekly, 11/22/2017

By Kevin Gibson

Remember Chick Inn? It was the place to go for fried chicken for years, until a fire gutted it, and it failed to recapture its magic after a rebuild. But the memory of that delicious, crispy, fried chicken lingers for many Louisvillians.

Well, a guy who once worked at Chick Inn is now part owner of Mellwood Tavern, and he’s bringing his version of that beloved fried chicken every Tuesday. It has been a pretty well-kept secret the past few months, but word is beginning to leak out.

Scott Crowder is the man behind said chicken, and he told me the prep process he uses is exactly the same as what he learned from his days at Chick Inn. The key difference, he said, is that while the Chick Inn batter was seasoned with salt and pepper and not much else, his batter adds several more spices.

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Warehouse fire leaves publisher, authors (including this one) wondering what’s next

Terrible news for my publisher and its employees, myself, and my fellow Reedy Press authors. Thousands of copies of our work went up in flames in a warehouse fire that sparked early Wednesday and is still burning today.

Copies of “Secret Louisville” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die” are going to be a little harder to find this Christmas, and there’s no telling how it might affect the release date of my next book, which previously was due out in the spring. Thank goodness no one was seriously injured, but what a blow to some really good, hard-working people.

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A return to Vietnam Kitchen (news flash: it’s still awesome)

From Insider Louisville, 11/8/2017:


The last time I went to Vietnam Kitchen, I didn’t have a GPS app on my phone — in other words, it’s been too long. But once I parked and had lunch last week, I was relieved to find out that, after all this time, the food there is still amazing.

For a time back in the early 2000s, I had standing plans with a couple of friends to meet there on a regular basis. When that fizzled out, I began letting my schedule dictate my dining-out habits, and the Kitchen fell off the list. Then, recently, my girlfriend, Cynthia, informed me she’d never eaten there, which gave me all the impetus I needed to make a return visit.

We’re both glad that happened, even if our GPS apps took us to the rear of the Iroquois Manor shopping center, where the non-descript restaurant sits next to a busy laundromat.

Interestingly, in the many times I’ve visited Vietnam Kitchen, I’d never ordered the legendary Hủ tiếu Saté, which is probably better known as the K8.

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Frontier Diner offers a glimpse into yesteryear in Pleasure Ridge Park

From Insider Louisville, 11/1/2017


By Kevin Gibson

Since 1982, Frontier Diner, or a version of it, has been treating Louisville’s South End to all-American food — burgers, breakfast, grilled cheese, soups — and I didn’t even know it was there.

General manager Stanley Osborne told me the cracker-box structure originally was a doughnut shop, until it was heavily damaged by fire. It was rebuilt and reimagined then as a restaurant, and Osborne said he was the seventh owner since that happened.

But what was is hardly as important as what is.

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Stuff you eat when
 you can’t eat stuff

From LEO Weekly, 10/25/2017

Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes

By Kevin Gibson

I don’t know when the tooth broke, only that I began to feel a strange tightness in my jaw that would later turn to a dull pain when I touched it. A day later, I woke up and my jaw felt stranger than ever. I walked into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and, beyond my crusty eyes and rat’s nest hair, I noticed the swelling.

My jaw was bigger than normal. Like, almost baseball-sized bigger than normal. Had I grown a goiter overnight, or was something wrong with my molar? Because neither prospect was terribly appealing. A trip to my dentist confirmed that I had, somehow, cracked a tooth, and that infection had set in. A root canal was my destiny, after a good stiff round of antibiotics did some prep work.

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Panchitos Ice Cream in the Highlands makes some tasty tacos, too

From Insider Louisville, 10/25/2017

Panchitos meal

By Kevin Gibson

Panchitos Ice Cream has been open for a while now on Preston Highway, and when a location of the small regional chain opened in the Highlands, I didn’t give it much thought, since ice cream isn’t my thing.

Then, someone told me the new location also was serving tacos. Now, tacos, they are my thing. So I decided to check it out, and the rumors were true.

Panchitos on Bardstown Road opened back in August in a building that most recently housed Banh Mi Hero (the sign is still on the building) and also was the original space for Oiishi Sushi and has housed a number of concepts.

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Shack in the Back BBQ makes the most of quaint, quirky space in Fairdale

From Insider Louisville, 10/27/2017


By Kevin Gibson

On the recommendation of a friend, I recently took myself to Fairdale to try a little place called Shack in the Back BBQ. I’d actually heard good things about the place the last couple of years, but life is busy, and Fairdale isn’t exactly next door.

Shack in the Back has made that trip seem a lot shorter.

Owned by Mike and Barbara Sivell, the business was a longtime dream of the couple they finally made good on when they came across the mid-1800s log cabin around which the restaurant is built.

It’s a quirky, fun atmosphere, with a small dining room in the cabin itself giving way to a covered patio dining room behind it. It conjures the Bobby Bare song “Ode to the Little Shack Out Back.”

(Well, sort of. That song is actually about an outhouse.)

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Christi’s Cafe brings food, fun and philanthropy to Valley Station

From Insider Louisville, 10/17/2017:

Christys Cafe smile burger

By Kevin Gibson

As soon as you walk into Christi’s Cafe, located in Valley Station, you know the fun is about to begin.

Pink is everywhere, a mural of the logo reaches out to your gaze from the back wall, homemade cakes beckon from the lunch counter, and photos of celebrities line the walls along the ceiling. There are photos of Marilyn Monroe — lots of photos of Marilyn Monroe.

My girlfriend, Cynthia, and I went for lunch recently and found the place buzzing — just one table was empty, a server told us to sit wherever we would like, so we grabbed it.

We quickly noticed the servers, all of whom were female, wore matching pink T-shirts bearing the phrase “Cancer Sucks.” Yes, yes it does.

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