Category Archives: LEO Weekly

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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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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An enduring flavor of Chicago and hard work

From LEO Weekly, 10/11/2017

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By Kevin Gibson

Every so often, I settle in at the counter at Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago, usually for a Rush Street chili cheese dog. One thing I always get, though, is friendly service from owners Lonnie and Diane Edwards, the couple who own and operate the small business in St. Matthews.

Usually, Diane will greet you and take your order, give you a number ripped from the bottom of her order pad, and then you wait a few short moments while Lonnie gets your meal together, whether it’s a signature Chicago-style dog, a burger or a Greek Island gyro.

I walked into Lonnie’s recently looking for some back story on the place and to take a few photos for a book project about Louisville eateries, due out in the spring. Diane was busy, so as I got maybe three steps inside the door, Lonnie turned away from his grill and said, “Do you know what you’ll be having today, buddy?”

I paused, having just taken a peek at the menu board behind the counter, and he smiled and said, “Take your time.”

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You had me at ‘bacon’

From LEO Weekly, 9/27/2017

By Kevin Gibson

IMG_20170828_215552It was somewhere in southern Wisconsin, on our annual trip to Green Bay, where my girlfriend Cynthia and I stopped for a break. Pretty sure it was one of those Love’s truck stops, where you can empty your bladder, refill it with a giant soda, and buy a snow globe or a gaudy hat while you’re there. I think I even saw “Top Gun” on DVD in the bargain bin.

As I walked around browsing and enjoying my break from the car, I noticed Cynthia maybe 30 feet away, motioning for me to come toward her. I approached, and when I finally stopped next to her, she said, “You need to see this.”

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Craft beer terms you need to know… or not

From LEO Weekly, 9/20/2017

Juicy

By Kevin Gibson

It wasn’t that long ago that IBUs were all that mattered. International Bitterness Units were all the rage as IPAs ascended to the top of the craft beer mountain, and the higher IBU count, the better — if you wanted to prove yourself as the top “hophead” in your beer peer group. Bitterness was king, and the counterbalance was a big, thick, malty backbone that sometimes made it feel like you were drinking a burlap sack.

IBUs are scarcely an afterthought these days, as new catchphrases emerge to fill the mouths of craft beer aficionados everywhere, including here in Louisville. One of those phrases, one I hear more and more often every day, in fact, is the word “juicy.”

Juicy is now often used in reference to a beer, usually a Northeast-style IPA, that is particularly fruity or tropical in flavor, and actually drinks sort of like a juice as much as it does a beer. Mile Wide’s series of Northeast IPAs falls directly into the “juicy” category.

As in, “Try this mango-infused Northeast IPA, dude. It’s juicy!”

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Chicken at a roast beef joint?

From LEO Weekly, 9/13/2017

By Kevin Gibson

I’m one of those weird people who, if forced to eat at Arby’s for some reason (it’s rare), orders a chicken sandwich. Or chicken tenders. I’m just not a fan of the Arby’s mystery meat.

Of course, this reminds me of when Arby’s first came to this market when I was a kid; my parents liked it, but we were poor enough that I had never even seen a roast beef sandwich, let alone eaten one. No thanks, I told them, I’ll just have a burger. One problem: Arby’s didn’t serve burgers. Needless to say, we didn’t go to Arby’s much when I was a kid.

But after a while, Arby’s diversified (even serving burgers, however briefly) and it seems that, over the last few decades, other fast-food chains have done the same. Wendy’s used to rely on mediocre chili, ice cream-ish drinks called Frosties and big, square burgers, and now you can get grilled chicken wraps. McDonald’s was all about greasy burgers and greasy fries, yet now you can get a southwest grilled chicken salad. Or apple slices.

You get the idea and, yes, I am getting to the point.

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Farewell, Louisville Brewfest… hello, Craft Beer Week

From LEO Weekly, 9/6/2017

By Kevin Gibson

I heard rumors earlier this year that the Louisville Independent Business Alliance might discontinue its long-running Louisville Brewfest, but I chose to wait until I heard something official before I began to mourn. Last week, I heard official word that, indeed, one of the city’s oldest beer festivals is no more.

When the festival began in 2009, craft beer was still just a baby in Louisville, and the event featured all of five local breweries. But as time pressed on and more breweries came into the fold, the festival grew, eventually landing at Slugger Field, first in the event space near the third-base side of the stadium, and then expanding into the concourse and the Overlook Deck in center field.

 

Gravely Brewing to open with history on tap

From LEO Weekly, 8/9/2017

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By Kevin Gibson

When Gravely Brewing Co. opens Aug. 18, it will hark back to a significant piece of Louisville beer history — a time when bicycle racing was a spectator sport and campaigning politicians were known to stop in for rallies.

The brewery at 514 Baxter Ave. formerly the Pride Tile Co., is on part of what once was home to Phoenix Brewing Co., a nationally-known brewery and beer garden that operated roughly from 1884 until 1916. It had a lush garden, an indoor velodrome, an outdoor bar that was longer than 100 feet and more. Events from a Teddy Roosevelt rally to traveling shows and pig races took place there over the years.

Two of the original lagering caverns, where beer fermented prior to refrigeration, are on the Gravely property and can be clearly seen — although they won’t be used for making beer these days. And the Phoenix horse stable still stands next door.

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Habanero sausage meets tacos

habanero sausage taco.jpg

From LEO Weekly, 8/2/2017

By Kevin Gibson

It has become clear to me in recent times that my unintentional life’s pursuit is to eat as many tacos as I possibly can before I die. Part of that quest is to find out just how many different ingredients can be successfully placed into a shell or tortilla and then enjoyed.

Hey, a guy has to have goals, right?

River Road BBQ recently offered an assist by way of the habanero sausage taco for $4.25. Yeah, the first time I read that phrase, I did double take. A sausage? In a taco? How can this be? My first thought was that the sausage would be ground up to resemble more standard taco meat — that made sense to me.

But when I stopped in at River Road BBQ, which is located near Water Tower Park at 3017 River Road, I was surprised to find that the sausage remains intact. So, it’s like a hot dog and taco hybrid, if you will.

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The art of beer labels — the new album covers

LEO Weekly cover story from 7/26/2017.

GreatFlood_0306172302a-1024x576By Kevin Gibson

Megabrewers, such as Budweiser and Miller, spend millions marketing their latest retro can, funky bottle or limited-time labeling, including Budweiser’s “America” labels this summer. But what’s inside never changes, essentially making it all just a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo.

“Beer labels are the new album covers,” said Paul Young, a brewer at Monnik Beer Co. in Louisville and former owner of a homebrew supply store.

Through the years, beer labels have evolved, at times offering vibrant colors and imaginative designs, and, at times, giving us little more than a logo and perhaps a slogan. …

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