Okay or Not?

Savvy restaurant patrons have heard of the practice of bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant and paying a “corkage” fee to have it poured and served for you and your guests. But some folks take things a hair too far in this area. Let’s play a game about dining out. A game … Continued

Is there such thing as Mexican deer?

Well, deer season is now over, and plenty of hunters spent the last few months stocking their freezers with fresh game. Luckily, my buddy Chuck is one such outdoorsman, and he’s not stingy with his meat. He came upon some frozen venison from last season and, not wanting to discard it or crowd his freezer … Continued

Mapping the Mediterranean at the Grape Leaf

Quick! Can you find the Mediterranean Sea on a map? This should be easy. It’s that long body of water that stretches from the Straits of Gibraltar at the far end of Spain, all the way over past Italy and Greece, the long belly of Turkey, around the corner past Syria, Lebanon and Israel to … Continued

Meeting local honey demand is risky business

Louisville’s empowering urban farming laws allow citizens to transform their quirky hobbies into mainstream small businesses. But, participating in the local food movement, with the desire to share the fruits of our hobbies with neighbors, comes with practical risk. Matt Fontaine took a gamble in 2009 when he launched Louisville Honey Company with his wife. … Continued

Mitchell’s Fish Market re-chains, stays about the same

Here’s one reason why I don’t often review corporate chain eateries: They’re generally predictable. Even the good ones don’t change much, unless the stockholders scream for change, and nothing good generally comes of that. Take Mitchell’s Fish Market: I last reviewed it in November 2001, when it and its then-corporate partner Martini Italian Bistro had … Continued

The Taste Bud: Tasting the mystery

I’m normally not a big fast-food guy, but I had to watch in amusement and curiosity when I first saw the Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen commercial for the chain’s new Ghost Pepper Wings. “Taste the mystery,” the woman beckons in the spot, as bright orange, heavily breaded sections of chicken wing bound downward in slow motion. … Continued

Industry Standard: Battle scars and war stories

That scene in “Jaws.” You know the one – Quint and Hooper are comparing scars attained from shark-hunting: “You wanna drink?” “I’ll drink to your leg.” “OK, so we drink to our legs!” Comparing cooking scars is typical after-hours cook talk. We often have ladders of oven-door burn stripes on the insides of our forearms. … Continued

The Taste Bud: Fruitcake – Revisiting the holiday horror

Many decades ago when I was just a boy, I saw a strange, colorful thing that looked like a loaf of magical, wonderful candy. It sat there beckoning on the packed kitchen table at my grandmother’s house. “What’s that?” I asked. “Fruitcake,” one of the grown-ups at the Christmas Eve gathering told me. Cake? Count … Continued

Can you say “Bread and Breakfast” three times fast?

Let’s head over to New Albany and get some bed and break … um … bed and break … DAMMIT! I mean BED AND BREAKFAST! No, BREAD! AND BEKKFAST! DAMMIT AGAIN! Let’s face it. If I was mean enough to mark a place down because its name is hard to say, then this charming little … Continued