Mussel & Burger Bar

9200 Taylorsville Road Louisville, KY 40299

I’ve heard nothing but great things from anyone I’ve talked to about Mussel & Burger Bar. So when I went last week with work friends, I had to post about it! The atmosphere and decor are a strange blend of classy and country that I actually love. It appears to be on the fancier side but then the tables are covered with brown paper and drinks are served in mason jars. The staff are wearing jeans and M&BB t-shirts, so feel free to dress it up or down!As far as appetizers, we tried the calamari ($10) and the short rib nachos ($10), which some people actually got as their meal. The calamari is lightly fried, then topped with pickled Italian peppers, capers, and green onions. The spicy sweet sauce gives it an Asian flare.  The short rib nachos were a big hit with everyone and very much recommended! The meat was perfectly tender and topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, monterrey jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, and a delicious sauce with a sour cream drizzle.

Fried Calamari

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

Short Rib Nachos

Short Rib Nachos

My friend and I split the seafood burger and the blue cheese beer pancetta mussels. The seafood burger is pretty much a crabcake but also with lobster and shrimp with a bit of peppers, onions, and chives. It was messy but amazingly delicious. Crabmeat aioli. Pretzel bun. Avocado. Yes, please. Most burgers, which range in price $13-16, are served with french fries. Oh sorry, pomme frites. We asked to sub for sweet potato fries which are served with a smoked pineapple sauce-yum! My non-carnivorous friend had the vegetarian burger which she highly recommended.  I’ll have to try it myself sometime because it’s made with beets and red quinoa and topped with goat cheese on a pretzel bun, all of which I’m a fan!

Seafood Burger

Seafood Burger

The blue cheese beer pancetta mussels were so good! Obviously, you have to like mussels or be adventurous to try them. If you haven’t had them, I would describe mussels as a little chewy and slimy, which is not a good description, but all I can think of to say. You can order an appetizer portion for $10 or as an entree for $13. The difference between them all is the sauce- ours consisted of pancetta, Belgium beer, blue cheese, shallots, garlic, and butter. I soaked up the sauce with the french bread, it was that good.

Pancetta Mussels

Pancetta Mussels

Despite our large party of 12, our server was on her game, taking orders, serving food and drinks, and getting our separate checks correct. Speaking of big groups, Mussel and Burger Bar has the space and tables to accommodate you and your family or friends. Be aware though, I hear there’s a long wait on weekend nights and they don’t take reservations.

Mussel & Burger Bar is open for lunch and dinner Monday-Thursday 11 am-10 pm, Friday 11 pm-11 pm, Saturday 12-11 pm, and Sunday 12-8 pm. Check them out on the Facebook page.

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Queen of Sheba

2804 Taylorsville Road Louisville, KY 40205

If you remember from previous posts like Sari Sari (Filipino food), I like to branch out and try ethnic restaurants. So when my friends recommended Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba, I was excited to try it out! I’ve actually been there twice now, so I must like it.

Upon entering the restaurant, you can smell the Ethiopian food filling the room. There is plenty of seating; we didn’t have to wait long to be seated at 7 pm on a Saturday night. They only take reservations for parties of 6 or more. You can get a drink while you wait at the small bar right inside the door.

Traditionally in Ethiopia, people eat with their fingers, tearing a piece of Injera (Ethiopian flat bread) to pick up their food and eat it. Food is served on a big round tray of Injera and shared with the group. Queen of Sheba will serve your meal on a separate plate and provide you with silverware upon request.

The four of us decided to order the vegetarian combo for two ($18) and the meat combo for two ($23), which was served on the large tray with each of us getting our own side salad and kik wot. Kik wot is a split lentils stew, simmered in onions, garlic, and berbere. Berbere is an Ethiopian hot spice made with red chili peppers, but my wimpy taste buds could handle it.

The vegetarian combo includes:

-Misir wot = lentil stew simmered in onions and garlic seasoned with turmeric and herbs.

-Atakilt = cooked sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots in a mild tomato sauce

-Gomen wot = cooked collard greens, onions, and potatoes in a mild sauce

The meat combo consists of:

-Doro wot = spicy chicken stew with chicken drum sticks cooked in minced onions, fresh garlic, and ginger with berbere sauce

-Sega wot = beef stew with lean cubed beef, slow cooked in minced onions, garlic, and fresh ginger with berbere sauce

-Alicha sega wot = mild tender beef stew with onion, potatoes, garlic, ginger, and turmeric

Yes, all of these ingredients were copied from their menu online because I have no idea what each word means. My favorites of the combos were the lentils, collard greens with potatoes, and both beef dishes. Each item was flavorful and the meats were all perfectly cooked. We ate it all, we were full, and we paid ~$15 per person including the cost of a drink- not bad at all!

Our waitress was meh.. She did what she had to but we felt like we waited for her to come to our table each time.

Queen of Sheba is open for lunch every day 11:30 am-2:30 pm and dinner Monday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday-Saturday 5-10:30 pm, and Sunday 5-9 pm. Check out their lunch and dinner menus on their website.

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Palermo Viejo

1359 Bardstown Road Louisville, KY 40204

I had no idea what to imagine when I made reservations at Palermo Viejo, an Argentinian restaurant in the Highlands. I had heard great reviews so I decided to take my friend visiting from home in Columbus. Overall, we enjoyed our dinner, our guest was happy, and we plan on returning!

We walk into an intimate atmosphere with exposed brick and wood accents. The kitchen is open and can be seen from our table. There’s not much seating space but there seemed to be enough to accommodate their Saturday evening crowd as there were still a couple open tables during our dining experience at 7 pm. A few people can also sit at the bar. Although the restaurant isn’t very big, they have room for a big party. Palermo does take reservations.

Our waitress was friendly and very present without hovering throughout the evening. You know I love when my servers provide their menu recommendations and hers were spot on!

My friend and I started with a bottle of reasonably priced Malbec, Misterio, for $20 which we enjoyed while my boyfriend had a bottle of BBC Amber for a great price of $3.25. Glasses of wine ranged $5.50-10. We also ordered the cocida appetizer which included grilled asparagus, smoked provolone, portabella milanesa (fried thinly sliced portabella mushrooms), roasted tomato, and sweet potato frieds with a dijon mustard dipping sauce. We enjoyed the variety for $7 while we waited for our entrees. We were also served a fluffy white bread with a good crust and whipped butter which was easy to spread.

Cocida

Cocida

My friend and I split the Chupin de Pescado (tilapia) and the Pollo a la Portuguesa de Carmen (chicken) while my boyfriend had the Milanesa de Pollo with a side of whipped potatoes. I would say the price for quality and portion size is perfect here. We all had leftovers and were comfortably full after our meal. Entrees range in price $13-28. If you happen to be a vegetarian, there are 3 entree and 6 appetizer options on the menu which are labeled as such.

The chupin de pescado ($14) was our favorite. The fish was perfectly cooked and easily fell apart with a fork. The vegetables were fresh, potatoes were just right, and it was seasoned well to pull it all together.

Chupin de Pescado

Chupin de Pescado

The pollo a la Portuguesa de Carmen ($15) consisted of pan seared chicken breasts in a fresh tomato, yellow pepper, and onion sauce served on top of whipped potatoes. We liked this dish but the potatoes were a little overwhelming. Similar to the prior entree, the chicken was cooked well, vegetables were fresh, and overall it was seasoned well.

Pollo a la Portuguesa de Carmen

Pollo a la Portuguesa de Carmen

The Milanesa de pollo was melted goodness for $13. Milanesas are typical Argentinian cuisine per the menu. The steak, chicken, or portabella mushroom, whichever you choose, is breaded with garlic and parsley, pan sauteed, and served with ham, mozzarella, provolone, fresh tomatoes, oregano. This dish really reminded me of an Italian entree and was loaded with cheese as you can see in the picture. He also ordered a side of pure de papa (whipped potatoes) for $4 which are pictured below so you can see a portion of a side item. I didn’t think they were anything to write home about, but they were fine.

Milanesa de Pollo

Milanesa de Pollo

Pure de Papa

Pure de Papa

Palermo Viejo is open Tuesday-Thursday 5-9 pm and Friday-Saturday 5-9:45 pm. Closed Sunday-Monday. They don’t have a website, but you can check them out on Facebook (which has pictures of the menu), Yelp and All Menus.

 

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Jack Fry’s

1007 Bardstown Road Louisville, KY 40204

I know I always say “I finally went to this restaurant that I’ve heard so much about.” But guys, I FINALLY went to Jack Fry’s. A Louisville classic, right? I guess I was waiting for a special occasion. Well, it was my boyfriend’s birthday and he wanted the well-known filet from Jack Fry’s to celebrate so we had reason enough to go!

I called a week prior to our date night-birthday celebration and was limited to 3 times; 5:30, 6:00, and 8:45. Live jazz music starts at 7 pm on Saturdays. We chose 6 pm so we could take our time and hear some jazz. Call way in advance if you would like a particular reservation.

We started with glasses of wine, which were good sized pours, and salads. My friends had recommended the warm brie salad ($7) so he ordered that- Kentucky bibb lettuce with warm brie, toasted almonds, and dijon vinaigrette. It was delicious. I went with the salt roasted beet salad ($11) which consisted of golden beets, mixed greens, capriole farm goat cheese, sherry pesto, spicy pecans, and fried crisp shallots. It seemed to have a balsamic flavored dressing which I loved. I thought both salads were high quality and worth the price. Bread and butter are also served with options of a cornbread  and a crusty wheat bread.

Warm brie salad

Warm brie salad

Roasted beet salad

Roasted beet salad

Normally we don’t order too pricey of an entree especially when it is a small portion size, but he had to get the beef filet as it was part of the experience . He said it was the best steak of his life. The medium rare filet was served on top of roasted fingerlings (3 small potatoes) and topped with asparagus and prosciutto in a sage beurre blanc sauce (I had to look up what this was but who cares, it’s delicious) and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Get it if you love steak and can splurge.

Beef filet

Beef filet

I had the shrimp and grits appetizer as my entree. It was big enough to fill me up and tasted amazing. Three big sauteed shrimp and grits served in a red eye gravy with shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, and country ham. It was definitely worth $12 and a reasonably priced dinner (especially to make up for the more expensive entree).

Shrimp and grits

Shrimp and grits

For the special occasion, we had to have dessert. The birthday boy chose the warm fudge brownie served with dark rum ice cream, bits of candied bacon (and one bigger chocolate covered piece), and spicy pecans.  Yum!

Warm fudge brownie

Warm fudge brownie

Service was great with friendly waiters and never empty water glasses. It was pretty loud and hard to hear, but still had an intimate ambience.

Jack Fry’s is open for lunch Monday-Friday 11:00 am-2:30 pm and dinner Monday-Saturday 5:30-11:00 pm and Sunday 5:30-10:00 pm. Check out their lunch and dinner menus. Live jazz music every night but Sunday.

Mayan Cafe

813 East Market Street Louisville, KY 40206

Mayan Cafe has been on my list of go-to restaurants for quite awhile now so I was very happy when I finally went a couple weeks ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Even though it’s crossed off my list, I definitely plan on returning! I tried to go a month or two ago on a Saturday night for a late dinner but was quickly turned down when we didn’t have a reservation and were told we would have to wait 1.5 hours (9:30 pm)- no, thank you! So make reservations guys!

We started with drinks and the sikil-pak. Glasses of wine and cocktails range in cost $7-13 and beer $4-6, so you can definitely drink reasonably if you choose. Nonalcoholic beverages include unique options such as hibiscus-lime tea and the Mayan mocha. The sikil-pak is a pumpkin seed dip with roasted tomatos and cilantro that come with chips to dip. I thought $8 was very reasonable for the portion size and quality of this unique dish. I was very tempted to order the pumpkin soup and autumn salad which are on the October’s specials menu but decided one pumpkin item was enough for my meal.

Sikil-pak

Sikil-pak

For my entree, I ordered the Cochinita Pibil for $20. This slow roasted pork dish was complemented well in a achiote sauce with pickled onions and tok-sel lima beans. The meat was so tender it easy pulled apart with my fork so I could get a little of everything in each bite, including pickled red onion and beets. The pork had a little kick, but my wimpy taste buds enjoyed it just fine. It also came with brazo de reina, which is a Yucatec tamale with tok sel lima beans and queso fresco. I like to have leftovers if I’m paying $20 for my meal or be extremely stuffed that I go into a food coma upon arriving home. Well, I tried to have some self restraint and saved a little for lunch the next day but was still comfortably full after my dinner.

Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita Pibil

My friends got the chicken and salmon, of which they were both a fan! The grilled chicken has a delicious, flavorful chocolate mole sauce, which I’ll have to try next time because I loved getting this entree when I was in Merida (the capital of Yucatan in Mexico) three years ago. She ordered a side of Tok-sel lima beans and it came with a side of what we think is fried zucchini. The salmon was cooked perfectly medium and fork tender, and it came with a delicious potato and corn cake. I really think you can’t go wrong at Mayan Cafe!

Chicken

Chicken

Salmon

Salmon

Service was great; we never saw a water glass half empty (or half full, if we’re being positive) and our server was friendly. He was courteous in providing recommendations when we asked and answering questions about the menu. The sitting area was rather small, with a few tables out front. I don’t think there was more seating in the back or upstairs. It had the atmosphere that was nice but could be dressed up or dressed down which I appreciated. Also it was a little loud, so don’t take your hard of hearing family member (cough, my dad, cough) Sorry, Dad.

Mayan Cafe is open Monday-Friday 11:30-2:30 for lunch and Monday-Thursday 5-10 pm and Saturday-Sunday 5-10:30 pm for dinner. They are closed on Sunday. Check out their website for daily and monthly specials, lunch, and dinner menus. Lunch has similar entrees but definitely more affordable prices.

Superchef’s Breakfast and Lunch

307 Wallace Avenue Louisville, KY 40207

Super Chef’s has to be the most random restaurant I’ve ever been to in Louisville. It’s in the back of a consignment shop. It’s decor consists of superhero posters and home decor signs. 70’s music plays from “Play That Funky Music” and “I Want You Back.”

We arrived around 9:45 am on a Saturday morning; there’s a short line but we’re seated not long after. We started by ordering coffee while we perused the menu. I got really excited reading the unique entrees such as the Hunger Games omelet with BBQ pulled pork, caramelized onions, cheese, and egg whites-interesting but I’m not feeling that gutsy this morning; and the Elvis waffles layered with peanut butter and bananas topped with chocolate syrup- delicious but probably too sweet for breakfast.

We split an order of waffle bites which were good, warning: they’re very sweet and overpriced ($5.99 for this amount below).

Waffle bites

Waffle bites

My friend and I decide to split The Hulk sandwich because it sounded so big and came with hash browns. I would recommend not sharing because it wasn’t as much food as I thought. It’s a green waffle sandwich with homemade sausage, candied bacon, egg, cheese, and then drizzled with syrup. I really liked the candied bacon and the sausage wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think the waffle added anything to the sandwich. Our hash browns were never served to us but after seeing my boyfriend’s which looked like they came from a frozen bag and weren’t that good, I didn’t bother bringing it to the attention of our server(s). The Hulk was good but worth $12.99? I’m not so sure.

The Hulk

The Hulk

My boyfriend went with The Superchef’s Omelet which is made of diced candied bacon, sausage, spinach, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese; with a side of hash browns and mixed greens for $11.99. He really liked it and the veggies were fresh. Again though, I think you can get a better deal for an omelet with tastier hashbrowns.

The Superchef's Omelet

The Superchef’s Omelet

My other friend had the Veggie Breakfast Sandwich, which has egg, spinach, diced peppers, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and mixed greens on a pretzel croissant. I think this is more reasonably priced for what it is at $7.99, as it also comes with hash browns.

Veggie Breakfast Sandwich

Veggie Breakfast Sandwich

In regards to service, you don’t have the standard one waiter; all of the servers waited on us which led to a slightly chaotic dining experience. We also waited 45 minutes for our food to be served after ordering…

Superchef’s also serves lunch items including pizza, burgers, superdillas (named after superheros), soup, and salad. Entrees range in price $7.99-9.99.

Superchef’s is open 6 days a week (closed Monday) 7 am- 3 pm. Check them out on facebook or on yelp.

Monkey Wrench

1025 Barret Avenue Louisville, KY 40204

Let me start off by saying that I’m obsessed with the rooftop bar at Monkey Wrench! Obviously you need a nice day which is perfect since it’s summer. I feel like I’m at a restaurant/bar on an island (just don’t look across the street).

I first went to Monkey Wrench for a New2Lou social and another time for a spontaneous sangria on their rooftop one night-both great experiences and good drinks. I finally went back awhile back with some friends for Sunday brunch around 10 am. Around 10:30, bluegrass music commenced. If you want to eat on the rooftop, go after 11 am, which I recommend if it’s nice outside.

If you’re interested in a morning cocktail, Monkey Wrench has a DIY mimosa ($5) and Bloody Mary ($7) bar. The Bloody Mary is probably the better deal and there’s more options in the DIY bar. The mimosa bar could have had a variety of fruit juices to go with their fresh fruit skewers.

Mimosa bar

Mimosa bar

Bloody Mary Bar

Bloody Mary Bar

My friend and I split the Kentucky Style Eggs Benedict and the Bourbon Sourdough French Toast to have a good mix of sweet and savory. We were a fan of both! The former consists of fried cornbread cake, poached eggs, roadside hash, fathers country ham, and house mac n’ cheese sauce. The latter is made of Bluedog Bakery sourdough french toast, bourbon and sorghum syrup, vanilla, orange zest, and topped with whipped cream. Yum!

Kentucky Style Eggs Benedict

Kentucky Style Eggs Benedict

Bourbon Sourdough French Toast

Bourbon Sourdough French Toast

All brunch items are $12. You can also order: Monkey Wrench Classic Big Boy Breakfast, White Cheddar and Country Ham Quiche, Biscuits and Gravy, Cornbread Pancakes, and BBQ Shrimp and Grits. So I feel like there’s something for everyone!

I’ve only eaten there for brunch but I’m looking forward to trying dinner soon! Monkey Wrench also has “Downhome Sundays” 5-9 pm, which is a country dinner served family style. On Wednesdays, they have live bluegrass music around 9 pm. Check out their Facebook page for other events!

Monkey Wrench is open Tuesday-Saturday 4 pm-2 am and Sunday 10 am-2 am.