Last month, I visited my partner in New York City where he is working on his graduate degree. One lazy Sunday, he treated me to an incredible eating tour on the seven line in Queens, NY. Queens, especially Flushing, is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in New York City. Each stop on the seven line opened up to a new world of beautiful people, tantalizing smells, and interesting flavors. It was an afternoon well spent.
When I returned to Louisville, I realized that we have our own pockets of colorful communities here and when my partner returned home for a visit, we decided to embark on a Louisville version of our New York tour.
Here are a few spots we visited in just one lazy Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for more adventures in the future.
DaLat's Gateaux and Cafe 6915 Southside Drive Louisville, KY
This cute little cafe serves up a variety of treats including ornate and decadent looking cakes and cookies, bahn mi sandwiches, donuts, and other less familiar Vietnamese treats. We ordered a few cookies, a donut, and an order of Cha Oc. Cha Oc is escargot sausage. It was the size of a roll of quarters and wrapped in foil. We were advised to remove it from the foil and warm it for a few seconds in the microwave. Mixed with slices of ginger, some lemongrass, and clove, the flavor was very mild and quite delicious.
Golden Grain Bakery 6917 Southside Drive Louisville, KY
Right next door to DaLat's is another bakery. Golden Grain Bakery has a small selection of Eastern European groceries and fresh baked breads. We picked up a Croation cheese spread, a tea time paté, and a large spinach cheese filled Bosnian pastry. The Bosnian pastry was really similar to spanakopita, though the pastry shell was more eggy and less flaky than the filo dough used on spanakopita. We were told the paté and cheese spread were to be consumed with tea. The canned paté was creamy and relatively bland. The cheese spread was similar to whipped cream cheese. There was also a selection of cookies, cured meats, and chocolate.
Big Momma's Soul Kitchen 4532 West Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211
Nestled next to Shawnee Park right next to the corner of 45th and Broadway there is a small white brick shack where Big Momma serves up soul food five days a week. The menu varies from day to day. Upon arriving, there was already a line out the door at 3 pm. Big Momma's is carry out only and we were assured by a regular that the food was worth the wait. We asked for a recommendation and he kindly responded, "It's all good. Anything you order, it will be good." We got some mac and cheese, fried chicken (dark meat), and an order of ribs. The ribs came with a hunk of sweet corn bread. The fried chicken was crisp, rolled in a perfect blend of herbs and spices. Next time, please skip the Kentucky Fried Chicken and try this home cooked celebration of chicken. We watched, mouths open and pooling with drool, as our order of ribs were plunged into the vat of thick sauce before tossed into our to go container. The smoke was perfect and of course they fell apart at the bone.
Dairy Kastle 575 Eastern Parkway Louisville, KY 40217
Okay, so we don't really consider Dairy Kastle a culinary adventure but we were curious about the rumors of a vegan chili dog. It was a bit odd to be offered a cheese topping to our vegan chili dog. Having explored veganism a few times in the past few years, I admit, I appreciate that there is a junky quick treat available that isn't hummus and pita or french fries. It didn't knock my socks off, but well worth combining with a beer and a ball game.
There's a few places I didn't get to today that I hope to revisit another time. We stopped by Franco's in Shively but the line was out the door and moving nowhere as fast as Big Momma's. We were also hoping to grab some Russian food at Gavi's Restaurant downtown but alas, they are closed on Sundays. Twitter has been blowing up about The Cup and Cake Cafe in Portland but they are also closed on Sundays. Finally, we didn't find time to swing by Thuy Van on National Turnpike where I have had the best pho I've ever had in this city. Their pho is incredibly aromatic, served with a plate heaped with fresh herbs, lime, and sauces. I'm drooling just thinking about it.