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Entries in Review-isville (3)


Review-isville: Fleur de Lis Cafe

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

It hasn't been a great visit on the food front here in Louisville.

At least, that was the case until I hit up Fleur de Lis Cafe on Bardstown Road in the Highlands for breakfast Wednesday morning.

I like to think I'm adventurous when it comes to trying new restaurants. But once I'm in the door, I'm far less flexible. Consider the case of the New Orleans French Toast.


+ IN PICTURES: Backside At The 2010 Kentucky Derby
+ MORE PICTURES: Images From Derbys Past
+ ANALYSIS: Talkin' Derby Without Sounding Like A Horse's Ass
+ MEMORY LANE: Editor Longs For Louisville On Derby Day
+ INTRODUCTION: Welcome To Kentucky Derby Season 2010

Until recently, Fleur de Lis was called Sweet & Savory under the previous ownership. I'd enjoyed the french toast, stuffed with apple slivers and cream cheese and served with maple syrup, more fruit and powdered sugar. By the time you're halfway through the portion, it's just a big ole mess of food on your plate and there's no place else you'd rather be. It is some serious comfort food and has been the only thing I've ordered in my six or so visits there.

New owners Kyle and Jill Riggle, who bought the place in December and just changed the name this month, have a great vision for the future of the space. They'll be using fresh ingredients grown only by local farmers. They're even expanding the breakfast- and lunch-only hours to serve dinner, whereas Sweet & Savory kicked you out at 3 p.m.

Kyle said he likes to drill down as locally as possible, not just with the food, but also with the artists whose work will soon adorn the Riggles' walls. "The Highlands first, Louisville second and then Kentucky," he said.

That's a good way to do business, and coupled with the New Orleans French Toast -- as long as they keep making it -- is a great way to guarantee they'll see me eating there again.


Review-isville: Ramsi's Cafe On The World

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

Remember The Patron? I couldn't help but fall in love with what I thought was the perfect gourmet pizza restaurant on Frankfort Avenue during my last visit to Louisville.

Well, it closed, and so have a few other familiar haunts, but that hardly spells the end of great eating in the Derby City. Ramsi's Cafe On The World is still in its popular and increasingly busy Bardstown Road location.

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When I first moved to Louisville in 2000, Ramsi's was a small, hipster-ish joint with low ceilings and poor lighting.

But it's expanded twice since then -- obviously a good sign -- and serves all kinds. Its menu is far more diverse than the Louisville population, offering up nearly 30 entree items from almost as many countries.

The best part of my visit Sunday, however, was the friendly bartender who confessed the Korean Beef Tips dinner wasn't the heartiest of servings. So I ordered the Shanghai Stir Fry instead.

Much like the fish tacos I ordered at El Mundo the night before, the stir fry was pretty bland. The black bean sauce was drizzled in far too conservatively. When the bartender agreed and retrieved an extra side of it, I was nearly half done with my meal that was quickly getting cold. It was a sizeable portion, so I filled up on chicken, rice and nutritious vegetables, but hey, I'm on vacation. I'm not thinking about health. I want delicious creams and sauces.

Pat ordered the fish tacos and seemed to enjoy them. That plate was way heartier than the fish tacos I didn't really enjoy at El Mundo. So far I'm 0-for-2 eating dinner out in Louisville. At least I had some Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip ice cream waiting in the freezer for me when I got back home.


Review-isville: El Mundo

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

Whether you're a first-time visitor to Louisville or returning for a two-week stay like I am, El Mundo is a culinary staple that shouldn't be missed in the Derby City.

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I hadn't eaten at the Frankfort Avenue joint often in my four years living there, but I do recall an enjoyable dinner on each of those precious few occasions.

Saturday night, however, delivered a fairly mediocre plate of fish tacos. I know the cod is universally pretty bland in such an entree, but most places drop in some seasoning. At El Mundo, however, the surrounding beans and rice served as a stand-in for the flavor that was otherwise absent from the plate.

At least the mojito was pretty good.

Pat, on the other hand, said he was pretty impressed with the chile relleno, so order that before the fish tacos, especially if you can handle some spice.