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C-J's Rosen Sees Forgiveness in a Dead Pig

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Marty Rosen crossed over to the Right Bank to sample The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, scoring it 4.5 stars out of 5 for Metromix but 0 stars out of 4 for the Louisville Courier-Journal (the online edition anyway explained the paper's rating scale, but contained no score). How many points would Rosen deduct from a restaurant's score for such an error? After spending three paragraphs listing menu items, either the act of a writer trying to meet a word count or a skillful homage to Walt Whitman's cataloging technique in "Song of Myself," Rosen gets to the meat of his review (ba-dum-ching): "A generous portion of steak frites ($16) was admirably cooked to order, and a slab of grilled pork tenderloin ($18) coated in a maple-brown sugar-bourbon glaze, plated with a winningly tangy mash-up of sweet potatoes and Capriole Farms goat cheese, was picture-perfect (and tasty to boot). But pork, after all, is a forgiving meat. [Not to the slaughtered pig. — Ed.] It's the details that bear witness to a kitchen's strengths or weaknesses. And if ever I've tasted a better order of haricots verts, it's slipped my mind. These were just simple green cylinders resting beside that pork, but they had just enough give and resistance to be the perfect definition of crisp-tender. Somebody was paying as much attention to that side dish as to the featured ingredient." [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Four weeks after it kicked off, Robin Garr finally bestowed his opinion of Taco Punk's Kickstarter campaign upon readers of the Voice-Tribune (most of whom probably glanced right over his article in their rush to find pictures of themselves). And while Garr approved, the masses didn't: two days after his piece was published, Taco Punk's project failed to reach even 50 percent of its fundraising goal. "The uproar prompted me to drop by for lunch last week, and I left very happy...Inspired to healthy goodness by the compostable greenness all around, I chose an animal-free lunch of two good-size tacos on tender, fresh-made corn tortillas: a veggie taco ($3.95) loaded with butternut squash cubes, pinto beans, tomatoes and onions in a mellow pumpkinseed mole; and a warming, earthy black-bean-and-white-cheese taco ($3.25); plus a hearty, oversize cup of the soup of the day, a rich, sweet-hot and piquant vegetarian chili. Tortilla chips were crisp and fresh." [Voice-Tribune]

Earth Friends Café earned 89 points from Robin Garr in LEO Weekly (hopefully there'll be enough of a curve to bump it up to an A-). Of course, Garr's Forrest Gump or Harlan Pepper-like obsession with counting beans may have hindered his ability to pass judgement: "I never did complete the project of identifying all of the beans in Earth Friends Café's 13-bean soup. I couldn't get past 11, even by counting a yellow corn kernel as a bean. But I can testify that it was homemade and very, very good, as was just about everything I tried at this recent arrival in NuLu...In spite of the razzing I had to endure, it was fun trying to make out the ingredients in the 13-bean soup ($3). Red beans, black beans, pintos, maybe both navy and Great Northern white beans; garbanzos, lentils and limas — maybe little limas and larger butter beans. Mary thought she saw a green bean go by. That's about 11, call it a dozen if you count the corn. Whatever. It was one fine, hearty winter soup, and I'd order it again." [Louisville Hot Bytes]

Either to offset all that healthy eating from his other reviews or to appease The Jesus, Robin Garr visited the Fish-Fry House for the Voice-Tribune. "It's Lent, the season when a lot of believers, in the spirit of sacrifice, switch over from delicious red meat to delicious fried white fish during the 40 days before Easter. You don't have to believe a thing beyond 'I believe I'll have me a fish sandwich' to enjoy the goodies here, though; and I'll testify that Shahram Pouranfour (who also operates Sharom's Fishery Station on Outer Loop) is a master of breading and frying. In a recent visit, we didn't taste a fried item that wasn't crisp, golden-brown and delicious. The offbeat venue only adds to Fish-Fry's curb appeal: It's located in the '20s-era gasoline service station that was lovingly renovated for restaurant use by the late, lamented Diamond Station. The menu, as noted, depends substantially on frying, with fried Boston scrod, chicken, shrimp, chicken livers, oysters, salmon croquettes; even fried alligator tail and fried shark bites, along with a few tasty non-fried items such as oven-baked scrod, on a family-friendly menu topping out at $12.95 (for a fried oyster platter with choice of two sides)." [Louisville Hot Bytes]

·All Eater Louisville "Week In Reviews" Coverage [Eater Louisville]

[Photo: Courtesy Facebook/The The Exchange Pub + Kitchen]

Taco Punk

736 E. Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202 502-552-5478 Visit Website

Earth Friends Cafe

829 E Market Street, Louisville, KY 40206 502-749-8911