In this week's Voice-Tribune, Robin Garr suspiciously spends much more time on "Pizzagate," pies across America and even a shout-out to another Detroit-style pizza place than he does on his supposed review subject, Jet's Pizza. Garr begins by melodramatically rehashing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's knife-and-fork faux pas ("Blasphemy! …. the angry hordes shrieked"), then provides some handy advice on eating NYC pizza ("start munching from the pointy end"). He drops insider knowledge of Italy, saying "as any observant traveler knows" in that country pizzas, especially the messy kinds, are often eaten with a knife and fork. New Yorkers should "give de Blasio some slack" says Garr, awkwardly ending his view of last week's tabloid events by concluding "the point here is that pizza is not snooty classical cuisine." On his way to Jet's, Garr decides to take a pre-Louisiana Purchase tour of American pizza types, beginning with NYC ("giant, foldable, hand-on slice"), traveling through New Haven ("they top it with clams"), "Philly" ("loves cheesy pies) and on to St. Louis ("makes it weird"). Ignoring California, Hawaii and other foreign places, Garr Getting finally returns to the Motor City, saying Detroit-style pizza has "gone almost without notice—until recently that is," which must be quite surprising to people in Detroit. Then he somewhat oddly provides the name, address and phone number of Loui Loui's Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, which "attracted an instant following last year." Almost halfway into his final paragraph, Garr finally gets to Jet's—but his real opinion of the restaurant is hidden somewhere else.
"I don't think it's the greatest pizza in town, but there's something about that greasy, crispy crust on white bread dough that's kind of snackishly appealing to me. I wouldn't choose Jet's as my first pick if I wanted pizza, but I'd be much more inclined to grab one than a Papa John's or Pizza Hut or Domino's." Not a bad capsule review of Jet's, actually. Too bad for Voice-Tribune readers it can only be found as a comment on Garr's "Louisville Hotbytes" restaurants forum. In The Voice, Garr ends his review by saying he "enjoyed" two pizzas that were "right-on the Detroit style: white bread … crispy crusted in small rectangular pans," and also notes that "pricing is affordable," with "subs, wings, salads and more" as well." Voice readers may not know Robin's real opinion of Jet's, but at least they know where he stands on Bill de Blasio. [Voice-Tribune]
"All right boys and girls, it's time for our French lesson!" Thus begins another lesson from Professor Garr, this time involving Louis Le Français, "a fine, friendly French restaurant … well worth the short trip to New Albany." Garr once again attempts to aid loutish locals' pronunciation of "important food words" like "cassoulet" and "ratatouille" by offering the phonetic equivalents "Cahs-soo-lay" and "Rat-a-TWEE," and also provides a bit of background on both dishes, occasionally mentioning how he perceives a particular dish at the restaurant run by owner Louis Retailleu.
Regarding "Cah-soo-lay," Garr for some reason brings in Garrison Keillor while working through a "Languedocian tradition with at least 800 years of history" before allowing how "Louis wisely does not tinker with tradition" when delivering a dish Garr finds "succulently fatty … in a good way." With "Rat-a-TWEE" he goes a more expected route, invoking the animated Pixar film and asking readers to visualize "the sinuous tower of stacked paper-thin veggie slices that brought … Anton Ego to unaccustomed tears," before peevishly parenthesizing "for the record, ratatouille doesn't really look like that." Garr finds Retailleu's ratatouille of "eggplant, tomatoes, onions and other good things" so delicious (and "so right for the dry, berryish Rhone wine") he comes "unfortunately close to abandoning table manners." Neither Remy nor Anton Ego would approve.
Marty Rosen seems discomfited by Atypical Man BBQ, though he believes the St. Matthews restaurant serves up "consistently excellent barbecue." He finds the restaurant "has a charmingly unfinished feel" with walls that are "a startling shade of bright green," and seems concerned owner Cris Banaszynski "was working alone" on his recent visits. Startling walls aside, Rosen seems to really like Atypical Man's "idiosyncratic sauces" such as Derby City Bourbon Sauce ("smoke and spice, and notes of caramel and vanilla") along with its ribs ("juicy, firm to the bite and pleasantly smoky"), chicken ("nearly melted in the mouth") and brisket ("matched intriguingly with a Texas style coffee sauce that had espresso notes, a buttery finish and a vinegar tang"). He's not so hip on Atypical's truffle-oiled macaroni and cheese ("one of those innovations … that make me wonder why chefs feel it necessary to "improve" upon a dish) but thinks the baked beans are "great." Rosen notes "things keep changing at Atypical Man," but believes that if people enjoy the barbecue, "they won't mind a bit." [Courier-Journal]
· Jet's Takes Off With Detroit-Style Pizza [Voice-Tribune]
· Jet's Pizza [Official Site]
· Learn your French tastefully at New Albany's Louis Le Français [LEO Weekly]
· Louis Le Français [Official Site]
· Atypical Man BBQ's meats and sauces set it apart from the crowd [Courier-Journal]
· Atypical Man BBQ [Official Site]