Category Archives: restaurants

Adobo Mexican Restaurant

On Monday night, a few girlfriends and I met up at the new Adobo Mexican Restaurant which has now taken the place of the old Our Best on Bardstown Road in Fern Creek. It looks exactly the same, just with a new paint job and different decor on the inside. I’m glad we chose it as Mexican restaurants are usually a safe bet for me as a vegetarian and the location was good for all of us to meet up in the middle.

The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we walked in and were seated right away. As we walked back to our table, we spotted the “Guacamole Bar” which I wish I had gotten a photo of. Basically, they make their guacamole fresh right when you order it. We couldn’t resist!

This appetizer was $8 but I swear, it was enough for the four of us and then some! Totally worth it too, I’m not kidding when I say this is the BEST guacamole I have ever had. It was fresh, creamy and even a bit spicy. Sorry, Qdoba, you have been replaced!

Like many Mexican restaurants do, they offered 99 cent margaritas on Mondays, so I decided to try one, you know, to review for the blog 😉


It was really tasty. I usually don’t do “on the rocks” but I tried it because the frozen version was $1.99, which isn’t bad either but I thought I’d pick the cheap one this time 😉 I’m glad I did because I think I might like it better this way!

I forgot to take a photo of my entree but I ordered the veggie burrito with no cheese or sour cream. The vegetables in the burrito were surprisingly tasty and included zucchini, broccoli, onions, peppers and beans. It came with a side of rice.

Sometimes without the cheese and sour cream the dish can suffer (because they don’t try to do anything else with it) but this one did not. There was a nice garnish of lettuce, onion and spices on the side that I spread over it, plus a few dollops of guac 🙂

I enjoyed it very much, took the other half of it for lunch today and it was just as good reheated. It wasn’t the best Mexican restaurant I have ever been to but for a new place in a city with so many restaurants, it did stand out to me. The guacamole bar was really unique to me, I had never seen that before.

The prices were good too. For my entree, plus the drink, plus half the guacamole (me and a friend split the cost for the table) my bill came to $15 and I had leftovers so you figure that for 2 meals, not bad 🙂

We’ve all been bragging about it to our other friends and definitely want to go back soon. Although the veggie options are not plentiful, I’d be perfectly fine just eating the chips & guacamole!

Adobo Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

This is what I get…

…at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Bww

Not a lot of vegan options there. Even the veggie burger contains dairy. So it’s usually either chips & salsa or a plain salad & french fries.

To their credit, the salsa is very good and even somewhat spicy. So I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world. Some places are just better than others. I only go here because my husband likes it and it’s where we watch most of the UFC pay per views.

Speaking of the UFC, there is a vegan fighter — Mac Danzig. Check him out.

Happy Monday 🙂

Lunch at Cumberland Brews

This past Saturday, we had our monthly community meeting for the Louisville Vegetarian Club at a local joint, Cumberland Brews.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland Brewery Website

We had a really great discussion about how to eat “vegan on the cheap” and also how to apply that to other things we consume besides what we eat (clothing, beauty products, cars, etc). I learned a lot and it was great to hear where other people are coming from. Refreshing.

We also got to eat some really tasty food!

On the recommendation of my friend Karen, I ordered the veggie burger (which is a falafel patty!) with no cheese and some fries. The lighting was not the best but here’s a small glimpse.

CbIt came on a bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a mushroom, plus some guacamole I happily smothered on top. Would you believe I ate everything on that plate. It got messy, but it was so good.

Once again, I am very thankful for the LVC. If it weren’t for our meeting here, I would maybe never have known how delicious the food is (I’m not much of a beer drinker). I will definitely be going back again someday!

Cumberland Brews on Urbanspoon

Fleur de Lis Cafe, Take 2

I first visited this restaurant with a group of friends back in September. I was really impressed with the food and of course the half priced bottles of wine 🙂

This time, I had a Living Social coupon that I needed to use, so my friend Courtney and I decided to hit the place up for lunch after some shopping in the Highlands.

Yes, the vegan options are limited but I was grateful that they at least have them. Plus there are a few things on the menu that could be “veganized” if need be.

For lunch, I ordered the Vegan Muffaletta:

Fleur de lisFor my side I got a “side salad” which was a funny name because it was huge!

Fleur de lis 2

The food was really delicious and the service was just as good. Since we had a Living Social coupon we did not have to pay much for the meal but we sure did tip the waiter well. 🙂

I just love the place, it’s atmosphere is cute and cozy, they have good food and good service. They weren’t very busy when we first got there, but it picked up and we always had enough of everything we needed.

My only complaint? They really need to update their website. Their menu is far more vast than what appears online!

Happy Thursday 🙂

Fleur de Lis Cafe on Urbanspoon

Austin’s Restaurant

I had been to Austin’s Restaurant here in Louisville maybe three times in my entire life. I couldn’t remember much about it, other than I liked the spaciousness of the inside and that they held a lot of banquets/parties there.

So when my mom wanted to go there for her birthday celebration with our family, I decided to check out the menu.

They are known for their “contemporary Southern cuisine” which unfortunately means a lot of meat and cheese. While they do offer a “garden veggie burger” I wasn’t sure if this would contain dairy, like some other restaurants’ veggie burger choices do. (I can’t tell you how much I wish Buffalo Wild Wings would do me a solid and at least opt for the Boca vegan burger if I’m going to pay $7 for something I could make at home)

So I emailed the address listed on their website to ask about vegan options. I got almost an immediate response from the general manager, Adam, who informed me that most items on their menu do indeed contain meat and/or dairy, but that the kitchen staff would be more than happy to make a special dish for me.

I was really excited by this response, not just the timeliness, but the fact that he was willing to work with me. I’ve emailed places before and either gotten no response, a generic response indicating they did not even read my email, or in the case of Applebee’s, my email was answered by a phone call from a person who did not speak very good English.

Last Sunday when we went to Austin’s, I was the last to order and I was a little nervous. It’s intimidating when you are with 8 other people and you are the only one with a special request. I was also a little unsure of what I wanted and had hoped the waitress would recommend something or ask the chef/kitchen staff what they usually make if they receive a request such as this. She told me if I knew what I wanted, they’d make it, but they couldn’t just pick something for me. Duh, it was silly of me to think that, right?

Luckily, she sent the kitchen manager out who suggested their spinach pasta dish, minus the chicken and cheese, and with a ton of veggies added in their place. Sounds good to me!

This dish was delicious! The mushrooms were probably my favorite part, but all the veggies were just so fresh and went very well with the olive oil-garlic sauce. They even threw some asparagus in there. It was also great because I had enough for lunch that day plus leftovers!

While I was a little worried at first, I ended up being very happy with my dining experience and even my family was impressed that a restaurant would go out of their way for someone with special dietary needs. A lot of times, I am afraid to ask so I will just order a salad or a plain baked potato. But I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone this time.

If this is how I plan to eat forever, then I’d better get used to it!

Have you ever made a special request at a restaurant? How did it go?

Austins on Urbanspoon

Queen of Sheba

Confession: Up until about a month ago, I had never tried Ethiopian food.  So, I was not sure what to expect when us girls got together and went out to Queen of Sheba here in Louisville.

After the waiter tried to talk us into ordering things other than what we wanted (how many times did we have to tell him two of us don’t eat meat?) we settled on the Vegetarian Combo for the four of us to share. We also got talked into an appetizer but oh well, it was our first time there.

273 The Vegetarian Combo included salad, and a serving each of Misir wot (“Lentil stew simmered in onions, garlic seasoned with turmeric and herbs”), Atakilt (“Sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots cooked to perfection in a mild tomato sauce”) and Gomen wot (“Collard greens, onions and potatoes cooked to perfection with garlic in a mild sauce”).

The food was absolutely delicious. My favorite was definitely lentils but I actually really enjoyed the cabbage dish too. The best part is you don’t use forks, you dip into each thing with injera (Ethiopian flatbread, not pictured unfortunately).

I would definitely like to eat this food again.

But, I think we were all a little put off by the waiter. First, he kept trying to get us to order certain things he was promoting instead of listening to what we wanted and accommodating us. He also had a little trouble splitting up the bill, which is also when we found out he actually got us to order TWO appetizers when we thought it was only one. I think in the end, we all just gave up and paid whatever it said so we could get out of there.

Granted, it was rainy, we were starving, everybody has an “off” night, and he kept our drinks pretty full. So maybe we should try to go back sometime and hope we get a different experience.

But I definitely took a copy of the takeout menu for future reference 😉

Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

Fleur de Lis Cafe

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of having dinner with an awesome group of friends at Fleur de Lis Cafe here in Louisville.

Fdl

Fleur de Lis Cafe is located in the Deer Park neighborhood on Bardstown Road in the same location as the former Sweet ‘n Savory Cafe. With new owners came a new name and a new menu. Here’s a great review from the Courier-Journal: Fleur de Lis meant to be savored.

As a vegan, my favorite thing about the menu was the inclusion of several vegan items to choose from:

Yay!

In fact, even though I was the only vegan in our group (we did have 2 vegetarians and 1 flexitarian), our entire table ordered from the vegan menu! 🙂

But first, we had to take advantage of the half price bottles of wine. For this particular selection, two glasses would’ve been $12, but the entire bottle was $11. No brainer!

Courtney and I split this one:

Purple Cowboy

Vino!

The blend was called Tenacious Red and we both really enjoyed it. It was quite smooth for a red wine!

As an appetizer, we all shared the fried plaintains, but I didn’t get a picture of them. Trust me, they were delicious! For being fried, they weren’t greasy and the salsa that came with it added a nice touch of spiciness.

For my entree, I ordered the black bean burger, which came on a bun with guacamole, greens and tomatoes, a side of fries, and a pickle.

Fleur de Lis cafe

Normally, I would complain about paying $12 for a meal, but this one was worth it! The bean burger was delicious and didn’t fall apart like the ones I make at home! And it was so comforting to order from a menu knowing what I’m getting is really vegan, without having to say “no cheese” “no mayo” and so on.

I should also mention that it’s quite a cute place, with lots of art work on the walls, white tablecloths and tiny flowers on each table. It’s the little things that impress me if you didn’t already know! 😉

I appreciate the Fleur de Lis Cafe’s willingness to offer such delicious vegan items. A few of our friends tried the lasagna, which got rave reviews from our table. I read on their Facebook page that they will soon be offering a new Fall menu, complete with new vegan items.

So it looks like I will be visiting again soon! 🙂

Fleur de Lis Cafe on Urbanspoon

The Swan Dive

Have you ever heard of The Swan Dive?

I’m sure many of my vegan and foodie friends here in Louisville have. But, if you don’t fall into either of those two categories, you may not have. In fact, Josh thought I was going to a place where there were literally swans diving. Hmm…

Anyway, as my friend Courtney says The Swan Dive is exactly what it says…a dive.

Finally! :)

But they also just so happen to have a 100% vegetarian menu, a good portion of which is also vegan or can be made vegan.

I can’t believe in my year as a vegetarian I had never been to this establishment. But, I finally made it there on Wednesday night!

They had a lot to choose from and it was really hard to narrow it down but in the end, tempeh bacon won me over! 🙂

Vegan BLT

Sorry for the gritty picture — bad lighting!

I got the vegan BLT (which comes with tempeh bacon and Vegenaise) which came with a side. They had vegan mac ‘n cheese and french fries, but I went with a side salad specifically because they have Goddess dressing, ha ha!

For “bar food” I did not find anything to be greasy at all. What I ate was really tasty and fresh. And it was so nice to have so many options that fit my dietary preferences.

I loved it and I can’t wait to go back. Just got a few other places to try first! 🙂

Cafe Lou Lou

Last Friday, Josh and I were set to go out to dinner and it was my turn to come up with “the list” from which the other person will choose where we go to eat. I was instructed to come up with at least 5.

We have very different tastes from each other and we’re both making an effort to respect the other person’s dietary choices and find places we think we’ll both love so no one gets disappointed.

Also, we usually like to follow what we’re in the mood for instead of just going anywhere, so a list is necessary in order to have a variety of restaurants and cuisines for the other person to pick from.

One that was on my list last week was Cafe Lou Lou, a cute local place that I’ve been to a few times before but Josh never had. He’d mentioned craving Italian food and I wanted veggie pizza or some other sort of carb + veggie dinner since I was running a race the next morning.

Nothing on their menu is exactly vegan, but I don’t mind saying “no cheese” or making other substitutions in order for us to enjoy a new place together. I ended up ordering the spinach artichoke pizza with no cheese.

Spinach artichoke pizza at Cafe Lou Lou

All the veggies were fresh and I was really excited to have made this choice. But when I started to eat it, I realized it was really plain tasting. There was no kind of sauce on it and they did nothing to the veggies other than bake them with the crust.

Luckily, I fixed that!

Pizza

Much better. I was glad there were other veggies on it besides the spinach and artichoke (tomatoes, mushrooms, onion)  since the artichokes themselves were pretty puny. I like big, chunky artichoke hearts like you get on the grilled artichoke sandwich at Penn Station. These had been cut up too fine for me. But all in all, a decent meal.

I had the leftovers for lunch a couple of days later, which I found out tastes really good with hummus on top!

Leftover Lou Lou's

Speaking of hummus, I think next time we go there, I will just order the hummus appetizer 😉

Vegan night out at Meridian Cafe

I am so glad to have the Louisville Vegetarian Club!

It’s so nice to be around like-minded folks, who understand what it means to be vegan and give support for the challenges that come along with it.

But we also have some fun get-togethers!

vegclub
Photo taken from Louisville Vegetarian Club Facebook page

Last Friday, we went out to Louisville’s own Meridian Cafe, a breakfast and lunch only joint that had us in for a special six-course dinner, where we got to sample some of their vegan dishes, including a few new items that aren’t on the menu yet.

First up was some hummus with roasted red pepper and olives, served with pita wedges.

022
I’m a big fan of hummus in general and this dish did not disappoint. The extra olives on top were delicious! This appetizer is currently on their menu.

023
Next up was some chilled creamy lemon artichoke soup. This dish is also currently on Meridian’s menu.

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I have a confession: I am not a cold soup fan. The flavor was good, but I would’ve enjoyed it more warm. I ate the artichoke heart and a few bites but left the rest.

024
Our third course was a fresh salad, made with local greens, and topped with blackberries, pine nuts, edible flowers and a vanilla vinaigrette, which was a new one for me!

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The sweetness of the blackberries went perfectly with the vanilla vinaigrette dressing. I devoured my portion! The local greens are on the menu, used in all the salads and sandwiches, but this particular dish was new.

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My favorite course of the evening was our fourth, which was smoked and deep fried tofu over a scoop of creamy spicy polenta.

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The tofu was crispy and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, which to me is perfect. I am never able to get it that way at home, perhaps I should try deep frying? 😉

It was so good, I could’ve eaten an entire plate of just this! They definitely need to add this to their menu.

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For our fifth course, we had dessert #1, or a palate cleanser, which was a ginger avocado sorbet served in a frozen lemon cup. 🙂

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I’ve had a lot of sorbets in my time and I have to say, this is the best one I’ve had. I’m a big fan of avocado and it’s health benefits, plus I enjoy all things ginger so this was perfect for me.

This was also a new dish made especially for us. 🙂

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And last, but certainly not least, was our real dessert: Peanut Butter Pudding Surprise!

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This was a creamy peanut butter custard served with a banana and some peanut topping. Banana and peanut butter? Did they know I was coming? Ha ha.

Obviously, I loved this! This is on the menu and you should definitely try it if you stop in. They make their own peanut butter too!

033
It was an awesome night. Great food, just the right amount of every tasty dish, and great company.

Chef Mike, who also owns the place, was a great host and showed a real passion for cooking for special diets and using local ingredients whenever possible.

meridiancafe
He was an inspiration and a very sweet, humble guy. It was nice to be catered to without having to think of ingredients or asking for something without cheese.

Thanks Meridian Cafe, Chef Mike and my fellow members of LVC. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

meatmeridian Photo by Carrie Klaus

And a big shout out to my BFF Courtney for going with me to this event. I appreciate your willingness to try new things and for supporting my interests. Love you!

Meridian Cafe on Urbanspoon