Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No Castle for Me

White Castle on UrbanspoonThis review is not exclusive to the location in downtown Louisville, although it is being written in the wake of my recent visit to that location.

Over the years I've had the opportunity to visit several White Castle locations.  I've had friends who previously lived in locations with White Castles rave about their food.  During high school I had my visit to a White Castle during a state youth choir tour of the upper mid-west.  I enjoy the "Red Pop" but not the burgers.  There were a couple of similar experiences during my early 20s...the burgers just didn't do it for me.

About seven years ago I began making a yearly work trip to Louisville in early June.  In that first year I was walking around downtown after checking in to my hotel and noticed a White Castle.  So I thought, it's been years since I've had one and it is lunchtime and I'm, why not.

Ick is why not.  Steamed Spam burgers is the best way that I can describe the slider/burgers.  And this might actually be an insult to Spam, I'm not sure.
Three sliders (one without cheese) & a "Red Pop"
A couple of years later and it's again the first day of what has become this annual work trip.  Check in.  Walk around.  See White Castle.  It can't really be as bad as I remember.  Order.  Yep, it's that bad.

This's the last day of the work week trip and I jokingly mention to my roommate that there is a White Castle nearby.  He's heard about them and wants to try.  I laugh and try to steer him to a different dining option, but he really wants to go.  So we go.

His response..."man this is nasty".  See, I'm not the only one, LOL.
From what part of the chicken do "rings" come?
Until next time, happy eating (hopefully) is only an adventure away.

Cajun Food + Digits

J. Gumbo's Downtown Louisville on UrbanspoonDuring my recent visit to Louisville, KY for work some of my colleagues and I opted to venture out for lunch on our own rather than dining at the convention center.  One of my colleagues had previously visited J. Gumbo's in downtown Louisville (a very short walk from the Kentucky International Convention Center) and made a compelling recommendation to the rest of us.  She was so right about the quality of the food that we returned there for a second visit during the week...yep, that good!

Having family heritage from Cajun Land in southern Louisiana I am sometimes skeptical of gumbo.  Over the years I've been pleasantly surprised and overwhelmingly appalled at what different restaurants will serve as a gumbo.  So I made my initial order with some skepticism.  To help tame down the skepticism I did order a "split decision"...for $1 over the price of the more expensive of your two options you can get two medium bowls of food rather than one large bowl of a single item.  My two items? Well, one had to be Gumbo (just to try it) and the other was the Voodoo Chicken.

First the Gumbo: well it wasn't Aunt Mary's (best I've ever had, with close honorable mentions for my dad's other sisters) but it was very close!  Let's just say that gumbo coming anywhere close to being compared with Aunt Mary's (in a positive light) is gumbo that gets a thumbs up from me.  Second the Voodoo Chicken: if you can't handle spicy then DON'T order this because it is HOT HOT HOT.  I had to actually tame it down some by mixing in some sour cream.  Despite its heat its flavor is AWESOME.  I strongly recommend it!!

For our second visit two days later I did a single order of Crawfish Etouffee.  It was light and creamy and served over rice.  It could have a used a bit more crawfish mixed in, but overall a wonderful flavor!!  The highlight, however, of this visit wasn't the food (which was great).  The highlight was the flirtacious attention from one of the waitresses.  Well, those who know me know that I can flirt back and let's just say, "whoot, whoot", that SunShyne gave me her "digits".  It's her "birthday month" and she is just having fun celebrating.  She was lots of fun and a great help at J. Gumbo's.  I'll definitely be back again.

Until next time, happy eating is only an adventure away.

Quiet in the Garden

Seoul Garden Korean on UrbanspoonFollowing some "Chopstick Fears" (addressed on my other blog), I've made it a point to visit a few Asian restaurants "near" my home so that I can practice using chosticks prior to my upcoming trip to South Korea.  While my friends whom accompanied me tonight did laugh a few times and my attempts, they can't deny that I made it through my meal without resorting to fork usage tonight <grin>.

Tonight's venture took us to Seoul Garden, a Korean restaurant in Mid-West City, OK.  In addition to my chopstick practice I also want to rekindle my taste buds toward Koran dishes.  I ordered the beef bul-go-gi as I remembered it being a favorite of mine during my last trip to Korea.  As our meals were being served we were offered to help ourselves with the miso soup; just add onions, mushrooms, and seaweed to whatever suited each of us individually.  It was served with white steamed rice, chicken egg rolls, and the table spread of kim-chi, potato pancakes, cucumber kim-chi, and other items which were served family style.

I thoroughly enjoyed every bite!  Things were not as spicy as I had thought (maybe even hoped) but the food was absolutely wonderful.  While Seoul Garden is not near my home or work locations and is a bit of a drive to get to, it is still a location which I can definitely see myself returning.

The only downside to the whole experience was the overall lack of customers in the large dinning room.  Granted it was a Wednesday night during the summer, but I would have hoped that a restaurant with as high a popularity rate as Seoul Garden would have had more diners.  Perhaps they are busier during other times, but tonight was just a quiet night in the Garden.

Until next time, happy eating is only an adventure away.