A Toast to Good Food!

Toast on Market
Toast on Market, New Albany, Indiana

There is this little café in downtown New Albany, Indiana that I love to take people when they come into town.  Their hours are ideal for breakfast, brunch, or lunch only so it’s usually an early stop.  But the food has always been super good.

I’m taking about Toast on Market.  And the New Albany location is the satellite restaurant of the one that is located on Market Street in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

And this is one of my favorite places to go…and to take people.

I have yet to see any of my friends, who admit to being picky eaters, walk away without falling in love with this place.  The atmosphere is awesome.  The servers are all very friendly.  And the food…well, for me, the food beyond fantastic.

I have yet to find a place that makes a fluffier omelet.  And you can build your own if you don’t feel adventurous enough to try the South of the Border, Mediterranean, or Atlantic.  If you don’t want the garlic aioli sauce on your BLT scramble…no problem.  If you don’t want “all that stuff” in your French toast…hey…they’ll be more than happy to serve it to you with only what you want.  No request is too big, too small, or too weird.  You get your food how you want it and that is a wonderful thing.

The fact that everything I’ve had there has been delicious speaks very highly of their products.  One of my friends tried the lemon soufflé pancake, one of their signature flapjacks, and now she’s hooked.  For the first time, I had their sugar-free caramel soy latte with my breakfast and it was one of the smoothest lattes I’ve ever enjoyed.

Toast on Market Latte
Sugar-Free Caramel Soy Latte from Toast on Market

If you don’t like your American standards for breakfast/brunch/lunch…well, maybe this place isn’t for you.  But don’t discredit it without trying it.  I mean, the menu has four different types of grilled cheese to accompany a bowl of tomato soup.  There are hot and cold sandwich offerings.  French toast, eggs, pancakes…served up with different flavors, different toppings, different…from anything you would get at Waffle House, IHOP, or Cracker Barrel.

Why go to a chain when there is a local business that serves up far superior food of better quality for a better price in a far better atmosphere?

Never again for me, my friends.  I’d prefer to eat at a local place.  Thankfully, we have Toast on Market.  And thankfully, they have the perfect ambiance and the perfect blend of food that blows those big pancake houses off my foodie map.

So…who wants to come into town to visit?  I know this great breakfast place…

Breakfast at Toast on Market
Wheat toast with apple butter, fresh fruit cup, and a 3 egg omelet with red pepers, tomatoes & spinach from Toast on Market

Curried Goodness

Dakshin, Louisville, Kentucky
Dakshin in Louisville, Kentucky

Indian food reminds me a lot of growing up in my neighborhood of Upstate New York.  Seems odd, I know, but when the best friends of your siblings have parents who hail from India, you get invited over for dinner and eat the curry and the other foods cooked up in those delicious Indian spices.

So, when I started craving Indian food, Dakshin was the restaurant that was recommended to me.

You can’t base your opinion on looks alone.  Dakshin is located in a run-down strip mall on the far reaches of Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky.  It’s probably the type of place I normally would scoff at.  Good food in a strip mall?  HA!  Right. 

But I was told that those in the area from India or of that heritage will take their friends to this particular restaurant when they want Indian food.  That, to me, speaks volumes.

What also stood out, upon entering the restaurant, was the number of Indian people who were seated at the tables, feasting on the various foods from the lunch buffet.

Catering to those who like meat (my roommate even tried the goat!) and vegetarians (a lot of Indian food is vegetarian based, after all!), Dakshin offered up a good variety of foods to sample.  I piled my first plate up with naan, basmati rice, mushroom curry and palak paneer (soft cheese in a pureed spinach curry).  And this only wet my appetite for more.  Once I had a taste, my first plate of food was gone and I was ready to go back for more.

I tried a couple of other vegetarian dishes.  My roommate found a sizzling chicken dish and added that to the reasons she could never become a vegetarian (Hard Rock Café cheeseburgers and PF Chang’s stupidly good Orange Peel Chicken are on that list as well).  We, and our friend who was in town and a connoisseur of Indian food, tried whatever caught our attention.  And, despite being full, had a go for some dessert.  The bread pudding was raved about, but was gone when my roommate and I got up there.  I did sample the rice pudding.  And our friend, who had spoken highly of a delicious mango ice cream was THRILLED when some of it magically appeared on the buffet.

We filled our bellies with this delicious food, some spicy, some mild, some just amazing.  I had, perhaps, a few too many pieces of the light, fluffy naan.  But I would go back in a heartbeat and do it all over again, at risk of gaining 10 pounds in one sitting.

Yes…it is that good.

Dakshin is definitely Louisville, Kentucky’s little secret for good, delicious, authentic Indian food.  And yes…I will be going back.

The sooner…the better.

Vegetarian buffet food from Dakshin
Naan, palak paneer, and basmati rice with mushroom curry from Dakshin in Louisville, Kentucky

Mmmmm…Scones!

HobbKnobb Roasting Company
HobKnobb Roasting Company, New Albany, Indiana

What everyone says is true. When you find someplace you like going…you’ll go back.

I know I just blogged about the HobKnobb Roasting Company two days ago. But this warranted another blog because I went in yesterday and treated myself to one of their baked goods.

You see, ever since returning from Ireland over the New Year, I’ve been craving a scone. And no one does a scone better than the UK, right? I mean, isn’t that their national food? Serve it up with some tea, a little butter and some preserves…a little slice of heaven, right?

I love scones. I have an unhealthy obsession with these treats. But try finding a good one State-side.

I managed that yesterday.

The HobKnobb Roasting Company, with their fine line of delicious treats in their bake case…served me up a delicious cranberry-walnut scone. I took it back to the office, heated it up in the microwave and sat down with my big, big, latte (yesterday was a large sugar-free chocolate soy latte kind of day!) at my desk and savored.

And it was worth savoring. Divine doesn’t even begin to describe this scone. It was better than the one I had at Malahide Castle in Ireland. So…it topped a scone from a country that basically invented the scone, right? In fact, I enjoyed it so much, it wasn’t until I was a few bites in that I realized I forgot to snap a picture.  Then, I was craving another one all day. I resigned myself to not running back down there for more…but today is another day…and I might just cave and do it all over again!

And if you get down there, have a little treat with your coffee. Support a local business…and treat yourself. How can you go wrong?

It’s simple…really. You can’t!

Bon Appétit!

scone
HobKnobb Roasting Company's Cranberry-Walnut Scone

A Whole Latte Love

HobbKnobb Roasting Company
HobKnobb Roasting Company, New Albany, Indiana

Sometimes…it’s all about the coffee.

Welcome to my little corner of caffeinated bliss.  The HobKnobb Roasting Company in New Albany, Indiana.  This little café is located just around the corner from my office and, out of necessity for something better than the gas station coffee offerings, I stopped in one day…and have been going back ever since.

It’s an unassuming little coffee shop with nice people who work there.  My favorite barista, always good for conversation or suggestions, is Heather.  She’s not only good at making drinks, she’s good at guessing what you might like.  I’m not a big fan of coffee…but I can handle espresso.  I can’t have milk, but I can do soy.  I don’t want drinks that are laden with sugar.

Her suggestion: A sugar-free chocolate soy latte.

Sounded good to me.  You can’t go wrong with chocolate.  You also can’t go wrong with the double-shot of espresso you get in their small drinks.  No skimping on the beverages here.  You definitely get what you pay for.  Even better…it’s delicious.  The espresso isn’t over-processed and over-roasted like your corner Starbucks.  It’s light, delicious, and compliments the steamed milk perfectly.

HobKnobb Roasting Company doesn’t just serve a good latte.  They have a wide variety of coffee, espresso, and tea drinks for your choosing.  If you like it hot or cold, they have it.  And they know how to make it so you won’t walk away unsatisfied.

This little shop also offers up delicious pastries…scones, cookies, muffins, and even New York bagels (yes…they come from New York!  That’s something this former New Yorker can get behind!).  They have regular patrons.  They know their customers.  And, yet, they welcome new ones openly.  People like me, who wander in on a cold day in search of something that doesn’t taste too much like coffee…but is sugar-free.  This coffee shop knows it’s stuff and serves it up just as you like it.

So…should you find yourself in the New Albany, Indiana area…swing by HobKnobb Roasting Company in one of their two locations…on State Street or in Floyds Knobs.

I promise…you’ll keep going back.  Not just for the coffee, but for the friendly service you receive as well.

HobbKnobb Roasting Company latte
Double-shot, sugar-free chocolate soy latte from the HobKnobb Roasting Company

 

 

I’m everything chef’s hate!

My chef hero is none other than Anthony Bourdain.  In his book, Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain speaks of his dislike of the lactose-intolerant, vegetarians, and those who order their sauce on the side.

I am all three of these things.

I am also an avid fan of Food Network…another cardinal sin in the eyes of Bourdain.  I drink in the culinary world of network TV chefs and marvel at their creations.  I don’t have cable, so the only place I get to watch these cooking shows are while I’m on the cardio machines at the gym.  I’m not kidding.

And while Bourdain is right in his disdain of this kind of chef, it just serves to make me want to get into my, albeit, tiny kitchen, and whip up something amazing for dinner.

I am not a trained chef…but I do love to cook.

Even more than that…I love to eat.

Some would think that being a vegetarian might put a limit on my “foodie” status, but it has yet to hinder me…except at chain restaurants…those little “jack-in-the-box” American cuisine, popular dinner spots like T.G.I.Fridays and Applebees…those sorts of places where the entrées are meat-centric and a vegetarian is limited to a salad (Please, no bacon! And can I get that dressing on the side?) and a bowl of tomato soup.

I’m talking about real food…from real restaurants.  Like I said, I love to eat.  And with that…I love to try new things.  Food, restaurants, desserts, cultures…you name it.  I’ll try it.

So, even though I’m one of those vegetarian foodies…I’m still a foodie.  I know what I like to eat, but I’m more than willing to give something different, yet still vegetarian, a go.

This, my friends…is my foodie adventures.  From the local cuisine to food from abroad…this is my little slice of foodie heaven.  And I’m dishing up a piece just for you…should you care to indulge in it.  I hear it goes great with hot tea (no milk!).