Apparently there is a national/official/totally made up day to celebrate any food that could ever be considered someone’s favorite. Tomorrow is the day that the gods (the old and the new) determined to be the day for celebrating peanut butter.

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The Comfy Cow is celebrating National Peanut Butter Day by offering free peanut butter topping on any purchase. I do hope you’ll put peanut butter on all manner of cakes, pies and ice creams at The Comfy Cow and put that goodness on your favorite photo sharing site for the rest of us to enjoy vicariously.

Also, I wouldn’t be mad at you if you ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Here, I’ll tell you how to make it:

  1. Get two thick slices of challah or brioche, some spreadable cream cheese, a banana, smooth* peanut butter and a little butter for the pan
  2. On one slice of bread: spread a thin layer of cream cheese; on the other: a good layer of peanut butter
  3. Slice the banana into manageable disks, layer them on top of the peanut butter
  4. Put the two slices of bread together and cook in your favorite pan like you would a grilled cheese
  5. Enjoy and tell all your friends how Michelle just introduced you to your new favorite sandwich

*It must be smooth peanut butter, I will not abide crunchy peanut butter ruining this delicious sandwich

The $10 Challenge is brought to us by Ashlee Clark Thompson of Ashlee Eats

Now, I have a college degree under my belt and I’m working on one more. I’m smart enough to know that there is indeed rhyme and reason that explains how the folks at Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ get the skin of the restaurant’s wings crisp and flavorful while leaving the chicken meat moist and juicy. There’s probably some science to how long to cook their pork before a set of magical hands pulls the tender meat off the bone and onto a Klosterman bun. But I’ve come to believe in a little bit of magic after several visits to Momma’s. It’s the only way to explain how this restaurant produces consistently fantastic food that charms newcomers, pleases regulars and inspires the staff to deliver warm, down-home service that matches the meals they serve.

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Nostalgia inspires everything that comes out of the kitchen at Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ. Owner Chad Cooley and partner/chef Jamie Givan serve Kansas City-style barbecue, an ode to Cooley’s upbringing in Kansas, according to the restaurant’s website. The mustard and pickles portion comes “from Momma’s love” — Cooley’s mother would make batches of mustard and pickles during his childhood and continued to send them in care packages as he moved around the country, the website says. Fortunately for Louisville, Momma’s has two locations (one in Jeffersontown, on in St. Matthews) where we can get our own jars of pickles and mustard, along with a healthy heap of barbecued meat and sides.

Is your heart warm and gooey with the mentions of Momma? Well, the restaurant also donates 2 percent of its sales each month to local non-profit organizations. Talk about a sentimental one-two punch to the gut. I couldn’t help but like these guys without even taking a bite. Now that I’ve tasted the food, I might be in love.

The Momma’s menu is heavy on the meat, as any self-respecting barbecue joint should be. The choices extend beyond the just the usual pulled pork, brisket and chicken that you might find at similar restaurants. For example, you can choose between pork ribs ($12 for a half rack, $24 for a full rack) and beef ribs ($16 for a half rack, $32 for a full rack), which was enough to impress this barbecue novice (I’ve heard enough grill-side debates to know that beef versus pork ribs is a contentious issue). I’m also a fan of the spicy sausage ($10 for a spicy sausage sandwich with two sides) that’s made in-house and the smoked turkey ($9 for a turkey sandwich with two sides), which would elevate any boring midday sandwich.

The side dishes ($2 for small, $4 for medium, $7 for large) are strong enough to stand up next to the bold flavors of the main dishes. The mac and cheese is one of my favorites (not as good as my mom’s, but that’s a battle no one will win). It’s a creamy bowl of deliciousness that made me understand how some people can eat macaroni and cheese as a main dish. The same seasoning that gives the restaurant’s wings a kick also coat the french fries ($2 for a small order), so the two dishes make a wonderful pair.

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And those wings… I need a minute to wax poetic. Now, it feels a little wrong to order chicken wings at a barbecue restaurant, where I feel the need to eat a main dish that has been slathered, slapped and slowly smoked to submission. Slow-cooked barbecue is harder to find than an order of chicken wings, so why go with a dish you can get at any bar? The answer is simple at Momma’s: You can’t get wings like this anywhere in Louisville. First, Momma’s leaves the sauce off the wings, a bold move when it’s so easy to smother chicken pieces in sauce to hide the under-seasoned meat underneath. Instead, the mesquite dry rub of spices that coats the skin is on full, broad display. A waiter once told me that the restaurant uses a combination of quick frying and baking to cook the wings ($1.15 each or 10 for $10). The technique results in wing pieces with crisp skin on the outside and succulent meat on the inside. The menu brags that Momma’s has “THE BEST WINGS EVER!!” and I agree.

Fortunately, Momma’s provides many ways for customers to sample the menu with just $10 in hand. Here are some $10 meals I recommend:

Split an order of 10 wings ($10) and a medium fry ($4) with a friend and get yourself a small side ($2). Order total: $9

Portion sizes at Momma’s are pretty hefty. Splitting some fries and ordering another side is enough to supplement five wings. Also, we took a waitress’s recommendation to get a side of ranch and add a squirt of the barbecue sauce on the table and made a tasty dip for both the wings and the fries. Big shout-out to her for the tip and the rest of the staff, who are nothing but nice every time I visit Momma’s. Definitely ask them for recommendations on their favorites.

Treat yourself to the slider sampler that comes with one of each of the restaurant’s mini sandwich options: pulled pork, brisket, smoked sausage, chicken and turkey. Order total: $10

Rob and I ordered the sampler on our first visit since we couldn’t decide what to get. There’s no picture because we ate everything so fast. Our bad.

Try three sausage sliders ($2/each) and a medium side of macaroni and cheese ($4). Order total: $10

The spicy sausage is my favorite of the slider selection. Add a little of Momma’s barbecue sauce and some sweet pickles, and you’ve got yourself a treat.

Opt for a turkey, pulled pork or brisket sandwich that comes with two sides. Order total: $9

Along with the macaroni and cheese and french fries, Momma’s sides include coleslaw, potato salad, mashed potatoes, baked beans, green beans and “cheezy corn.” There are also some other sandwich selection for $10 or less, such as the grilled cheese on which you can add any meat ($10), a sausage sandwich ($10) and the turkey club ($9).

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Momma’s Mustard, Pickles and BBQ is a Louisville treat. Try it yourself. I dare you not to believe there’s some magic there.

Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ

Two Louisville locations: 102 Bauer Avenue and 119 S. Hurstbourne Parkway

  • There’s also a Momma’s food truck you can spot around town.

More information: Momma’s website and Facebook page

 

Snow days, rainy days, really cold days, days that are really cold and really rainy are all par for the course in Louisville during the winter months. To make it easier to get through the winter season Mayan Cafe is introducing a new series of events brilliantly called “Tamale + Tequila Mondays.” I mean, don’t you just feel happier knowing that something called Tamale + Tequila Mondays exists? I know I do.

Each Monday during January, February and March, Mayan Cafe will offer up pairings of handmade tamales and craft tequila specials. And extra special bonus: the tamale specials alternate between being meat laden and vegetarian! I can’t go during the first vegetarian week because (to me) beets taste like dirt but February 9 and March 9 have my name written all over them.

Purely coincidentally I’ve been exploring tequila of late so I’m excited to try some of these craft tequilas that Mayan Cafe has curated for us.

January
featuring Casa Noble reposado & añejo tequilas

January 5: oven-roasted lamb | Veracruz chocolate mole sauce | figs
January 12: butternut squash & black beans | beet sauce
January 19: smoked chicken, spinach & queso fresco | tomatillo sauce
January 26: turnips & pumpkin seed puree | tomato casera sauce

February
featuring Chinaco reposado & añejo tequilas

February 2: traditional Yucatec pork tamale | black bean sauce
February 9: shittake, black beans & mozzarella | carrot-ginger sauce
February 16: shredded rabbit & tomatoes | salsa negra
February 23: poblano chilies, roasted corn & queso fresco | mulato cream sauce

March
featuring Casamigos reposado & añejo tequilas

March 2: shredded beef, raisins & poaches pears | white chocolate-espresso mole sauce
March 9: sweet potatoes, ginger & goat cheese | creamy tamarind sauce
March 16: bacon & collard greens | sorghum-bechamel sauce
March 23: tok-sel lima beans & queso fresco | tomato-soy sauce
March 30: beef tongue & Napa cabbage | chunky tomato-habanero sauce

newwaveThere have been many rumblings over the past few years that the Highlands is done, in terms of coolness. They say the neighborhood had its glory years in the 90s and 00s. While it’s still a great neighborhood to live and visit, they say, it’s no longer the height of “cool” in Louisville. Who has taken the crown from my neighborhood? Germantown they say.

Until recently I had no opinion on this topic. There are great restaurants, shops and bars in the Highlands. There are great restaurants, shops and bars in Germantown. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ both are wonderful neighborhoods. But now Germantown has totally one-upped the Highlands and every other single neighborhood in the city. Their powerful weapon? Late night burrito delivery.

New Wave Burritos is a brand new late night weekend burrito delivery service for Germantown. Seems like from midnight to 4AM on Friday and Saturday nights, if you’re in the delivery area, you can call (502) 963-2727 and have delicious burritos delivered to your door. Burritos delivered! What a glorious world we live in!

You win this round Germantown. I’ll just be over here waiting oh so impatiently for New Wave Burritos to start delivering to the Highlands.

We are almost to January which means we are almost to “One Thing I Love About Louisville” season. Each year in January Consuming Louisville runs a series of posts in which guest writers tell us about one particular thing they love about our fair city. Writers in the series have come from all sorts of backgrounds and professions and told us about so many great things (sorry the archives are gone, blame user error and server badness). The series is one of my favorite things on Consuming Louisville all year long.

Is there something you really about Louisville? Something you love so much you want to tell people about? Email info AT this domain and I’ll give you the scoop on participating with a “One Thing I Love About Louisville” essay. I’m excited to find out what you love.

Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight so it’s time, once again, to share Brigid Kaelin’s wonderful Hanukkah song Blue Dreidel No. 9 and its fantastic video.

To all who are celebrating: Hanukkah Sameach!

If you want to enjoy a very cool Hanukkah event you should come to the Chanukkah* Jam event at Zephyr Gallery (Facebook link) on Thursday December 18, 2014 at 5PM.

We’ll light the third candle and sing surrounded by the exhibition Stranger Than Function.

Join Cantor David Lipp, John Gage, Gareth Jones, Pat Lentz, Johnny Spanish, Cantor Sharon Hordes, Rabbi Gaylia Rooks and AlexanderSings for music, wine, apple cider, jelly doughnuts, and fun.

I personally will be bringing 50 doughnuts procured from Nord’s for the event so you know it’s going to be awesome.

Chanukkah* Jam
Thursday December 18, 2014
5PM

Zephyr Gallery
610 E Market St
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

*Since it’s a transliteration of the Hebrew word חנוכה there are about a million different possible spellings in English. Hanukkah is my preferred spelling but to each her own.

Since it’s the gift giving season Ryan Rogers has decided to give us all a really wonderful gift: Feast is opening its Louisville location next Thursday! Ryan of course is the genius owner of Feast BBQ (did you know he used to work at Momofuku Noodle Bar?). Feast is so wonderful it’s powerful enough to get even me to New Albany from time to time. But now that it’s going to be in on this side of the river? It. Is. On.

Feast is that rare restaurant that makes sure there is truly something for almost every one. In my case that means they have vegetarian options (at a BBQ restaurant!) that are outstanding. They aren’t just afterthought “mixed vegetable” entrees. The smoked tofu is outstanding and can be added to a variety of entrees instead of meat. And my carnivore loved ones tell me that all the meat options are freaking amazing.

Feast’s Louisville location is going to open next Thursday December 18, 2014. Initial hours are Tuesday-Thursday 11am-12am and Friday-Saturday 11am-2am with the kitchen serving food all day. In addition to all the barbecue goodness the new location will serve Feasts’s signature “bourbon slushies” and about 20 different regional craft beers.

Feast Louisville is in what once housed Cake Flour. They’ve done extensive renovations and added what I hear is a beautiful bar. I’m going to hopefully get an early look at it this week so I can post pictures and make you even more excited about Feast than I know you already are.

Feast BBQ
909 E. Market Street
Louisville, KY

One of my most beloved friends is Filipina. So with the super typhoon heading straight for the country the Philippines have been on my mind today. In a pleasant stroke of serendipity an email just landed in my inbox about a pop up Filipino dinner this Sunday night December 7, 2014. It’s part of an ambitious project to bring a communal Filipino dining experience to all 50 states and to support efforts to help built a school in an area of the Philippines that was devastated by a previous typhoon.

The SALO Project: Cooking and Gathering People in all 50 states through Filipino Food. SALO is a traveling Filipino Pop-Up Feast gathering adventurous diners who dare explore regions of the amazing 7,107-island Philippine archipelago through food beyond adobo and lumpia. Please join us for a five course traditional family style dinner full of extraordinary flavors composed from local and seasonal ingredients, served on banana leaves and eaten old-school sans utensils (kamayan), and an unprecedented opportunity to explore Filipino cuisine in a unique atmosphere.

Portion of the proceeds will be donated to ARK: Advancement for Rural Kids (www.ruralkids.org) to build a school in an area in the Visayas, Philippines struck by Typhoon Haiyan which has a farming and feeding program to empower the youth to be producers not consumers.

5 Course Filipino Pop-Up Feast
$50
Secret Downtown Location
Order tickets

Business First reports that the owner of Dragon King’s Daughter has purchased what was Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge. The Germantown neighborhood bar is now called Kaiju and its grand opening party will be tomorrow night at 9PM.

But most important in that Business First piece was a note about the bar’s food. Basically Kaiju doesn’t have a kitchen but will soon have its own food truck serving “Japanese street food.” This means things like savory pancakes, stir fried noodles and other deliciousness. It’s great to just know where a food truck is going to be (Portland’s food truck pods are so cool for that reason) and it’s great to have another variety of food truck goodness. The truck isn’t actually in operation yet but it sounds like it won’t be long before it is.

Kaiju
1004 E. Oak Street
Louisville, KY

After a very extended break Louisville Geek Dinner is returning. What, exactly, is a “Geek Dinner?” It’s a low key, no pressure, no pitching event for geeks of all tech varieties. Basically a whole bunch of programmers, front end devs, bloggers, social media geeks, designers, etc gather at BBC for food, drinks and good conversation. Nobody is pitching their idea or trying to sell anything, it’s just fun.

WHAT: A social networking event for those passionate about technology
WHEN: Dec 11th, 2014, 6:00pm EDT
WHERE: Bluegrass Brewing Company (St. Matthews location)
COST: FREE + Whatever you choose to spend on food and drinks

I’ll be there, you should come say hello.