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

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
givingtuesday.org

Think of Giving Tuesday as either an alternative or an addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. It’s a global movement but you can focus your generosity locally. In the Louisville area you can specifically support The Food Literacy Project. They are trying to raise one dollar for every kid that visited their farm last year aka $2,358. How can you help them? Well, you can always just make a donation that will be deeply appreciated. But Decca is adding some perks to the donation process to sweeten the deal for you.

1. From now until December 2 Decca will donate $1 of every drink special to the Food Literacy Project

2. If you donate at least $20 to the Food Literacy Project you can get 20% of your dinner bill at Decca on Giving Tuesday, December 2. (You’ll need to bring a copy of your your donation receipt or show it to them on your phone)

If you aren’t yet familiar with the Food Literacy Project here’s a little info:

The Food Literacy Project provides farm-based experiential education and entrepreneurial youth development programs that bring the Field-to-Fork experience to life for local youth.

Our plant, agriculture, and food education programs are available to public and private school classes, community groups, youth and after-school programs, and special needs groups. We also offer professional development for educators, focusing on ways to infuse themes of food and nutrition into curriculum. The Food Literacy Project offers a rare opportunity to engage in a sustainable food system, and to share in the pleasures and rewards of farming.

The Food Literacy Project envisions a community with a just and sustainable food system that cultivates healthy citizens. Our mission is to inspire a new generation to build healthy relationships with food, farming, and the land.

jarritosI think The Ville Taqueria has been open for a couple months now. We only made our way there on Sunday and I’m kicking myself a little for missing out on Mexican food awesomeness in St. Matthews for so long. But made it we did and the report is a very positive one. Located on Westport Road, essentially behind the St. Matthews BBC, The Ville Taqueria makes its home in a building that previously held a frozen yogurt shop and before that a seafood restaurant. Let’s hope this is the business that sticks around and is successful in this location for a long time.

The space is smaller than it looks from outside. There are really only a handful each of tables and booths and ordering is handled at the counter. The menu (PFD) is broken down into styles and fillings. You’ll first choose your style of tacos, burritos, quesadillas or tortas. Essentially these styles represent everything that goes into your burrito/taco/etc that isn’t meat. Then you’ll choose from things like masa crusted tilapia, Dos XX braised brisket or tequila citrus chicken to round out your items. There is a vegetarian option for fillings but it’s a little unexciting. So I ordered a heavily modified burrito (I hate vegetables and thus can never order a vegetarian entree the way it’s described on the menu). I’d happily pay a ridiculous upcharge if they’d make tofu or seitan an option for fillings.

B had both chicken and beef tacos. She raved about the tacos at large and specifically about the tortillas they came wrapped in.

cornThe true highlight of the meal though, for me, was the corn. It’s a whole ear of corn that has been grilled and then slathered with mayo and then sprinked with cotija cheese and chile powder. It’s a sweet, savory, unexpectedly delicious combination. I really really hope they buy a ton of local corn that is super sweet in late summer and have a party to celebrate the awesomeness that corn prepared in the Mexican street food style.

Sidebar: I’ve always seen corn on the cob done in this style called Elote. The Ville Taqueria lists it as Esquite though.

They offer a wide variety of salsas. I’m a pansy when it comes to spicy food so B tried several salsas and told me not to even taste most because I would make a face when my tongue started burning. She liked the ones she tried a great deal. Except the one that was the exact color of Doritos. She wasn’t feeling that one.

The food is cheap. So cheap that we had a metric ton of tacos, burritos, corn and rice for a little over $20. It was a great deal for a really excellent meal.

While The Ville Taqueria doesn’t have fountain Coke Zero (or fountain drinks of any kind for that matter) it does offer Mexican Coke and Jarritos, beer, margaritas and a concoction I’m equally fascinated and horrified by: BourbonRita. You go try that and report back to the class how it is.

The Ville Taqueria
3922 Westport Road
Louisville, Kentucky
(502) 721-TACO (8226) (outstanding job on the phone number)