Louisville Magazine

AUG 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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78 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.19 Hold the Lettuce After the vegetable lasagna my husband ordered came without actual lasagna noodles (OK, there was one thin, soft layer at the top that was nearly indistinguishable from ricotta), it wasn't surprising that the fried Brussels sprouts salad contained zero lettuce. No mundane romaine. The sprouts still pack that chlorophyll punch when pan-fried in canola oil and tossed in red wine-Dijon vinaigrette, right? And generously hailed with oven-roasted macadamia nuts? Tossed with shaved Parm? Underneath a fried egg that spills like hot lava over the rich vegetation? The tart dried cherries bring an extra sense of maturity to the ensemble, like a dried cranberry's cooler, older cousin. And the shaved radish — the only item in its unaltered state — contributes a refreshing crunch, any bitterness masked by all the flavorful, filling fats. As we dined on this Southern-inspired comfort food (or so the Village Anchor, in Anchorage, describes its menu), we overheard a woman thank her friend for meeting her at the restaurant, saying that she'd been craving a good salad — an entire section of the menu is salads-as-meals. The new executive chef, Jon Pauly, says he tried this fried Brussels sprouts bowl on his second day. "I don't think anyone's leaving hungry," he says. — Mary Chellis Nelson …At Royals If you think about Royals (and all hot-chicken places), they really just serve one thing: a plate of chicken with a side. But I find myself craving the kale salad at this NuLu spot. The recipe changes seasonally, but it's always topped with crispy hot-chicken tenders and served in the blue- and-white tin plates that I've come to associate with a good Southern meal. The summer iteration of the kale salad features a bed of baby kale topped with pickled red onions, shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese and golden raisins (replaced in cooler months with ap- ple for a sweet crunch). Spicy ranch dressing is poured over the chicken to mix with a Nashville-style hot dip, creating a red-and-white swirl. Pair with a Cheerwine or Ale-8-One and you've got a summer staple. — ME …At Joella's The hot chicken trend had come and gone by the time I tried it in 2017. By that point, even giant chains like KFC had adopted it. Trendy or not, I was thankful to the co-workers who introduced me to Joella's (in St. Matthews and Middletown). I fell for the chopped kale salad with fried chicken tenders on top. Unlike many chicken-topped salads, this one is good enough to stand chickenless. The sweetness of the lemon dressing and the currants balance out the bitter kale, and the toasted almonds actually do live up to their promised crunchiness. There's nothing worse than a soggy almond in a salad. During my peak chicken-and-kale obsession, I requested it every time there was an opportunity to go out for lunch or dinner. I've celebrated a few major occasions, including my birthday and finishing the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, with this salad. We've settled into a good rela- tionship now. I eat it probably once a month, and have never not enjoyed every bite. — Amy Talbott Kaled It Big Shrimpin' I checked the receipts. I've eaten the avocado-shrimp salad at Red Hog an average of once a week since January, three times over one particular Wednesday-to-Saturday stretch in May. A skewer of five grilled shrimp (in a marinade that comes over from Italy on a container ship) tops a mound of peppery arugula, with a halved avocado, bursts of briny capers, a housemade chimichurri and lemon wedges. Salt (capers), fat (avocado), acid (lemon zest), heat (those charred shrimp). Build each bite to suit your tastes. "The salad has a hands-on aspect to it," says Alison Settle, chef of the restaurant attached to the Crescent Hill butcher shop. "It's a DIY salad." Red Hog's menu changes often, but good news for me: "(The salad) has a following even though it's not meat-centric," Settle says. "I probably won't ever take it off the menu." — Josh Moss

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