Tag Archives: food


Breakfast Buffet

Lesley’s Homestyle Cafe & Catering

By Angie Fenton

I grew up in a small town and have

always loved locally-owned restaurants that embrace “downhome

cooking” – added bonus if that also means including

a bit of healthy fare on the menu, too. So, when friend Paul

Kiger invited me and my family to New Middletown, Indiana,

to enjoy breakfast at Lesley’s Homestyle Cafe & Catering, we

were all in.

The drive from New Albany took a little more than 20 minutes

and was beautiful, especially once we got off I-64 West. (If

you opt to take the Ohio River Scenic Byway, the drive is even

prettier and will only take about 30 minutes.)

The town may be small – population 93, according to the

2010 census – but the hospitality offered to visitors looms

large. We were warmly greeted at Lesley’s Homestyle Cafe &

Catering by employees and our fellow diners. Owner Lesley

McPhillips (who also happens to be Paul’s sister) and her team

are visible from the dining room as they whip up all kinds of

goodies, wash dishes and greet guests. Known for her catering,

there are lots of us who are thankful she decided to open up a

brick ’n‘ mortar eatery.

My husband, our 2-year-old and I enjoyed the Breakfast

Buffet ($8.50), which had a variety of dishes, including fluffy

eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, perfectly cooked bacon and

fresh fruit, among other items. Everything was delicious and

freshly made. Now, despite the fact that it was morning and

far too early for dessert – plus, I’d done a decent job of eating

healthfully – I ordered a slice of the Strawberry Delight Cake

($2.75) anyway because I’d been told it was a can’t-miss sweet

made with love by Linda Windell (Lesley and Paul’s mother).

That couldn’t be truer. Try the cake.

Lesley’s Homestyle Cafe & Catering is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4

p.m. Sunday. The breakfast buffet is served 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday. Keep an eye on the Facebook page to stay

up-to-date on the happenings. Recent highlights have included

ribeye steak dinners cooked however you please, Taco Tuesday,

a Friday night seafood bar and an Italian-themed menu.

screen-shot-2018-03-07-at-10-47-38-am screen-shot-2018-03-07-at-10-47-41-am

Do you have a favorite dish at a Southern Indiana

restaurant that you can’t wait to share with others? Send an

email detailing why to extol@extolmag.com and put “The

Cheat Sheet” as the subject.

Lesley’s Homestyle Cafe & Catering

3975 Main St.

New Middletown, Indiana


@cateringlesley on Facebook


Darn You, Taco Tuesday

screen-shot-2018-03-07-at-10-54-31-amBy Angie Fenton

Each time I falter on my quest to get fit, I come

back with a fervor. Recently, I allowed myself to

be derailed by Taco Tuesday. No, I didn’t not

want ground turkey tacos on a low-carb tortilla,

I wanted to go to El Nopal and eat my weight in

chips and salsa and order authentic ground beef

and cheese tacos, thank you very much. I did, I

enjoyed and then I started on the “right” path

once again the next day, this time cajoling my

husband into joining me.

One of our downfalls is a lack of time, which

means grabbing whatever we can throw together

and making a meal out of it. Although we don’t

usually keep sweets and junk food in the house

– our toddler’s nearly 2-pound box of baked

Goldfish crackers doesn’t count, although their

little carb-filled bodies sure can be tempting –

taking the time to prepare healthy fare can be

time consuming and leaves room to make excuses

about why we should just pick up something to-go

at a local restaurant.

So, I eked out an afternoon and spent it cooking,

chopping and baking a variety of foods so they’d be

there at the ready. Then, I took out our food scale

and packaged meals in Tupperware containers

that have separators. For two days, my husband

and I stayed steady: We drank at least 8 ounces of

water with lemon juice first thing in the morning.

Breakfast was an egg sandwich (one egg for me;

two for him) on multigrain Sandwich Slims.

Lunch was 4 ounces of baked chicken breast I’d

already cut into pieces with steamed asparagus

spears and a portion of a sweet potato. Dinner

was the same minus the added carbs. I started

actually measuring the amount of creamer I put

in my morning coffee and was astounded by the

amount. I’m not giving up the java, but I’ve started

making it less like a milkshake and am enjoying

the true taste of coffee for the first time.

The husband and I were a team on this mission,

encouraging one another to keep going. Then, one

night we both came home ravenous and unwilling

to eat yet another meal of chicken and asparagus.

Instead of derailing our progress, we Googled a

few recipes for a filling ramen dish and then went

about creating our own using chicken broth, all

kinds of vegetables, lean pork, shrimp and our

new favorite noodle substitute, House Foods Tofu

Shirataki (20 calories, 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of

carbs per package). After simmering everything

together and adding Sriracha sauce and other

spices, we topped each bowl with a poached egg

and micro greens and had a delicious, healthy,

filling ramen rendition. Even the 2-year-old

enjoyed it, spice and all.

To combat our food boredom, which helps keep us on track, I’m getting more creative with our prepared meals by varying

them. One of my new favorites is an arugula salad topped with vegetables

and chicken followed by a dose of Walden Farms Honey Dijon dressing

(calorie free, sugar free, fat free, carb free, gluten free, cholesterol free). Even

though the dressing is more expensive than I’d like, it’s worth it, since I’m

one of those who likes a little salad with their dressing. It’s also really good

and comes in a variety of flavors, including Thousand Island and Ranch.

At this point, I am feeling good about our progress, regardless of how slow

it is, and also fully accept that I will be derailed by Taco Tuesday in the near

future and enjoy every moment of it before picking up where I left off and

moving forward again.


The Cheat Sheet | Ramen Bowl

The Exchange Pub + Kitchen

By Angie Fenton

Photo by Matt Simpson

screen-shot-2018-01-31-at-2-08-38-pmI RECENTLY HAD one of those “close your eyes-I don’t want to talk to anyone-let me savor every bit of this” moments at The Exchange Pub + Kitchen. On the advice of Rod Juarez (who is the general manager at MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen in New Albany), I went to The Exchange for what I thought would be a solo working lunch. Without looking at the menu, I ordered the Ramen Bowl ($16/lunch; $19/dinner) – Rod’s suggestion – and flipped open my iPad. A few minutes later, when my server placed the huge bowl in front of me, all I could do was stare and inhale the aroma.

The beautiful dish was a mix of pork tenderloin, Brussel sprouts, jalapeno, cilantro, green onion, carrots, radish, soy miso, ginger broth and ramen noodles topped with a beautiful egg. After the first bite/sip, I shut my iPad, turned my phone face down and simply enjoyed. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I lost track of time and was almost late to my next appointment. The combination of flavors, the presentation, the aroma…I’ve dreamt about them since. Not kidding.

Now, I get that the price is pretty hefty, particularly at lunch time, but the portion is massive. What I couldn’t eat – and I wanted to eat it all but simply couldn’t – I took home and served to my two-year-old that night for dinner, careful to pluck out the jalapenos, and ate the rest for lunch the next day.

The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, 118 W. Main St. in New Albany, serves lunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and dinner 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. You can find more information at www.exchangeforfood.com.


Flavorful and Healthy: Restaurant Eating in SoIN

Story & Photos by SoIN Tourism




Just saying the name “Seeds and Greens” makes you feel healthier! Owner Stacey Freibert and her staff take pride in selling local, high-quality organic and natural meats and produce.

The café serves wholesome paninis, salads, and smoothies. Vegetarians will find plenty of options, but so will meat lovers. Freibert knows that options are key. Not everyone chooses lunch or dinner companions based on whether they’re vegetarian or not. She makes sure vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers have plenty of options. They use locally baked bread, minimally processed meats, and lots of organic fruits and vegetables.

Looking for a refreshing, nutritious pick-me-up? Seeds and Green delivers with smoothies made with plenty of fruit, veggies, and a variety of nut milks, protein powders, and superfoods. The Starburst smoothie is made with banana, berries, plant protein, almond milk, ginger and turmeric (an anti-inflammatory).screen-shot-2017-12-28-at-4-18-32-pm


207 W. 1st St.

New Albany




Owner/Chef Rachel Smallwood prepares signature breakfast and lunch dishes using local, fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s sandwiches, paninis, soups, and wraps are flavorful and colorful.

The spinach salad is protein- and vitamin-packed, with fresh spinach, feta cheese, walnuts, golden raisins, egg, apples and served with a honey mustard dressing. Orange Clover offers traditional deli sandwiches such as the Reuben, BLT, and Chicken Salad, but also serves unique standouts like its Salmon Club and Cuban sandwiches. The Salmon Club is grilled salmon, served with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a delicious lemon aioli on marbled rye.screen-shot-2017-12-28-at-4-17-40-pm


590 Missouri Ave., Suite 100





If you’re part of the growing population of vegans, you’ll find plenty of options at the NABC Café and Brewhouse. Beer with vegan food may seem like an oxymoron, but the combinations pair well. NABC’s operations manager is Stacie Bale, who is both a long-time vegan and a long-time beer lover. Her creative menu includes a variety of locally sourced proteins as well as creative vegan options. The café uses air fryers for their sides. Challenge yourself to a taste test, and you won’t be disappointed.

You’ll find vegetarian and vegan dishes like the herbivore flatbread, with marinara sauce, spinach, bell pepper and onion. Vegan options include the beefless patty and vegan cheese. Go meatless with a BLT + A using house made tempeh bacon. Convert the BLT + A for the meat lovers by simply adding real bacon. Most of the meats served are fresh, locally produced proteins. The menu’s mushroom swiss burger is made with beef from Hensley Homegrown in nearby Laconia.

Whether it’s meat free or meat full, the food is made-to-order onsite to ensure quality, and NABC uses only non-GMO products.screen-shot-2017-12-28-at-4-19-54-pm


Bank Street

New Albany




Cabela’s King Kat Classic, a fishing, hunting, wildlife, outdoors, and country music festival will come to Jeffersonville in September. Hundreds of anglers will compete in qualifiers throughout the summer for a chance to compete in the championship fishing tourney, which will be held on the Ohio River and Fisherman’s Wharf.

The family friendly event will also include a festival with display and interactive exhibits, live lake and river aquariums, outdoors sportsman vending booths from major Cabela’s brands and much more.

Capping off the weekend will be the Q103.1 Country Music Bash. it will feature a nationally touring country music entertainer to be announced.

For more information, please visit GoSoIN.com/KingKat and Facebook.com/JeffParksDept/.


Why Wait? 9 Resolutions to Make Now

Who says you have to wait until New Year’s to take steps toward a healthier future? 

By Angie Fenton

If you’re like most people, at some point you’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Then, like 92 percent of us, you failed to make it stick. Yet, instead of simply starting over – and over and over, if necessary – the majority of us wait until the beginning of the next year to make even more resolutions we probably won’t keep. Whether it’s the first month or the eleventh month of the year, why not resolve right now to make a change for the better? To help you get started, here are 9 resolutions to put you on the path to a healthier future.

1. Get organized Vow to spend 15 minutes a day for the next 30 days organizing one room at a time, piece by piece. Planning to donate what you don’t love? Keep a box or bag in the room and add to it each day. Once it’s full, put it in your car so the next time you leave your home it’s ready for drop-off at the nonprofit of your choice.

2. Lose five pounds (or more) Need to lose weight? Be specific about how much – consult your doctor for assistance – and then focus on your goal. Or, take baby steps and work to lose five pounds. Then, once you do, work to lose five more until you reach a healthy weight.

3. Stop smoking If you smoke, stop. Don’t know how? Google it. Talk to your doctor. Reach out to friends. Share your intention of quitting on social media and then post updates on your progress. Whatever works for you, do it. Smoking doesn’t just stink – it kills.

4. Start saving for a vacation Taking time off is good for our mental and physical well-being. Experts say the act of planning for one can increase happiness and going somewhere new gives our brains a change of scenery, which is beneficial in myriad ways.

5. Train for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon Thousands of people walk or run the mini every year, including lots of first-timers. Have you ever watched Facebook light up with updates from finishers or local news media interview participants and thought, I wonder if I could do that, If so, start making strides right now. Local running stores – like Pacers & Racers in New Albany and Swag’s in Louisville – are valuable resources and can get you pointed in the right direction.

6. Unplug Vow to put aside all electronic devices one day a week. Can’t bear to go without for that long? Try half a day, implementing a “no electronics” during dinner rule or walk away from the cell phone/ipad/computer for a few designated minutes every day, like first thing in the morning or before bed. Commit to disengaging from your devices and engaging with family and friends. You’ll be amazed at the near-immediate benefits.

7. Sleep better When it comes to sleep, quality is as important as quantity. If you use your phone for an alarm clock, flip it on its face so the glowing light doesn’t keep or wake you up. Try meditating before bed to turn your mind off. There are tons of apps designed to assist rookie meditators. Go to bed on a schedule, even on the weekends. Whatever you do, resolve to make better sleep a priority.

8. Train your brain to be positive Experts say it is entirely possible to rewire our brains to perceive the positive aspects of life. For starters, simply thinking about what you’re grateful for throughout the day can increase the level of dopamine and can give, in a nutshell, a natural high. Also, feelings of gratitude can increase serotonin levels, a mood booster. Stop focusing on what you’ve done wrong and steer your thoughts to what you do right and well. Try thinking only about positive things for a few minutes a day for the next month or starting the day by writing down three things that make you happy.

9. Make people feel like they matter We are bombarded with messages of how awful human beings can be to one another, whether it’s unspeakable violence or the pervasive act of shaming others on social media. Challenge yourself to do something kind for someone else once a day/week/ month. Pay it forward at your local coffee shop or anonymously help out someone in need. Make this a habit and soon you’ll reap more than good karma.


Go Ahead, Enjoy Dining Out in Southern Indiana on Thanksgiving Day


Want to start a new Thanksgiving tradition? Visiting from out of town during the holiday? Don’t feel like dealing with the chaos of cooking and cleaning? Thankfully, you have several locally-owned Southern Indiana options for dining out – or catering in – on Thanksgiving Day.


730 Highlander Point Drive, Floyds Knobs 


Amoré will offer its full Italian menu on Nov. 23 along with other Italian Thanksgiving Day-inspired dishes beginning at 2 p.m. on the holiday. Reservations are required. Take out will not be available. Call for full details.


700 W. Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville 


Bristol Bar & Grille offers up a gorgeous view as well as a Thanksgiving Day buffet, featuring dishes from locally-sourced farming partners, with seating from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Alcoholic beverages – including Bristol’s unique wine selection hand-picked by Master Sommelier Scott Harper – will be available for purchase. The Southern Indiana favorite also offers pre-ordered catering and pick-up on Thanksgiving Eve. Prices vary and a minimum of 25 servings is required for catering orders. Call now to RSVP for Thanksgiving Day or to place a pre-order. Cost: $25.95 per adult, $7.95 for kids 4 to 11 and free for children 3 and under.

CAFÉ 157 

157 E. Main St., New Albany 


Café 157 plans to serve Thanksgiving Day from noon to 5 p.m. but advanced reservations are required. Dishes for the plated meal will include turkey or ham, dressing, mashed potatoes and two of the three following dishes: corn pudding, green beans or sweet potato casserole. Diners also get to choose from pumpkin or apple pie. The meal includes coffee, tea or water. Call to RSVP or send an email with the number in your party to innbridge@aol.com. Cost: $15 per plate plus tax and gratuity. Kids under 10 are $8.50.


525 Marriott Drive, Clarksville 

812.288.8281 | derbydinner.com 

Once again, Derby Dinner Playhouse will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the holiday before guests will get to watch the performance of A Christmas Carol The Musical. The buffet features carved turkey and ham, fried fish, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, vegetable sides, a salad bar and desserts, including pumpkin, pecan and chocolate pie, as well as a sugar free option. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and the buffet will be served until 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m. Cost: $43 per person


2421 Engle Road, Starlight 

812.923.5255 | joehubers.com 

Joe Huber’s serves Thanksgiving all month long in November and, once again, will offer its traditional Thanksgiving Day Buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This fabulous meal was featured on Food Network and includes oven-roasted turkey, homemade dressing, real mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, corn, chicken & dumplings, dried biscuits with apple butter, country slaw, Waldorf salad, fruit cobblers with ice cream and unlimited beverages. Be sure to call ahead for reservations especially for Thanksgiving Day. Cost: $19.99 per adult, $9.99 for kids 4 to 11 and free for children under 3.


130 W. Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville 

812.913.1252 | oliveleafbistro.com 

Once again, Olive Leaf Bistro will serve a delicious brunch Thanksgiving menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dishes include pumpkin soup, mixed organic greens, roast turkey, spiral ham, sausage-apple stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry-ginger-pear chutney, and pumpkin and apple tarts. Reservations are highly recommended. Cost: $20 for adults, $10 kids 4 to 10 and free for children under 3.


505 Marriott Drive, Clarksville 


Radisson Hotel Louisville North – formerly Clarion Hotel Conference Center – serves up a traditional Thanksgiving buffet 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the holiday and has for more than 30 years. Enjoy roast turkey, smoked ham, roast beef au jus, along with seafood salad, Waldorf Salad, sage dressing, sweet potato casserole and a host of other favorites, including the delicious dessert bar. Cost: $19.95 for adults; kids 10 and under are half price; children 5 and under are free.


702 Highlander Point, Floyds Knobs 

812.923.2323 | samstavern.com 

No, Sam’s Food & Spirits isn’t open on Thanksgiving Day – but you can pre-order Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time and enjoy turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and other delectable offerings for pick-up on Thanksgiving Eve. Sam’s caters to parties of any size. Just be sure to call ahead. Cost: Price varies depending on party size and food.



1101 Lewis and Clark Pkwy, Clarksville 


The Clarksville Bob Evans opens at 6 a.m. and will offer a limited menu before serving a special Thanksgiving menu 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not needed. Cost: Prices vary.

2204 State St., New Albany 


The New Albany Bob Evans opens at 7 a.m. and will offer a limited menu before serving a special Thanksgiving menu 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reservations are not needed. Cost: Prices vary.


350 Triangle Road. Sellersburg 


Cracker Barrel opens at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will serve breakfast and then plated Thanksgiving meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant also offers a heat & serve family meal to-go that serves up to 10 people for $99.99, which is available for pickup Nov. 21 through Nov. 23. Call for more details.


1402 Cedar St., Clarksville 


Golden Corral serves a Thanksgiving-themed buffet on the holiday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations accepted; first-come, first seated. Dishes include turkey, ham, smoked meats, steak, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberries, green bean casserole, corn pudding, green beans corn carrots, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, bread pudding and much more. Cost: $13.99 for adults, $12.99 for seniors, $6.99 for kids 9 to 12, $5.99 for kids 4 to 8 and free for children 3 and under.



screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-29-49-pmWE ASKED AND YOU ANSWERED. After narrowing downs the dozens of restaurants, bars and public places you nominated as Kentuckiana’s Best Sports Spot, we asked you to vote on the finalists at ExtolSports.com.



Congratulations to Bearno’s Southern Indiana, Kentuckiana’s Best Sports Spot – as voted on by you. 

Sure, the pizza is amazing and award winning, but what makes Bearno’s Southern Indiana Kentuckiana’s Best Sports Spot? According to many of you it’s the atmosphere, staff and your fellow patrons. But that’s not all. screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-30-09-pm

There’s live music in the warmer months and plenty of TVs for your viewing pleasure. When you frequent one of the three locations on the sunny side of the river, you’ll find great drink specials, beer specials and locals who make each respective locale their spot – but welcome newbies to join.

“I don’t want to say we’re like Cheers,” said owner/operator Kirk Johnson with a half smile, “but we’re kind of like Cheers. Anyone is welcome here.”

That also includes families and youngsters. “We do a lot with kids and schools, lots of Little League and also basketball,” said Johnson. And, “any kid wearing their (sports team) uniform gets a free six-inch cheese pizza.”

Each location also has a lunch buffet featuring all-you-can eat soda, salad, pasta, pizza and dessert for $8.99. Plus, added Johnson, “we host birthday parties, wedding rehearsals, events, fantasy football drafts, you name it.”

If you go, be sure to try the Mama Bearno’s pizza and mac ’n‘ cheese wedges – or the grilled chicken sandwich if you’re seeking healthier fare – and don’t forget to congratulate the Bearno’s Southern Indiana staff on their much-deserved win.

“I think (the award) is great,” said Johnson. “A lot of friendships have been made here. It’s like a second home for a lot of people, and that feels great.”screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-30-29-pm


3002 Charlestown Crossing

New Albany



401 Lafollette Station Drive

Floyds Knobs



700 W. Riverside Drive



*Search “Bearnos Southern Indiana” on Facebook

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-30-40-pmBUCKHEAD MOUNTAIN GRILL

A NEIGHBORHOOD FAVORITE and Louisville staple for more than two decades, Buckhead Mountain Grill is a locally-owned, family-friendly restaurant that combines a comfortable and relaxed mountain lodge atmosphere with a full selection of classic, delectable foods. From their famous Cheese Boulders to delicious, homemade pot pie, guests have been enjoying many of the signature dishes for years – and great TV sports viewing, too.

The bar offers a wide variety of beers – including a great selection of craft brews – and knowledgeable staff. Enjoy the riverside view at the Jeffersonville location during halftime while dining on meat loaf, ribs, salads and other fare. The large menu offers something for everyone. Made from original recipes, Buckhead’s delicious choices are always fresh and made by hand every day.

Visit one of the three locations, either in the greater Louisville area or in Bellevue, Ky. – just minutes from downtown Cincinnati. And when you stop by, don’t forget to congratulate the Buckhead crew on being named one of Extol’s Kentuckiana’s Best Sports Spot Finalists.

707 W. Riverside Drive




3020 Bardstown Road




35 Fairfield Avenue

Bellevue, Ky.



screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-30-46-pmTHE SPORTS & SOCIAL CLUB 

THE SPORTS & SOCIAL CLUB is a relaxed sports bar offering classic pub food and tremendous sports viewing in a comfortable tavern setting. Serving lunch, dinner and a dynamic nightlife, The Sports & Social Club also offers bowling, live entertainment and The Eagle: a fully equipped private party room.

The restaurant and bar is equipped with state of the art technology including the ultimate sports viewing room equipped with two 100-inch, high-definition projectors and digital surround sound, making this the perfect venue to watch sports and party with friends.

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-30-53-pmThe Sports & Social Club has been ranked No. 21 by ESPN Magazine in their “29 Greatest Sports Bars in the Known Universe” and “Best Sports Bar 2013” by A List Louisville.

Prefer to play sports as opposed to watching them? Take a turn on one of the bowling lanes.

The menu is delicious, but definitely try the cheesesteak rolls or the chicken-bacon macaroni and cheese.
When you stop by, don’t forget to congratulate The Sports & Social staff on being named one of Extol’s Kentuckiana’s Best Sports Spot Finalists.

427 S. Fourth St.




screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-30-59-pmTUCKER’S AMERICAN FAVORITES 

LOCALLY-OWNED and -operated, Tucker’s American Favorites offers great food and service in a sports-oriented atmosphere. Whether you sit in the bar or opt to eat in the two-tiered dining area, there’s no shortage of sports on TVs of all sizes.

Belly up to the bar and you’ll be catered to by attentive and amicable staff. Or, bring the family – including little ones of all ages – and catch the big game/match/competition as you enjoy a burger (try the fresh-made salmon burger for a healthy bite), the scrumptious cheese fries, succulent wings, one of the many steaks, a salad, ribs or even the vegetarian platter.

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-31-04-pmBig games are fun to watch at Tucker’s because most patrons who frequent the eatery at those times are fans and aren’t shy about voicing their loyalties. There are a few massive booths down front as well as tables that can be moved to accommodate large parties, too.

Also, if you’re interested in hosting a private party or meeting, there’s a banquet room reserved just for that. And don’t forget to congratulate the Tucker’s team for being named one of Extol’s Kentuckiana’s Best Sports Spot Finalists.

2441 State St.

New Albany



screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-31-10-pmSAM’S FOOD & SPIRITS 

SAM’S FOOD & SPIRITS serves up classics, favorites, specials and ample viewing for sports fans who want to catch the big game on TV. With its casual, neighborhood feel, locals often refer to Sam’s as their “second kitchen,” which makes watching sports there a no-brainer.

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-31-15-pmMunch on specially-spiced (free) popcorn as you wait for a cold one, but then peel your eyes away from screen to place your order. Here are a few recommendations: You can’t go wrong with the half-pound burger, a flatbread pizza, nachos or the hand-breaded onion rings.
But, you’ll thank yourself (and us) later if you order the blackened fish tacos. We have yet to find any – and we mean any – as good as those served at Sam’s.

Not as into sports as you are animals or maybe you want a bit of both? Sam’s patio is always dog-friendly.

702 Highlander Point Drive

Floyds Knobs




129 W. Main St.
New Albany
470.LUV.BEER (470.588.2337)

A Taste of SoIN | September 2017

Things a Chef Can Do (That I Can’t)


IN MY BOOK, the difference between brilliant chefs and decent cooks are deliciously apparent. Maybe one of these days I’ll become a chef, but I’m happy to enjoy the chefs’ culinary skills at my favorites Southern Indiana (SoIN) restaurants.

What makes chefs rock stars? Their ability to elevate humble ingredients into magical dishes is a start. This month’s Taste of SoIN is dedicated to their mad skills. Here are just a few of them.

MESA COLLABORATIVE KITCHEN 2 Pearl Street New Albany 812.725.7691 MesaChefs.com

2 Pearl Street
New Albany


You walk into a restaurant, and the dining room is beautiful. You order your food, and your server disappears through the kitchen doors. Minutes later, they re-emerge with beautifully made dishes. How does that magic happen?

At Mesa Collaborative Kitchen, you feel like you’re being let in on a delectable secret. Grab a seat at Mesa’s counter, and you can watch as simple ingredients transform into lovely dishes. Mesa is a new concept that allows you to join 20 others for dinner while you watch the chef and team work.

If you love the Food Network but wish you could be the one asking the questions, you’ll love Mesa. The chefs and their staffs will plate a 3- to 5-course meal where you’ll get a front row. Chefs talk as they cook, and you can ask questions along the way.

Grab a friend, a seat and a libation. This sport is a meal where you are a fan, interviewer, student, and dinner guest!


If you’re a cooking show fan, you watch masterful chefs set something aflame and cook it perfectly. I’m adventurous with flavors, but I’ll keep the flames on the burner, thank you very much. I leave the flaming desserts thing to the professionals. The staff at Olive Leaf Bistro can give you a show with Bananas Foster. Though bananas foster isn’t on the restaurant’s printed menu, you can order it as a special request for dessert. They’ll roll a cart near your table and expertly light it so you can watch as your flaming bananas foster is prepared tableside.


130 W. Riverside Drive 





118 W. Main
New Albany


Chefs can take (often humble) ingredients and transform them into something delightful. Can I do those things? Sometimes, but usually only when the stars are aligned perfectly. But these chefs can come up with things that I can’t. I’m a decent enough cook, but I’m not masterful the way so many of the chefs at our SoIN restaurants are.

Three of my favorite ingredients are goat cheese, bacon, and honey. Some genius at the Exchange Pub + Kitchen decided one day to serve delicately breaded goat cheese fritters on a bed of bacon aioli. Then, to top it off, they drizzled them lightly with smoked honey. Talk about delicious! My friend paired these with a glass of sauvignon blanc from the Exchange’s menu. It’s now my standard order.

FLOYD COUNTY BREWING COMP ANY 129 W. Main St. New Albany 470.LUV.BEER (470.588.2337) FloydCountyBrewing.com

129 W. Main St.
New Albany
470.LUV.BEER (470.588.2337)

Wine is usually my libation of choice, but on a hot afternoon, there’s nothing like an ice-cold beer. Who, then, would use it as a glaze for salmon? That’s right, a chef. The folks at Floyd County Brewing Company use their amber brew to glaze their salmon filet. Served with steamed veggies and rice pilaf, this is the healthiest and yummiest way to appreciate a good beer. Pair that with any of FCBC’s beers brewed on site.



They say timing is everything in love. That saying is even more appropriate for a meal.

I’m doing good to get all my dishes finished at the same time (within a couple of minutes of each other). Could I do that for a group of people each night? Probably not. That’s why I’m amazed at a restaurant’s chef and staff. They work as a team to feed dozens, hundreds or even thousands of guests a night – every night!

These rock star chefs and others are waiting to prepare a meal for you. If you want to sample any of the dishes described here, search SoIN’s website for a restaurant that strikes your fancy.

Visit www.gosoin.com/restaurants/ to browse the restaurants for a memorable – and delicious – taste of SoIN.


PRO TIP | Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

“ Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” – Greg Glassman

By Case Belcher of Four Barrel Crossfit • http://fourbarrelcrossfit.com


Ready-to-Go Hot or Cold Quinoa


2 cups Quinoa

4 cups Almond or Coconut Milk

2 pinches Sea Salt

1⁄2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Almond Butter, Cocoa, Cinnamon and Toppings to Taste


Bring pan to medium heat

Toast quinoa for 2 to 3 minutes

Add almond milk or coconut milk, sea salt and vanilla extract

Stir and bring to boil

Then cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until most liquid has cooked off

Stir in a small amount of additional milk for moisture if needed

Store in sealed container in refrigerator

Add almond milk and topping (almond butter, walnuts, berries, etc.) and either serve cold or reheat and then add toppings.

Sage Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash


4 Medium Sweet Potatoes cubed

1 Green Bell Pepper cubed

1 Red Bell Pepper cubed

1 Medium Red Onion diced

Scallions or Green Onions for garnish

Salt, Pepper, Cumin and Garlic to taste

1⁄2 pound Sausage or Bacon (nitrate/nitrite free)

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil


Bring pan and 1 tablespoon of oil to medium heat; then add meat to brown

When meat is 3⁄4 of the way done, add peppers, onions, and spices to taste

Cook until peppers and onions begin to soften, then remove or add to potatoes (if potatoes are done).

Bring a deep cast iron pan and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat and add potatoes and spices to taste

Stir occasionally until the outsides begin to brown; then cover pan for 7 to 10 minutes until potatoes are soft all the way through, uncover to stir occasionally for even cooking, add a small amount of additional oil if needed.

Once potatoes are cooked all the way through, remove from heat, stir in sausage, peppers, and onions

Once cooled, store for reheating and serving

Add 2 to 3 fried eggs for additional protein and scallions for garnish.

Green Superfood Smoothie


1 handful Kale

1 handful Spinach

1⁄2 Frozen Banana

1⁄2 cup Frozen Blueberries or Strawberries

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein (whey or vegan)

1 tablespoon Almond Butter or 1⁄2 Small Avocado

Cinnamon & Turmeric to taste

1 to 2 cups of Water or Almond Milk

Combine all ingredients in a 1-quart size freezer bag and store in freezer for faster prep screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-4-59-22-pm


Combine all ingredients in blender

Blend and gradually add liquid until you reach the desired consistency.

Learn more about Four Barrel CrossFit, which has locations in New Albany and Louisville, at fourbarrelcrossfit.com or call 502.509.3801.



Now We’re Cooking!

By Kristin & Adam Kleinert

This month we bring you delicious, healthy recipes that are working wonders starting to get into a good groove with recipes that make a big impact – on our bodies AND our taste buds – and we wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Below, you’ll find three basic recipes that each lend themselves to loads of easy adaptations. You can follow them as-is or make changes that suit your family’s size and tastes. Enjoy!

Confetti MeatBalls

“These are the best meatballs ever!” says our 6-year-old Brahm, who is the pickiest eater ever. While that might be a strong statement, the fact we can get nutrients from beets and spinach in our picky little guy has us loving these meatballs, too, and they have proven to be the ultimate crowd-pleaser. They can be served over pasta with marinara, on sandwiches or as a stand-alone entrée. Adding the spinach and beets packs this dish with tons of extra nutrients without adding texture or flavor a picky eater can detect. *Make them even healthier by using all-natural meats and eggs.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

½ c. finely chopped spinach
½ c. finely diced beets
¼ c. bread crumbs
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 lb. lean ground beef or bison
¼ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mash together by hand. Shape into balls about the ff1size of a golf ball. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray, and put one meatball in each cup of the pans. Bake on center rack of oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Yield: 24 meatballs.

Tip: To achieve the most kid-friendly texture, consider roasting your chopped beets for 3 or 4 minutes at 425 degrees on a sprayed cookie sheet before adding them to the mixture.

Energy Bites

These little bites of yummy goodness are our favorite household snack. They are easy to make and hard to keep around!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0

1 c. oats
½ c. ground flax seeds
1/3 c. chia seeds
¾ c. peanut butter
1/3 c. honey
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ c. dried cranberries
*1/3 c. wheat germ (reserve 1/3 cup for finish)

Combine oats, flax, chia and 1/3 c of the wheat germ in a medium bowl and toss. Add peanutff2 butter, honey and vanilla and stir together. Add chocolate chips and cranberries and stir together. Put bowl in freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and form mixture into small spheres (ping pong ball-sized). Roll each ball lightly in reserved wheat germ. Store in refrigerator. Yield: approximately 24 energy bites.

Tip: Variations on these are endless! You can omit ingredients you don’t like. You can add sunflower seeds, nuts (we like slivered almonds), coconut, other dried fruit, etc.

Crock-Pot Lettuce Wraps

Fast, delicious and healthy, this is our go-to recipe for busy days! It takes no time to throw together and ensures we have a nutritious meal on hand so that we can avoid fast food and concession stands for dinner!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours

Fresh or frozen chicken breast (we use about 6 breasts for our family)
1 jar of any Asian flavored sauce (we like pad thai, but you could use Korean bbq, sweet chili, etc.)

Head lettuce broken into “cups” (or long leaves of romaine if preferred)
Shredded carrots or broccoli slaw mix
Fresh bean sprouts (canned will work)
Chopped peanuts (or other nuts)
Asian dipping sauce (we like peanut sauce and sweet chili sauce) Spray a crock pot with cooking spray and place chicken inside.

Pour sauce over top and cover with lid. Cook on low for several hours if using fresh chicken, ff3high if using frozen. Chicken is ready to eat when it is tender and easily shredded. Fork a small mound of shredded chicken into a lettuce cup, top with multiple fresh toppings. Drizzle with preferred sauce and enjoy!

Tip: This is another recipe that can be easily adapted. For example:  substitute a can of salsa verde for the Asian sauce and you’ve got a Mexican shredded chicken you can use for tacos, enchiladas or nachos. Or stick with the Asian chicken and experiment with new toppings and sauces!