I recently moved to the historical Butchertown in Louisville, and it is definitely everything I imagined it would be: centrally-located to the happenings of the downtown scene, yet still far enough removed that I can sit peacefully on my stoop and enjoy the silence of the day. However, even with the young and slightly eccentric individuals that seem to move into the area on an almost daily basis, and the addition of Butchertown Grocery, the neighborhood has been seriously missing the local and unique culinary establishments that other neighborhoods in the city seem to boast.
All that recently changed though when the new Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Ba Luu, opened on East Main St this fall.
By recreating the street fare she experienced growing up in Saigon, Jessica Mach- Pho Ba Luu’s co-owner- is bringing traditional Vietnamese cuisine to Louisville. The restaurant’s menu boasts everything from pho to spring rolls and bahn mi sandwiches, and also features a variety of rice and noodle bowls as well.
What makes Pho Ba Luu’s menu truly stand out though?
The simplicity of its dishes, which are made from scratch on a daily basis with local, seasonal ingredients.
During my last visit, I tasted the chicken Pho bowl and was completely delighted with both the broth (a key component when it comes to an exceptional bowl of pho) and the small bag of additional ingredients that accompany each bowl that you order: Thai basil, a lime slice, bean sprouts, sriracha and a jalapeño that brings all the flavors and smells together in savory unison. The spring rolls are also particularly delightful, which is probably why I order them in addition to my bowl of pho almost every time I visit the local haunt.
With it’s simple and fresh perspective on what Vietnamese food should taste like and a modern approach on how it is served, Pho Ba Luu is a delightful mainstay in Butchertown, and will hopefully serve a model for future restaurants hoping to establish themselves in this neighborhood as well.