We finally did it.
After not dining at a restaurant together in over seven months, Mr. Tisdale and I broke our “restaurant fast” today. And it was totally worth it.
It was a gorgeous late spring day, the sun was out, the temperature was mild, and I wanted to eat outside. Earlier today, Mr. Tisdale went on a six-mile run and I bicycled with him; along the way we stopped by the old Third Avenue Café in Old Louisville, which just re-opened as Vis á Vis Bar and Grill, to check out the menu.
When we moved to Old Louisville in 2003, Third Avenue Café was our go-to restaurant; with dog-friendly outdoor seating, lots of vegan and vegetarian options, and an eclectic mix of staff and patrons (including head waiter Ricky, who was a drag entertainer at Connections for over 20 years). The café owner, Sharon (who still owns Amici’s in Old Louisville) sold Third Avenue about eight or so years ago, and it has been home to a series of failed restaurants since then. Most recently, it was a hookah bar with disappointing food.
Vis á Vis’s menu has a nice but small mix of Middle Eastern and American cuisine options. We ordered a falafel sandwich, Middle Eastern pickles and fattoush salad to split. Usually I find fattoush to be pretty boring. But this super-lemony salad was zingy, zesty and tangy. Mr. Tisdale’s falafel wrap came with sidewinder fries (not mentioned on the menu but a wonderful surprise). At just $7, the meal was one of the best deals in Louisville. Total damage? $27 plus tip. (And they are giving customers coupons for $5 off $25 for your next purchase.)
I really hope Vis á Vis makes it. It’s a family owned-restaurant, and the family is rightfully proud of their cuisine. (We overheard the woman serving us say that she makes the feta herself.)
Sadly, new restaurants – and new businesses in general – seem to have a very hard time making it in Old Louisville. It’s frustrating to see so many bright-eyed, excited (and usually first-time) small business owners sink their money and their dreams into my neighborhood only to have Old Louisville crush them. Mr. Tisdale and I joke that “Dream Crusher” could be Old Louisville’s tagline.
Let’s hope that Vis á Vis is the rare business that actually makes it in Old Louisville, and that the locals embrace is as they did Third Avenue Café.