Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

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Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:45 am

It was a pleasure seeing her kick Bobby Flay's ass on TV tonight. :-)

[Something about that guy irritates me -- even though I make his salmon dish on a regular basis.]
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Re: Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:25 am

I enjoyed watching that too. I think Bobby Flay was out of his element.
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Re: Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:49 am

Bob Ross wrote:It was a pleasure seeing her kick Bobby Flay's ass on TV tonight. :-)

[Something about that guy irritates me -- even though I make his salmon dish on a regular basis.]


I missed the show, Bob, kind of wish I had seen it.

Lynn's is okay, although most local foodies think it odd that it gets a lot of national publicity that some of our more worthy eateries don't enjoy. It's a very tongue-in-cheek place with wacky decor, and it's sort of an offbeat fusion between urban diner and more upscale bistro. It's a very popular spot for weekend brunch but not really competitive at dinner time.

Lynn Winter, the proprietor, is a very nice person, but she's not the chef, and if the Flay show presented her as the cook, it was "scripted." The national media almost invariably presents it as a Southern, country-style spot, which is kind of strange, since it's an urban eatery in a city neighborhood, and while it has biscuits and cobblers and other Southern-style dishes (in very large portions), it's not really anything like what you'd encounter in a rural village. Or anywhere else. It's just Lynn's.

I wouldn't rank it in our top 20 restaurants and possibly not in the top 50, but it's the one place that Food TV and other visiting food folks almost always end up, perhaps because it's literally unique, and easy to find from downtown.

My last review of it is several years old, but still pretty much captures it:

Lynn's Paradise Cafe
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Re: Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:14 am

Thanks, Robin-- thorough response as always.

They were vague about Lynn's role, but she empasized her staff's contribution. She's very photogenic and outspoken -- I can see her appeal for TV purposes.

I liked the judge, head of food services at Churchill Downs. Very balanced.

Thanks again for the insights.
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Re: Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

Postby Hoke » Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:42 pm

As one who used to live in Looville, and still frequent the place, I'd pretty much agree with everything Robin had to say about Lynn's.

If there's anything Southern about Lynn's, it's that penchant the old South had for "quaint" women....the seemingly ditsy and artfully artful exhibitionists that more than flirted with the societal norms of the day. The women of "Fried Green Tomatoes" and the Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis characters of "Steel Magnolias" are offered up as evidence of what I mean.

Lynn's Paradise Cafe is a wonderfully whimsical, delightfully unexpected work of over-the-top artistic kitsch. That the food tends to be very, very good (although not by any means great), creatively presented in large quantities, is a bonus.

We used to love to go there when we lived in Louisville...for two reasons. First, we truly did like the food, on occasion, as a lazy Sunday brunch-ish kind of reward. It was that wonderful combination you yearn for at times, having a huge, vegetable-stuffed Bloody Mary as an appetizer, then something unforgivable like syrupy French Toast and cheese grits, and loll around all afternoon in stuporus satiety.

Second, we loved to take visitors there, because it was so unexpected. Describing it never did it justice; the out-of-towners had to see it to beleive it.

But I always saw Lynn as the P.T. Barnum of the Paradise Cafe. She was neither the artist who conceived and created the place nor the Chef who maintained the kitchen. She was always the front person, the visible character, the impresario.

The Cafe is a fun place to eat. It's not by any means an outstanding gourmet destination, though. Wholly agree with Robin on his assessment there.

(And apropos of nothing, I'd generally root for anyone that was competing with Bobby Flay. He's one of those characters who just automatically rubs me the wrong way.)
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Re: Hey Robin -- any insights on Lynn's Paradise Cafe?

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:18 pm

Hoke wrote:.

(And apropos of nothing, I'd generally root for anyone that was competing with Bobby Flay. He's one of those characters who just automatically rubs me the wrong way.)


My momma always said "If you don't have something good to say about someone, let it fly!"

Bobby Flay is a penile appendage.
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