J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Soul Food - Lonnie's Best Taste of Chicago

Step into Lonnie’s  ( 121 St. Matthews Ave, 40207) and you’ll feel as if you were somehow transported to a cramp and busy New York/Chicago diner, the kind of place where only the locals know about and its delicious goodness is your secret alone.  You order at the counter and they make it right there behind the bar where you can see it.  It’s a family owned and operated business so the level of commitment to service and food is evidenced.  The people are nice and the service quick, regulars and owners know each other by name. 

This is not primarily a soul food place, they offer soul food only on Wednesdays but I want to include it because I like everything else about it so much.  The main attractions here are the hotdogs and sandwiches.  On the menu are 6 types of hotdogs and Italian beef sausages, burgers, gyros and other special items like poboys and chicken dishes.

I love that Clark Street hot dog has large pieces of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and relish.  Pair that with gooey melted cheese and chili on top of freshly made fries and your crappy day will magically be better.  The best part is the hot dog is only $3.59 and the fries only $2.49, great for a cheap and quick meal.


Soul food is on the specials menu on Wednesdays only.  You’ll have to come early or it’ll go quick.  I came at around 1:30 p.m. one Wednesday and luckily grabbed the very last portion.  The special that day was fried pork chops, greens, cornbread and sweet yams for around $8.  The pork chops was huge, battered and then deep fried, drizzled on top with a lightly sweet and sour reddish sauce.  That sauce made all the difference, adding flavors to an otherwise simple pork dish.  I wasn’t a big fan of the cornbread as it was a little dry or the overly sweet yams (keep in mind though that I don’t like sweets).  The greens here is my favorite of all the places I’ve tried.  It was simple but flavored just right to bring out the unique taste of the collard greens.  Top that off with chopped tomatoes and you get a perfectly simple and delicious side dish.

The place is small and the parking can be tricky.  The lot in the back is a bit tight and you’ll have to park at your own risk at nearby businesses with their “customers only” signs.

The owners are African American and came here from Chicago in the 1990s so you know you’re getting the authentic Chicago dog and diner experience.  I love that the food here is simple, good and cheap.  The atmosphere is laid back and the owners neighborly.  I look forward to other soul food Wednesdays but I’m also perfectly happy with hotdogs and fries all the other days of the week.

Lonnie's Best Taste of Chicago
121 St. Mathews Ave
Louisville, KY 40207

Monday - Friday , 11 a.m. -  7 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
$9 and under
Parking in the back, street or on lots of nearby businesses