Little Jerusalem is a little oasis

If you don’t live in Okolona, Kentucky, Little Jerusalem might be a little pilgrimage. But it is well worth it.

Located in what was once a single family home off the Outer Loop, this gem of a restaurant offers many delicious options for Louisville’s vegetarians and vegans.

The lentil soup, laced with lemon juice, was the best I’ve ever had. The danger with lentils is that they can end up being way too bland and monotonous. The Little Jerusalem recipe adds other vegetables and perfect seasonings to avoid that pitfall.

I’m not going to play vegan gotcha, so you’ll have to inquire as to whether the lentil soup is, in fact, vegan or vegetarian.

The fattoush salad, a relatively simple dish of greens, tomatoes, herbs, and vinaigrette, was also carefully crafted and completely fresh.

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According to my taste buds, the hummus was made in house. No two home-made hummuses are ever exactly the same. The hummus and baba ganoush were beautifully presented with small pools of dressing and herbs.

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To me, the majadara, a dish of basmati rice and lentils, was too dry. If you get it, be sure to also order a side dish of grilled tomatoes. They were delicious and will help offset the dryness of the majadara.

Another highlight of my meal was the Arabian coffee, the same as Turkish coffee, my waitress explained. Turkish coffee is particularly robust and caffeine driven. After four small cups of that, I was ready to save the world. (Or at least post some new content.)

The coffee cups are delightful triangular ceramics, little works of art, really. They totally dolled up our place setting.

I found it interesting that Little Jerusalem started out near University of Louisville and then moved way, way out into the less elegant Louisville suburbs–without losing its loyal clientele.

The restaurant is thriving in its new location, despite what I assume is the loss of the student patronage. That speaks volumes about the qualify of food. Definitely good vegetarian value for the money.

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