Hello and happy Friday! This week’s #LocalFoodieFriday brings us to Oskar’s Slider Bar, a small Scandinavian bar and restaurant in the Audubon/Camp Taylor area near the Louisville Zoo. Right off Poplar Level, this place is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. It’s located in a small office-style building with not much of a roadside sign presence. However, after I went for lunch one day, I can promise that you’ll want to do everything you can to not miss it!
Oskar’s serves sliders, as advertised by the name. It’s the variety though that may surprise you. You order in a similar manner to a sushi restaurant; your waiter brings you a paper menu with a pencil, and you mark how many of each variety you’d like. It’s easy to let the spending get out of hand because the food is so good, but if you can have some self-control and not overeat, the prices are incredibly reasonable. The fare is American mixed with Scandinavian flavors, as the sliders range from your typical cheeseburger to the more adventurous gravlax (cured salmon on a rye cracker with dill and creme fraiche). Sides include fries, American or Swedish salads, or meatballs. While Louisville has a great diversity of cuisines in its restaurant scene, Scandinavian is a bit hard to find, so it’s refreshing to find for those that crave that type of food!
When I went, I was able to keep some self control and limit myself to three types of sliders: fried chicken with a ranch brine and a mustard-mayo, venison sausage with caramelized onions and sour cherry jam, and a house special brisket taco. Though I couldn’t fully resist adding a side of kale salad, the total was still well within my budget and the meal was very filling. The fried chicken slider was a great classic to start with. The chicken was juicy and the sharpness of the mustard was a pleasant surprise. The venison sausage was super unique. Salty, fatty, and well-spiced, the sharp sour cherry jam that came with it provided a nice contrasting flavor and mouthfeel. The taco was surprisingly great, coming from a place that normally doesn’t do tacos. The salsa went well with the brisket, which was well-seasoned and cooked brilliantly. And the kale salad? Tangy, fresh, and the perfect accompaniment to a meal that was heavier on the meat than I normally eat.
Aside from great food, Oskar’s has a full bar with a large draft beer offering. And, as if things couldn’t get any better, the owners also operate Smör Bakeri, billed as Louisville’s only Scandinavian bakery. A look through their website shows some gorgeous northern desserts, many of which I had never heard of before. Their prowess in baking contributes to the dessert options at the main restaurant, including rosettes (delicate fried cookies) and a weekly dessert special. Whether you come for the food, drink, or dessert, the owners of Oskar’s have got you covered!
I love finding unique spots within my city, and Oskar’s is doing something that no one else is. Where else in Louisville can you find Scandinavian-inspired food in a small bites format, letting you taste a smorgasbord of flavors? I was very happy that I sought this place out, and encourage everyone willing to try something different to do the same. I plan on going back to try the gravlax as part of my mission to train myself to like seafood. Oskar’s Slider Bar is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11AM-10PM, and is located at 3799 Poplar Level RD. I look forward to seeing you out there next time!
Thanks for reading, and here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living.