Galaxie Bar’s food is worth the stop in NuLu — and the margaritas are good, too. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Galaxie Bar is one of those places that, if I still worked downtown, I’d have gotten to 10 times by now. But I don’t, so I hadn’t. In fact, I hadn’t checked out the food even once. Having finally done so recently, I’m a bit sorry it took me this long.

While I know it primarily as a music venue, I’ve also heard good things about the cocktails and seen good online reviews about the food. Now I know why. The flatbread tacos, while a bit pricey at $6 each, are delicious.

Wakamole and house-made chips | Photo by Kevin Gibson

I stopped in for lunch, starving, and decided to sit at the bar, even though it was a nice day with plenty of outside seating. The modern space in the Green Building on East Market, formerly the home of La Coop Bistro, is small but welcoming.

I perused the menu for a few moments and soon decided to try the house margarita (served with a Silly Straw for fun effect), while starting with an order of Wakamole, Galaxie Bar’s answer to guacamole.

It was a perfect pairing, with the clean, citrusy margarita playing nicely with the salty and somewhat spicy house-made chips.

The guacamole, meanwhile, was fresh, mildly chunky and topped with cilantro, pickled onion and feta cheese. The guacamole was fairly mild but satisfying, and the mild feta made for a fine touch as well. It wasn’t a large order for the 7-buck price tag, but a quality, savory bar treat nevertheless.

Next I chose a couple of tacos, or Wakatakas as they are called on the succinct Galaxie menu, and it wasn’t an easy decision. Some tempting choices include chipotle chicken, Baja fish and even a fried egg version that also includes sweet potatoes. That one has to be a late-night favorite for concert-goers.

Instead, I went for the spicy chorizo and Thai shrimp. Starting with the chorizo, I immediately noted the soft-yet-sturdy, house-made “Galaxie bread” (which is somewhere between a pita and roti). The big chunks of chorizo, as opposed to the finely ground stuff usually served in a taco-esque manner, were an interesting touch, while pickled onion, cilantro and chunks of pineapple made this one present well and taste pretty amazing.

Spicy chorizo Wakataka | Photo by Kevin Gibson

The chorizo wasn’t the spiciest I’ve ever tasted, but it was ample and filling and blended wonderfully with the citrus and onion.

And while the Galaxie bread certainly held up far better than a couple of flimsy corn tortillas, as with any chorizo taco, my fingers ended up partially dyed orange by the time I had finished devouring this version.

In short, it left me wanting more, which is why I’m glad I got the shrimp taco. Three medium-sized shrimp were the focus, but most of the flavor came from the plentiful and thick Thai curry sauce, which wasn’t terribly spicy but kicked enough to be noticed. Red peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers and avocado crema also adorned this taco-meets-sandwich, although the cilantro that topped it was decidedly stalk-heavy.

Thai shrimp Wakataka | Photo by Kevin Gibson

But that was my only small complaint, as the Thai curry version of the Galaxie Wakatakas was just as satisfying as the chorizo.

Unfortunately, I’d run out of room for food. So I ordered another margarita. If it’s worth the side-trip downtown for the Wakatakas, it’s certainly worth it for one of those margaritas. And I noticed too late that there’s a spicy version, so I’ll save that for next time.

Inspired by international street food — everything was served to me in generic cardboard boats — Galaxie is a sneaky and fun option in NuLu, where restaurants rule. It’s a worthy stop.

Galaxie Bar, located at 732 E. Market St., is open Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m.-1 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, noon-3 a.m.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]