Friday, June 16, 2006

The Kitchen Sink - Louisville

This past week of eating has been overwhelmingly healthy due to the precious week’s gorge fest that was Louisville. With so many fantastic stops on my southern eating tour, there were too many incredible restaurants to write about. So instead of just picking one, I’ve decided to give you a taste of Louisville, or what I like to call, The Kitchen Sink.

There is no greater find on the road than a “chef’s chef” restaurant, one of those places that every chef, cook and dishwasher goes to eat after they knock off from work. These establishments are usually raucous places, filled with little pretension, stiff drinks and incredible food. One of these fantastic institutions is Lynn’s Paradise Café, a flamboyant café full of so much flare and knickknacks that it makes Friday’s look like a prison. Lynn Winters, the founder and owner, has been providing chefs and common folk alike huge plates of southern delicacies, like Fried Green Tomato BLTs, sine the early 1990s. If you can only make it there for one meal, I would recommend brunch. It’s a tough choice between the spicy Bloody Mary (home made mix) or the bubbly Mimosa, but it’s almost impossible to choose between the Bourbon Ball French Toast and the Louisville Country Scramble. The formers is an overly whelming sweet plate of golden bread, covered in bourbon custard, bourbon whip cream and drizzled in chocolate; while the latter is savory mix of salty country ham, rich Jarlesberg cheese, fluffy eggs and topped with fried, jalapeno onions. Don’t forget to save room for the biscuits with Sorghum butter and the macaroni and cheese (an Oprah favorite). In other words, plan on spending a good two hours there, eating, drinking and watching your stomach grow.

Another must have with any trip down to the south is barbeque. As many of you know, I have unreasonably high standards for this type of food (you can blame the Saltlick for this). Luckily enough we did our research and came across Juciy’s, an East-Texas styled BBQ joint located about thirty minutes outside of town. Troy, the modest and soft-spoken owner, opened up shop about ten years ago and has been cooking slow and low ever since. When we asked for a sampling of their best food, they literally brought out everything on the menu. With the exception of the brisket (which I had read was hit or miss) everything was fantastic. The ribs, pulled pork and chopped beef were phenomenally sweet, salty and beyond tender. And if you like turkey and ham, forget about it, cause Mom never gave me lunch-meats as moist and succulent as this. I barely touched the sides to due the massive intake of meat, but I did save room for the apple cobbler, which oozed butter and crumbled deliciousness all over my taste buds. They don’t serve alcohol, and I’m not sure about their BOYB policy, but it doesn’t really matter because their sweet tea will take your breath away. Honestly, this place was just as good as the ‘Lick and worth the drive out.

Finally, if you’re in the south, you have to eat fried food. The best places to indulge are usually dives found off the side of the highway, places where if one were to ask “Excuse me, but do you fry with zero trans fat oil?” you could run the risk of getting a shotgun pulled on you. On our way to the Maker’s Mark Distillery (a must visit for any bourbon fan) we stopped off at the Rooster Run General Store for some southern delicacies. While my friends dined on fried bologna sandwiches and chicken fried steak, I ordered the mac ‘n’ cheese and the fried pork tenderloin sandwich, which was served on a wheat roll with lettuce tomato and a couple of thick slice of American cheese. The mac ‘n’ cheese was more of a creamy soup than a pasta dish, but the sandwich was pitch perfect roadside, southern cuisine: fried crispy meat, soft processed cheese and unhealthy amounts of creamy mayonnaise. Also, no stop at the Rooster Run General Store is complete without the purchase of their incredible t-shirts or mesh caps.

All in all, my trip to Louisville was sprinkled with a type of self-indulgent, unhealthy eating that I hadn’t experienced since my college days. To counter balance that, I filled this past week with a healthy mix of fruits, salads and horse-pill sized vitamins. Now only if those vitamins were deep fried…

Lynn's Paradise Cafe is located at 984 Barret Ave in Louisville, KY.
Juicy's is located at 7626 New Lagrange Rd in Pee Wee, KY.
Rooster Run General Store is located at 6515 New Shepherdsville Road in Rooster Run, Kentucky.


Post a Comment

<< Home