The $10 Challenge: Lilly’s — A Kentucky Bistro

Photo courtesy of Southern Food Alliance via Flickr.

First, an apology to Lilly’s — A Kentucky Bistro.

I had dismissed this upscale Highlands restaurant long before my first visit this week.

Lilly’s evaded my list of future blog subjects because of my prejudices against the more tony qualities of this establishment — crisp tablecloths, reservations recommended, even an endorsement from Emeril Lagasse. This type of fine dining seemed out of my reach. I had resigned myself to the fact that my budget is more suited toward casual eateries, diners and cafés.

Lilly’s lunch menu, however, revived my faith that fine dining at affordable prices is attainable in Louisville — as long as you have time for lunch.

A midday meal is a gateway into the fancier side of eating in our fair city. Check out the lunch menus of some of the big-name restaurants — Proof on Main, Bristol Bar and Grille, and Equus & Jack’s Lounge, to name a few. A $10 bill goes a long way between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Lilly’s is no exception. The restaurant provides a respectable selection of food on its lunch menu that will please the dollar-conscious diner and provide an accurate impression of what evening meals there have to offer.

The prix fixe lunch alone is a frugal way to sample a selection of Lilly’s cuisine. During my lunch this week, the prix fixe included vichyssoise, seared ruby red trout on eggplant and sherry salad topped with gremolata, and dulce de leche cheesecake. This is three courses of food I’ve only seen on Top Chefand it was just $16.

The prix fixe and other lunch menu items combine Southern tastes with French staples. I was tempted to try the Kentucky pulled pork barbecue sandwich made with local pork piled on a pretzel bun ($9) or the crepes ($9), a savory dish of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, Gruyere cheese and shrimp.

After a chewing on a couple of slices of warm bread (it was so good, my friends and I ate two plates of it), I settled on the grilled croque-monsieur with Gruyere cheese, Béchamel sauce, Preacher Ham, caramelized onions and bacon ($8). In $10 Challenge terms, this was a fancy, hot, ham-and-cheese sandwich, a dish that began with as proudly French and ended in down-home Southern charm thanks to the addition of Kentucky ham and onions.

The taste of the croque-monsieur lingered on my mind and tongue for the rest of the work day. My infatuation began with the bread, two crunchy slices thick enough to hold the pile of pork and dairy. Then there was the salty bacon, thick cut and perfectly fatty. And the ham, salty hunks that were carefully arranged. And the onions, sweet rings of brown delight. And finally, the Bechamel, the sticky sauce that married the ingredients together into the best sandwich I’ve ever tasted. The Béchamel combined with the Gruyere and oozed from the corners of the bread and coated my mouth as I chewed. Its creaminess balanced the rough texture of the ham and bacon and took the sandwich to a level of perfection I had never experienced at lunch.

The croque-monsieur was a dream.

Unfortunately, my camera on my phone froze before I could take a picture of my dish. But no worries — I will return to Lilly’s, and I will have the croque-monsiuer again.

It turns out that I can afford another lunchtime trip. I just hope Lilly’s accepts my apology.

Lilly’s — An American Bistro, 1147 Bardstown Road, Louisville

Grilled croque-monsieur: $8

Water: $0

Total (with tax): $8.48

Mission: Accomplished

How to survive Louisville Mayor Fischer’s food truck lunches

It was a beautiful day for a food truck gathering.

The good news: Through at least October, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is promoting monthly, lunchtime food truck roundups near city hall.

The bad news: This event can go from awesome to awful in about two seconds if you’re not prepared.

Fischer promoted the first of these events in April. Food trucks from across the land lined Jefferson and Sixth streets surrounding Metro Hall and served mobile eats to downtown diners. It went over so well that Fischer promoting the whole she-bang each month, the Courier-Journal reports.

The next gathering takes place today from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. At least nine trucks will be there.

I was at the first food truck lunch, as were what seemed like a third of people who work downtown. There was just too much goodness happening to keep people away. There were about a dozen food trucks in one convenient location. But with the crowds comes the pain of long lines and growling stomachs.

I will go to at least one more of these food truck gatherings while the weather is nice. But here are some lessons I learned from my first visit:

  • Don’t come hungry. I stood in line for about 30 minutes to place an order at San Diego Sandwich Works. Then I waited another 10 for them to prepare my order (which was DELISH, by the way). If I hadn’t had my usual mid-morning snack, my stomach would have started sounding like a Barry White melody. And speaking of …
  • Clear your schedule in the half hour before and after lunch. Add up the time from above. I spent about 40 minutes just waiting, which left 20 minutes of travel and eat time. I’m sure things will speed up as the food truck employees learn to work such a large crowd. But if they don’t, and number of customers grows, you better learn how to walk and eat.
  • Use your time wisely. Avoid the peak noon to 1 p.m. lunch hour. Consider taking your lunch at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.
  • Prepare for the elements. Bring sunglasses, an umbrella and something you can MacGyver into a fan.
  • You probably won’t eat with your work friends. With so many choices, a group of more than three people is not going to agree on one location at which to get food. It’s every white-collar worker for himself.
  • Have a second, third and fourth option ready. Yes, the lines are long, but some longer than others. If the wait for your favorite place is just ungodly, try to go there the next month and move on.
  • Carry cash. Don’t be the person who waits until they’re at the ordering window to ask, “Do you take cards?” Because if they don’t, you’re going to be pissed and you’ll have to either wait all over again at a place that does take cards or find an ATM. You don’t have time for all that. Better safe with cash than sorry and hungry.
  • Study the menus before you go or while you’re in line. This is similar to the “carry cash” tip. Don’t wait until the last minute to make a decision. You had TWENTY MINUTES to decide what you wanted to eat. Dawdling at the front of the line will only draw scowls and passive-aggressive sighs.
  • If all else fails, head to Fourth Street. My work buddy and I both got San Diego Sandwich Works last month. Immediately after the cashier took his order, the truck had to shut down for the day because they ran out of food. The people behind my buddy were LIVID. In that situation, you might as well walk down to Fourth Street, the closest street with a variety of food options that can get you back in the office on time.

Three things I have learned about food and office jobs

 

I recently started a new job working for The Man. 

It’s only taken me a week to realize that The Man sure loves eatin’.

I work at Humana, the most traditional work environment that I’ve ever been a part of. And these office people love food. LOVE. IT. And I love them for loving food as much as I do.

Here are three observations I’ve made during my week at the company about the role that food plays in corporate America:

  1. Forget breakfast. Lunch is the most important meal of the day. The lunch hour is the glimmer of hope that gets you through the morning and lulls you into a pleasant stupor that lasts the rest of the day. Deliberations begin as early as 10 a.m. with across-the-cubicle rumblings: “Did you bring your lunch today?” “Want to go get something?” “Where should we go today?” “Think Linda will want to come, too?” In less than two hours, a good-sized crew has formed to head out for their midday meal. And you take the full hour. Oh, yes, you take the full hour.
  2. There are always free (and usually unhealthy) goodies to snack on throughout the day. This week, I found myself popping peanut butter M&Ms into my mouth one by one for 10 minutes straight. Why? Because they were there. BECAUSE FOOD IS ALWAYS THERE. I define “there” as a common table in the break room, your supervisor’s desk, or any other slab of space with free food up for grabs. There’s always one co-worker nice enough to bring snacks to share with the office and thwart any intentions you had of eating healthy.
  3. Any occasion is a reason for food. New person on staff? Doughnuts for everybody. Someone’s switching departments? A departure cake in company colors. End of a productive year? Bring in Qdoba for a lunch celebration. This all happened during my first week. In five days, I have eaten more sweets in celebration than I have all holiday season. AND I LOVED IT.

I know some of my readers work in similar settings. What are some observations you have made about food and office jobs?

 

 

Potbelly Sandwich Shop opens today in Louisville

Potbelly Sandwich Shop was one of the contributors to the expansion of my own belly while I lived in Washington, D.C., which is why I’m so excited that this eatery is opening its first Louisville location today.

Potbelly serves hot sandwiches baked fresh to order and cold treats like milkshakes that are perfect for the lunch crowd. There was a Potbelly just a few blocks from my D.C. workplace, so I became a frequent customer. What other sandwich shops slide a little butter cookie onto the straw of their milkshakes?

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

302 S. Fourth Street, Louisville, Ky.

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday

Guest $10 Challenge: Big River BBQ at Harley’s Main Street Tavern

(Blogger’s note: This is Ashlee Eats’ first guest $10 Challenge from reader Matt Ruben. Want to get in on the fun? Here’s how.)

Like most of the businesses along this stretch of Whiskey Row, Harley’s is relatively new. Catacorner from the KFC/Yum! Center, it’s situated where a former blues bar, Zena’s Cafe, lived for many years. It’s easy to miss as a lunch option, with the flashier quartet of Patrick O’Shea’s, Doc Crow’s, Bearno’s and Los Aztecas across the street. But if you’re like me, you have an inner radar that sniffs out bars. And this bar does have a kitchen. Much like Denny Crum’s name adorns the court at Freedom Hall, Harley’s kitchen is the Big River BBQ.

It’s been my experience that bar food has a better chance of being good when the menu is smaller, and the Big River menu is nothing if not brief. There are a several lighter options like onion rings and soup, but for a full meal, your choices are pretty well narrowed to a meat sandwich – pulled pork, chicken, or brisket – with a choice of sides. Spare ribs or the bourbon brownie are an option if you aren’t restricted to a $10 tab. Plenty of tap options and a full bar for the happier hour crowd.

The pulled pork comes undressed on plain white toast, which is nice, since it gives you the option of trying several sauces on the table. The basic sauce is tangy and a little smoky, with options varying in the amount of heat they provide. My pork meat was maybe a little lean, but not too dry. Sadly, no vinegar-based sauces for this Carolina boy, but I know better than to expect that. My side of fries was pretty standard. The slaw was the one disappointment, standard cafeteria-style-in-a-jar. It’s as though they were trying to hide the cabbage. But the main act, the barbecue, was fine for the price. On the whole, a satisfying and casual lunch.

It definitely meets my criteria for a good business lunch in that service is quick and portions are reasonable (not too big, not too small). Traffic was light on the day I came, but my food was on the table less than 10 minutes after I ordered, and I paid the bill and was out the door in well under 30. The servers were very friendly. My waitress was experimenting with dissolving a sweet tart in some vodka, in fact. You’ll have to ask her how that turned out, since I never did stick around for the ending.

I’m always surprised at how much space there is in these old brick buildings. Ceilings are probably 15 feet high. Seating is plentiful and unpretentious, and there are pool tables and TV sets. But no one would mistake Harley’s for a dive bar either. I like the old Actor’s Theater headshots that line the walls. The waitress told me they used to decorate the walls at Zena’s, so they kept them.

The Stats:
Big River BBQ at Harley’s Main Street Tavern, 122 W. Main St., Louisville, Ky.
A sandwich plus two sides: $7-8 (lunch or dinner, tax included)
Total (with sweet tea): $9
Mission: Accomplished

The $10 Challenge: Bunz Burgerz

A bison burger, fries and a side of Bunz sauce at Bunz Burgerz.

The only thing more aggravating than replacing a perfectly good “s” with a “z” in a restaurant name is waiting for an hour for your food at aforementioned burger restaurant.

Unfortunately, these are the things that I remember the most about my first visit to Bunz Burgerz on Baxter Avenue. My burger, though it was indeed delicious, wasn’t tasty enough make me forget all of the kinks that dampened my inaugural trip to a place voted “Best of Louisville” burger.

Groupon introduced me to Bunz Burgerz with a deal that allowed participants to buy $10 worth of food at the restaurant for just five bucks. I can’t miss a deal like that in my current economic state, so I purchased the Groupon and planned a Saturday lunch trip with two of my friends.

I was prepared to indulge in a good ol’ American burger made of local ingredients. Autumn, one of my dining companions, bought the maximum three Groupons to Bunz Burgerz because she liked it so much. And some online menu studying revealed that this restaurant provided many options to jazz up any hamburger.

Bunz Burgerz offers a list of Gourmet Bunz starting at $4.99. This portion of the menu features the restaurant’s original creations, such as the Blue State Bunz with two patties, blue cheese, pickles and Bunz sauce ($6.79) and the Highland Bunz with a single patty, feta cheese, fried capers, chopped olive blend and mayo.

The control freaks can build their own burgers with a variety of veggies, sauces and cheeses. And Bunz Burgerz tries to please lots of diets with a Portabella Bunz ($4.89), Salmon Bunz ($5.79) or Turkey Bunz ($5.89).

(Side note: My left pinky is about to go numb from reaching down for the “z” button so much.)

I decided what I wanted before I arrived at Bunz Burgerz. A Saturday lunch rush in a tiny eatery is not the ideal time or place for contemplating a menu’s options.

Bunz Burgerz is a four-tables-and-two-counters-sized joint. When I arrived at about 1 p.m., the dining area was filled with a line of people waiting to order, folks chomping away at delicious-looking burgers and onion rings at the few coveted tables, and individuals tucked in tiny places with their arms crossed waiting for their order.

After I ordered a Bison Bunz ($5.99) with pepperjack cheese (49 cents), lettuce and tomato, fries and a drink ($2.89), my two friends and I squeezed to a window-side counter with no chairs to wait for our order. Between teaching one another about our new Android phones, we table stalked, aka stared at patrons eating at other tables grasping for signs that they will leave soon. Eventually, we migrated to a table with only two chairs as the previous eaters were throwing away their trash. Then, after seeing that one member of our trio was left without a seat, a woman who just finished our meal offered us her soon-to-be-empty three-top.

An hour passed, and my friends and I were still burger-less. A trickle of hungry patrons went to the counter to ask about the progress of their order. Bunz Burgerz only had two people working at the restaurant – the cook and the cashier. They were generous with their apologies, but this duo wasn’t enough to effectively serve a busy Saturday lunch crowd in one of the most happening corridors in town.

About 70 minutes into my visit to Bunz Burgerz, bison burger was in hand, then in mouth.

My first eager bite.

The upside to waiting at the restaurant is that each burger is made to order. My bison burger, a leaner take on a traditional beef patty, was piping hot, as were the heap of fries beneath it. My patty was slightly pink in the center, which kept the burger from drying out. The bison appeared to be pre-patted, as opposed to the freshly formed patties of my friends’ beef burgers. But it was still a dang good burger without a lot of bells and whistles. And pepperjack is always a good road to take to Burgertown if the option is available. All this was perched on a soft sesame seed bun that was buttered and toasted.

The Bunz sauce, which I got in a container on the side, really spiced up my burger. It’s a mayo-based condiment with chipotle seasoning, which gave it a pink hue and a spicy kick. It was also good for fry dipping.

My buddies, who ordered the Red State Bunz (two patties, spicy pickles, pepperjack cheese, grilled jalapenos, grilled onions, hot sauce and mayo, $6.69) and a Single Bunz ($3.89), were just as pleased with their meals, if not more. The beef patties were juicy and thick. But waiting an hour for some meat between two pieces of bread is asking a lot from me.

Will I return to Bunz Burgerz? Probably so. My burger was good. My fries were crispy. My dipping sauce was delicious.

A restaurant is allowed to have off days. I believe in such things as an overwhelmed staff and doling out second chances. But I also believe that going to Bunz Burgerz on a weekday is the way to go.

Notes on Bunz Burgerz

  • When you enter the restaurant, a partial menu is located straight ahead on the lower part of the counter. Laminated copies of the full menu are on the counter. If you don’t know what you want, please step to the side or step outside – space is tight.
  • The restaurant offers Bunz of the Day, which can get pretty interesting. The special on my visit was a burger with chili and sour cream, among other toppings.

Bunz Burgerz, 969 1/2 Baxter Ave., Louisville, Ky.

  • Bison Bunz: $5.99
  • Pepperjack cheese: 49 cents
  • Lettuce, tomato, Bunz sauce: Free
  • Combo (addition of fries and a drink): $2.89
  • Total (with tax): $9.33
  • Groupon Total: $5
Mission: Accomplished

The $10 Challenge: The Cafe

(Blogger’s note: Congratulations to Rob E., who correctly guessed this week’s Challenge location.)

Broccoli cheddar soup from The Café.

My introduction to The Café began like a bad Abbott and Costello routine

Rob: We should go to The Café one day.

Me: Which café?

Rob: No, The Café.

Me: OK … But which café?

This went on for another five minutes before I figured out that The Café is a proper noun. More specifically, The Café is a cozy breakfast and lunch spot off Broadway and Barrett in Louisville.

I’m in this area a lot, but seem to miss the prime dining hours (7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday). Apparently, I’ve been missing a lot of goodness.

Rob and I arrived as the servers were still wrapping utensils in paper napkins and stacking menus. The dining area was as welcoming as the slightly harried but helpful staff. The restaurant feels like stepping into your cooky aunt’s living full of eclectic art, fresh flowers and rainbow table umbrellas. The atmosphere provides a great escape from the hassles of the workday, if you can manage to get away from the office for a bit.

The lunch menu, though not as quirky as the decor, is enough to keep your interest. This menu is built on a foundation of mid-priced, basic soups, salads and sandwiches that you would expect to find at a neighborhood deli – and I mean that as a huge compliment. Some classics include the chef salad ($8.45), a roast beef sandwich (called the Early American, $7.95) and a pimento cheese sandwich (called the Victorian, $7.25). But The Café throws in some interesting combos, such as The Renaissance with salami, ham, Swiss cheese and homemade olive relish ($7.95) and the BLT with guacamole (the Art Deco, $7.95).

The best values at The Café are in the combinations section of the menu. These options, which start at $8.25, are available for folks dining in and people taking box lunches to go. The combinations come with some mix of a whole or half sandwich, side dishes and a cookie. A combo seemed more appealing than just getting a sandwich, which only comes with one side.

While I studied the menu, I munched on slices of French bread that had been taunting me since I sat down. The bread was baby-bottom soft and irresistible with a smear of butter. I would’ve taken a picture, but those crabs disappeared down my pie hole too quickly.

After I wiped the many crumbs off my mouth, I settle on combination #3, a half sandwich with soup, one side item and a cookie. I went with the Country Chicken Salad sandwich, broccoli-cheddar soup (the soup of the day) and a fruit cup.

The number 3.

The soup, which preceded the rest of the lunch combo, was some of the creamiest broccoli-cheddar soup I’ve ever eaten. Chunks of broccoli were swimming throughout the soup. It made me wish that I had some of that aforementioned French bread to dip into the soup. But alas, it was gone.

The heat of the soup was immediately cooled by the crisp chicken salad sandwich. Bits of apple, grapes and pecans were scattered throughout this mayo-based concoction. The salad sat atop a slice of a gala apple and some lettuce. From the wheat bread to the smallest bit of pecan, this sandwich was one of the best I had ever had. The fruit sweetened the salad while the pecans added just enough saltiness to balance the flavors. And the folks in the kitchen were generous with the chicken salad – a fork was necessary to eat the entire thing.

I didn’t think the meal could get any better. Then I ate the cookie.

See those humps? Those are chocolate chips. YUM.

Holy cannoli, that was a moist, chocolate-y treat.

The Café is worth many return visits. Though the prices teeter toward the higher end of a $10 Challenge budget, the food easily justifies spending more than 10 bucks.

The Stats:

The Café, 712 Brent Street, Louisville, Ky.

  • Lunch combination #3 – Half of a Country Chicken Salad sandwich, broccoli-cheddar soup, a fruit cup and a cookie: $8.45
  • Total (with tax and tip): $10.30
Mission: Failed (but completely worth it)


The $10 Challenge: FireFresh BBQ

The chicken tender special from FireFresh BBQ. There are chicken tenders under there, I promise.

I try to be a leader.

But when it comes to food, I am just a sheep following something shiny.

My latest $10 Challenge at FireFresh BBQ is a prime example of this follower-not-leader phenomenon that only strikes when I’m hungry.

I recently went to FireFresh’s downtown Louisville franchise, which is located on a Challenge-friendly block that includes Dish on Market and Chop Shop Salads.

FireFresh’s menu offers a lot of ‘cue. Specifically, a lot of meat. There’s pulled pork, pulled chicken, marinated pork, brisket, rib tips and ribs. Not into ‘cue? Then there’s fish and chicken tenders. You can get your meat on a salad (pulled pork or pulled chicken salad, $6.49; chicken tender salad, $6.99). You can get it on a sandwich, which comes in three sizes – rookie, regular and Big Bruce (starting at $3.49). And there’s enough sampler platters, combos and dinners to satisfy your hunger no matter what time of the day and level of hunger you might have. On top of all this meat, there’s 11 different side dishes that range from green beans to mac and cheese to cinnamon apples. The selection makes it easy for everyone to find something to love.

Conventional wisdom told me to order something, well, barbecued. If there’s a specific food or drink mentioned in the name of a restaurant, it’s wise to order just that (see Hillbilly Tea).

Instead, I did exactly as the customer in front of me — I ordered the chicken tender plate, the special of the day that included tenders, two sides, Texas toast and a drink for $6.99. This dish is one of the few things on FireFresh’s menu that isn’t barbecued, which seems like a bad decision to make at a barbecue joint.

Fortunately, my choice to follow a leader led to a delicious, filling lunch.

When I got back to the office to eat lunch, I opened my container and was greeted with a bounty of skinny fries that hid most of the chicken tenders. I’m usually opposed to such thin fries that demand to be eaten in bunches, but these were spicy and hot, so I quickly forgave their waif-like figures. When I first bit into one of the fries, my eyes widened and I said to no one in particular, “Hel-looo.” They were that good, y’all.

The country coleslaw that was my second side was very creamy as the cashier said it would be. The slaw had a tasty, sweet flavor to it, but the sauce that covered the cabbage was too thick for my taste. Next time, I might try the sweet vinegar coleslaw, which the cashier said is a lot lighter.

The Texas toast had a thick layer of butter in its center that overpowered the bread. This much butter would probably earn the Paula Deen seal of approval, but I could do without it.

Eventually, I got to the chicken tenders buried beneath the fries. The dinner only came with three tenders, but each were thick-cut breast meat that were battered and fried. The tenders were juicy and covered with just a thin coat of batter, a huge improvement from the tenders I’ve had from fast-food restaurants that taste more like flour than chicken. They were just spicy enough to be interesting, but basic enough to please a lot of folks.

My meal came with two to-go containers of the barbecue sauce of my choice, the Sweet and Tangy, in which I dipped the chicken and fries. I can imagine buying a bottle of that stuff and putting it on everything I own.

I was glad that I followed the woman in front of me in ordering the special. I got a lot of food for little money, and for the most part, it was pretty darn good. Others seemed to prefer following, as well – the guy behind me in line ordered the special, too.

Notes about FireFresh BBQ

  • The restaurant offers specials throughout the week. Follow them on Twitter to see the daily specials.
  • FireFresh sells bottles of their various barbecue sauces in the restaurant.
  • If you go to the downtown location, avoid the crowds by visiting closer to 1 p.m. when the lunch crowd begins to thin.

The Stats

FireFresh BBQ, 211 S. 5th Street, Louisville, Ky. (two other locations at 8610 Dixie Highway, Louisville, Ky. and 81 Jeanie Drive, Shelbyville, Ky.)

  • Chicken tender plate with soft drink, seasoned fries, coleslaw and Texas toast: $6.99
  • Total (with tax): $7.41

Mission: Accomplished


You have two hours to get free Chick-fil-A french fries March 4

The Chick-fil-A waffle fry. Photo courtesy jronaldlee via Flickr.

Hungry? Got nothing to do on Friday afternoon?

Chick-fil-A is offering a free medium order of french fries between 2 and 4 p.m. Friday. The restaurant is promoting the new Heinz Dip and Squeeze packets.

From Business First of Louisville:

The freebie is part of a promotion to get customers to try Heinz’s new ketchup packets, which aren’t traditional packets at all … It holds three times as much as the old-fashioned packets and is designed for dipping or squeezing, leaving it up to the user to decide how to get the all-important ketchup to mingle with their fries.

The Heinz packets are indeed magical. Mama Eats treated me to some Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago, and the packs are wide enough for optimal waffle fry dipping. Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

And speaking of Chick-fil-A, check out this insightful article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the company.

The $10 Challenge: Spinelli’s Pizzeria

(Blogger’s note: This is a restaurant that multiple people have recommended. Think you know of a better place? Let me know.)

There’s a few foods and restaurants that can drive a woman to gluttony.

Baked Cheetos maintains a high post on the list of items that will drive me to eat in excess, as does Mama Eats’ spaghetti and oatmeal-raisin cookies.

Last week, Spinelli’s Pizzeria triggered a voracity in my appetite not seen since I discovered Five Guys in 2007.

Exhibit A:

Leave this to the professionals, kids.

And it even has the same effect on others. Exhibit B:

 

The future Mr. Ashlee Eats. See why I keep him around?

Now let’s talk about what drove me to such un-ladylike behavior.

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