Dressing for this winter weather makes me as miserable as the little squirt from “A Christmas Story.”
There are tights, socks, pants (preferably corduroy). A tank top, a long-sleeved blouse, a cardigan. Boots, down-feather coat, hat, scarf. Maybe another scarf for good measure. I look like a stuffed sausage by the time I’m fully clothed.
This routine makes me hesitate to venture outside, even to go out to eat. There are new restaurants I still haven’t tried (looking at you, El Camino) and favorite restaurants that I’ve missed (oh, Mussels & Burger Bar, I’ll be back as soon as I thaw) all because the cold brings out my inner curmudgeon.
God bless delivery people.
These folks take it to the streets to deliver the goods to weather wusses like me. I have a genuine admiration for the work they do to bring home a paycheck.
If you hate the cold like me, here are some places to consider for your next night in:
Oh, pizza. How I love you so. With all those toppings, you dominate the food groups. Bearno’s Pizza and Wick’s Pizza Parlor pile on the toppings Louisville-style with a layer of cheese on top. Depending on your choice of toppings, you might be tempted to eat a slice with a fork and knife (hint: don’t). Spinelli’s Pizzeria operates well through the night and into the morning (delivery until 4:30 a.m.!), should your cravings strike at odd hours.
Maybe the guy who answered the phone that day didn’t realize that my apartment is just slightly out of the delivery area for the Café Lou Lou in St. Matthews. Maybe he took pity on me. Either way, nothing beats a hot meatball sandwich at the door.
Café Lou Lou has a location in the Highlands along with the St. Matthews restaurant. Click here for information on delivery.
Baby D’s Bagel and Deli/Jimmy John’s
Baby D’s “will gladly deliver” its bagel sammiches to Downtown, UofL/Bellarmine Campus, St. Matthews, Clifton, Germantown, Butchertown, and of course, the Highlands,” where the deli is located. I’m not sure how glad Jimmy John’s is to deliver sandwiches, but they’re freaky fast about it.
Sometimes, I get by with a little help from my friends. These are friends who love food as much as I do and introduce me to their favorite places to eat in the city.
I have Jay and Renee Valentine, fellow bloggers/podcasters and past guests on Deliciously Louisville, to thank for introducing me to Stevens and Stevens Deli, a hidden gem of a lunch spot on Bardstown Road. The Valentines raved about this restaurants wide selection of sandwiches, tasty toppings and good prices and invited me to join them for an early weekday lunch. They had me at sandwiches.
I’ve driven or walked by Stevens and Stevens dozens of times without noticing this restaurant. I blame the odd restaurant/roommate situation. The deli shares a space with Ditto’s Grill near the busy intersection of Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive. The Ditto’s whimsical sign eclipses the simple Stevens and Stevens masthead on the front of the building. And the entrance to Stevens and Stevens is down a narrow parking lot toward the rear of the building’s left side. The relationship between these two restaurants gets even cozier inside. To my right, I had a clear view of the staff preparing the dining room of Dittos for the approaching lunchtime crowd. To the left, customers had started to pop in and order from the Stevens and Stevens counter and sit in the deli’s smaller dining area.
The selection at Stevens and Stevens is worthy of front-of-the-house attention. There are more than 50 types of sandwiches, which are all made to order right at the counter. There is a sandwich for everyone, and a quirky name to go with it. I’m a sucker for a fun menu. Here are some of my favorites:
Mr Ziegfeld Mr. Ziegfeld: rueben with corned beef, sauerkraut, Jarlsburg swiss cheese and Russian dressing
Hogs and Heffers: hot honey ham, applewood bacon and warmed pimento cheese
Arc de Fromage: grilled challah bread with Jarlsburg, cheddar, applewood bacon and tomato
Sleeps with the Fishes: hand-sliced lox from New York City, arugula, garden tomatoes, red onions, capers and mayo on toasted challah bread
Don’t worry, picky eaters — you can get plain ol’ sandwiches, too. But who wants a turkey on white when you can get a Dr. Zhivago (turkey, Russian slaw, and Jarlsburg swiss cheese)?
Stevens and Stevens also makes a variety of pasta and green salads and soups that you can pair with a sandwich, but are hearty enough to eat on their own.
The pick two options at the deli are wonderful for trying a little bit of everything they have to offer. Customers can two half portions of soup, salad or sandwich for $6.50 ($7.50 if you pick half of a specialty sandwiches, aka the ones with the fancy names). After much studying and fretting, I picked the Benowitz When in Doubt, a turkey sandwich with Chinese slaw, melted provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, and honeycup mustard on challah bread. I made it a pick two and paired my half sandwich with a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Half the reason I ordered the sandwich was the name; I was, after all, in doubt. But I was also intrigued by the addition of an allegedly crazy slaw to a turkey sandwich. The cabbage slaw, trapped under the melted provolone, was sweet and crunchy. The honey mustard slathered on top was tangy and matched the slight spicy kick from slaw perfectly. The stack of turkey was large enough to tango with these medley of flavors. And the challah bread? Dense, soft and heavenly.
The soup was full of chopped carrots, hunks of chicken and tender noodles. If I had a cup of this for every cold day, I would be a happy woman.
I owe the Valentines big time for introducing me to Stevens and Stevens. This deli quickly became one of my favorite places to grab a sandwich in Louisville. Now, I just need some friends to help me get through that sandwich selection.
Cold weather and a long line outside of The Main Eatery prompted my first visit to Atlantic No. 5, a new restaurant on Main Street in downtown Louisville.
Last Friday, I had my heart set on a tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich from The Main Eatery. It was the first cold Friday of the fall, so the line for other seekers of that legendary soup-and-sandwich combo was out the door and to the corner of the block.
It was 12:15. I didn’t have time for that.
Atlantic No. 5 was just a few doors down. I glanced inside and saw that the line was contained to the warm interior of the bistro. Customers hovered over cups of soup as they skimmed newspapers. A server walked around the counter with something that could pass for a grilled cheese. That was enough for me to give this restaurant a try.
Atlantic No. 5, named after those old-school lunch boxes that blue collar workers carried back in the day, comes from the mind of the same folks behind Rye on Market. From Insider Louisville:
Located at 605 W. Main Street, the new restaurant will be “very bistro like,” according to Michael Trager-Kusman, who said he and his partners sought to create a relaxed concept.
“We want it to be a place you come and go, stop and have a snack, a light dinner, a beer or a glass of wine,” said Trager-Kusman, who’s also seeking a full liquor license.
The dishes offer fresh takes on traditional Southern ingredients by pairing regional favorites with Eastern-inspired additions, such as a golden beet and couscous salad or the marble potato salad with turmeric-pickled cipollini. The rotisserie pork and beef meatball sandwiches also get a creative splash with the addition of broccoli rabe and carrot-cumin tomato sauce, respectively.
But is this a place where I can get a great soup and grilled cheese?
The menu items at Atlantic No. 5 are a la carte, which is French for, “We don’t do value meals here.” Sandwiches are $6 to $9, and a cup of soup (rustic tomato or coconut squash) is $5. I wasn’t on a $10 Challenge, but my bank account wasn’t in the mood for a $14 lunch. So I compromised with a grilled cheese sandwich ($8) and a bag of potato chips ($1.50).
The sandwich was made up of white cheddar, fontina and goat cheeses on country French bread with a balsamic-onion marmalade. Three creamy cheeses on one sandwich are good; a tart onion spread to cut some of the richness is even better. What the small sandwich lacked in size, it made up for in decadent ingredients.
The sandwich, and I imagine the rest of Atlantic No. 5’s menu, is something that I would order when it’s time to treat myself to a little bit of fancy to break up a work day. The price and size of the meal, however, will keep me from making this new downtown restaurant a regular lunchtime stop.
I guess the marriage of bacon and morning pastry at Dunkin’ Donuts was inevitable.
The chain first introduced the Glazed Breakfast Sandwich in April, Eater National reported. But only customers in Massachusetts got to try this sandwich made up of a fried egg and bacon between two glazed doughnuts.
But lest we not forget that Kentucky’s been doing this meat-and-doughnut sandwich thing for years.
I think I just finished digesting the doughnut cheeseburger I ate at the 2010 Kentucky State Fair. Even though the dish was pretty tasty, I don’t know if I have the gumption to eat another one this decade. But I’m willing to give DD’s version a whirl.
Will you try Dunkin’ Donuts’ new doughnut sandwich?
Live in Louisville, New Albany or Clarksville? Like sub sandwiches? Then today is your day, friends. Jimmy John’s, the “freaky fast” sandwich delivery company, will celebrate Customer Appreciation Day today, April 17, by offering $1 sandwiches at its Kentuckiana locations.
Here is the fine print: the offer only applies to sandwiches 1-6, and you have to order in store. Also, you have to buy your sandwich between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Click here to find more about this deal.
You still have one day to pledge your financial support to the Louisville Public Media spring membership drive. Technically, you can donate any time, but you get cool stuff during the fund drive. I was lucky enough to be a part of a volunteer group that Melissa, aka Loueyville, organized to work the phones Thursday night. Find out more about making a donation here.
Louisville Originals, a local-restaurant coalition, has filed a lawsuit against Asiatique co-owner Pabs Sembillo for alleged embezzlement. (Insider Louisville)
“Cunningham’s, a popular Fourth Street restaurant known primarily for oversized fish sandwiches, is listed for sale for $675,000, but the son of the owners says he may take over the store’s operation and remove it from the market.” Well, that’s clear as mud. (Courier-Journal)
Erika Chavez-Graziano, the owner of Cellar Door Chocolates, plans to open a restaurant in Butchertown Market called Jackknife. The restaurant, set to open in July, will serve brunch and lunch. (Insider Louisville)
A restaurant like Theresa’s doesn’t come along all the time. Neither does its breakfast special.
Theresa’s is a diner in Bowling Green that serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday; Sundays are reserved for the staff to spend time with “the Lord and their families,” the menu says. The smoking section takes up the majority of the restaurant, but the cloud of secondhand smoke inevitably wafts over to a non-smoker’s table as waitresses hustle by with full trays of orders. Because the doors close at 3 in the afternoon, the booths and tables are full of blue-collar workers still in cover-alls looking for breakfast after the first and third shifts.
Breakfast was my favorite thing about Theresa’s. They had this incredible breakfast special that I ordered every time I visited as a Western Kentucky University student. For four dollars and some change, you get biscuits and gravy or toast (but seriously, who chooses toast when biscuits and gravy is an option), your choice of a meat, two eggs any way you want them, and hash browns.
I’ve spent three years trying to find a dinner in Louisville that I love as much as Theresa’s.
Terri Ann’s is pretty close. It’s a diner in southwest Louisville, just down the street from the beauty shop my parents own. Terri Ann’s offers a hearty line-up of meat-centric Southern diner fare that will set you back well less than $10.
My dad comes in most Saturdays with a carry-out box filled to the edges with some kind of breakfast combo he’s picked up from Terri Ann’s.
“You want some of this?” he asks, mouth full of egg and potato.
Yes, Daddy, I indeed want some Terri Ann’s, I decided one Saturday.
Instead of picking out of my dad’s to-go box, I went down to the restaurant after my shampoo and set to enjoy an early lunch with Rob.
The diner lacks some of the charm of Theresa’s (the city’s smoking ban probably has a lot to do with that), but it’s just as unpretentious. Guests seat themselves in vinyl booths or small tables under the dull glow of fluorescent lights. Waitresses don’t wear uniforms – just T-shirts, jeans and a smile.
We started with a couple of mismatched mugs of coffee ($1.50). I wasn’t expecting Starbucks, but I wasn’t expecting the thin beverage I sipped. Even though it was the cheapest coffee I had in weeks, I quickly decided I would stick with just water the next time.
Terri Ann’s food is more robust than its drinks, but take note: this is a restaurant where New Year’s resolutions come to die. All of the appetizers ($3.25-$4.95) are fried or covered in cheese. The only vegetarian option on the lunch sandwich menu is the grilled cheese on Texas toast (served with fries, $3.50). And don’t get me started on the country fried steak. But there’s a certain charm to this disregard providing healthful options. This isn’t a place to count Weight Watchers points. Terri Ann’s is a place to fill your belly on the cheap with some good, greasy, cheap food.
My general rule is to order breakfast whenever a restaurant serves the most important meal of the day all day. Unless you had your heart set on waffles, which aren’t on the menu, Terri Ann’s has just about everything I could ask for in a breakfast menu. I could be full for hours with one of the egg plates, which come with fried potatoes, a biscuit, two eggs and one of seven different meats (ranging from $5.95 for smoked sausage and eggs to $9.95 for steak and eggs). The short stack with meat ($5.35 for two “hot cakes” and your choice of meat) and old-time French toast ($3.50 for three piece made with Texas toast) would satisfy my sweet tooth. And if all else fails, there’s always biscuits and gravy ($3 for two biscuits).
To get a little taste of a lot of food, I ordered the “Two Egg’s & Taters” (sic) that came with two eggs cooked to order (over medium for me), fried potatoes, country gravy and a biscuit ($3.95). Rob went with the Traditional Western omelet and fried potatoes ($8.70).
The meal made up for my earlier disappointment with the coffee.
The fried potatoes were like the fat cousin of hash browns. The heftier hunks had the crispy edges that I like but more of the potato’s “meat.”
The eggs and biscuit were very good, nothing out of the ordinary, but tasty nonetheless. The country gravy, however, was some of the thickest I had ever had. I only needed to plop couple of heaping spoonfuls onto my biscuit. The gravy was a day away from being the consistency of a Jell-O mold.
If I ever go to Terri Ann’s on an empty stomach, I will get the Western omelet that Rob ordered. The three-egg dish includes bacon, sausage, ham onion, tomato, mushrooms, green peppers and cheddar cheese. It was like someone dumped the toppings of a supreme pizza onto a pile of eggs. This dish is guaranteed to give you a severe case of the itis that you can only remedy with a nap.
Terri Ann’s won’t have the nostalgia that I’ve attached to Theresa’s any time soon. But it is a restaurant where I can afford to make plenty of new memories.
Terri Ann’s, 2605 Rockford Lane, Louisville
Coffee: $1.50 Two eggs, fried potatoes and a biscuit with gravy: $3.95 Total (with tax): $5.78
Proximity drew me to AP Crafters Kitchen & Bar, a gastropub in the Westport Village shopping complex — I live right across the street. The imaginative versions of traditional comfort and bar food, generous happy hour specials and slick atmosphere have made me a regular, that elite status I’ve been searching for since my South-Central Louisville days.
AP Crafters is a place where you can watch a game and cheer loudly or take a date for a cozy evening; trust me, I’ve done both. The bar occupies the right side of the restaurant and the traditional dining area of booths and tables is on the left. Each of these areas, along with an enclosed patio complete with a fire pit, are separate enough to provide an enjoyable evening no matter your intentions.
Rob and I usually hunker down in the generous-sized, dimly lit bar area during AP Social Hour. From 3 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close each day, AP Crafters offers the following specials:
AP Crafters beer: $3
Wells and wines: $4
AP Crafters specialty cocktails: $5
Soft pretzels, bruschetta, dueling fries, steak-fried mushrooms, cheddar cheese curds and mini nachos (more on some of these later): $5
These happy hour specials have saved many a boring evening when we want to get out of the house without spending a lot of cash.
AP Crafters’ house cocktails are inventive, refreshing and seasonal. During the warmer months, I was a fan of the AP Crafters Refresher (Absolut Mandarin, St. Germaine Liquer, fresh basil and orange; $7) and Crafters Mojito (Ten Cane Rum, fresh mint, limes and craft sugar; $8). This winter I’m leaning toward richer drinks like the Smashing Pumpkin (Maker’s Mark bourbon, pumpkin liqueur, Grand Marnier and cream; $8) or the Nuts for Bourbon (Maker’s Mark, macadamia nut liqueur, Godiva Dark Chocolate and cream; $8).
If I’m at AP Crafters during happy hour, I will usually make a meal by pairing an appetizer with the filling BLT Wedge (iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing, bacon, tomatoes, chopped boiled egg and blue cheese crumbles; $8). The soft pretzels ($5.50) are closer to breadsticks in appearance, but have the familiar salty, crisp exterior and soft insides that we’re used to with the twisted variety. The pretzels come with a delicious house-made AP Dark beer cheese that is thick and slightly smoky. The special I usually turn to is the quart-sized Dueling Fries ($5), a combination of sweet potato fries and regular French fries. Each type of fry is heavenly on its own, but together they create the sweet-salty combo of which foodies only dream.
The rest of the menu is just as tasty as the appetizers. The group of entrees is a mixed bag that veers from chorizo and pulled pork tacos or fish tacos ($10) to grilled Atlantic salmon ($17). The prices of the entrees are in the high teens and 20s, so I save those dishes for a night of treating myself. Instead, I usually stick with the sandwiches and burgers section of the AP Crafters menu.
God bless the AP Crafters sandwiches and burgers. Seriously. There’s nothing that I don’t love about this selection. AP Crafters takes classic sandwiches and transforms them into something new. For example, the grilled chicken BLT ($11) uses house-smoked pork belly and a fried green tomato in place of the normal bacon and tomato. The roast pork sammy ($10) is a stack of roasted pork, Swiss cheese, red onions, fried pickle chips and bacon jam. BACON JAM. Stop for a second and let that sink in.
A typical night at AP Crafters means I’m ordering the AP Beer Cheese Burger ($11). This burger is make of Kentucky Proud beef, the AP Dark beer cheese, smoked bacon and caramelized onions on a pretzel roll. I usually avoid speaking in absolutes, but this is one of the best cheeseburgers in Louisville. All of the ingredients just roll together in a savory dance that makes my taste buds tingle. The pretzel bun is the best thing to happen to bread since, well, sliced bread – it’s a little toasty on the outside and moist on the inside. The smokiness of the bacon and beer cheese remind me of something you’d get at a summer barbecue, especially with caramelized onions on board. I usually get my hamburger cooked medium to medium well, so some of the juices slide out and mingle with drips of beer cheese. It’s messy, but fantastic.
The sandwiches and burgers come with a choice of French fries, slaw or fresh fruit. I treat myself a bit and opt for an order of the Dueling Fries. It’s an extra $1.50, but when you’re sopping up beer cheese with a pretzel bun and wiping onion bits from your mouth, you need a side order of equal culinary caliber.
Dishes at AP Crafters ring in a little above the $10 Challenge benchmark. But the consistently delicious food makes each visit as good — or better — than the last.
AP Crafters Kitchen & Bar, 1321 Herr Lane, Suite 130, Louisville, Ky.
AP Beer Cheese Burger: $11
Dueling fries (instead of regular fries): $1.50 upcharge
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.