A couple weeks ago we trekked down to Louisville, Kentucky – our first time ever – for my cousin’s wedding (yay, Taylor and Malisa!). We only had about 24 hours there, sans kids, so in addition to wedding activities we did some minor culinary exploring based on suggestions from Taylor and a couple other friends. When we arrived in town, we met my family at Taco Luchador on Baxter Avenue. The taqueria sports an eclectic menu centered around tacos and tortas.
We ordered a mix of things: mole fries, a barbacoa taco, fried plantains, and an ahogada torta. All fantastic: colorful, big flavors, plenty filling. Taco Luchador isn’t a huge space, but they have a lovely little patio out front. And the neighborhood seems great for strolling.
Post-lunch, we trekked close by to Hadley Pottery. The store and production room is housed in a giant, old barn; the showroom has shelves lined with their signature blue and white pottery in every style and design imaginable.
Following our pottery exploration we visited Monnik Beer Company, which has a beautiful space highlighted with tin ceiling tiles, black subway tile, exposed bulbs, and lots of wood. Very hip, but they had a wide-ranging beer menu with pretty broad appeal.
We sampled an IPA, a double IPA, a stout, an imperial stout on guest draft, and a – wait for it – barrel-aged wild lager called De Zwaard. It was clean, funky, and a little boozy all at the same time.
Monnick’s space is beautiful; we especially loved the tin ceiling tiles used on the walls.
Following beers, we tracked down the closest Quills Coffee, which was their location on the University of Louisville campus.
That evening, the entire wedding and reception was held at Copper & Kings Distillery, a beautiful property in Butcherstown. Describing it makes you sound like Stefon from SNL: this place has got everything – distilling equipment, industrial event spaces, firepits, rooftop patios, cocktails made with brandy.
Dinner at the reception was a selection of wood-fired pizzas. Brilliant way to do it.
After the reception, some of us snuck over to the historic Brown Hotel downtown. That’s my brother Greg on the left. He’s single, ladies.
The Brown Hotel, as you can imagine, is a beautiful old space, lavishly decorated and a complete throwback to the early 20th century. We took the staircase up to the restaurant and bar on the second floor. It was crowded with guests, even at 11 p.m.
As you might expect, they feature a substantial bourbon menu. I enjoyed one of my personal favorites, Angel’s Envy.
But the real reason we were at the Brown Hotel: to sample the original Kentucky Hot Brown. The Hot Brown was developed in the 1920s as the ultimate classy bar food. It’s an open-faced sandwich layering turkey, bacon, and tomato positively drowned in a Mornay sauce, then baked. It’s rich as all get-out, and even as I tried to wax poetically about how the Hot Brown originated in the 20s, etc. etc., my brother Greg observed best that “it’s great drunk food.” Indeed it is.
The following morning, as we woke up in a Hot Brown haze, we initially tried walking from our hotel to the Press on Market coffee shop, only to find that many spots are closed on Sundays in Louisville.
So we checked out of the hotel and hopped in our car to another Quills Coffee location, this one on Baxter Avenue a few doors down from Taco Luchador. The large and bright space was busy that morning.
We enjoyed a cafe miel (essentially a honey latte) and a bourbon honey latte.
We finished the trip by meeting a big chunk of the family at The Silver Dollar, my cousin’s top recommendation for brunch. We caught an absolutely perfect fall morning, so the doors were flung open wide in the Silver Dollar’s renovated firehouse.
The large group of us sampled pretty much everything on the brunch menu. Read about it here!