I did not get so lucky in Kentucky; the weather was awful, my bridge playing was horrid and the food was mediocre at best. Here’s a run down of the highs and lows:
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – My friend Adam believes that Jeff Ruby’s is better than Peter Luger. He is on crack, but that said, my prime dry aged ribeye was delicious and I loved the mac and cheese. This is probably the best meal of the week.
Dish on Market – Huge portions of good, inexpensive breakfast foods. I enjoyed the steel cut oats and the biscuits.
Proof on Main – The restaurant is in a neat space, adjacent to a modern art museum. After enjoying an excellent pork chop and over salted Brussels sprouts, we wondered around the free exhibit and enjoyed playing with the interactive ones.
Lynn’s Paradise Café - Their Bourbon Ball French Toast beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown. It was an epic amount of food. Steve and I shared an order of the famed French Toast. When it came it was so large that I then spilt my ½ order with Doug and I barely finished my ¼. It was good, but over the top, diabetic-inducing sweetness. I really enjoyed the biscuits and gravy and Doug’s fried green tomato BLT was unusual and quite delicious.
Imperizelli’s Pizza – This was my one foray into Louisville-style pizza. It had a medium thick crust and a blanket of cheese. No, make that a thick down comforter of cheese. It was enough cheese to kill a colony of mice. I can see that if you liked this style of pizza, it would be good, but it was not my liking.
Bluegrass Brewery – Steve loved the beer and went back there approximately 8 times. I liked my salad and the garlic fries was appropriately garlicky.
Homemade ice cream and Pie Kitchen – Really excellent ice cream and I loved my yellow cupcake with caramel icing. I wish that I could have gone back for the Kentucky Bourbon pie.
Bristol Bar and Grille – Meh. Meh. I had a burger. It was fine. Nothing else to write home about.
Saffer Mediterranean Deli – The reviews were all raves, but I was less than impressed with my dry chicken shawarma. The spinach pie was more like a turnover and the pita was store bought.
Hillbilly Tea – Brian really liked this restaurant and went several times. I went once and though my braised chicken livers were dry and the dessert was awful. The highlight was the braised greens with bacon.
Engligh Grill at the Brown Hotel – The biggest disappointment of the week. We went for the famous “Hot Brown” which is an open face turkey sandwich covered in chesse, mornay sauce, bacon and tomato. I was not impressed; although the turkey was moist, the sauce was thick and gooey and the flavors didn’t work for me. Steve thought his chicken was bland (and not in a good Steve way). The famed Derby pie was also a letdown.
I’m sad that I didn’t make it to a few places on my list; maybe they would have elevated my dining experiences. The next Nationals is in Toronto. I plan to have a much better time there.