Monday, September 28, 2009

Louisville: Kentucky Barbeque Company

Kenutcky isn't known for it's barbecue as other cities are. However, being in the great location that Louisville is - conveniently located between Memphis, Chicago, and Kansas City - it shouldn't be too difficult to find good barbecue here. Surprisingly there are not a ton of place to get it in Louisville, but we decided to try to find something that would fill the craving. After looking on Yelp, I decided that Kentucky Barbeque Company ("KBC") was the place to try. For a good night of indulging in all the things the doctors tell you not to eat, go there.

Located on the north end of Frankfort Ave, KBC looks like more of a dive bar than a good place to eat. You walk in to a dark bar with pool tables and and picnic tables. But that's okay...the food was worth it and in a way it seems more appropriate for barbecue anyways! Instead of doing a wet barbecue, they do a dry rub and then you can add sauce on top.

To start off, we ordered fried green tomatoes. They were delicious, though we were disappointed that when we asked for chili fries and they said the chili wasn't ready yet. For an entree we decided to try a little of everything by getting the sampler platter. Boy did it include everything: 1/4 pound of smoked sausage, 1/4 pound of baby back ribs, 1/4 of a chicken, and 1/4 pound of either smoked brisket or pork (we got the brisket) and two sides and Texas toast. Whew. All were delicious, but ranking in order of deliciousness we agreed that #1 delicious went to the ribs, then brisket, then the chicken, then the sausage. For sides we had cheese grits and baked beans, both of which were awesome.

To round off the meal was a great selection of 19 different beers on tap. They had a lot of craft brews so we told the server what we liked and he recommended a brew by Drifters and Founder's brewing companies. Both were awesome. It was nice having a server who actually knew the list and could do that for us. My one complaint is that they didn't have a list of all the beer choices, and I enjoy reading the different types and asking questions, though I guess a knowledgeable server is better than a list any day.

Overall I will definitely return to KBC when I am in the mood for an indulgent meal and I'm sure my husband will beg for us to return. Next time I will be sure to order a plate of brisket or ribs for myself!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Louisville - Toast on Market

After visiting Lynn's I was disappointed about the breakfast options in town and my faith in Food Network plunged as I had never thought imaginable. Imagine my surprise when I visited Toast on Market and had perhaps the most amazing breakfast ever. Several locals had mentioned the deliciousness that is Toast, and I was finally able to take them up on the recommendation.

Toast is located in the heart of Nulu amidst art galleries and antique stores galore. Offering only breakfast and lunch, Toast is able to focus on great ideas and ingredients to round-out their menu. My group went for an early Sunday brunch and all decided to order breakfast.
Unfortunately because of the hour we were unable to enjoy their supposedly wonderful mimosas - options included Apple Cider Mimosa, Bellini, and traditional (made with fresh squeezed OJ!). There were so many amazing sounding options on the menu I didn't know where to start!

So I decided to try the Huevos Ahogados "Drowned Eggs" and a side order of lemon souffle pancakes to get the best of both worlds. Drowned eggs may sound unappetizing, but imagine two perfectly poached eggs (you can choose easy, medium or hard poached...and they listen!) floating in a light and perfectly spicy tomato-cilantro broth. Yum! The lemon souffle pancakes were topped with a light lemon custard and blueberries and it was perfectly delightful. Other things ordered in my groups included the Monte Cristo french toast, Mediterranean omelet, and homemade granola. Though I didn't try the latter, the first two were also amazing. The Monte Cristo was a great twist on two classic dishes with nice hint of orange to complement the flavors. The Mediterranean omelet was cooked exactly as the patron asked (which says a lot to me when the restaurant is packed) and the flavors including the bite of the feta with the roasted vegetables was wonderful.

Overall Toast was amazing. I can't wait to take some family there when they come to visit so they too can experience it...and I can try more of the offerings. And if the food was amazing enough, the price was also great. For my husband I to have two full entrees and two sides (he had a side of, what he says was, delicious sausage) it was only $22. Compare that to the $30 we spent at Lynn's and I think you see my point.

So, get on down to Toast and have a delicious meal made with new fresh ideas!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Louisville - Basa: Modern Vietnamese

After my undying love for Japanese food (blame the minor in Japanese Studies from William and Mary and the year+ I spent living there) I LOVE Vietnamese food. Though I haven't visited Vietnam, I one day hope to if only for the food. I imagine that all modern Vietnamese food tastes like that of Basa: fresh, light, flavorful. Basa uses the traditional Vietnamese ingredients of mint, Thai basil, seafood and noodles, and puts a new spin on those in both the food and the drinks in modern, bistro setting with Vietnamese flair. The restaurant was very busy on a Friday night and we didn't have reservations. (We heard later that Diane Sawyer took her mother there last weekend after she was given the ABC news anchor position, so maybe that added to the normal Friday night crowd.) Rather than wait 30+ minutes for a table, we decided to have our meal at the full-service bar.

For dinner my husband and I decided to start with an appetizer to share, opting for the Crispy Imperial Rolls ($8). Our waiter (who was also the only bartender on shift) informed us we should wrap the rolls - stuffed with shrimp, pork and mushrooms and fried - with the lettuce and mint served alongside and then dip it in the chili garlic dipping sauce. It was delicious. Though the fried roll was a bit heavy, the mint and lettuce brought a lightness to it.

The dinner menu was a decent size, though as with most good menus there were basically a few fish and seafood dishes, a chicken and steak option each, and a few vegetarian options. Off the regular menu we ordered the fried tofu with sauteed spinach and root vegetables ($15). This was topped by a sweet and salty, peanut-y sauce that was delicious. There were also a few specials, and we decided to try out the red grouper with red rice and Siam choi - basically baby bok choi - served in a light sauce ($29). The two dishes were polar opposites in flavor as the tofu was very in your face strong and the fish was very light and fresh, but both were amazing. We also ordered a side dish of garlic noodles ($4) which was delicious and everything one hopes for in this simple dish.

We also decided to each try a specialty cocktail since they had a few good options, all at $8. I went with the Basa Signature: vodka with aloe vera juice and aloe chunks as garnish. My husband decided to try the Kentucky Iced Tea which had Maker's Mark, chartreuse, ice tea, lemon juice and a mint garnish. Both were delicious and complemented our meal wonderfully.

Basa was definitely a great meal out and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Asian flavors or just trying something new. Though it is not the cheapest of Louisville restaurants, you will certainly get an amazing meal made with wonderful ingredients and it is in a great neighborhood. For a cheaper way to experience this place, you could always try out lunch ($10 entrees, $4 appetizers) which I am sure is just as good.