Thursday, April 21, 2011
A Slice of...Louisville, Kentucky!
Hi All! My name is Leigh (pronounced LEE), and I am going to give you a slice of Louisville ("Lewa-vul"), KY. Sometimes this city is known as River City, Derby City or Slugger City, but I just call it home. I am a writer, jewelry maker, blogger, personal and legal assistant and student (again). I do wear shoes, contrary to popular belief of people from Kentucky. I am just your run of the mill blue-eyed Southern girl. I enjoy indie music, NYLON, films, books and taking a road trip every now and then. Enough about me though, this is about the wondrous Lousiville. Not only do I love my town, but I love that it is a college town without being overfilled with dorms. Instead of one room and a shared bathroom with your dorm-neighbor, it is life in old historical homes. The University of Louisville sits right in the heart of Old Louisville and adds charm to the area. The support of the UofL Cardinals is everywhere. Besides sports knowledge, not much is known about Louisville minus Slugger Bats, Muhammad Ali, Derby Time, "Winter's Bone"'s Jennifer Lawerence and Hot Browns...and maybe a small group of people who know that Hunter S. Thompson is from here. Although Derby time is great fun and Hot Browns are delicious, there is a lot more charm to this unknown place. With the state located in the Midwest, there is a touch of Southern Hospitality all around you. Do not be fooled though, Louisville has the culture of a big city. After all, it is one of the largest "small town in a big city" place. Areas in Louisville like Bardstown Road hold loads of culture: hipsters, punk rock, hippie, college students and new age. This metro city definitely is a neat one. Welcome to my hometown!
Lynn's Paradise Café
Lynn's is fairly well known around the country because the Café was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show. I mean, everything Oprah touches is gold. ha ha. It is located right in the heart of Bardstown Road: The Highlands. It opened in 1991 with signature breakfast dishes: fruit-sauced tropical French toast. The restaurant is always packed but has a store right when you walk in that can keep you busy with mustaches, silly greeting cards and very neat jewelry. The decor is completely kitschy which flows over to the food displays on each plate and the parking lot. The entire place is visually stimulating and chalk full of entertainment. Plus, the food is AMAZING. Not to forget, every year at the Kentucky State Fair, Lynn's sponsors the "Ugly Lamp Contest."
Steven's and Steven's Deli
Similar to Lynn's, this deli has been around for a little over 20 years. The restaurant is in the backside of another restaurant, but this does not discourage anyone from coming. The first wall facing the entree way is covered with various awards over the years for the deli’s entertaining sandwiches. Each menu item has a unique name, such as a pastrami named Woody Allen or a turkey sandwich called Mr. Green Jeans. Everything is about getting a laugh and a New York vibe. The exposed brick decor only adds to the charm. But don't try to get dinner there, Steven's and Steven's is only open 10-4pm.
The Z bar has been reopened in Louisville. Formerly the Brown Bag Deli (yea Louisville likes its delis) for 25 years, the Zanza Bar or Z Bar for the locals just reopened. Now, what I mean by reopened is that it was the Z Bar before it was the Brown Bag. My dad and I get a good kick out of the fact that he had his first beer at the Z Bar and now my Mister and I frequent the same place. According to my dad, the inside has not changed at all featuring a long narrow hall way, small dance floor and some pool tables. Some of the things you can expect at this bar are monthly team spelling bees, local and big name artists (my favorite thus far has been Mayer Hawthorne) and regular DJ Dance Parties. The bar has a huge patio where flip cup and beer pong are played during the summer. The food is better than any bar food and does feature many vegetarian options. The bar is on a corner of a side street and busy highway; the Z Bar is one of the few bars that have an actual parking lot. You can't beat that! Oh and covers are no more than 3 dollars on weekends. Close parking, not a terrible cover and cheap drinks, this place is always a go to bar for myself and friends on the weekends.
Heine Brothers Coffee
Almost every town has the local coffee shop, but this coffee shop is a huge chain in Kentucky and will soon be branching out to other states. It began in Louisville's beautiful, historic neighborhood of Cresecent Hill and slowly began to be on every corner of the city. Everything is fair trade, and the coffee is organic from mountains near the equator. Friendly faces, involvement in environmental causes, such as mountain top removal, (which is a hot topic in Kentucky) and reasonably priced items. Heine Brothers is always a relaxing setting; and in my opinion, the coffee is better than Starbucks.
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
Seriously, I could not talk about Louisville or Kentucky without including our fried chicken recipe. Colonel Harland Sanders created a restaurant in 1952 that would soon be known as Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC. Basically, he made a secret recipe (it is protected by law to be a secret...we don't play here when it comes to chicken :0) using 11 herbs and spices for fried chicken. It became a huge hit, and KFC is in almost every country in the world. All KFC's look relatively the same. But let's face it, when you come to KFC it is for the "finger lickin' good" food, not the decor. I grew up about 45 minutes outside of Louisville in Shelby County, KY. Shelbyville houses one of Colonel Sanders' other restaurants, Claudia Sanders. This was run by his wife, and is more of a sit down restaurant. The food is still all the Southern delights that a KFC features, only a nice atmosphere. Needless to say, the Sanders knew good food.
I hope you have enjoyed Louisville! Thanks for letting me share my town Danielle!