Louisville KY

Before I get behind on our next outing I better write about this one …

The first weekend in January (before Aquapocalypse, winter storms Pax, Titan, Vulcan and such), Magellan and I hit the road for Louisville, Kentucky. We’ve visited a couple of other times over the last few years and enjoy the many museums, restaurants, architecture, nightlife and more the city has to offer.

On our first visit, we ate at Proof on Main http://www.proofonmain.com/, easily one of my top five dining experiences, and discovered 21c http://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/louisville/?chebs=sem_21clou_bing&s_kwcid=TC-1027661-8939926119-bp-1280277722, a truly original boutique hotel.

Before our trip, Magellan mentioned he hoped I liked the room and I couldn’t imagine why I wouldn’t. We stayed at this location before as well as the 21c in Cincinnati, Ohio and the spaces are beautifully appointed and everyone on staff is always friendly.

As we were checking in, the front desk staff person asked if we were familiar with the room in which we were booked (?), and she was excited that we had chosen the Cyclone Room (!) and offered to personally show us there. I still had no idea what this was all about but was curious about windows in a room that was seemingly below street level. Turns out, our room was an installation – a work of incredible art in which the guest is immersed. And, windows were not at all missed. The few photos I took are not all that; there’s a nice video and story on 21c’s website at http://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/louisville/visit/news/2013/freeman-and-lowes-magical-transformation/

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In addition to wall to wall brown shag carpet, on which the bed was built up, there was a large book/curio shelf

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which included the Dollanganger family (thus tipping me off to the likelihood of these titles not being real). (Truth is often stranger than fiction and I was willing to roll with it.)

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Best of all was a stereo cabinet with a record player and a variety of albums from the likes of Black Sabbath, the Bee Gees, Nilsson and ZZ Top.

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As we had visited several of Louisville’s museums (Muhammad Ali Museum, Frazier History Museum, JBSpeed Art Museum) on past trips, we decided to stay in and enjoy this artistic experience.

On Saturday afternoon, we did take a walk up the street to check out the new Evan Williams Bourbon Experience http://evanwilliams.com/visit.php?page=bourbon-experience.

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We’ve visited several of Kentucky’s distilleries and learned a great deal about the process of making bourbon. This new space incorporates state-of-the-art audio and video technology and the set-up is quite different from most distilleries. Like all distillery tours, however, the staff were knowledgable and friendly and set the tone for a lively tour.

Dining on this trip did not include Proof on Main for dinner, but we did manage cocktails in Proof’s bar and breakfast before our trip home (their grits are THE BEST!).

Dinner on Friday night involved a new to us restaurant, El Camino http://elfreakingcamino.com/ which has a fantastic tiki/surfer vibe. We enjoyed listening to side 1 of Combat Rock while experiencing  cervezas and their take on chicharrones:

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You could do this at home – store-bought pork skins w/crumbled fresh queso, green onion, cilantro and hot sauce – it’s easy and delicious. Impress your friends! Also, I believe adding greenery and hot sauce now qualifies the pork skins as a health food.

For dinner, I sampled several tacos with pork, beef and pork complimented by fresh veggies and sauces:

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and Magellan had a sandwich which has a cooler name than that but I can’t seem to find it on the menu. {I think it was the Pepito:  “Butcher’s Choice Grassfed Grilled Steak, Marrow Refried Beans, Queso Monterray & Charred Avocado Tomatillo Salsa.”  But maybe not}:

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The following night we made a return trip (from last year) to The Silver Dollar http://www.whiskeybythedrink.com/, a sister restaurant of El Camino, but this one specializes in bourbon, home cooking and that Bakersfield sound. The bar at The Silver Dollar has made it on to many best of lists and rightly so. Their bourbon selection is tops even in a city full of bourbon. The food is excellent and filling, and the service is superior.

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