Friday, March 2, 2012

Louisville Part I: The Brown Hotel

I went to Louisville, KY last weekend for a literary conference, and other than listen to people talk about literature, which was amazing, I of course, ate.  I'm splitting this into two posts (one today and one tomorrow) because of all the pictures.  For the first post, I'll be focusing on the meals I ate at the Brown Hotel.  When I'm visiting a new place I research the food and try to eat things unique to the area.  I think I did a good job on this trip.

It was around midnight when Jason and I finally checked into the hotel.  We were hungry, and I knew we were going to have a hot brown, which I'll describe when I get to the picture.  The lobby bar serves food until 2:00.  We started out with a few beers.  I had Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.  It was a mix between beer and bourbon.  I didn't expect such intense bourbon flavors, but I like bourbon, so I was okay with that.  I'm not sure if you can only buy this in Kentucky, and I hope not because I'll buy it if I see it around here.

Jason ordered a La Fin Du Monde.  I didn't really care for it, but he liked it.  It had an interesting spice blend that is desirable for some people.

Finally our food came.  Below you'll see the Derby Pie.  It's basically what we call a Toll-House pie around here.  Think chocolate cookies, but baked into a pie shell and loaded with walnuts.  This was very good.

Then we had a hot brown.  The hot brown is a Kentucky original.  It's basically thick-cut bread topped with turkey, tomatoes, mornay sauce loaded with cheese and bacon.  It was very rich, and I'm glad we split it.  It was delicious, but I think a horseshoe (local food from my area which is open faced hamburgers topped with fries and cheese sauce) has it beat.  The Brown Hotel was the inventor of the hot brown, so I'm glad we got one here.

We ate in the hotel again for breakfast before we left, and this was my favorite meal of the trip.  I had the breakfast Florentine hot brown.  It was amazing.  It had poached eggs, roasted potatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts, and Mornay sauce.  If I go to the conference again next year, I will order this.

Jason, who loves sweet breakfasts had the brioche French toast.  This was crazy, and even Jason couldn't finish it.  This was 3 thick slices of brioche bread coated in rice crispies.  It had a thick chocolate spread slathered between each piece.  It was then topped with a caramelized banana and served with housemade bourbon caramel sauce on the side.  It was excellent, but too sweet for me.  There were a lot of other great choices on the menu, but they only serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.  If you're staying in the hotel on a weekend I would definitely check it out.  Tomorrow, I will post 2 local spots we checked out during the trip.

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