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louisville, ky: where nutrition came to die

Posted Jul 17 2011 11:31pm
Our little group with Colonel Sanders.
Yes, I felt it entirely necessary to wear a big hat to Louisville.
It was hump week this week.  Friday we had our "midterms" for the program, marking a semester's worth of language learning done in only four weeks. To celebrate (and to get the hell out of the three mile radius we have traversed on foot and called home for the past month), a bunch of us rented a car and drove to Louisville, KY, about a two hour trip from Bloomington.

I have never been to Kentucky before, and didn't really have high expectations, but being the obsessive compulsive planner that I am, made sure we checked off a few unique Kentucky experiences on our trip. Unsurprisingly, they all had to do with (pretty much entirely unhealthy) food. Readers, shield your eyes! Except not really... the food was darn good, y'all!

A bourbon that will be sent out in 2012, costing about $700
per barrel! 
Our first stop on the Kentucky Food (well, in this case, beverage) Tour was the Jim Beam Distillery, which is about 30 minutes south of Louisville.  We learned about the Bourbon-making process, got to walk inside a warehouse holding 20,000 barrels of aging whiskey, and sample a few different types of Bourbon. Personally, I can't really handle any type of whiskey. I think it tastes foul and it makes my whole body shiver when I drink it. Not pleasant! It sure smelled good out there though. We found out that some of the whiskey evaporates from the barrels- they call this "Angel's Share," which we found hilarious. It colors all the trees, buildings, and basically everything outdoors black. This was how prohibition agents would find moonshine stills back in the 1930s!

A delicious and not so nutritious Kentucky Hot Brown.
The turkey, buried somewhere underneath Mt. Cheese ,
was some of the best I've ever had!
Our next stop was the famed Lynn's Paradise Cafe  in Louisville itself, where we came to get a big ol' Kentucky-style meal. All of us opted for the "Hot Brown," the official dish of Louisville, which can best be described as an open-faced turkey sandwich doused with a creamy cheddar-and-probably-other-cheeses sauce, topped with tomatoes and bacon. It was kind of insane, and very delicious. Our only complaint was that there was probably a little TOO much cheese on it, and the turkey/bread ratio in comparison with the cheese was a tad low. However, we left Lynn's full-to-bursting and walked off our sandwiches around downtown Louisville and along the Ohio River.

I particularly liked the sugar-dusted crust.
Our last culinary adventure of the day involved pie. Nearly five hours after cheese became the main component in our bloodstream, we were starting to feel pangs of hunger... sort of. But we didn't want to leave Louisville without stopping at the famous Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen . I could barely decide what to order as I stood faced with flavors I had never sampled, but I went with an old favorite: peach pie a la mode. It was good, but definitely not mind-blowingly awesome. Perhaps it would have been better on an emptier stomach; after I ate it I once again felt like I would not recover from my food coma.

All food aside, I really enjoyed my time in Lousiville.  The downtown is clean and classy, with some interesting attractions. If you're driving through, you and your stomach should certainly stop for a Hot Brown.
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