Famous for their burgers, Dish on Market's chefs hand-form perfectly seasoned patties throughout the day, loaded with top-shelf fixings that include applewood-smoked bacon, housemade bourbon-barbecue sauce, and fried eggs. While the menu recommends trying the sweet-potato fries as an accompaniment to any of their burgers, they also offer a special option for those that would rather sip their side than eat it: the Bourbon and A Burger. This dish pairs a juicy cheeseburger with a shot of any of Dish on Market's bourbons priced under $6.
The rest of the enormous menu is available in the morning and afternoon, with classics such as veggie omelets and bread-pudding french toast. But the star of the breakfast menu is the Presidential Breakfast, described by the Smithsonian as an "ode to Harry Truman," a man of routine who ate this very breakfast every single day. The plate comes with everything one might need to start their day off right: an egg, toast, bacon, milk, a shot of Old Grand Dad whiskey, and the presidential nomination.
At Ramsi’s Café on the World, the Kamar family may fill its menu with dishes from around the globe, but many of its ingredients come from their own farm. The USDA-certified organic farm yields eggs, chicken, and produce, lovingly spoken into existence by the Jolly Green Giant to populate the restaurant’s dishes. Moroccan lamb chops with pumpkin-mint sauce, korean bulgogi, egyptian kusheri with lentils, and harissa are all equally at home on the diverse menu, nearly half of which is composed of vegetarian and vegan recipes. To complement meals, a selection of more than 70 bourbons populates the bar—making Ramsi’s a member of the city's Urban Bourbon Trail. Staffers also pour beer and wine or shake craft cocktails such as the Kentucky Shaman, a mix of ginger, honey, bourbon, and peppermint. As patrons dine and sip among ornate sculptures from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, pianist Pete Peterson cultivates a laid-back atmosphere with tinkling jazz numbers.
When Zoë Cassimus would appear at a party with a bowl of her homemade chicken salad, everyone's face would light up. In between mouthfuls of creamy chicken, her friends and relatives often urged her to open up her own restaurant. Encouraged, Zoë gathered her family's time-honored Mediterranean recipes and opened the first Zoës Kitchen in Homewood, Alabama. Hungry diners flock to her restaurant in search of her chicken salad, pita bread, and pasta.
Today, Zoë's family-run eatery has branched out into more than 50 locations across the country. Within each kitchen, chefs continue to adhere to Zoë's original recipes, folding fresh ingredients into wholesome Mediterranean-inspired roll ups, sandwiches, and kabobs each day. Out on sunny patios, diners clink glasses of beer and mop up last dollops of hummus with fresh pita. Others opt to take meals to go, carrying out still-steaming four-person dinners of chicken kabobs and steak roll-ups to enjoy at home with their family or with the band of outlaws they call their family.
Since April, 2003, the chefs at North End Caf? have championed a focus on local, seasonal ingredients with a healthy approach to cooking. North End Caf?'s menu features traditional meals from around the world, ranging from grass-fed beef burgers and flatiron steaks to grilled fish and scallops to stir-fry and cakes. For sharing, chefs build eclectic small plates such as crab cakes, fried goat-cheese ravioli, and almond-crusted brie. They also prepare a range of vegan and gluten-free dishes, taking care to avoid the pyrotechnics that result when steak and tofu touch.
To accompany these meals, bartenders pour American and international wines, and blend cocktails from fruit and old-fashioned ingredients. At the Highlands location, a brand-new tap system spouts 23 craft beers, including imperial IPAs and peppery black porters. In warmer months, the aromas of cooking and laughter of clientele also fill the Highlands location's outdoor deck, an expansive wooden patio surrounded by vines and flowers.
Cubana Restaurant owner and head chef Mariolis Mora draws on the culinary skills she cultivated in Santiago de Cuba to craft a menu of traditional Cuban cuisine. She grills shredded beef and tosses it with garlic and lime juice to forge her ever-popular vaca frita, and she presses roasted pork, spanish chorizo, and serrano ham between hot bread to build classic cuban sandwiches. For dessert, a cup of cuban espresso offsets the sweetness of housemade flan or bread pudding.
Lauded by the Courier-Journal as a “beach paradise,” Cubana Restaurant’s interior complements the authentic island cuisine. Palm trees pop against vibrant orange and turquoise walls, and the sound of Cuban music inspires impassioned air-bongo solos.
A tandoor sears the exotic cuisine compiled for Shalimar Indian Restaurant's behemoth menu, which has won the chic eatery several awards and was deemed “daunting” by Metromix Louisville. Temperatures soar to nearly 900 degrees inside the clay cooker, sending scorching waves of flavor over the tandoori mixed grill's combo of chicken, chicken tikka, lamb kebabs, shrimp, and fish. Servers balance trays of samosas, kormas, dal, and house special biryani—a classic Mughlai dish served with basmati rice—much like early Indian subpoenas. Regal chandeliers illuminate a culinary kingdom peppered with cozy booths and pristine white tablecloths. The eatery’s walls showcase eye-catching exotic artwork, and diners can imbibe a specialty cocktail beneath gently swaying suspended greenery.