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.
During his nearly 15 years in the bean-brewing business, James Linton has learned precisely what it takes to beat out the larger, corporatized chains and their assembly-line lattes. "What separates us is customer service … really getting to know your customers, their families, talking to them," he says, recalling a daily customer who lengthens her morning commute substantially just to stop in for her cappuccino. A&J Coffee Shop's baristas prepare their premium lattes and cappuccinos, customizable in 70 flavors, out in the open, allowing the customer to note the care and blown kisses that go into each cup.
James estimates the café's favorable location, within the University of Louisville Health Care Outpatient Center's lobby, generates foot traffic of 3,000–4,000 passersby each day, many of whom stop in, intrigued by the complex aromas of top-shelf espresso beans and fresh café fare. Catering services include a mobile coffee bar that encompasses every coffee drink permutation possible and, all served on elegant, delicate china.
Dedicated to combining the pleasures of tea and "good, wholesome food," according to co-owner Karter Louis in the Louisville Eccentric Observer, Hillbilly Tea invites patrons to sip at organic whole leaf teas and feast on mountain-inspired fare made from locally sourced ingredients. Like in a lavish dollhouse sauna, steam rises from mugs filled with black, green, herbal, and rare teas, from the sweet, full-bodied sweet grass tea to the aromatic Remedy tea. Ingredients from local enterprises such as Duncan Farms and Stone Cross Farms combine for contemporary fare based on traditional Appalachian recipes, and vegetarian options such as barbecue tofu skewers slay hunger more effectively than a medieval knight in a chain-mail apron. Praised for its "old-fashioned country cooking" by the Courier Journal, Hillbilly Tea complements its brunch, lunch, and dinner dishes with savory additions such as chai butter and tomato jam.
Inside the cranberry-colored walls of Main Street Coffee and Deli, glass cases brim with house-cured meats that the staff shapes into sandwiches under the supervision of Chef Laurence Agnew. House-made chips accompany handhelds such as the Cuban with black-forest ham or the corned beef with braunschweiger, swiss cheese, russian dressing, and slaw. Aromas of house-roasted coffee beans also fill the café, inspiring diners to sample fresh house cups or contemplate the possibility of patenting a coffee-based cologne.
Looking around at the hardwood tables and plush red sofas of her own bakery, Adrienne Holland may occasionally be reminded of where her culinary journey began: in Niagara Falls, watching her mother, Myra, craft elaborate homemade cakes for western New York residents. Carrying on the family legacy, Adrienne opened her own 5,000-square-foot bakery in Jeffersonville in 2001, and recently helmed a full renovation of the space that included painting the walls a vibrant red. The real renovations, however, are still happening behind the scenes, as Adrienne and family prepare warm baked scones, grilled sandwiches, and Italian pastas in fresh basil-walnut pesto. Adrienne continues to pursue new creative avenues in cake-making with her novelty 3-D cakes, whose intricate designs have been commissioned for Muhammad Ali and featured on Fox's WDRB in the Morning.
The owners of North End Café don't just purchase local produce: they also grow vegetables and herbs in their own garden in Simpsonville. Since April, 2003, their chefs have championed this focus on local, seasonal ingredients with a healthy approach to cooking. North End Café's menu features traditional meals from around the world, ranging from grass-fed beef burgers and flatiron steaks to grilled fish and scallops to vegetarian lasagnas, 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 new outdoor patio, an expansive wooden deck surrounded by leafy plants and tall, wispy trees.