J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bourbon Barrel Foods and Loop 22

Our F5 Recap from Friday:

Unique Bourbon Gifts at Bourbon Barrel Foods

Delicious free appetizers and other organic freebies at Bourbon Barrel Foods.  It’s a cute place with lots of Bourbon infused food products, ranging from salt, to jam, sugar, etc. The price tag definitely reflects is cutesie local origin, meaning pricey!  BBF also uniquely brew their own soy sauce (I'm not sure I trust non-Asian with my soy sauce, but I'm open to be convinced!).  It's a good place for interesting gifts reflecting Kentucky's Bourbon industry, that's not Bourbon (the drink) related.  There's an event space with bar and you can also take a tour of the microbrewery.



Loop 22 Review, the short version:

Service: 5 stars. Our server was attentive and helpful and checked on us regularly.  All the staff friendly and welcoming.

Ambience: 2 stars.  The front was filled so we felt like step children as the hostess ushered us in the back.  It’s clean and spacious but the space seems to be added on as an afterthought, forgotten and away from the festivity of the front.  The place reeks of sewage throughout.  So not really a great place to try to impress your date.

Food: 3 stars.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the food.  It’s inventive, tastes fine, but doesn’t have the wow factor that will keep me coming back. The dishes are pricey, main dishes ($15-$28), unless you do sandwiches ($10-$13) or small plates/appetizers ($6-$13).  I enjoyed the brussell sprout salad, slightly grilled and crunchy.  The biscuit for the ham slider was a bit doughy and dried, making my experience less enjoyable.  I tasted my friend's bbq duck's sandwich, which has a strong duck smell, so a turn off for me. I’m willing to give it another try because the food has potential.  But my first visit was definitely a miss.

Friday, May 30, 2014

F5 Friday Plan

Friday Food Fest For Friends or F5 (yes, cheesy I know) is something we started a few years back with a group of friends to try new eateries around town. So every last Friday of the month we got together to try a new restaurant. It's a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, eat some delicious food and catch up with friends. It's less intimidating when you have a group of people with you. Give it a try!

Our plan
today, Pre Party Trolley Hop. Free event with cooking demonstration, tour, appetizers and prizes at Bourbon Barrel Foods.

Restaurant: Loop 22, another restaurant by the owners of Hammerheads and Game. Can't wait to see what creative things they came up with.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spice up your lunch hour in downtown Louisville

$7.95 all you can eat buffet, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (?)
If you work downtown and are looking for something a little different for lunch, then head to Abyssinia Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine Restaurant and Bar on 554 S. 5th street for something that'll spice up your day.  I went here recently and it's a nice break from my weekday sandwich routine.

Starting at 11 a.m. (I think it ends at 2 p.m.), Abyssinia offers a lunch buffet for $7.95.  All you can eat Ethiopian food includes salads, injera, a variety of vegetable dishes, meats, lentil, beans and rice.  I'm not sure what all I ate, but the beauty of the buffet is that you can try a little bit of everything and come back for more of the things you do like.  Drinks and cookies are also included. The rib tips in spicy berere sauce were my favorite, lots of spices and flavor (dark brown in color).  The carrots and green beans were tender and rocked my world.

If you've never had Ethiopian foods before, this is the perfect time to try it.  For an authentic Ethiopian dining experience, try to use the injera (a spongy brownish flat bread, a little sour), to pick up the food instead of the fork.

Best part, there's plenty of meter parking all around the restaurant, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the food instead of looking for a parking spot.

Weekend Accomplished!

Last weekend was definitely well spent, 4 local fairs, 1 Quest and a lot of mulching done.

Louisville Springfest on Friday was a little less festive this year, fewer vendors and fewer visitors probably due to the colder than normal weather.  The chicken food truck I looked forward to wasn't there either.  But it was still a nice stroll.  See that green tent, make sure you stop if you see them this month.  You can roll the wheel to wind a free prize, so far I got a free ticket to to the Stephen Foster Musical and free admission to Locus Grove.

St. Matthews Festival, a street fair filled with local business and vendors promoting their products.  Lots of opportunities to sign up for give aways and fun freebies.  The kids zone had a ping pong table too.  The music was playing all day long and lots of greasy foods to try  
Not really a lot going on Bardstown Bound.  Lula's was giving away free samples and a nice old man was doing portraits for free at the same corner. It didn't seem like a lot of businesses were participating, but it's still a nice day to stroll down this busy street.  Beer festival was going full swing though with lots of people trying out the beers at mid-city mall.

 Louisville Quest is still one of my favorite events! We got there at 2:30 p.m. and found out we had only until 3:00 p.m. to visit 5 sites, complete a task and return to the Visitor's Center for our free Louisville t-shirt.  It was a mad dash around town, lots of teamwork and illegal drivings but we made it back in records time.  It really felt like the Amazing Race and the kids had so much fun.

I could spent hours at the Buy Local Fair browsing the many arts, crafts and foods booths here, all made locally.  There are so many beautiful handcraft products and foods to look at and try.  It was also an ideal setting to sit back, enjoyed local foods and listen to the music with the Ohio river as the background.

And of course mulching accomplished!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Fair Filled Weekend

Old Louisville Spring Fest
It’s very exciting to see that there are a lot of things going on in the city! So I started a Calendar of Events to keep track of them all.  Check it out on the tab on top.  I love a bargain and free events, so the events listed will be heavier on those.  Still slowing adding events. Bad news though is that it’s not that great on mobile devices.  For a more comprehensive list, check out www.Louisville.com.

My ambitious plan this weekend (even though my husband prefers that I stay home and mulch)
  1. Old Louisville Spring Fest| Friday & Saturday | 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.| Oak and 1st.
    Street fair in Old Louisville.  Crossing my fingers that my favorite soul food truck Da’ville Grill and Catering will be there with the best fried chicken in town.
  2. Louisville Quest | Saturday | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Visitor's Office, 4th and Jefferson
    Scavenger Hunt at area attractions, for free, and a cool official Louisville t-shirt at the end.  Last one is next Saturday.
  3. Bardstown Bound: Saturday | Noon - whenever | Bardstown  Road
    Strolling down Bardstown Road should be more exciting today with sales and specials on merchandise, foods and drinks. Beer Fest at Valu Market for beer enthusiasts.  The trolley will also run 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  4. St. Matthews Fair | Saturday | 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.| Frankfort Ave b/w Lexington Rd to Bauer Ave
    A street fair along Frankfort Ave featuring local attraction, business and entertainment.
  5. Buy Local Fair | Suday | 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.| Water Tower | $5 to park
    Looking forward to the concerts, local vendors and iron-chef like competition between Rye and Decca.
  6. Mulch :)

All these events are family friendly, with kids zones and all FREE.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hometown Tourist Kick Off

A large crowd showed up for the Kick Off
The Hometown Tourist Month Kick off celebration at Fourth Street Live! was a lot more fun than I thought.  Lots of local vendors and representative from area attractions showcased special discounts and events featured at their facilities for the month of May.  Free food samples, smiling faces and lots contests to enter. Check out all the cool offers just for the month of May, be sure to show your KY/IN, student or military ID.
Southern Belles from Conrad Caldwell House Museum
Frazier Historical Museum promoting Gridiron Glory Exhibit
Free ice cream from Greater's
Spin the wheel to win a prize (I got a free ticket to see a show)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Louisville Hometown Tourist Month 5/5/2014 - 5/31/2014

So what to do to fill the void now that Derby festivities are over? There are actually lots since May is Hometown Tourist Month in Kentucky.  From May 5 – May 31, over 77 area attractions are offering deep discounts for Kentucky and Indiana residents.  Take advantage of the opportunity and get to know your hometown a little better.  

My Favorite From Last Year
Louisville Quest (5/10, 5/17, 5/24,from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Love the Amazing Race?  Here’s your chance to have a similar experience, in town and for FREE.  Race against the clock as you visit various attractions around downtown Louisville, perform tasks/challenges at each site and win a prize at the end.  Here is how it works: 1) pick up a game card at the Louisville Visitor Center (location); 2) Complete all the tasks listed and get them stamped 3) Return the card to the Visitors Center to win a Louisville t-shirt.  To make it more fun and challenging, split your friends into different teams and try to see who can finish it first.  This is also a kid friendly activity, though it says you have 60 minutes, the staff at the tourist office were not really keeping a strict schedule.
Guess all the locations we visited for the Louisville Quest last year!

My Memorial Day Tradition
Mayor’s Hike, Bike and Paddle (5/26/2014): This is my absolute favorite Louisville’s activity.  Every Memorial and Labor Day 10,000+ people get together to bike on closed of streets, hike the waterfront or paddle on the Ohio River.  Start your day early, from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m, various vendors provide free health information along with free t-shirts (first 3,000), bike helmets (500 helmets), snacks and other goodies.  Bike doctors are available to service your bike, provide you with free lights and bell.  You can also participate in yoga, Zumba, and tai chi sessions.  The bike (15 miles), hike, and paddle starts at 10 a.m usually at Witherspoon and Preston (Waterfront Park).   I love the feeling of community as I ride alongside thousands of my Louisville neighbors and seeing my town on a slower pace. If you get back before 1 p.m., head straight to the marina by the Great Lawn to participate in the canoe demonstration by the guys at Jefferson Memorial Forest. It’s free and you get to canoe the Ohio River for ~20 minutes.

My To Try List this May:

Buy Local Fair, May 18, 2014; 12 noon – 6 p.m. @ Louisville Water Tower Park (River Road & Brownsboro Road)  Local vendors

Hometown Tourist Celebration Kick-Off Press Conference and Attraction Showcase
Tuesday, May 6: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Fourth Street Live! Entertainment, food, fun, giveaways and more. Nearly three dozen local attractions will be on hand passing out information and answering questions.

Will add more as I find out more information tomorrow at the Kick-Off Fair!  Let's be hometown tourist together this May.