Over the course of our trip, we had some of the best food, had once in a life time experiences, and met some great characters along the way. This blog post today is dedicated to all the people that served us on our journey. Whether it was a hostess, a manager, or simply someone giving us directions, this is the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY of WHO we encountered, PART ONE: THE GOOD!
BEST OF THE BEST!
Louisville was one of the best stops on our tour. We went into Louisville not expecting anything, and BOY we were astonished! If you are ever in the Louisville area, please please stop by MEAT. It’s located above The Blind Pig In the Butchertown section of Louisville. I posted about this bar before, but it was so unique that I have to talk about it again. The atmosphere creates this “Back to the Future” feeling where everyone drinks classical cocktails in a speakeasy which was created by an “Imagineer” from Disney. Think WALL-E meets Edward ScissorHands, with a little Steam Punk thrown in. Yes, the cocktails were fantastic. (don’t go in asking for a Jack and Coke though, get the REAL DEAL! The cocktails are one of a kind!) BUT The best part about this bar was, of course, the bartender- Bradley. Not only did he make me feel like a flapper from the 1920’s, but he had great drink suggestions, other places in Louisville to check out, and he sat and talked whiskey and other spirits with me the whole time. 🙂
The craziest thing about our whole time in Louisville was that every time we had a server or bartender, they knew the previous server or bartender that recommended that bar or restaurant. SO here it goes! Louisville Six Degrees of Separation:
Jillian (Me) knows Danielle (My Manager) who knows a manager at RYE
The Bartender at RYE (Sorry no name for this one!) Gave us the suggestion to go to MEAT.
Bradley at MEAT knew our previous bartender and just spent the weekend with him celebrating his birthday.
After MEAT Bradley told us to go to this OTHER bar (which at this point I totally forgot) Where we met up with our first bartender from RYE.
He then gave us a great lunch place to go to: MAYAN CAFE (Which was fantastic)
YUM! Mayan Cafe
Our waitress at MAYAN CAFE, was a girlfriend of one of the managers at RYE (whom we had met) and who also knows Bradley, had been to the same birthday party, and also informed us that Bradley lived above the MAYAN CAFE.
Kevin Bacon? I love that story 🙂
Ok, so we never ate in Chattanooga. ( We were way too full from ARNOLDO’S in Nashville) But we decided to stop and take a bit of a breather in the art district of Chattanooga, TN. Once again, we were caught of guard! Chattanooga has a beautiful downtown and art district area! They have a breathtaking sculpture garden, artsy lunch cafes and plenty of galleries to keep your artistic side flowing. We stepped into the RiverGallery on East Second Street in the Bluff View Art District. While Mike and I scoped out art (and a few knickknacks that we took home) we also met some really interesting and fun young ladies! We even got our recommendation about THE OLD SCHOOL DINNER there! Their hospitality was definitely noted and if I am ever in Chattanooga, I will be back!
Not all the restaurants we went to were fine dining. There were some spots I wanted to hit that didn’t even have reservations. Such as COWFISH SUSHI AND BURGER BAR. Yes the name sounds crazy, and the concept is even crazier. Think sushi and burgers. IN ONE. That’s right! It’s American style sushi (I mean REAL AMERICAN) one of our rolls had pulled pork, called BARBA-Q-SHI.
and man it is tasty! Upon arriving, we were told that it would be an hour wait. Now, by this time I was HUNGRY (something that normally didn’t happen on this trip) I was tired and I didn’t care were I was eating, I just needed to relax. I sat down on one of the benches and started to look up other places to eat that night. This whole time I noticed that I was alone. That usually never happens (especially if you know Mike) So I start to look around,for my then, missing boyfriend. I see him at that bar and I ran to him. He explained that we should eat at the bar and he can stand….not a big deal. This place was PACKED for 8pm on a week night! I slowly started to agree when our buzzer light up and we were greeted by a smiling hostess telling us our table was ready! I was so happy. I guess Mike had told her about our trip and she got us in right away! After that the meal was SO FUN! if you are looking to take a group out somewhere that has the atmosphere of a sports bar with kick ass sushi and good drinks, this is the place for you! The server was more then attentive (Taking us through the whole menu, which you will NEED!) and never skipping a beat! The manager came by as well and gave us a taste of THE COWFISH’S best dishes! If you go, try one of the milk shakes! But you must be twenty one or over! Much love out to the COWFISH TEAM! We had a great time!
Our actual cheese steak from ZIO’S Pizza
I loved Philly. If there was a city that I felt at home in, it was Philly. Philly is like Chicago, but the streets are 50% smaller. Imagine Chicago with one lane roads everywhere and everyone eats soft pretzels. That’s Philadelphia. Mike and I did a Food tour while we were there. City Food Tours (cityfoodtours.com) takes non-philadelphians (we did have one native on the tour!) and takes them to the best non-touristy foodie places in Philly. You get some history, food (cheese steaks and pretzels of course) and sightseeing in two hours. While Mike and I weren’t totally crazy about the cheese steak, the tour guide was fantastic! Not only did she know about Philly -4th generation, she even told us her family background- You could tell that she loved it! Feeling her passion made me want to come back home to Chicago!
Philadelphia was not only good to us because of the tour, but we had the best dinner at SBRAGA. Now, I wont go into too much detail (still going to write a post about this one!) But I will say that the service at SBRAGA is outstanding. We decided to do a wonderful tasting menu with 4 courses each. Not only were our servers recommendations spot on, but she also mid-coursed us anything that we missed. (Mike, OF COURSE, told them about our trip and everything.) The food was outstanding, the service was spot on (there was never a time where I didn’t have water, we never waited too long, I always had a drink, and the manager even stopped by) SBRAGA knows how to make a dinner memorable! I felt right at home!
My tasty dessert at SBRAGA
There were lots of other great servers on our trip but these were THE BEST!! ( GIRL AND THE GOAT, CHICAGO, TOSCA, WASHINGTON DC!) Stay tuned for the WORST! It only get UGLIER from here 🙂
Jillian and Mike