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Posts Tagged ‘KY’

Once you see my photo of the renowned Hot Brown Sandwich at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY you will know why we HAD to stop here for lunch en route to Cincinnati. Does the word NOM come to mind? nom!

Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

We were on a deadline to get to The American Sign Museum and had but a scant few minutes to race through the Brown Hotel, and did a quick race around to snap some photos.But in that short time we knew that this was a place we’d love to stay, so on the map it goes!

Built in 1923, closed in 1971, restored and reopened in the early 1980’s, the Brown is on the National Register of Historic places.

Entering the empty lobby and hearing the disembodied sounds of piano music coming from an un-manned grand piano, we thought we perhaps had slipped back into a ghost-decade of the hotel’s historic past. AKA The Best Feeling Ever.

Lobby and Piano The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

The opulent two-story lobby has a hand-painted, coffered ceiling, Bottocino marble flooring, finely carved mahogany furnishings and Palladian-style windows. The Georgian-Revival style exterior is trimmed in stone and terra cotta. The Brown Hotel’s ornate hand-painted plaster relief ceilings, intricately carved railings, decorative crown molding, and other classic architectural details make her one of the finest hotels in the South.

Here’s Retro Roadhusband being tres elegante in one of the many pieces of period furniture in the lobby.

RetroRoadhusband in the Big Chair At The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

A big Thank You goes out to the swell lady behind the counter, who instead of chasing us meddling kids away, gave us brochures about the history of the hotel – and their famous sandwich – and encouraged us to check out some of the rooms on the floor above.

I loved the empty, yet still wallpapered booths that once held payphones. Young readers may not remember pay phones, or The New Yorker Cartoons that illustrate the wallpaper, but they’re both wonderful evidence of the history and longevity of the hotel.
Empty Pay Phone Booths The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

But enough about architecture, wallpaper and payphones, says Retro Roadhusband – let’s get one of those SANDWICHES!!!!
RetroRoadhusband Says Lets EAT! The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

(You can see additional of the great details of The Brown Hotel here at the Photo Gallery link on their website, which includes a number of 360 Virtual Tours.)

Thanks to the great folks at the Roadfood.com “Where Should I Eat?” forum, we knew that the Hot Brown was a not miss delicacy on our breakneck trek through Louisville.

Butter + heavy cream + Romano cheese + roasted turkey breast + bacon + omatoes + texas toast +salt & pepper = NOM!

Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel Louisville KY

(This totally reminds me of a little something my dear, great-aunt Agga would assemble in her small apartment kitchen when I’d come over to help her organize her stuff. Wonderful memory and wonderful tasty food.)

Here’s the history of this treat From The Brown Hotel’s description of their signature sandwich:

In the 1920’s, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Diners were growing rapidly bored with the traditional ham and eggs, so Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests’ palates. His unique creation was an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce.

The sandwich was rich and delicious, and while we tried to be healthy/frugal and ordered one to share (along with a salad) I totally wish we had indulged and gotten one for each of us. The Brown gives the recipe for this Hot Brown delicacy on their website, so once the weather cools, we may try to recreate them at home.

While this was too short of a visit to truly absorb the wonderfulness of The Brown Hotel and their killer lunch, hopefully we’ve shown you enough to encorage you to visit when you’re in Louisville yourself!

Brown Hotel & Famous Hot Brown Sandwich
335 West Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 583-1234

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We just happened to be walking down Fourth Avenue during our whirlwind stop in Louisville, KY and were delighted to see these vintage theatre marquees:

The Palace Theatre Louisville KY

(more…)

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As we make plans for our retro road trip to Austin TX next month I can’t help but compare the process to what it used to be waaaay back in the 90’s when I took my first road trips out of the North East. Books, maps, guides and payphones have been replaced by the internet, GPS and social networking, and I think it makes the process even more fun!

Planning a Retro Roadtrip - Old SchoolI’ll still be referring to my books, but I also want to take advantage of the internet – where I can shout out “Does anyone know of a good place to eat in Jackson MS?” and perhaps I’ll get a local person who will give a recommendation that I might not have been able to find with the limited resources of days of yore.

That being said, anyone know of a good hotel/ motel /restaurant / vintage business / classic sign / old theater / cocktail lounge / drive in / dive bar / BBQ joint / ice cream stand / bakery / roller skating rink / diner / souvenir stand / tourist trap / roadside attraction that we should not miss on our journey?

How about a bologna factory?! We’re pretty much game for anything along our route!

Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna Palmyra PA 1996

Here is the plan so far:

We’ll be heading from PA to Austin via 81 /77 / 85 with a stop in Atlanta so Retro Roadhusband can play some gigs, and we can eat at The Varsity and Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

From Atlanta we’ll head through Birmingham AL and Jackson MS – neither of which state is represented on the Retro Roadmap! Whaddaya got?

We go south from Jackson, taking the coastal route west, with Baton Rouge LA and Houston TX being the biggest dots on the map before we head to Austin, where we’ll be for a few days for the SXSW music convention. (While we’ll be oh-so-close to New Orleans, I want to save that for its very own trip later this year)

Then when we leave Austin we’ll be hitting such high points as Graceland in Memphis, Hatch Show Prints in Nashville, Wigwam Village #2, The American Sign Museum and the home of Fiestaware, before we reluctantly swing east across PA to head home.

While we’ve got these pins in our map already please let us know if there are any places to eat, visit, photo, people we should meet, regional foods to eat, souvenirs to buy along the way. If we can cram it into this trip we’ll do it. And if we don’t get it all done, that means we need to take another trip!

I look forward to any suggestions that you have, and promise to share the trip with “y’all” while we’re on the road and when we return.

Thank You in advance,

Mod Betty & RetroRoadhusband

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