Tuesday, November 17, 2009

300th Entry: Wee Hiatus

Greetings and Salutations, dear readers,

This is just a heads up that I might be MIA for a little while, effective immediately. Loyal readers know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2008, and this Friday I will be having what I hope is the last of my reconstructive surgeries.

Big Mama Lou is heading to town tomorrow to nurse me through the recovery. She'll hang out until Thanksgiving-- by which time, I should be healthy enough to indulge in the usual partaking of the turkey.

It's kind of nice that it worked out that this is my 300th blog entry since starting Loueyville. It's a lovely time to take a moment to say how thankful I am for my loyal readers and for the friends I have made because of this blog. Loueyville.com is still a long way from being what I want it to be, but in many small ways, working on this blog has bettered my life.

So thanks. Be well. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. I'll see y'all in December.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bluegrass Soy Sauce-- This stuff is SO good!

I just finished my bottle of Bluegrass Soy Sauce tonight. Used it to cook up some garlic and soy pork chops. I'm a big fan of soy sauce, but I don't think I've ever had soy sauce this good. This is what the bottle says about itself:
This sauce is from the only small batch soy sauce brewery in the United States. It's made from whole non-GMO Kentucky grown soybeans and pure limestone filtered Kentucky spring water. The result is a smoky, brothy sauce with hints of oak and a mild sweetness reminiscent of fine Kentucky bourbon.
The label is hand labeled with the batch and bottle numbers. And it's just so pretty. I love it when good stuff is in attractive packaging-- it means I can feel free to give it as a gift. The company is located on Story Ave, and you can buy the sauce at most local gourmet shops or online. I may never go back to Kikoman again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Wifi at SDF

It's always kind of irked me that Louisville Airport doesn't offer free wifi. It's a perfectly lovely airport otherwise, and I know that free wifi isn't the norm for airports. But still, it just seems like it would be very Midwestern hospitality thing to do offer it.

Well, from now til January 15, 2010, Google is offering free wifi at 47 airports, including SDF. There's also a contest-- post your picture to the site while you're at an airport and you can win a prize from Virgin Airways.

So, while you're waiting for you plane to be de-iced this holiday season, at least you can web surf and amuse yourself.

For the Area Blogger Who Has Everything...

I've been a very good girl this year. Well, sorta kinda. But, Santa, if you really want to send a little holiday something my way, bourbon always works. And if you want to send a little BIGGER holiday something my way, I'll take a bourbon WITH the works.

Specifically, the Maker's Mark Masters Distiller package offered on page 58 of this year's Neiman Marcus Holiday Fantasy catalogue. Here's the description.

Any whisky aficionado will tell you it is perfection in amber. Maker's Mark® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky is handmade in small quantities of just 19 barrels, each batch distilled and aged with the same exacting standards the Samuels family has passed down for seven generations. As Master Distillers for a day, you and a friend will have an all-access VIP experience like no other, with Master Distiller Kevin Smith as your host. You will participate in the unique whisky-making process step by step, for an insider's look at how every detail makes every glass a special occasion. This gift experience includes a two-bottle memento of the rarest Maker's Mark bottles ever: Two golden bottles will be etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax with 24-kt. gold flecks. You'll also get to hand dip six of your own 375ml Maker's Mark bottles in signature red wax and take them home. The experience includes luxury accommodations in Louisville and a gourmet dinner hosted by Bill Samuels, Jr. (the top dog at Maker's Mark).

It's only $7500. A genuine bargain compared to the $200,000 you'd have to spend on the Algonquin Experience-- dinner and chit chat with 12 of the biggest literati brainiacs in America. That's for one night. And dinner. Yes, you can bring a friend, but yeeesh... not to be crass, but for that price I'd expect Henry Louis Gates, Jr or John Lithgow to agree to be sperm donors. (And I DON'T mean that in the MOST crass way-- I simply mean that they'd have to agree to father my future brainaic child. Sheesh.)

Check out the book here:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Breaking News: Local wins Manhattan Experience

I'm kind of piecing this together from Twitter, but tonight in SOHO in Manhattan, Brown-Forman had a Manhattan making contest. Looks like Jeremy Edwards from Theater Square Marketplace won with his Cider Manhattan. All the more reason to spend some quality time at the place that I just blogged about a few hours ago.

Follow the tweets here. @justaddbourbon posted a photo of the winner.

Hopefully more info to come. You know how Mama loves her Manhattans!

I always forget to mention...

... Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @Loueyville or Facebook friend Louey Ville. I'm not saying there's any benefit to either; I'm just saying that you can. xo Mama

Monday Evening Randomness: Theater, food, and Southern Belles

Not that that last post about vacationing downtown wasn't random, but here's a little more Monday Evening randomness for you.
  • Pandora Productions' The Kathy and Mo Show has been getting super good reviews. Both officially and via hearsay. Tickets sold out a couple of nights this weekend. There are still a few shows left. I plan on going on Wednesday, "Singles Night." Because, well, why the hell not.

  • Speaking of hearsay, rumor has it that this weekend's Dashboard Confessional with the Louisville Orchestra Concert was fabulous but WAY under-attended. A friend said that the entire balcony was empty. The next big shindig of this sort is Airborne Toxic Event and Calexico on Jan 10.... or is it?? Hey, why isn't it on the Louisville Orchestra Calendar? Airborne Toxic Event just blogged about it not that long ago. I assume it's still a go.

  • The lovely Michelle, at Consuming Louisville, invited me to join her and some friends at the JCC's production of La Cage Aux Folles last week, part of the Center Stage series. A TON of fun! La Cage has closed, but there are four plays coming up: Cabaret - Jan. 14-31; The Last Five Years - Feb. 11 - 21; The Wizard of Oz - Mar. 11-28; Curtains - May 6-16. I'll be checking a few out for sure.

  • Did you know Southern Belles is now available on Hulu? I'm pretty sure it's all the episodes! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! (she chortled in her joy)

  • And a big ol' Loueyville raspberry to the folks at Cracked who insulted Kentucky cuisine with their illustration. Check out the "7 Secrets Only Two People Know (for some reason)" post-- they talk about the spices in KFC. Hot Browns? Derby Pie? Burgoo? Benedictine? The Mint Friggin Julep? Sheesh, some people.

Tourist in my own town: Downtown Vacation

Can we still call this "Indian Summer"? I mean, we're just about as close to the first day of winter as we are the last day of summer. I, for one, couldn't be happier about this warm spell. Not just because I'm a hothouse flower, but because the heat on my house has been kablooey since Thursday, and I can't seem to get a repairman out here to save my life.

But the house fiasco led to an unexpectedly nice weekend, thanks to Roommate. He's out of town til the end of the month, and as an "I'm sorry you're shivering" gift (it was miserable those first couple of days), he paid for a room at the downtown Hyatt for me for Saturday night. So I had a lovely Saturday playing tourist in my own town.

Faithful readers may remember that this time last year, I was actually a denizen of downtown-- exiled to the Residence Inn on Market for almost seven months because Hurricane Ike toppled a tree onto my house. So my downtown stay was equal parts vacation and "Old Home Days."

I started the day at Bodega on Market, the charming little gourmet market/beer store with a lovely deli/restaurant. If there's any restaurant in Louisville that makes a better bisque than Bodega, I haven't found it. My spirits were dashed when I found out that they were out of Lobster Bisque, but a patron at the coffee bar said that the Roasted Red Pepper Bisque was even better. And it was marvelous (though I still prefer the lobster-- New England girl and all). I always kick myself for not going there more often, and I'm so glad they're surviving the death of sister restaurant Melillo's and the popularity of nearby Toast. Lovely atmosphere, free wifi, and very nice people.

When it comes to nice people though, few can hold a candle to the guys at Scout. I just love, love, love them. And they always remember me and ask me all kinds of lovely personal (but not too personal) questions. I suspect, however, who they REALLY love is Big Mama Lou who, whenever she comes to town, hits Scout like a friggin Yankee Tornado, buying up tons of loot and shipping it home. (Or, bless her heart, if she's feeling the bug, buying a ton of stuff for me.) Both Scout and Scout Home seem to be doing really well. Big Mama Lou is coming next week, and I promised to bring her by. I bought myself an adorable pair of squirrel earrings. (Uh, squirrels love acorns!)

The Louisville Beer Store has just opened up next to Scout Home on Market. What an exciting addition to the Nulu District. I mentioned this upcoming opening in my post about the Nulu Festival. I peeked inside and it looks lovely and cozy. Folks were pretty busy stocking shelves, so I didn't stop in.

The only bummer about that new arrival is that it has popped into the store that used to belong to the adorable Boston Flower shop. Anyone know what happened to that place?

Another new opening, mentioned in the comments of a recent post, is the new Sol Azteca's on Fourth Street, which moved into the funky space vacated by Raw Sushi. Can't find much about it online, and I've never been to a Sol Azteca's, but it looks like it's doing well.

One place that definitely calls for further investigation is the absolutely gorgeous Theater Square Market Place on Fourth Street near the Palace. I stopped in for a (kind of poor) iced coffee, but was stunned at the very sophisticated decor and the awesome layout. Theater Square Market Place seems to be treading the same ground as Bodega in many ways (though Bodega's iced coffees are awesome). Gourmet deli, market, etc. But in the back there's a full restaurant and bar (with beautiful lighting) and next door there's a wine shop.

There's also another new (to me, at least) pizza place on Fourth Street. Little joint. The name escapes me right now. But it smelled divine. UPDATE: It's called Sicilian Pizza & Pasta. Thanks, @funambulator

I spent my evening bar-hopping a little. Manhattan at the hotel bar. Beer and Octopus Bagna Cauda at 21c (it's so simple but so tasty... I can hardly bring myself to order anything else). Manhattans at AJ's at the Galt House-- I think they make some of the best (and fairly reasonable) Manhattans in town. Back to the hotel bar. (Uh, yeah, Manhattans again... Mama loves her bourbon).

Morning = chocolate chip bagel and cream cheese at Einsteins.

All in all, an excellent downtown vacation. And while I don't know what he spent on the hotel room, I do know Roommate got it on Hotwire for pretty cheap. The Hyatt is one of the 4-star options, and it is very nice. Lovely comfy beds, sizable rooms. I do wish they had nicer bathrooms. And, because it is an atrium hotel, it's rather noisy in the mornings. The hotel was booked to full-occupancy-- Yay Louisville!-- and it sounded that way. Often 4-star hotels in Louisville can be booked on Hotwire for as little as $60. That's peanuts when you consider the quality of getaway you can have!