NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament: A fan's guide to Louisville's restaurants, hotels, and bars near the KFC Yum! Center and beyond [Sports]
If you find yourself along the main strip, Bardstown Road, you’ll want to add The Holy Grale (1034 Bardstown Road) to one of your stops. The building is a converted church that is now an exclusive craft beer bar! Attention craft beer geeks, go thirsty, you will find a lot of firsts to be had here. The Holy Grale offers some simple small plates that pair well with the many beers you’ll be enjoying. Last time I was in, I enjoyed the Ashbourne Farm Burger served on a pretzel bun. Don’t expect to catch tournament action or scores here though: the bar has no TVs.
Take in a meal at Ramsi’s Cafe (1293 Bardstown Rd.). Ramsi’s has an extensive menu of influences from around the world; Greek, Jamaican, middle eastern to name a few. On my last visit the Menjool dates stuffed with goat cheese are served warm and deliciously sweet and well balanced. The minted lamb chops were perfectly pan-seared served with a Moroccan couscous pilaf. The meal completed with the famous Turkish Tiramisu with the sponge cake soaked in Turkish coffee. Divine.
Another long-standing craft beer bar for the rare seekers is Sergio’s (605 Story Ave). Sergio has made quite the name for himself as being the go-to guy on all things related to beer.
And last, but not least, you must check out Zanzabar (2100 S. Preston St.). Visit it’s website and just check out that exterior. It’s a great place for a beer, a meal and some live shows. The pasta dishes are quite fine but not always on the menu. Other staples include the Hot Brown Skillet Mac & Cheese prepared with Bacon and Beer Cheese with Chorizo sauteed with scallions that pairs well with many a brew.
If time allows take in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The trail leads you through 6 bourbon distilleries including, Four Roses, Makers’ Mark, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Heaven’s Hill and Wild Turkey where you’ll get a deeper understanding of the distilling process with plenty of tasting opportunities. Enjoy a mint juleps and be on the look out for special batches of Blanton’s and Four Roses.
Amy Crook lives in downtown Indianapolis and is passionate about cities. She makes frequent get-a-way trips to Louisville after she was won over while working in the area for an Indiana brewery. You'll find her writings on the world wide web on cities, marketing, conscious eating and craft beer.
Photo: Courtesy NCAA