Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Smoketown USA

Character.  Louisville is chalked full of it.  From our “Keep Louisville Weird” bumper stickers to the Zombie Walk we definitely have a distinctive personality. The proprietors of local eateries here in the Ville are no exception, heck the restaurants are character rich as well.  Last week my buddy and I had a much needed two days off after a crazy month of planning and prepping for Derby week.  We had some shopping and errands to do and decided to grab lunch as well.  I have been to Smoketown USA twice before, each time I love it, so I decided to take my buddy.  Before we went I made the disclaimer that everything in the building is pretty much for sale and that the owner will guaranteed come up and talk to our table. 
We went later in the afternoon so there was one other group in there and normally that makes me a little nervous when people aren’t in a place.  But like I said, I’ve been here before so I wasn’t at all worried.  We sat down, ordered our drinks, looked over the menu, and then placed our order.  I had the rib basket with potato salad and greens; she had the pulled chicken sandwich with greens and green beans.  On our way I had told her that before this place I didn’t eat greens.  To be honest with you I’m not really sure why I didn’t, but for some reason it was just never one of those things I had ever eaten or really cared to, but one taste there and I was hooked.  The meal was great, the sauce not too over powering, on the table if you wanted more, and of course the greens are where it’s at.
While the food is delicious, the character of this place is what keeps me coming back, and that lies in two very different things.  As I believe I have said before I am a history nerd, and Smoketown is located in a Civil War era building that once housed a grocery, feed/seed store, and livery.  To me a building with that character given a new chance at life is something worth checking out.  But then in walks Eric, the owner of Smoketown USA, in his bib overalls and giant smile and you can’t help but know you have made a good choice.  This particular day he greeted us with a “Hey hot girls how you doing?”, then came over to chat with us.  A self described “Jewish redneck massage therapist who loves to hunt and fish and who owns a restaurant but his wife owns him”  Since I told him I had been there before he asked my buddy who she was, and when she said her name he said “No I mean who are you?”  Seriously?!  Life defining questions from the guy in overalls who makes the best greens in town, this, my friends, is why I love Louisville.

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