We started our last full day of vacation in the Louisville area with brunch at Bristol Bar & Grille on Main Street. The downtown location was an easy walk from our hotel. (We wanted to hit the road at a decent hour to have time to tour another distillery.) It was a brunch buffet. I'm not a fan of buffets. Given the choice, I'd rather have something freshly prepared when I order it at a restaurant, rather than serving myself gelatinous foods from a steam tray or selecting baked goods from a mini-mountain of growing-staler-by-the-moment starchy wonders. The Bristol's bountiful brunch buffet was spread out on many tables in a large windowless room down a hallway behind the bar area. It was dark in Bristol on Main, despite having huge floor to ceiling windows in the main dining area. The overall decor felt dated, and left me with the impression of being in an anonymous chain hotel restaurant. Our server was a really nice, personable guy, and the high point of the brunch. Other than our awesome server, I think we picked the wrong location of Bristol Bar & Grille. One of our Uber drivers in Louisville told us that the Bristol on Bardstown Road has a fun atmosphere.
We enjoyed a nice drive out to the Buffalo Trace Distillery with no aggressive tailgaters. Arriving up the twisting, tree-lined driveway to the distillery we saw several large buildings made out of of different materials, each best-suited to a particular product made or aged within, as we learned on the tour. Lots of history at this distillery and lots of different products made this an interesting venture.
In one of the barrel aging houses we were treated to a short ghost story. Our tour guide told us of a lady on a tour who stepped outside for fresh air. Initially the tour guide thought it was a bit of claustrophobia on the lady's part, but later the lady cornered the tour guide. "Don't you lie to me," she said to the tour guide. "I know this place is haunted. I had to step out because I saw a man in old-time clothes patting the barrels, checking them as if he was tucking children into bed for the night. I stepped outside for some air, and saw the same man up in one of the top floor windows, staring down at me like I was the ghost." Of course, Buffalo Trace Distillery also offers ghost tours on Thursday through Saturday evenings. The distillery has also been featured on a variety of ghost hunter "reality" shows. Boo!
Near the end of our tour, our group bellied up to the bar for the liquor tasting. Chad enjoyed a few sips of different bourbons. Then I was in for a treat, because Buffalo Trace Distillery makes vodka. As aforementioned, I do no like bourbon, but I am a fan of vodka. Cheers! Not bad. We also shared a taste of tiny root beer floats made with McGillicuddy's Root Beer and Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream. Also not bad. I wish that we had explored the grounds a bit more before leaving Buffalo Trace, but it was a hot day. We were starting to melt.
Upon arrival back into Louisville proper, it was evident from our gurgling stomachs and wilting moods that we needed food. We parked at Garage Bar on Market Street in the NuLu area. The former car mechanic garage had an industrial/rustic feel in a clean, well-lit space. There was a beautiful bar with antiqued-mirror-backed shelves reminiscent of an old pharmacist counter along one wall. The bathrooms were clean. Hallelujah! I had a delicious lavender honey lemonade drink with vodka. (What? I was on vacation.) Chad and I shared a mixed local leaves salad with pecans, charred peach and shaved cheese, and then shared a summer squash pizza. Amazing! If I lived in Louisville, this would be my go-to place. There are also ping-pong tables outside and some lawn games, if you're feeling the need to be outdoorsy, which Chad and I were not.
Although the nice manager from Friday night at Proof on Main invited us to stop in Sunday night at the bar for a drink on the house, we declined. Our waiter from brunch Sunday morning invited us to visit him at his other restaurant job down the street on Sunday evening, but we declined. People were so friendly and inviting in Louisville. We were tired from a packed schedule of sightseeing over the course of our eight day vacation. Even though it was our last night of vacation, we went back to the hotel early in the evening. I studied my script for an upcoming dinner mystery show. We packed for our morning departure.
The next day, after another great room service breakfast, we departed the 21c hotel and Louisville. Chad drove the two of us back to Nashville to catch our flight home. We considered going to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Art Museum before the airport, but is closed on Mondays. *sad trombone*
It was good to get home to our pesky pets and the 1952 House. While on vacation Chad and I talked at length about whether or not we want to stay in our current house, or move to a quieter area out of the congestion and noise of Central Austin. Check back soon for tales of traversing small towns near Austin in search of a slower pace, more affordable real estate and less congestion.