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    Eat & Swig

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    5 a.m. Amazing Glaze Donut Co. / Adrienne & Co. Bakery

     5801 U.S. Hwy. 150, Floyds Knobs, Ind.

    It’s five in the morning, that fuzzy hour when all-nighters and early risers intersect before splitting, one for rest, the other to the starting line. I drive down U.S. 150 in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. After a slight bend in the road, four lanes funnel to two. With morning light still an hour off, it’s all headlights and shadowy hills. A Marathon gas station’s neon scream tells me I’m close. Just to the left of the gas station sits a hut-like building glowing orange — Amazing Glaze Donut Co. A bell whacks the glass door as I walk inside, and a woman scurries from the back where a crew has been baking overnight. Yeast and sugar dominate the senses. Classics like original glazed compete with red velvet, cookies-and-cream and even a turtle-sundae doughnut. By 8 a.m., silver racks will empty — regulars loading up on favorites. But at this hour mostly random passersby pull in, unable to resist.        

    — Anne Marshall

    6 a.m. Wild Eggs   121 S. Floyd St. and other area locations

    On a recent Friday morning, daylight still fresh and gauzy, the Wild Eggs located in downtown Louisville already bustles. At 6:30 on a weekday, tables often fill with parents treating kids to a breakfast date and tired professionals gulping coffee, hashing out details for an upcoming meeting. The space is simple — high ceilings, walls the color of butter, tiny metallic chickens peering from ledges. Open the menu and offerings span savory to sweet: omelets, breakfast nachos, pancakes, skillets, even an adventurous waffle dubbed the Crispy Hippie Crunch — a Belgian base topped with granola, wild berry compote, whipped cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon. Wild Eggs isn’t the cheapest breakfast option out there. On my visit, the farmers’ market skillet, coffee, milk and a side of fruit cost close to $20. But Wild Eggs is like the Golden Retriever of breakfast joints. Reliable and friendly, it’s hard not to like.

    — AM

    7 a.m. Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Café   901 Barret Ave.

    My breakfast mate inhales the almond croissant. Exaltation follows. “Not too jammed up with almond paste like some jelly doughnut,” he begins. “The nubs (on either end) are punchy little elbows, not knotted, crusty extensions. Sweet, flaky!” Accolades in between bites surely occur on the regular here. The pastry counter is a wonderland of baked hoorays piled onto delicate plates, safely encased behind glass: blueberry streusel muffins, a s’more “pop tart” advertising a highly lickable inch of frothy marshmallow topping, soft butter croissants. A puffy vegetable frittata and ham-and-cheese biscuits round out the spread. At seven in the morning, a steady line of commuters zips down Barret Avenue to downtown, passing Wiltshire’s elegant space, all dark wood, bright windows and dainty pastel flowers. But many know to stop in, ogle the goods and gobble as many as possible.

    — AM

    8 a.m. Highland Morning   1416 Bardstown Road

    Good sign: The woman who always seems to be my server at Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe is eating breakfast at one of Highland Morning’s sidewalk tables as I approach. (A word about Blue Dog: Didn’t make the list this time, because we basically write about its spinach-mushroom omelet and breakfast pizza and bourbon-orange French toast in every issue. Blue Dog’s Bloody Mary did make a sidebar in this package, though.)

    A sampling of Highland Morning pancakes: Key West Key Lime, Dreamsicle, Lemon Lover’s Dream. Highland Morning has expanded since my last trip here, knocking through an interior wall and turning what used to be designer-toy store Ultra Pop! into another dining room. Maybe now I’ll be able to land a table on Saturday mornings.        

    — Josh Moss                              

    9 a.m. Adrienne and Co.   129 W. Court Ave., Jeffersonville, Ind.

    “Come right up and order when something strikes your fancy,” the woman behind the counter and the cases of baked goodies says to me. I go with the challah French toast and ask if I’m reading the colorful-chalk menu correctly, the part that mentions how, on Thursday nights, a plate of spaghetti costs just nine cents if you spend at least two dollars. “That’s right, sweetie,” the woman says. Over the next 20 seconds, she calls me “darlin’,’” “honey” and “baby.”

    “Do you want the challah sandwich?” she asks.

    “What do you mean?”

    “Your order comes with eggs and bacon, sweetheart, and you can get ’em between the bread.”

    When in Jeffersonville. . . .                                                                       
    — JM

    10 a.m. Eggs Over Frankfort   2712 Frankfort Ave.

    Since the middle of June, this fledgling breakfast-lunch spot has bumped up the morning population on Frankfort Avenue’s 2700 block, combining with next-door Heine Brothers’ Coffee to offer a strong one-two, start-your-day punch. Before Eggs Over Frankfort moved into the old Fat Jimmy’s, Heine coffee-lovers had to make do with carb accompaniments. Now it’s not unusual to see a customer with a cup of HB joe leaning over a plate of EOF eggs Benedict. Call it pragmatic symbiosis.

    My wife and I compared notes between her garden omelet (tomato, mushrooms, asparagus, caramelized onions and goat cheese) and my meat omelet (ham, bacon, sausage and Cheddar). Mine was good, but the next time I’m having hers. The homemade blackberry and strawberry jams and apple butter are a nice touch, too.            
    — Jack Welch

    11 a.m. Hillbilly Tea   120 S First St.

    This is brunch primetime. Make reservations! I was glad I did when I got there with a party of six. Not sure how many actual hillbillies would eat Appalachian-inspired breakfast in downtown Louisville, but a lot of 20-something hipsters (yes, me included) will.

    A server brings us menus printed on muslin squares and purposefully tarnished silverware. Tea comes in quart-sized Mason jars. The waitress expertly answers my silly questions about beet pie and twig butter. The eggs with the biscuits and gravy are perfectly poached so the yolks aren’t runny or overdone. The mushroom gravy is flavorful enough on its own, but if you need sausage, order a side of the patties from Stone Cross Farm. I am also lucky enough to steal a couple bites of the sticky and sweet cornmeal-battered fried hen. (Two new locations coming soon)              
    — Amy Talbott

    Noon SuperChefs   307 Wallace Ave.

    The hell is this place’s origin story?

    SuperChefs — in a St. Matthews strip mall since last October, in the back of a dusty consignment/gift store called the Ruby Slipper  (in case you’re looking for waffles and a curio cabinet) — has to be the best restaurant the majority of Louisvillians have never even heard of, breakfast or otherwise. “We’re a 2014 Cracker Barrel,” chef-owner Darnell Ferguson, 27, says with a laugh. “But honestly, some people look in the door and turn around immediately.” Too bad. This is breakfast as a dessert cart.

    Saloon doors lead to the kitchen, where unseen speakers play funk. The dining room, with a 35-person seating capacity, includes a dozen mismatched tables. A section of the ceiling is crumbling. Ferguson’s decorations include superhero movie posters — Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man — and little else. He wears a backpack shaped like Captain America’s shield. Some quick backstory: Ferguson was attending vocational school in Columbus, Ohio (he introduced SuperChefs up there, too), when Sullivan University recruited him to Louisville in the mid-2000s. One night while working at the Maker’s Mark Lounge at Fourth Street Live, Ferguson out-cooked the cocky sous chef. Coworkers nicknamed Ferguson “Super Chef.” Then in 2008, he went with Sullivan to the Summer Olympics in Beijing to cook for American athletes. People Ferguson had never met before came up with the same “Super Chef” nickname. In China, he got “Super” tattooed down one forearm, “Chef” down the other. SuperChefs’ location has changed a bunch, but this month Ferguson hopes to settle into a permanent home in a vacant building next to Cafe 360 on Bardstown Road.

    Ferguson has worked at the Seelbach, Napa River Grill, Proof on Main. “Nobody is trying to be creative with breakfast,” he says. “At Proof — don’t get me wrong, I love Proof — but I thought, ‘I can do breakfast better than this.’ We’re brining my fine-dining background to breakfast.” The Super Duper Cakes are named for characters from the video game Mortal Kombat: Liu Kang (hot-chocolate pancakes with chocolate mousse and a cream-cheese whipped topping), Raiden (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry pancakes), Sub-Zero (blueberry flapjacks layered with lemon crème). Even: Reese’s pancakes. “We basically make every single thing besides maple syrup and bread,” Ferguson says. “We make our own sausage, candy our bacon. When people come in here, they aren’t expecting blueberry compote or meringue or edible paint on the plate.”                            
    — JM

    1 p.m. Silver Dollar   1761 Frankfort Ave.

    To cure my Derby-morning, horse-kicked-me-in-the-face hangover, three friends and I sat at a sidewalk table in front of Silver Dollar and split a flaky biscuit with peppered-bacon gravy and an over-easy egg; chili-cheese hash browns; thick cornbread pancakes; and tortilla chips creaking beneath the weight of shredded chicken, salsa verde, queso Cotija and more over-easy eggs. Even saved room for dessert: an SD Dog, which is house-smoked breakfast sausage, cornbread pancake/bun and maple syrup. Food hangover took over.       
    — JM

    2 p.m. Toast   620 E. Market St. as well as New Albany, Ind. Location

    It’s two in the afternoon on a Saturday and social norms dictate a sandwich or soup. Toast on Market offers both lunch and breakfast, but I can’t resist the menu’s obvious star — the lemon soufflé pancakes. For $9 you get three lemony buttermilk pancakes, topped with vanilla custard and adorned with sweet blueberry compote. This is dessert disguised as a pancake. The entrée comes with a choice of bacon or sausage, but nix the two. Go with the hash-brown casserole. It’s a bountiful scoop of potato chunks mixed with cheese, red pepper and the flaky crunch of a Ritz Cracker crust. If keeping it local is your thing, try the Bourbon Mosa — half a Manhattan topped with champagne. The pendant lighting and brick walls are an aesthetically pleasing distraction from the ensuing mimosa buzz.                                                  
    — Avery Walts

    3 p.m. The Café   712 Brent St.

    I have no idea how they make the eggs so fluffy in the Strata del Giorno here. It’s kind of like a deep-dish pizza with spinach, bacon, tomatoes and cheese, but replace the doughy crust with light, airy egg custard. The portion was so big I couldn’t try anything else. But I probably should, judging by the decent crowd at 3 on a random Wednesday afternoon — in a restaurant that’s kind of hard to find, off Broadway as you’re heading toward the Highlands.

    Oh, and compliments to the landscaper. It was 90 degrees the day I went, too hot to sit outside, but that partially covered patio is the perfect place for brunch when it gets a little cooler.                                                                             
    — AT

    4 p.m. Gralehaus   1001 Baxter Ave.

    Through the fenced-in gravel beer garden behind the Holy Grale is the back entrance to the Gralehaus, which will eventually add a couple of hotel rooms to the compound and is already cooking breakfast until 4 p.m. Lamb sausage and grits, trout hash, breakfast sandwiches (egg, cheese, country ham, bacon) on biscuits, brioche or pretzel buns.

    The black-pepper biscuit with duck gravy (maple syrup, duck jus, sunny-side-up egg and “duck cracklin’” ) is one of the first things chef Andy Myers came up with. “We use the entire duck,” he says. “I wanted something Southern-ish and dinner-ish, but a little more fun and not a straightforward biscuit-and-gravy.” The dish is surprisingly light. “I hear that a lot,” Myers says. “There’s not a lot of fat on a duck.

    “When we were coming up with the menu, wherever we food-vacationed — Chicago, New York, L.A., New Orleans — there seemed to be more options during the first part of the day,” Myers says. “We want to approach breakfast the same way you would a dinner menu.”
    — JM

    5 p.m. Four Sisters   2246 Frankfort Ave.

    Rush-hour traffic is backed up, stopped for the train that crosses Frankfort Avenue, but I’m sitting in a cozy chair by the window of this former Victorian house deciding if I want sparkling wine with my crêpes.

    I listen to four ladies lingering over tea, discussing rental property. Two college students, home for summer break, talk about how much better life is in California. This place has a relaxed, coffee-house atmosphere and nobody’s going to be rushed.

    My first crêpe has sliced smoked salmon, a healthy scoop of cream cheese and a side of capers (Four Sisters’ version of a New York bagel with lox). The batter is less egg-y than other crêpes I’ve had. (That’s a good thing.) The crêpe, which came highly recommended, was filled with strawberry and banana slices and Nutella. Topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream to ensure it’s super sweet.

    If you want a more traditional breakfast, order a crêpe with ham, egg and cheese. And coffee and espresso drinks. My receipt says, “Welcome to Four Sisters, the nest of goodness.” 
    — AT

    6 p.m. Frontier Diner   7299 Dixie Hwy.

    To answer your question: Yes, there is a fake street sign that says “Andy Griffith Hwy.” There are quilts. There is Coca-Cola wallpaper. My waitress takes quick strides over the black-and-white checkered floor. Here’s how you know if a place has a bunch of regulars: The waitress — and it’s almost always a waitress — asks for your order seconds after you slide into the booth, silently saying Who needs a menu? with her eyes as you mumble, “Gimme a minute.” The Frontier Sunrise is two eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns and a biscuit with gravy. No organic, free-range, cage-free BS here. I get the Frontier Sunrise. “I love breakfast for supper,” my waitress says. The food comes on two plates from Grandma’s cupboard.            
    — JM

    7 p.m. The Kitchen   5300 Cane Run Road

    The Kitchen is way down off Cane Run Road, billowing LG&E smokestacks in its backyard. When I enter, the waitress asks if I know what I want before I sit down, then again before I’ve had a chance to look at the menu, then a third time like 30 seconds after that. This place must have more regulars who know their order by heart than the Frontier Diner. The walls remind me of a Gatlinburg cabin, a Christmas decoration or two out year-round. Hanging pictures hit the down-home trifecta: Elvis, John Wayne and Barney Fife. Another important trinity, according to a small wooden sign, is the three F’s: faith, family and friends. TV screens show CMT.

    The baked skillet I order holds three scrambled eggs ladled with sausage gravy and blanketed in hash browns and Cheddar. “What’s he having?” a guy at the table next to mine asks my waitress.

    “Skillet,” she says.

    “Skillet?” he says. “I’ll have that. It looks goooood.” 

    It’s a Monday evening. A woman with a microphone cues up the music and describes herself as the evening’s entertainment. She sings “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by the Shirelles. She’s goooood. “Are you having a good time?” she asks between songs. “Your mouths are stuffed, so just nod if you are.”    
    — JM

    8 p.m. Anchorage Café   11505 Park Road, Anchorage

    How special can a ham biscuit really be? I thought as I stepped inside the Anchorage Cafe, located in a former L&N railroad stop. I shouldn’t have underestimated the Yelp reviewers’ recommendation. The combination of a chive biscuit, salty (and not too fatty) country ham, cheese and spicy whole-grain mustard is perfect. The egg-white wrap with spinach, goat cheese and pesto is a good, lower-calorie choice. If you’re the kind of person who can handle caffeine after 6 p.m., this place has a fancy Victoria Arduino espresso machine from Italy. The cafe shares its landscaped, well-shaded patio with the Village Anchor, so you’ll probably run into that restaurant’s early dinner crowd as you eat breakfast.                     
    — AT

    9 p.m. Burger Boy   1450 S. Brook St. (Burger Boy) and 1532 S. Fourth St. (Tavern)

    The top of the wooden door has worn through from the bell that hits it every time someone comes inside, an indication of this place’s popularity (or age — the building has been around since the 1930s and it has been a diner since the ’60s.) Burger Boy’s look is half-retro (jukebox included) and half-U of L, plus lots of stimulating flags and bumper stickers as you're eating flattop-grill breakfast. If you’re in the mood for some cereal, the Burger Boy’s owner also runs the Old Louisville Tavern around the corner. A bartender there will make you a Fruity Pebbles cocktail: limoncello, Razzmatazz and Frangelico, which is a hazelnut liquor in a Mrs. Butterworth’s-esque bottle.  
    — MCA

    10 p.m. North End Café   1722 Frankfort Ave. and another location in Douglas Loop

    It’s perfectly fine to dodge Sunday morning’s highchairs and 30-minute waits to get your hearty breakfast (three eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, toast, grits and a pancake) just before closing time. Eat among the lingering wine-sippers and those following their steak dinners with flourless chocolate cake. Make sure you pair your meal with a mimosa or Irish coffee. It’s also perfectly fine if you’d rather just go with the salmon Niçoise salad at 10 a.m. on a Sunday. Wait, who are we kidding? When given the choice, ALWAYS go with breakfast.                
    — Mary Chellis Austin

    11 p.m. Hi-Five Doughnuts   (pop-up stand)

    “We want to be a third-shift food truck,” says Leslie Wilson, who owns Hi-Five Doughnuts with her friend Annie Harlow. “Hit the late-night bars, then go downtown as people head to work.” The Louisville natives, both in their 30s, are still in the market for a truck. In the meantime, Hi-Five (named for U of L’s Doctors of Dunk, who invented the high-five in the late-’70s) has been setting up its stationary stand all over town for more than a year. “We like being females doing it our own way,” Wilson says.

    Listen to some of these creations: El Borracho (“the drunk”), with a tequila glaze and a sprinkle of lime salt; Papaw’s Choice, with sausage gravy, Kellogg's Corn Flakes and maple syrup; the Getaway, with a piña colada glaze, fresh coconut and dried pineapple. The women make all the glazes and doughnuts themselves. At events, they keep the glazes warm and set up a topping station, making everything to order. “Our ingredients — they’re as healthy as you can get when making doughnuts,” Wilson says.   
    — JM

    Midnight Jerry’s J-Boy   4832 Dixie Hwy.

    A Lexington company started Jerry’s J-Boy (then just called Jerry’s) in the late ’40s. (And eventually brought the world Long John Silver’s.) By the late ’80s, the company sold the Jerry’s restaurants. Most new owners converted them into Denny’s. The few that didn’t become Denny’s became Jerry’s J-Boy, maybe a nod to Frisch’s Big Boy.

    In case you had any questions about J-Boy’s specialty: The Elvis statue, Elvis memorabilia and oldies music scream, “Classic American food is served here!” The breakfast menu (served 24/7) delivers it. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, biscuits and gravy — all that. It’s pretty empty at midnight, but I’ve been told it gets busier as people end their nights of drinking. Our server is friendly and the food comes quick. The Husky platter I order is more than enough for two. Big portions of crispy hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage links and a stack of pancakes. Don’t expect real maple syrup. Do expect a full stomach.                                                                                               
    — AT

    1 a.m. Back Door   1250 Bardstown Road

    Maybe you aren’t actually breaking fast. (You had dinner, right?) But when the combination of tequila, gin and Coors Light (don’t judge) gets your stomach rumbling, an egg-and-cheese croissant works as a kind of sponge. Just don’t get so distracted playing Skee-Ball that you don’t hear them call your name through the microphone. Someone else may snatch your sandwich.                  
    — MCA

    2 a.m. Spinelli’s Pizzeria   614 Baxter Ave. and other area locations

    À la the Bagel Bites commercial: “When pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime.” Eggs, potatoes, bacon, ham, sausage, cheese. You can even go omelet style with tomatoes, onion and mushrooms. If that’s too much for your palate, get a slice of plain-old pepperoni and wait a couple hours. Cold pizza always counts as breakfast.                     
    — MCA

    3 a.m. Café 360   1582 Bardstown Road

    Welcome to the epicenter of the Highlands. At 3:14 on a Monday night (or Tuesday morning for you early risers) the daytime buzz is long gone. This popular neighborhood feels like a ghost town, save for Cafe 360, its lights glowing 24/7/365. Cafe 360 is one part hookah bar (it was the first one to hit the scene about 10 years ago) and one part value. With three breakfast categories on the massive menu (everything from stuffed French toast to classics like steak and eggs), it may be a tough decision, especially given your state of mind at this hour. Just get the breakfast burrito already.                                                                                                                                          
    — MCA

    4 a.m. Barbara Lee’s Kitchen   2410 Brownsboro Road

    The orange and fake wood-paneled booths (not to mention the counters) are like a time machine, but at a little after 4 a.m. on a Wednesday, one of the customers is a retiree already reading today’s paper. How long has this place been open? “Like forever,” says the guy behind the counter who’s wearing a UK T-shirt. He’s recovering from being slammed, having had “three football-player dudes” run out on a ticket. He throws eggs, bacon and hash browns (it’s that kind of place) on the griddle and pours gravy over biscuits. He refills coffee mugs. Just before 6 a.m., two more workers in UK T-shirts come in to set up for the next rush.
    — MCA

    Images courtesy of Mickie Winters

    This article appears in the August issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here.

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