Louisville Food: World’s Largest White Castle

Harold and Kumar

Haven’t had a food-related post around here a while, so I thought today would be a good day to start with the latest culinary (and otherwise) happenings around Louisville.

Last Friday morning, the world’s largest White Castle opened in Louisville. Mayor Jerry Abramson was on hand to serve the first sliders off the grill (I’m not sure why WC actually spells ’em as “slyders” on their web site). While this is definitely pretty cool, let’s make sure someone at White Castle corporate HQ made sure the traffic flow is a little better planned than at the White Castle on Westboro Road (see the hilarious photos from Gravy Bread).

Business First ran an interesting profile on Todd Richards, Executive Chef at the Seelbach Hotel’s Oak Room, and recent contestant (versus Bobby Flay) on the Food Network‘s “Iron Chef America.” Richards lost to Flay, but the secret ingredient — carrot — probably wasn’t easy to work with. Richards told Business First:

When the show’s secret ingredient, carrots, was revealed, “it was quite shocking,” Richards said. “I thought, ‘We’re in trouble.’ “

All that aside, Richards was a compelling and innovative contestant for the show, and seeing him compete so strongly on the show most likely helps raise the profile of Louisville’s burgeoning restaurant scene.

Speaking of the Louisville restaurant scene, ‘Ville Voice Eats reports that Louisvillle Originals — a group of more than 50 local restaurants — has ended its association with the national Dine Originals group, echoing the familiar complaint that the national group didn’t offer enough support to local chapters. Business First followed up with a larger piece in their Friday edition. However, Louisville diners probably won’t notice any difference.

Velocity ran an online-only (as far as I can tell) review of the new Impellizzeri’s, long my favorite pizza joint in Louisville, so happy that it’s back and thriving in the Highlands. Reviewer Josh Thomas really nailed the down-home atmosphere of Impellizzeri’s in the following paragraph:

One of the best things I saw all night, though, came during the dinner rush, as tables were vacated and starving, soon-to-be customers waiting in the wings peered over the partition to spy the empty tables. I saw co-owners Benny Impellizeri and Wes Phelps clearing tables, wiping them down, getting them ready for the next bunch of hungry people. And while that may seem tangential to this review, it’s very important to the atmosphere of a business.

Despite being in fancy new digs with HDTVs — a far cry from the old strip-mall digs further down Bardstown Road near Electric Ladyland — Impellizzeri’s hasn’t really changed its attitude. And as far as I can tell, they still don’t have a web site. The new Impellizzeri’s is located at 1381 Bardstown Road, just off Edgeland Avenue, call (502) 454-2711 for hours and table availability, they’re always packed.

Lonnie's Best Taste of Chicago

And finally, Friday for lunch I hit up Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago, oddly situated in the white-bread East End suburb of St. Matthews (photo from Louisville Hotbytes). Having lived in Chicago from 1998 to 2002, I was definitely pleased with Lonnie’s, as it’s the closest I’ve been to a Chicago-style hot dog joint outside of Chicago. I had a Clark Street Dog (the typical north side Vienna dog loaded with vegetables and pepeprs) and a Maxwell Street Polish, both of which tasted excellently like the real thing. Since you can’t actually get a Polish on Maxwell Street any more (Jim’s Original is now located on Union Street, a little bit off Halsted), eating at Lonnie’s in St. Matthews is the next best thing. Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago is located at 121 Saint Matthews Avenue, call (502) 895-2380 for hours. One final note: definitely loved the White Sox-centric decor.

CORRECTION: As Michelle from Consuming Louisville notes in the comments below, Impellizzeri’s does indeed have a web site, at www.impellizzeris.com. Impellizzeri’s is spelled with two l’s and two z’s, which both Velocity and your humble editor managed to miss (no wonder I couldn’t google the site!).


6 Responses to “Louisville Food: World’s Largest White Castle”

  1. Impellizeri’s does have a website: http://www.impellizzeris.com/

    I found it when I was writing my own review of it last month.

  2. Steve Coomes Says:

    Great looking blog, Jeff. Long time no speak. (I believe I met you at Pat Forde’s wedding and likely at Tewligan’s in the ’80s.) Thanks for the link to VilleVoiceEats; I’ll do the same for yours.


    Steve Coomes

  3. stateofthecommonwealth Says:

    Hey Steve, thanks for the reply, but I think you have me confused with someone else, my name isn’t Jeff. And I’ve never met Pat Forde, much less been invited to his wedding. I did go to a handful of shows at Tewligan’s in the ’80s, though. 😉

  4. […] Areheart Books, a division of Random House. “The Bar Hopper” column consists of the previously-on-the-web review of Impellizzeri’s (with no corrected spelling), while “Food & Drink” […]

  5. Word on the streets, is there’s going to be another Lonnie’s opening in the Highlands right behind KFC.

    Sammy has a reliable source 😉

  6. stateofthecommonwealth Says:

    Wow, that would be fantastic. St. Matthews isn’t that far, but a closer-in Lonnie’s? I am totally psyched on the possibility.

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