Finishing 50 States—Louisville Sluggers and Fried Chicken

We paid for our all-night dive bar party the next morning…err…afternoon. That Kentucky heat felt like the surface of the sun when we finally emerged from our hotel, squinting like newborn birds. Desperate for nutrients, we walked over to Wild Eggs for breakfast. Tucked into a quiet street, Wild Eggs perfectly satisfied our need for carb-laced brunch food. I dug into a plate of fluffy crepes stuffed with cream cheese and wild berries and washed it down with a gigantic glass of hangover-crushing orange juice. My electrolytes slowly returned to a life-sustaining level.19668235_10101268760351129_1539223886_n (1)

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An interesting building downtown

Our touristy stop for the day was a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum to tour the factory where Louisville Slugger bats are produced. Kitschy as it seemed, it was kind of cool to see the operational factory producing bats (for all major league teams!) on the spot. You learn nifty information like the fact that most baseball players go through 120 bats a season. I’m also a sucker for interactive tours—walking straight through production lines and seeing logos burned into the wood with a dinosaur-sized machine kept my post-hangover brain focused. You get a free mini bat at the end (for playing baby baseball?)19832804_10101268760560709_1303051991_n19691595_10101268760630569_1436492467_n19758290_10101268760750329_836921464_n

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Quaint little building just outside of downtown

The monster-sized iced coffee I had before the tour was finally kicking in. I was on the mend. To celebrate this, we took a detour over to Against the Grain Brewery. After sipping through a beer flight inside the warehouse-style brewery, we settled in for dinner at Harvest Restaurant. Yelp reviews raved about the Bourbon Queso, so we started with that. Holy cracker barrel. It had to be one of the best things I had ever consumed. The dish came with a hot cheese dip similar in consistency to fondue, containing a combination of creamy white cheddar and tangy whiskey. It was served with a hot, fluffy pretzel roll covered in course sea salt for dipping. I can’t adequately explain how delicious this dip was. The bourbon made the cheese super tangy but with an edge of caramel-like sweetness, and the pretzel added salt and chewiness. It was an out of body experience.19755966_10101268760715399_1495778826_n19691512_10101268760740349_846008580_n

My entrée only amped up the awesomeness of the entire meal. We each got a plate of buttermilk fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and braised collard greens. Best fried chicken I have ever had—perfect savory crunch on the outside and juicer than ever on the inside. It tasted like Christmas. The greens were super flavorful and refreshing, and the plate was lined with a homemade blackberry hot sauce. I couldn’t even speak. There was no need for dinner conversation.

One of the cooler parts about dinner was the chat we had with one of the co-owners. He told us they source the majority of their food from within 100 miles and they really push farm-to-table. He was walking around talking to patrons like friends at an old bar.

Afterward we caught a bit of live music–the band was celebrating one of its members’ 65th birthdays and the whole place was offered free food. Unfortunately (or not) I was completed full from the best meal on the planet. I’ll dream of that fried chicken.19758419_10101268760795239_2036873256_n19848869_10101268760790249_1336625664_n

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