En Route [From] Bonnaroo: Louisville

The Southern Sojourn
June 2011

Aside from the general desire to share my wanderings, the flavors and the general feel of the South inspired me in ways that will be evident and bear a background story.  Accordingly, I present the city-by-city recap of my Southern Sojourn.

Now for Louisville [dinnertime]…

I have been known to complain about facebook and social media, but I’ll never swear it off because with a dose of self restraint, these are the useful tools of our era.  Way back in the wintry months when I posted a comment on facebook to see who was interested in a Bonnaroo excursions, Paul Q. responded he would be drumming on stage and then dancing on the festival grounds.   Full disclosure?  With a last name like Quattrone, Paul counts as one of the few gents out there who could persuade this Lady Q to ever change her last name.  Juuuuust saying.  He also said he would be driving home from Bonnaroo, to Pittsburgh, with Alexei, another hometown hero.  Fortunately, they had some space in between a drum, a keyboard and general Bonnaroo goods to squeeze in this baker!

The Drumming Bit…

The Driving Bit…

Look at the above map.  Do you see how Louisville is closer to Nashville than Pittsburgh?  The omnipotent Google maps will tell you it’s about a three hour drive from Nashville to Louisville and then a six hour drive from Louisville to Pittsburgh.  What none of us knew (including Big Brother Google) however, was that Kentucky had this ulterior motive to thwart the influx of traffic so obviously northern bound from Bonnaroo.  Kentucky’s plan was this:  a continuous pattern of merging two lanes into one.  This sent drivers into a panic, causing them to merge ever so prematurely.  We craaaaaaawled from Nashville to Louisville, but at least there was a light at the end of the merging tunnel.  It was more than a light, in fact, it was quite the sparkle:  dinner time!

Alexei’s was no newbie to Louisville, and he guided us to a very unique dining experience:   Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.  The cafe has been described as Salvador Dali (my favorite Dali antics) meets Dolly Parton (my favorite Dolly song).  I wouldn’t know where to begin if I were sitting with two of them at the same table, but I imagine it’d be a bit of heaven…

Heaven being this burger…

Kentucky grass-fed beef with bourbon bacon, cheese and a slew of fried onions on a whole-wheat bun, accompanied by sweet ‘tater fries.  The menu had lots of options that toyed with my deciding forces, but once I saw the bourbon BACON + burger + sweet potato combination, my choice was clear as the ice in a bourbon drink.  I savored this meal as the last of my Southern Sojourn, and damn if it wasn’t delicious!  I wish I had time to digest properly and leave room for one of the pies or bourbon milkshakes.  As it was, I only really had time for some outdoor antics and the road.

The Q per capita shot through the roof!

Oh that?  He’s just holding hands with AN ELVIS BEAR!!!!  No big deal.  This was all a really brilliant decision Alexei!  Well done, sir, well done!

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