- I was alone (highly unusual)
- The only beverage I had was water (unusual in the extreme for me)
- I ate between 5 and 6 PM (early for me)
- I had never eaten at the place before (typical for me)
- All had tasty food (lucky me!)
Sprout was first up. I really loved the bright blue paint and the art nouveau style. The bar sported mismatch stools. Faney, the bartender warmly welcomed me and immediately made me feel welcome. She was enthusiastic about the local fare. I was pleased to learn that Ault's Family Farm was providing the sausage. The menus were made from recycled album covers. I enjoyed the Scottish Egg: A hard boiled wrapped in sausage and fried, served with a Parmesan cheese crisp and Manakintowne greens with a light vinaigrette. Delicious! And Faney kept me engaged. For an introvert like me, all by my lonesome, she made me feel very comfortable in a new space.
The next week I went to Garnett's Cafe. The mismatched kitchen chairs out front has attracted many a local photographer. This place had a clean, homey atmosphere. The jars of homemade pickles lining the top of the bar was a favorite touch. Very quiet in the early evening and introspective. A peaceful hangout. I ordered The Colonel: roast beef, turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato (hold the tomato for me), and Tiger sauce on toasted bread, served with potato chips. The sandwich was piled high. The Tiger sauce was hot and sweet; an interesting condiment that gave the dish a bit of zing. And I always appreciate toasted bread.
City Dogs in the Fan was a bar. I'm not sure what they made of a single middle-aged woman, especially one only drinking water. But the bartender took it in stride (I'm sure she has seen it all...). I had the Louisville Dog: all beef dog with yellow mustard and whiskey caramelized onions with onion rings. Quite yummy. I did come to realize that it had been far too long since I had been in an out and out bar. Three guys walked in, ordered a pitcher of beer, and part of the conversation included "You never have to worry until she tells you that you're the Daddy." The dogs were good, anyway.
Last up was Bellytimber Tavern. I selected this place because they advertised wood-fired brick oven pizza and I could smell the wood smoke wafting up Main Street. Another single woman was eating at the bar. Office-types were meeting for drinks. Pizzas were $2 off during Happy Hour. The bar sported a stuffed ram's head. I chose the Basil and Capers Pizza. I love capers; my hubby could care less; perfect choice for the evening. And the thin crust pie was big enough to take home leftovers. Just the right amount of red sauce, ample cheese, thin strips of basil, and, of course, capers. Bellytimber offers other interesting pizza ingredients, too, such as duck confit and hoisin sauce.
Four bars. Four different experiences. Four delicious meals.