Unfortunately, what catches the National Geographic’s editors’ fancy, and therefore merits this seemingly exalted notice, is merely the Hot Brown, which the magazine’s web page describes as “an open-faced turkey sandwich on Texas toast with bacon, tomatoes, and a cream sauce, [which] gives eaters plenty to get excited about, day or night.”
Now, I am not one to disparage the famous Hot Brown sandwich, though I do get just a wee bit steamed when it alone is cited again and again on these (somewhat overdone, wouldn’t you say?) click-bait listicles. But to describe it so badly – “Texas toast”? “cream sauce”? – makes one hardly burst with pride at the seeming accolade.
Now, we here at F&D do indeed think that Louisville is getting to be a world-class food city. Local food production – farm produce and sustainably raised meats, provided by committed regional farmers, and locally made value-added products – give restaurants and home cooks a great deal to work with, and the result is a booming restaurant culture, and an increasingly savvy market for top-notch fresh foods.
But please, national press, start giving us credit for something other than this one over-hyped sandwich. Look a bit further, please, at what other dishes Louisville restaurant chefs are creating. Perhaps you will find a 21st century dish that might have the panache to carry it along into the next century. If you need any help in finding where to look, pick up a copy of Food & Dining, Louisville edition. It can show you some places to start.