Against The Grain brewery is known for serving craft beer and BBQ right outside of Louisville’s Triple-A baseball stadium. Last week when I stopped in to speak with the service manager, Marty Chadwell, he mentioned a couple of changes that have happened since he started working in the new position, and some changes he’ll be making in the near future.
“I was hired last fall and immediately I was like, we need to hire some good workers that show real passion in the service industry,” said Chadwell. “The first person we hired was this girl that had 15 years of service industry experience, but she had like 3 tats that were all Looney Toons related. We let her work for a little bit, but fired her after we found Jessie. Jessie has a tat that says “OBEY” on her right butt cheek. We almost gave her stock in the company right away, but thought we would see if she could use a POS station first. Also we needed to know what other ink she has in mind for the future.”
Chadwell says the brewery has since hired 15 more girls like Jessie with great tats, but thinks one more ought to do it.
“It wasn’t until I started hovering around American Outfitters that I started finding some girls with really sweet tats,” said Chadwell. “One girl had this tat that was like two guns in her belt loop and in between the guns it said, “Kentucky Bitch”. I thought about giving her keys to the restaurant right there on the spot, but thought I would see how many glasses of water she could carry first.”
Chadwell thinks the girls tattoos add to the brewery’s edgy image, and they look super “cool as fuck”.
“My wife’s got tats, I’ve got tats, all the cooks up here have tats, the owners have tats,” said Chadwell. “My neighbors got tats, barbers got tats, grocery baggers got tats, father in law has tats, postmans got tats, kids sunday school teachers got tats, lady checking us out at TJ Maxx had tats, guy at Apple store had tats, guy jogging by my house has tats, manager at California Pizza has tats, so I figured, why not an army of chill as fuck girl servers with tats?”
At presstime Against The Grain said they will be hiring kitchen staff with sick ass mohawks next month.
When most people think about foodies and gourmet chefs, they usually don’t think about children’s books. Hammerhead’s head chef, Chris Powell, is hoping to change that this fall with his new children’s book,”Emily’s New Friend”. The 36 year old chef has never written a book before, but has written several menu’s for the Germantown staple Hammerheads.
“I love this stuff,” said Powell. “My wife and I put truffle oil on pretty much everything, but our two daughters are a little fussy with it. We’re hoping this book will help our kids, and kids around the world realize truffle oil is not only delicious, but fun to play with as well.”
The book is only fifteen pages long and features beautiful illustrations by Powell’s wife. The first few pages start with a little girl, Emily, playing on a jungle gym when she stumbles on a talking giant bottle of truffle oil. The truffle oil introduces himself as “Truffy”, and begins to explain how some kids don’t like to put him on everything they eat, and how it hurts his feelings.
“It’s kind of how my first experience was as a kid around truffle oil,” said Powell. “I accidentally knocked over a bottle onto the floor when I was about 8, and I’ll never forget that smell. It smelled like weeks old Cheetos and corn nuts on the floorboards of that van Jewel lived in in the 90’s. But as I started cleaning it up, something clicked. I started licking the floor. Licking it clean. Inch by inch, every stroke of my tongue was slow and thorough. I made sure I didn’t miss a single drip. I crawled on my hands and knees, licking as I crawled. Some of the oil had made its way almost 10 or so feet from where I dropped the bottle. I didn’t care. I followed the trail under and around the tables in the kitchen. My wife said I shouldn’t put any of this in the book, which I’m not planning on, but it was an important part of my childhood and history with the oil. My parents came home and said the floors looked like they had been professionally cleaned. I laughed and winked at the truffle oil bottle.”
Powell says his book should be available on Amazon this fall and he’s currently working on a duck fat children’s song with the chef from Eiderdown.
Last month The Cooking Channel stopped by to film a new show at Eiderdown and the neighbors in Germantown have been buzzing about it for weeks. The show will air this fall, but they’re not the only one’s interested in what Eiderdown is up to. Celebrity chef, Guy Fieri, caught wind of the small town eatery off Goss Avenue and made a special trip to Louisville to help work on the new menu being released this week.
“I took one look at this place and I was just like DUDE!” Said Fieri. “I saw duck fat and cheese, all my kind of stuff. They showed me the new menu and I just sat down with a red pen and started doing my thing.”
Fieri sat down in his Mini Cooper with custom flames up and down the door panels and proceeded to look like Edward Scissorhands, completely in the zone perfecting his craft.
“We’re really excited to see what Guy comes up with,” said head chef Peter Cronin. “He’s been out there sitting in his Mini with the AC blowing full blast for almost 6 hours.”
Fieri exited his car and handed the new menu modifications to the restaurant before heading over to Moe’s to meet a girl he met online named Janet. Fieri’s new menu modifications can be seen below.
There’s no doubt about it, Germantown residents love their beers. With local beer events being held throughout the year at Nachbar and Four Pegs, other local establishments are looking to get in on the craze. The GM at Chili’s on Poplar Level Road says she’s trying to get the young people to come in and “just hang out”.
“I know people think we’re not that cool,” says Chili’s GM Dana Caldwell. “But after 9pm we put the 80s station on our satellite radio and I’ve been known to say a few swear words.”
The lights are dim inside and a couple of servers off shift sit at the bar drinking Blue Moons. There are currently four beers on tap ranging from Bud Light, Miller Light, Blue Moon and a new addition, Magic Hat.
“I saw that Magic Hat was an option when our beer guy was in here last week, and thought ‘Why not,’” said Caldwell. “Maybe if we have an exotic, Lexington brewed beer up here, the cool cats will start to show up.”
Caldwell says they’ve had the beer on tap for a little over a week but no one’s tried it yet.
“We just want people to come in here and hang out,” says Caldwell. “We’ve got 26 flat screen TV’s and a ton of great apps.” Caldwell leaned in close and told me if the cool cats wanna smoke in the bathroom she’s “not gonna be checking the bathrooms all night.”
Chili’s on Poplar is currently open until 11pm on Fridays and hopes to bring in more local beers if Magic Hat does well.
A few weeks ago Insider Louisville broke the news that a pizza joint would be opening in the VFW on Goss Avenue next to Yesternook. The upcoming restaurant was conceived by Germantown residents Nash and Laura Neely and plans to feature New York style pizza. Not everyone’s happy about this new addition to Germantown, though. I caught up with one of the angry gentlemen from the comments section, Kevin Gray, who wrote: “I can tell you right now that even before you have opened, I will never step foot in your establishment.”
“Look I was a little worked up at the time I wrote that,” says Gray. “But I’m just a little concerned that people are doin’ something good for Germantown and that’s a slippery slope.”
Gray continued to compare the pizza place to other great restaurants and retail shops that have opened in Germantown over the last two years.
“I’m telling you, this is how it all starts,” said Gray. “I’m not trying to be a negative nancy, but just watch. Before we know it, everywhere you look someone’s gonna be trying to do something nice for the neighborhood.”
With Moes, Eiderdown, and Goss Avenue Antiques all going through renovations, people like Gray are getting more and more upset.
“I told my wife the other day, if this doesn’t stop, we’re sellin’ the house,” Gray says, rocking on his Lazy-Boy recliner. “Danny Mac had a good idea for the neighborhood already. Do we really need two good ideas?”
Gray’s not alone. There were several other commenters, including Nancy, Gray’s wife, that were just as bothered by the recent string of good things for Germantown.
“Look, I read the article,” said Nancy. “The couple opening up the new pizza place came across very nice and they clearly had Germantown’s best interest at heart. And that’s concerning.”
“It was a sad day, but a necessary one” says Golden. “The economy tanked and we never bounced back.” Denise recalls over the last year she’s been approached by condo developers and shopping mall owners, but everyone’s flaked out. “I looked at my husband and just threw my hands up in the air saying “I give up Hank!” Denise started getting calls from a very enthusiastic man claiming to be the owner of Panera Bread. “I thought he was joking at first” Golden recalls, “He said he wanted to open up a new experimental Panera Bread called Souper Panera. He was calling me several times a day, I finally just said what the heck.” Golden met with Panera Bread owner Dale Smyth a few weeks later and the keys were handed over. “This place is gonna be stinkin awesome.” says Smyth. “We’ve got 30,000 square feet that we’re installing 400 brick ovens. We’ll be making around 40,000 loaves of bread a day. I tell my wife we’re gonna make it “grain” in Germantown.” I watched Smyth run around with his clipboard of sketches making rainbows with his arms explaining his ideas to the construction company. “You know our bowls? Our bread bowls we put soup in? Well, we’re sectioning off 10,000 square feet in here that will be dedicated to our Party Bowls.” Smyth showed me his sketches of bread bowls that are the size of your typical hot tub. “Essentially you get in the Party Bowl with 3-4 of your friends and we fill it up with whatever soup you want. Then you guys just relax and begin to eat your way out. It’s gonna be stinkin sweet.” The bread bowl is set to have a price tag of $399, which Smyth says its a steal as it takes 200 lbs of flour to make one hot tub size bread bowl. Sandy and I have been eating at Panera for years and actually enjoy most of their food. But we’re both a little concerned that Germantown isn’t the right test market for a 30,000 square foot Super Panera. “We’re pretty hopeful. I know if a Souper Panera rolled into my town when I was a kid I would be hella pumped. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a boy to sit in a bread bowl with my friends while we eat our way out. I think I was inspired a lot by James And The Giant Peach. God this things gonna be so stinkin sweet.” Mayor Greg Fischer says he’ll join Steve Beshear, John Yarmuth and Mitch McConnell in a Party Bowl for the grand opening set for later this year. Frank Thompson Germantown Times July 2014