SO, in reference to the post below, I ended up bringing a bottle of limoncello. He absolutely loved it!
We flew into Louisville, and had some time to kill on the way to the hotel. I wanted to bring my man to one of the old school Krispy Kremes, but the one we were closest to were closed for renovations (we saw later on tv that this had made the local news). Instead we went to Rallys, since I remembered how delicious and juicy their partially-cooked cheeseburgers were. Sadly, this was not the case anymore, though as far as fast food burgers, they are still better than average. The spicy fries were as tasty as I remembered. Later, we went to Ramses on Bardstown Road with friends, and I wrongly encouraged 2 people to order the bastila (which we lovingly named "the Moroccan chicken donut"). The crust was perfect, but the pieces of chicken were huge (ack!) - isn't the poultry for this dish traditionally minced? I do have to say the appetizers, an antipasto plate and traditional middle Eastern plate, were lovely.
The next morning was most memorable - I dragged everyone down to the Old Louisville neighborhood into Juanita's Burger Boy, on South Brook St. I could remember the post-hangover omlettes lovingly made my Juanita herself 10 years before, as if it were yesterday. Here you will find the most decadent greasy spoon breakfast, complete with yellowed walls and the crowd of local old men at one table. We all had some form of (strikingly fluffy and mouth-melting) eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, toast, home fries, and coffee. My friends, who had never eaten here before, had heard rumors of Nazi-esque Juanita behavior, which had defnitely been the case years ago. On this visit, however, she let us order anything we wanted. We all left thoroughly happy, and there were no post-grease after effects. If you are ever in Louisville, please don't deny yourself the Juanita's experience!
Later, on the road, we drove through Owensboro, which is somwehat of a downer these days (hey, I attended high school here, so I am allowed to say such things). They are, however, home to the best BBQ restaurants anywhere. We stopped very briefly to pick up Moonlite condiments, then a short ice cream break at Lics, then headed to Old Hickory for more sauce. While we were there, we figured it was dinner time, so we stayed for a meal (note: expect many stares while dining in Owensboro if you are wearing all black, and your boyfriend has matching nail polish). He ordered the breaded catfish, and the breading was absolutely perfect, but the fish inside was a little fishy. I would crawl to the ends of the earth for the onion rings, and the portion of bbq ham on my plate that afternoon. Potato salad and beans were good, iced tea, as is everywhere in the vicinity, quite refreshing.
About 10 minutes after the meal, I felt as though something had swiftly kicked me in the gut. I believe my body was protesting my partaking in Juanita's AND Old Hickory in one day. We had to delay the highway for another 45 minutes while purchasing Immodium AD (extra-strength chewables) for the road.
In Metropolis, Ill. the next morning, I was ecstatic to snack on fresh vegetables. Then an unfortunate thing happened: a back molar cracked, and I now need a crown. This severely limited what I could eat for the remainder of the trip. The only place open in town on a Sunday evening was the casino and accompanying buffet. Not so great ("It's amazing what one can do with Sisco institutional foods!" was the quote of the evening), but at least I had a variety of soft food for my sad sad molar.
Back in Louisville, our friends smoked us some pork tenderloin, complete with the winning 2001 National BBQ Festival Sauce recipe. Luckily, I was able to carefully chew this last morsel and all side dishes on the OTHER side of my mouth.