Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New restaurant in Old Louisville

After waiting way too long for a new restaurant to open down at the corner. …close enough to our inn so our guests can easily pop in at the last minute if they so desire, we are finally going to see it happen. I am delighted that Chef Maria Bell of Chef Maria’s Greek Deli will be opening “Chef Maria’s Bistro” very soon.

Greek salad
Her typical fare is Greek, with lots of specialty tapas, wines and Ouzo. There will be a bar, wine-tastings and an outdoor patio. Chef Bell plans to serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, all of which will be perfect for guests staying over night or for a few days at our inn. We are only four houses away from where the restaurant will be situated at the northwest corner of First and Oak. We are very excited to have this fine chef come to our neighborhood (images courtesy of Maria Bell's Greek Deli)



Olives and Feta cheese

Lamb stew

Avgolemono soup
It’s just what we needed.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Louisville's Amazing Restaurants

Wild  Rita's Restaurant

 I think recently opened Wild Rita’s Restaurant is going to become one of my very favorite  haunts. It has joined the list of Louisville’s hundreds of amazing eating establishments, the  owners and chefs of which are not playing around. When they say they’ve got the best in town, and maybe in the country, they mean it! That includes culinary skills as well as food.

I love Mexican food and I love creative, fresh, flavorful dishes. In fact, I guess you could call me a food snob, meaning that what I choose to put in my mouth has to be all those things and more and nothing less. No fast food, no frozen entrees, and nothing out of a can..

Today, on-line, I perused the many food and drink choices offered by Wild Rita’s. It nearly blew my mind. I wanted to run right down there and feed my soul with amazing Mexican food, washed down with one or two of their very unique cocktails. I’m dying to try the marinated pork tacos and a Black Widow, made with blackberries, tequila, basil, agave, and lime juice .

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Perfect scrambled eggs

 Most people love scrambled eggs. I'ved only had a couple of guests over the past twenty years who didn't. My theory is that they never tasted any that were perfectly prepared . A couple of rules will help to produce a delicious product with the right texture, which is one of the most important elements of the perfectly scrambled egg. We have pretty much perfected them here at the Aleksander House over the years.

I found a wonderful video which does a great job of explaining exactly how to make wonderful scrambled eggs. For the most part, it's exactly the way I've been making them since I discovered(years ago) that adding milk was the wrong thing to do. If you absolutely have to increase the end product, ass a small amount of heavy cream or sour cream. And, btw, I always add cheese. Philadelphia Cream cheese with chives and onion is a great choice , as is cheddar.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An invitation to a ball

You Are Invited
Conrad-Caldwell House, Old Louisville, KY
Saturday October 25, 2014
7 PM to 12:30 AM

The Spirit Ball, in 2013, received the LEO Reader's Choice Award for Best Charity Event in Louisville. Was it the inventive costuming?  The live music?  The many activities scattered through the house?  The ability to party in a mansion where Louisville captains of industry once lived?

The party begins in the Museum at 7PM as costumed guests board the “haunted steamboat,” to the sounds of calliope and ragtime tunes. We will sway to live music by pianist Christopher White, the Rascals of Ragtyme, and singer, Karan Chavis, with Winton Reynolds.

Guests at the full ticket price will enjoy continuous live music, an appetizer buffet, palmistry, an open bar, bourbon tasting, a costume contest, and an exhibit about steamboat days in Louisville.  Museum guests will bid competitively at an auction of coveted items donated by generous supporting businesses and individuals.

The big wheel will keep on turning, in Caldwell Hall, at 9:30 where a speakeasy-style after party will begin. Singer and performer, Sheryl Rouse Crawford, will entertain from 9:30 to 12:30 PM.  Sheryl is Louisville’s Tina Turner, whose repertoire includes a dynamic mix of jazz, rock and soul.  One cannot help but dance!

This is a two-tiered event! Cost of a ticket to attend the entire event, from 7 PM to 12:30 AM, is $150 per person. Tickets to attend only the after-party are $50 per person. Ticket holders for the after party in Caldwell Hall will receive two drink tickets to use at our cash bar, as well as light appetizers and musical entertainment.

"Boarding passes" to our celebration of the spirits of the Belle and the after party may be purchased by calling 502-636-5023 or by visiting our website here: Buy your ticket now!

Updates and comments about the event are posted regularly on our Spirit Ball Facebook Page

Dress is black-tie or costume. Though we have a steamboat theme, you are NOT required to masquerade as Mark Twain.  Be whimsical.  Be mysterious.  Be someone other than yourself for one magical evening!
The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum continues to shape, and be shaped, by its community. The museum is a destination for field trips, tour groups, historic preservationists, wedding celebrants, and many others.

Trip Advisor ranks the museum as #6 out of 81 attractions in Louisville. We recently received the Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence.

Victorian Homes Magazine (August 2011) described the mansion as a “design template,” for homeowners who seek “a bit of formality, elegance, refined craftsmanship and a respect for decorative arts.”

Why do we call the museum a "house museum"? The mansion museum is furnished with many items that once belonged to the Conrads and Caldwells, which gives visitors the impression that the family has just walked out for a few minutes and will return soon to share a cup of tea in the parlor, or a snifter of bourbon in the billiard room.

Copyright © 2014 Conrad Caldwell House Museum, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Conrad Caldwell House Museum
1402 St James Ct
Louisville, KY 40208

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bicycle Built for Two

News | ,

Greenhaus offering new bike rental packages
bike for twoDaniel Duncan, proprietor of Greenhaus, the eclectic beer/wine/local products/terrarium store/performance space, is adding another layer to the popular Germantown business. Bike Ride for Two will offer packages that allow couples (romantic or platonic) to tour Louisville by bike at their own pace.
Customers can choose between renting two solo bikes or one tandem bike for 24 hours. They also have their choice of three packages: “The Daydreamer” (mixed six-pack or bottle of wine, Kenny’s cheese, crackers, water), “The Mark Twain” (same as “The Daydreamer” but with two tickets to the Belle of Louisville) and “Love on a Bike” (Champagne, Kenny’s cheese, cellar door chocolates, crackers, water).
In addition to a picnic basket packed with those goodies, the Bike Ride for Two packages include an illustrated map of hot spots in the city designed by MacKenzie Haley, a Bluetooth speaker made for a bike, a picnic blanket, helmets and a bike lock.
map rollout
Packages range from $100 – $300 with less expensive, partial-day rentals on the horizon. Greenhaus is located at 2227 S. Preston St.

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El Mariachi Restaurant

 Just when I was thinking Louisville should have another awesome Mexican  restaurant, I came across this article in the Courier-Journal by Nancy Miller, so I had to share it with you. NRH.

El Mariachi, adjacent to a Mexican butcher, grocery and bakery, is tucked away in a strip mall off La Grange Road. Finding the restaurant and trifecta of shops was a delightful discovery in a week that was otherwise short on delights.

If the restaurant's name suggests you'll be serenaded by strolling musicians, don't be disappointed at their absence. It's the food that sets a rhythm that is as rife with intensity as it is with sedate nuances that give you intervals to savor the difference. Chef Jacova de Jesus Cruz's menu is stirred up with bombshells of flavor but also stumbles along the way.

My son, Alex, and I decided to jump around the menu, not thinking in terms of appetizers or entrees or side dishes. That made the dinner experience fun but apparently challenged the kitchen. His sopes and tamales arrived at the table almost 15 minutes before my enchiladas and chili relleno. That would have been bad enough if I had been able to sip on a glass of wine while I waited on my food. Unfortunately, El Mariachi serves beer but not wine. Being hungry and wine-deprived, I was cranky.

After what seemed like eons, the server brought my enchiladas and chili relleno. And — whoof — she was gone. Although it had taken a long time to be served, it took only a second for me to realize that my meal was cold. I waited and I waited, but the server didn't return.

Finally, I got up from the table and approached her to tell her my food was cold. She immediately retrieved it and returned to the kitchen. Another 15 minutes passed. There was a direct correlation between the second round of waiting and my worsening mood. When at last my meal arrived, I wasn't in the most positive frame of mind.

Let me be clear about our server. She seemed genuinely concerned about the delay, which I am sure was not her fault. I believe she simply did not have the experience to handle the situation more smoothly.
Alex's sopes, one beef and one chicken, each $2.99, were good choices. The masa was just crunchy enough on the outside and soft but substantial enough on the inside not to allow the meat to become soggy. A chili relleno ($2.99) was testament that an egg-battered poblano pepper oozing with melted cheese can be one of life's little pleasures.

I rarely order tamales because the ratio of meat to masa so often favors the masa. El Mariachi's chicken tamale ($3.99) suffered from such a malady. The beef enchilada with red sauce ($6.99) was so saucy it was practically an enchilada in soup. The profusion of sauce dwarfed the enchilada, diminishing the flavor of both and making for an unattractive presentation.

The menu presented other interesting choices, not the least of which included three fajitas ($11.99 to $13.99), mole poblano ($9.49) and camarones Acapulco ($11.99), shrimp with jalapeno and bacon.
Only a few days later, the cloud of poor service experience had drifted and I was in El Mariachi's neighborhood. I returned, this time for a taco fix. It was the first of many that are sure to follow.
Kentucky's legendary Colonel had his blend of secret spices that made his buckets of chicken famous around the world. The magic in El Mariachi's tacos ($2.25 to $3.49) is likely an equally secret blend of chilies and spices, and it deserves its fair share of accolades.

If I had not been harried and on the run after a late lunch, I would have followed my carne asada tacos with a couple of others, perhaps the pastor (marinated pork) or lengua (beef tongue). Tongue may be an acquired taste (and texture), but don't rule it out until you have tried it. And it's always fun to order when dining with folks who furrow their brows at anything other than meat and potatoes.
Not only were the tacos delicious, but the service was great. As I was preparing to leave, the same server and I smiled at each other and exchanged a knowing look. There had been a bumpy first experience. It happens. I left happy and told her I would be back. It will be soon.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Camps for teens flourish in Lousiville

 Planning things to do for and with the kids this summer? Why not try something new, you know how easily bored they are, especially the teen-agers. Load the family in the car and take off for a 4-day theater experience they won’t soon forget.  The Conrad Caldwell House in Old Louisville is hosting a 4-day “Mystery At The Mansion Camp”  for teens this summer.  Make reservations at our inn for beautiful accommodations, including breakfast each day, and enjoy the experience with them.  So much fun for all!

  All-New Mystery for 2014! Heiress Danielle Harcourt has it all: Brains, beauty,and rich parents. But her good fortune comes with a price- namely, murder. During this unique camp you’ll rehearse and perform a classic “whodunit” mystery in an actual mansion. Come solve a murder. www.dramabygeorge.com/register

 Mystery at the Mansion is only one of the exciting summer camps planned for this year by Drama By George, an organization, originated and run bt George Halitzka, a dedicated director, playwright, and teacher. His organization of teachers, actors, work with kids of all ages, specializing and utilizing the following to create the potential for character transformation through our relationships, workshops, and performances.

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