Hi all. Chip here.
Louisville is a dog-loving city. Now that it’s getting warmer (then colder, then warmer again), the bipeds are enjoying dining al fresco, and dozens of wise restauranteurs around the city invite customers to bring their canine companions to the patios. Even some stores with boring and/or breakable stuff where dogs (inexplicably) aren’t allowed inside are owned by really cool humans who put water dishes outside on the stoop. Well done.
Prue* and I found a rare gem recently, though, an amazing restaurant that welcomes dogs (and I assume felines, should they deign to emerge from their castles) inside.
Lydia House is located in the Schnitzelburg neighborhood of Louisville’s Germantown area at 1101 Lydia St.
We went for lunch. Tuesdays are Cuban Sandwich Day, and it just so happened we were there when President Obama was on his historic trip to the island, so Prue felt obliged to order one. Never a fan of pickles, she nevertheless embraced the experience and said it was one of the best things between two slices of bread she’s ever tasted.
As for me, I got a few bites of pork (where have pigs been all my life?) and some brought-along treats from our recent trip to Three Dogs Bakery.
The bar is vintage and above it is a sign bearing the name of the original business: Flabby’s. Certainly there are items on the menu that could maintain or produce another Flabby (gouda mac and cheese, grilled bread pudding!), but make no mistake, one look at the menu with my Magic Eye of Discernment & Sensitivity (below), and I knew that this is real, good-for-you-as-well-as-good-tasting food. More on that in a sec.
I was welcomed warmly and appropriately fawned over by owner/chef Emily (above) and two members of her staff, one of them server dude, Nathan. With only one small tattoo, Prue commented later that she likely was the most un-cool person to show up there recently, but was made to feel right at home. (I would say this is chiefly because of me, but that would be ungracious and arrogant; I don’t want to detract from my cuteness.) We also briefly met Emily’s own canine companion, Biggie Smalls. I’m glad it was after the photo was taken. As you can see in the top photo, I instantly fell a little in love with Emily. (She’s cute and smelled wonderful!) It would have been so awkward had Biggie shown up earlier.
Now, back to that amazing menu. There are vegan and vegetarian offerings, and many in-house creations such as kimchi, ginger-pickled carrots, dressings, and even beverages, but that’s just the tip of the culinary iceberg. Upon reviewing the menu and following their Facebook page, it’s obvious that this is a very creative kitchen that is mixing it up all the time. It would be a huge mistake just to go by the online menu and risk missing the specials.
“Noodles at Night” (vegetarian or meat broth with soft egg, scallions, the aforementioned ginger-pickled carrots with your choice of yummy add-ins) have become such a hit they’re being added to the lunch menu. In fact, the entire menu is expanding next week and there’s no way to list all the goodies.
But here are three: cherry habanero dressing, herbed goat cheese, and chia seed coconut milk iced mocha!
There’s a patio, original art for sale, frequent live music at night, and a bustling brunch trade on Saturday and Sunday.
And, best of all, your canine can come with you all the way into the restaurant.
You bet I’m in love.
*Person Responsible for Ultimately Everything