When I visited Kentucky last summer, I didn’t make it to any of its cities (I was in small town/rural Bourbon country for basically the entire trip). However, when I return to the Bluegrass state, I definitely want to visit its largest city, Louisville or LOO-ih-vuhl as the locals call it. In terms of sightseeing and not to miss experiences, there’s of course the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience which is literally a brand new addition to the city, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and for a foodie like me, dining at the Brown Hotel which is where it’s said the famous Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich was created. From what I’ve read, it looks like a visit to the Brown Hotel would still be a worthwhile experience should you be foolish enough to not try the Kentucky Hot Brown while you are in Kentucky. It’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places (a big deal here in the United States) and has seen many a famous person pass through its doors over the decades including David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harry Truman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Muhammad Ali.
I was fortunate enough to be able to try the Kentucky Hot Brown while I was in Kentucky. On our last night in the Bluegrass state, we dined at a historic tavern that was in the town where our bed and breakfast was located. As our waitress comically told us, it’s a dish she loves but it’s a dish that were she to eat it every day, well, it would show in the “worst of ways.”
The Hot Brown is almost 90 years old (it was created in 1926) and is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit. It’s said that it was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers. It’s an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, is covered in Mornay sauce (a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added). While it takes slightly longer to make it than say a grilled cheese sandwich, it’s still a timeless eat.
Although there are scores of recipes for a Kentucky Hot Brown, I went to THE place, the Brown Hotel’s website which lists a small history of the sandwich as well as a recipe, so be sure to click here to access it!
(P.S. And I’ll have you know that’s low sodium turkey bacon…
yes, I try to be healthier where I can and yes, it actually tastes good!)