Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Louisville with Loretta

Loretta took her awesome sister to Louisville, KY yesterday and asked if I wanted to tag along.  I was in desperate need of a road trip and Loretta's entertaining husband, David, was up for watching their two kids plus my three until Rob got off work.  It was fun to have hours of uninterrupted chatting and so relaxing to sit down for dinner without worrying about little ones.  After a quick peek at the Swan Dive (while it was a place where I might have eaten, if I was alone with Rob...minors are not just wasn't the type of place we were in the mood for at all), we decided to eat at Ramsi's Cafe on the World instead.  Loretta had eaten at Ramsi's before and highly recommend the food and the ambiance.  I will always go with Loretta's restaurant choices from now on.  The food was excellent, the staff was extremely nice and helpful, and the restaurant itself was very large and nice with ample outdoor and inside seating.

I started off with a Raspberry Rum Martini.  The tilt to the picture is apropos of how one will be seeing the world if they drink many of these rum martinis with just the right amount of sweetness.

It was very hard to choose from all the delicious sounding veg options which were all clearly marked on the menu.  From appetizers to sandwiches to entrees and side dishes (I didn't look at the desserts), there was plenty to tempt any vegan.  We shared the Vegan Original Foccacia.  All the portions were quite large and the foccacia was a taste of what was to come.  It was quite good with vegan feta cheese, pesto, and tomatoes.  We didn't come close to finishing it, but it was still excellent as leftovers.

I ordered the Egyptian Kitchen, highly recommended by Loretta, and was not disappointed.  Lentils, chickpeas, and as many refined carbs as you could possibly pile on one dish (datilini, white rice, and angel hair) topped with fried onions and a zesty harissa sauce.  Good thing I had nothing to eat all day, but even so I took home at least half the dish to enjoy at breakfast this morning.

Loretta ordered the Roasted Vegetable Masala which is described on the menu as roasted sweet potatoes, oven tomatoes, carrots, peas, raisins, chickpeas, and potatoes in a traditional Indian tomato sauce served over Basmati rice with Indian paratha.  There seemed to be seitan added to this dish as well.  I had a taste and it was also quite good and bountiful.  Loretta also took home a good portion of her meal.

As if all of the above was not enough, we shared samosas which always hit the spot, but I rarely eat due to them being deep fried.  Quite tasty.

I may have followed dinner up with one more Raspberry Rum Martinis, but who is counting?  Thank goodness Loretta was driving.

We went for a stroll down Bardstown Rd., an area I highly recommend you visit when in Louisville.  We encountered quite a few cyclists and a surprising number of pedestrians and diners for a Tuesday night along the mile or so stretch.  We were seeking out Ray's Monkey House for a caffeine fix before hitting the road again, but sadly the Monkey House seems to be no more.  We were able to find iced soy lattes at a cool fair trade coffee shop on the way back the car, so all was not lost.  The walk did us both good after the car ride and the filling meal.  All in all it was quite a pleasant visit to Kentucky (not something I often think to say as someone from Illinois).  Great conversation, yummy vegan food, and a quite adult night.  Don't feel bad for the kids left behind, they had an absolute blast with "Mr. David"; lollipops, movies, and an expedition to "bug city", "magic rocks", "healing tree", "throwing rock bridge", "the wishing bee hive", etc.  Rob and David fed the kids dinner and had them asleep when we arrived home.  We might have to find another excuse for a road trip soon.


Jessica @ Lima's Vegan Kitchen said...

This entire restaurant looks amazing! I could go for one of those martinis. The no minors thing surprises me though. I didnt expect that for the other restaurant?

Emily and Kit said...

Sounds sublime. I am so happy you girls got to have a road trip together. It heals the soul!

VeganLinda said...

The Swan Dive was quite a dive and mainly a bar in an "up and coming part of town" which means there was a lot of barbed wire in the area. They had organic options, but it didn't look like cleanest place and smelled a little off. :-) since we didn't actually stay, I don't want to be too harsh. I could see giving it a try with Rob. He is adventurous.

Ramsi's was all ages and would be a great place to take the entire family. It was also in a very cool area of town where there were lots if options to eat or hang out.

Jessica said...

Oh, it's so neat to see you visiting Lousiville! I was there recently and went to Ramsi's for brunch. I'm glad to see they do well for other meals, too, and I agree I'll stop back by next time I'm in town.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Looks like you had so much fun! Everything looks absolutely delicious especially that big Egyptian dish - stunner! But I've got a soft spot for sambusa so I have to say I'm totally drooling over them!