We started the day with massages and then pie, so that pretty much says it all. Marc had never had a massage and I had one once, which left me sore for a week! We thought it would be nice since life had been pretty hectic lately. We were greeted in the lobby and taken down into a secret passageway to the spa area. You get access to a shower, sauna and steam room, too. I told my masseuse about my previous experience and he told me he’d be doing a deep tissue massage, but that he would take it easy on me. It was lovely. The room was dim and the spa music seemed to be orchestrated to his specific moves. I had to remind myself a few times to just relax my body and stop thinking about how I couldn’t wait to ask Marc how his first massage was. They turned on the sauna and the steam room for us, which Marc was very excited about. I preferred the steam room and Marc preferred the sauna, so we split our time between the two and talked about how we could incorporate more massage in our everyday life. We showered and then headed back to our room to get ready for the Bardstown Road area.
Everyone had recommended going to Holy Grale (<–that’s the way they spell it) so we used Uber and arrived around 2. Holy Grale doesn’t open until 4, so we walked across the street to the Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen for a treat. It was like a beacon on that hot day. I ordered the chocolate chess pie with a side of coconut ice cream. It was really rich, but really delicious. Marc ordered a vanilla malt, bo-ring 🙂
It was the hottest day of our trip and we were getting a taste of that humidity one of our Uber drivers told us about. We took a walk over to Cavehill Cemetary, which might not be your cup of tea, but it was really beautiful. It’s where Colonel Sanders is buried, among other local luminaries. You just say hey to the guard and walk around the lush grass, trees and colorful plants. We never found Colonel Sanders and it was too hot to wander for too long.
Holy Grale is a tap room with excellent bar food tucked in a century-old church. We arrived right at 4 and made friends with the bartender. He’s originally from Portland and we chatted about humidity, how he ended up in Louisville (a girl) and that he would be happy to point us in the right direction for beer and cider.
It was a bit wasted on me, because I’m not a big beer drinker, but I did try Aspall Suffolk Cider, which was dry, crisp and perfect for that hot day. Marc really loved the Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet he ordered.
At the bar area, you order at the register and then they bring the food and drink to you. There’s also a choir loft upstairs that opens a little later and has different beers on tap which does have table service. I believe it opened at 6 pm and people upstairs or downstairs were able to order beer from either area. We asked the bartender which dishes were his favorite and he recommended the duck confit spatzle, which was truly delicious. It had pickled corn, pea shoots and breadcrumbs. We savored every bite.
The pickle plate intrigued me and when it came, it was even more intriguing. I was expecting some housemade green spears, but was served a variety of pickles including jicama, green beans, onion, cornichons, blueberries, ramps and brussles sprouts. A side of sauerkraut pancakes were stacked on the plate and they were excellent! I need to figure out how to make those.
The bartender couldn’t stop his adoration for the poutine, so Marc ordered it. I only had room for a bite, but this version was unique with pickled corn, scallions and charred green garlic. The fresh toppings were a nice contrast to the heavy fries and cheese curds.
We get the Smallflower catalogue at home which sells European drug store items and they have Underberg, a German digestif bitter. Marc has been curious about it and was elated to find it next the register at Holy Grale. He quickly snagged two and drank his bottle, insisting it made him feel better. He wanted me to drink the other one, but I was afraid I’d spit it right out. I drank it later at the hotel and was glad I hadn’t tried it at the bar. It’s strong!
Holy Grale also has a really nice patio out back, but it was in the full sun when we arrived, so we opted for the air conditioned bar.
Next up is our last day in Louisville before a quick couple of days in Nashville. Come back, won’t you?
Massage at 21C Museum Hotel 700 W. Main Street Louisville, KY
Cave Hill Cemetery 701 Baxter Avenue Louisville, KY
Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen 2525 Bardstown Road Louisville, KY
Holy Grale 1034 Bardstown Road Louisville, KY