Louisville Magazine

AUG 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.16 123 DIARY DIVE BAR REGULAR CABINET KITCHEN SECRET CHEF'S Illustration by Kendall Regan Chile-infused Trees Knees maple syrup $14 — FoodCraft (1015 E. Main St.) Chef Nabil Al-Saba has established major cred in Louisville when it comes to Mediterranean cuisine. He's the owner of fan favorite the Grape Leaf, which opened in 1992. One ingredient he uses to keep dishes authentic? Dried limes, also known as limoo amani or noomi basra in the Middle East. Al-Saba boils, crushes and flavors rice and other dishes with the dried limes. "It gives it a citrus flavor and has its own unique taste," he says. Most Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets have the ingredient on shelves if you're seeking a seasoning adventure. Shady Lane Cafe 4806 Brownsboro Road The Brownsboro Burger is the big thing at Shady Lane Cafe, but Joanne Weeter goes for something else. "I've been coming here for 10 years, I'm guessing," she says. "I always get the veggie burger with pepper jack cheese. It's just the best." Weeter was friends with co-owner Bill Smith in high school, and now she's gotten to know his wife Susi, a welcoming figure who takes customer orders at the front counter while Bill cooks on the flat-top grill behind her. — Margo Morton 6 Wine Spectator awards went to these six Louisville restaurants: Corbett's, the English Grill, Jeff Ruby's, Morton's, the Oakroom and Ruth's Chris. American Turners 3125 River Road Warm, wet clusters of friendly flesh orbit a still swimming pool, waiting out distant lightning to justify the $10 entry fee to the monthly summer party. An inflatable pizza slice drifts aimless- ly above sunken beetles and used Band-Aids. People in thong bikinis and bathrobes march in the hipster parade. One woman struts along the perimeter in a green satin cape. Finally, the life (of the party) guards, draped in Hawaiian shirts and personal floa- tation belts, blow a familiar shrill whistle that pierces heavy bass and drunken chatter. Human cannonballs rain down from all directions. I tread water across the social sea, determined to avoid garbage with the grace of a dolphin. Here, acquaintances are family, Tinder ghosts are close friends and the boy who dumped me last spring deserves an eight out of 10 for his diving-board splash. The pool is a raw millennial stew, where nobody can hide behind listed interests, flattering Facebook angles or quirky web-based comments on societal conflict. I need a drink. "The pool bar is cash only, but that bar takes cards," a stranger explains, pointing to a dark building at the end of the driveway. "You can bring your drink in as long as it's in plastic." My group tiptoes, barefoot, across broken concrete and cigarette butts toward a stucco spaceship on the shore of the Ohio River. The building sits on stilts, wrapped in a wooden porch with heavily tinted, humongous windows. Inside, air conditioning pinches my wet skin. Baby boomers clap on beat to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." The performer sings from a dining chair in the center of a wooden dance floor, an island in the sea of emerald-green carpet. A blond woman leaves the semicircle with a twinkling minia- ture disco ball robotically rotating in her hand. The gold coins sewn to her belly-dancing skirt sound like wind chimes as she approaches the bar. We form a line behind her, and I feel every- one's eyes on the beads of chlorinated slop water falling from the ends of my hair. The front door opens again and again as dripping 20-somethings spill into this weekly karaoke ritual. The bartend- er ignores us as tensions thicken. A woman wearing the latest fashions from Cracker Barrel stands beside the dance floor with a face of determination, the microphone in her white-knuckled clutch. The intro melody con- firms my suspicions: This is a live rendition of "The Electric Slide," something I've never seen before. I shoot a look to Justin that conveys the gravity of the moment. I drag him to the dance floor and step left four times. Wet bare feet join lines of orthopedic sandals, repeating 18 steps in synchronized bliss. Those who mastered the dance during its 1989 debut groove alongside people born that same year. The crowd spreads across the carpet, inhaling more cashless swimmers with every pivot. We dance across common ground into morning. — Wesley Bacon

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