Louisville Magazine

AUG 2019

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 8.19 73 Salad and…Beer? While we're all waiting for Seviche to bring back its green chile Caesar, my favorite simple salad in town is the old reliable Henry Althaus at Eiderdown in Germantown. The menu reads: Grateful greens, bacon lardons, poached egg, Parmesan and "Flemish red vinaigrette." Flemish! Ingredients not listed include salt, sugar, olive oil and beer. (The beer is actually the Flemish part.) But what the menu description doesn't convey is the beauty. On top of the base layer of fresh and delicate greens, shaved cheese fans out to the edges, where it meets a surrounding wall of crispy bacon bits. And atop all of this lies the most perfectly poached egg that has ever invited you to poke into it. Seriously, this egg would be the envy of even the staunchest practitioner of "the traditional English breakfast." Perish the thought that it's English, though. Who was Henry Althaus, you may ask? He was allegedly the first person ever to brew beer in Germantown. And I feel sure that if he were to come back to life, he'd find the salad named for him a dish he could reckon with. — Mary Welp Yea Some people consider the wedge salad an atrocious excuse for carnivores who have no respect for greens to pawn off their bacon-and-blue wedges as just the opposite. The most egregious insult of all is the salad's foundation: vaguely green-pigmented iceberg lettuce, the ceaselessly kicked-around cousin of real lettuces, with minimal nutritional value. Well mea culpa, forgive this sinner. I can't think of a more relishable meal-starter than the wedge at Coals pizza (in St. Matthews and Middletown) — a chunk of iceberg fresh out of the refrigerator crisper drawer and smothered in blue-cheese dressing, with Gorgonzola crumbles, applewood-smoked bacon, and bits of tomato, red onion and red radish. Hit it with the pepper grinder, please. Who cares that the lettuce is 96-percent water when it's got that structure, that crunch. Don't think I could say the same about spinach or kale. — Jack Welch Nay Somehow, wedge salads have escaped steakhouse menus to show up in the wild, in restaurants that are, frankly, too good for them. The salad makes for a tired and messy dining experience that is more appropriately experienced in a desperate moment alone over the kitchen sink after you've dirtied all of your dishes and emptied the refrigerator of everything but condiments and a single head of lettuce. The wedge serves as a watery vehicle for the fat poured on top of it. And yes, iceberg lettuce has a clean crispness, but at what cost? The dish rarely strays from its expected form — a wedge of lettuce coated in blue cheese or ranch dressing; a crumble of blue or goat cheese; bacon bits; and, if you're lucky, a sprinkling of slivered almonds or dried cranberries. Along with all of the other poor culinary choices popular in the mid-20th century (aspic, fondue, bananas cooked with meat) let's please retire wedge salads to the tasteless hell they deserve. — Michelle Eigenheer Wedge Issue Even at a Sports Bar The chef's salad at Saints in St. Matthews is not fancy. It doesn't have artisan- glazed walnuts or hard-to-pronounce French cheeses. It doesn't need them. If you wanted to practice knife cuts, you might make it at home, with crisp greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and diced hard- boiled eggs. There's chopped turkey, ham and bacon topped off with cheddar and mozzarella. It arrives in a giant bowl that might otherwise serve popcorn. Drizzle the tangy, house-made vinaigrette over the mountain and dig in. — Jenny Kiefer

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