Louisville Magazine

AUG 2014

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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38 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.14 The hell is this place's origin story? SuperChefs — in a St. Matthews strip mall since last October, in the back of a dusty consignment/ gift store called the Ruby Slipper (in case you're looking for wafes and a curio cabinet) — has to be the best restaurant the majority of Louisvillians have never even heard of, breakfast or otherwise. "We're a 2014 Cracker Barrel," chef-owner Darnell Ferguson, 27, says with a laugh. "But honestly, some people look in the door and turn around immediately." Too bad. This is breakfast as a dessert cart. Saloon doors lead to the kitchen, where unseen speakers play funk. The dining room, with a 35-person seating capacity, includes a dozen mismatched tables. A section of the ceiling is crumbling. Ferguson's decorations include superhero movie posters — Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man — and little else. He wears a backpack shaped like Captain America's shield. Some quick backstory: Ferguson was attending vocational school in Columbus, Ohio (he introduced SuperChefs up there, too), when Sullivan University recruited him to Louisville in the mid-2000s. One night while working at the Maker's Mark Lounge at Fourth Street Live, Ferguson out-cooked the cocky sous chef. Coworkers nicknamed Ferguson "Super Chef." Then in 2008, he went with Sullivan to the Summer Olympics in Beijing to cook for American athletes. People Ferguson had never met before came up with the same "Super Chef" nickname. In China, he got "Super" tattooed down one forearm, "Chef" down the other. SuperChefs' location has changed a bunch, but this month Ferguson hopes to settle into a permanent home in a vacant building next to Cafe 360 on Bardstown Road. Ferguson has worked at the Seelbach, Napa River Grill, Proof on Main. "Nobody is trying to be creative with breakfast," he says. "At Proof — don't get me wrong, I love Proof — but I thought, 'I can do breakfast better than this.' We're brining my fne-dining back- ground to breakfast." The Super Duper Cakes are named for characters from the video game Mortal Kombat: Liu Kang (hot-chocolate pancakes with chocolate mousse and a cream-cheese whipped topping), Raiden (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry pancakes), Sub-Zero (blueberry fapjacks layered with lemon crème). Even: Reese's pancakes. "We basically make every single thing besides maple syrup and bread," Ferguson says. "We make our own sausage, candy our bacon. When people come in here, they aren't expect- ing blueberry compote or meringue or edible paint on the plate." — JM This is brunch primetime. Make reservations! I was glad I did when I got there with a party of six. Not sure how many actual hillbillies would eat Appalachian-inspired breakfast in downtown Louisville, but a lot of 20-something hipsters (yes, me included) will. A server brings us menus printed on muslin squares and purposefully tarnished silver- ware. Tea comes in quart-sized Mason jars. The waitress expertly answers my silly ques- tions about beet pie and twig butter. The eggs with the biscuits and gravy are perfectly poached so the yolks aren't runny or overdone. The mushroom gravy is favorful enough on its own, but if you need sausage, order a side of the patties from Stone Cross Farm. I am also lucky enough to steal a couple bites of the sticky and sweet cornmeal-battered fried hen. (Two new locations coming soon) — Amy Talbott 11am 11am Hillbilly Tea 120 S. First St. Noon Noon SuperChefs 307 Wallace Ave. 1pm 1PM Silver Dollar 1761 Frankfort Ave. To cure my Derby-morning, horse-kicked-me-in-the- face hangover, three friends and I sat at a sidewalk table in front of Silver Dollar and split a faky biscuit with peppered-bacon gravy and an over-easy egg; chili-cheese hash browns; thick cornbread pancakes; and tortilla chips creaking beneath the weight of shredded chicken, salsa verde, queso Cotija and more over-easy eggs. Even saved room for dessert: an SD Dog, which is house-smoked breakfast sausage, cornbread pancake/bun and maple syrup. Food hangover took over. — JM SuperChefs Highland Morning

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