Louisville is full of interesting dining experiences. One of our greatest inventions in recent years has been The Urban Bourbon Trail, a project spearheaded by Stacy Yates and the Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The UBT groups all bourbon-forward restaurants together in a stampable passport or Smartphone app. When guests visit 6 restaurants on the current year’s list, they can turn in their stamped passports for a tee shirt.
I make it a point to visit as many different restaurants in town as I can. During my research for the Louisville section of The Official Bourbon Country Travel Guide I learned of the Troll Pub Under the Bridge. The history of the building sounded intriguing- after the 1937 flood the basement was filled in with rubble and concrete to prevent future water damage. As the flood wall was built over the following decades, the need to fill in the basement diminished and the space was excavated in 2011.
That alone was enough to get me in the door with my family, but the environment ended up seriously exceeding my expectations. In addition to my obsession with forgotten underground spaces, I also love the idea of hidden rooms. As the hostess led my family to our table she stopped at a bookcase built into the wall, pulled a book, and a hidden door swung open to reveal our own private dining room. My kids were seriously impressed!
The bourbon list was vast and well-organized. While I probably would have organized it a little differently, I didn’t notice any major errors. I ordered an Old Forester Signature Manhattan and it was great. We had pretzels and beer cheese as well as frickles for appetizers and they were fabulous.
Everyone ordered different items, from pork-kebobs to pasta and there was not a single complaint. I ordered the house favorite- a beer cheese burger on a pretzel bun. OH MY. This is the stuff dreams are made of.
The overall experience was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. It was WONDERFUL having a little room all to ourselves since we had younger kids in our party. They also have a wonderful outdoor space I will have to return to enjoy in the summer. If you haven’t been to Troll Pub, it’s time to reorder your priority list.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl