Friday, August 10, 2012

Affectionately called Cumby's: Cumberland Brewery

One of my favorite parts of our fair city is that it is so damn friendly. I can walk around my neighborhood, feeling good about our local shops, cafés, restaurant, community atmosphere, and I feel a real sense of love for one's home. Almost all the radios in my neighborhood are tuned to WFPK Radio Louisville, our local public radio station (which should be the envy of the country along with WBEZ Chicago and WXBN, home of the World Café), entertaining us with New Music Thursdays, the Five o'clock Shadow -LOVE-, the Wild and Woolly reviews, Waterfront Wednesdays, Live Lunches, and the LEO Weekly concert calendar to see what's going on around town. Not only are we in love with our city's sound, but also our food, showcased by the organization we lovingly know as the Louisville Originals.

The Louisville Originals is a group of local restaurants and food shops that are beaming with local pride. They often feature seasonal Kentucky Proud products, local microbrews, unique and inspired menus, as well as community outreach projects like Mayan Market Mondays (at the Mayan Café--Chef Bruce Ucán is definitely one of my heroes) and the innumerable festivals that we have in our neighborhoods. They are a group of eclectic and talented visionaries, who see this city for its full culinary potential. I am thankful for them, and happy to see that the list of Originals grows every year. Let's take a look at my first Louisville Original review: Cumberland Brews.

Cumby's (as I affectionately refer to it) has been a favorite of mine since before I could even enter the place. I remember "Bardstown Roading" and always seeing a good atmosphere: relaxed, with people spilling out of the door onto the few tables they have on the sidewalk. It has a loyal following because of their fantastic microbrews and their neighborhood landmark status. The first time I went to Cumby's I felt like I had been there 100 times before. The servers and bartenders are all friendly, knowledgeable, and non-pretentious (sometimes the IPAs go to people's heads). If you go upstairs and are hopelessly looking around for a seat, don't worry because someone will swoop in to find you a place at the bar or downstairs. Then the magic can begin.

The last time I went, it was a dinner and a movie night with a good friend of mine. We went to the 5.30 showing at Baxter Avenue Theatres (which is totally worth it because it is still matinee price!), so we were pretty well starving by the time we made it to Cumberland Brews. Good thing too, because the Moonbow Wit seasonal wheat, a heaping helpin' of sweet potato fries, and a jerk chicken sandwich were in my immediate future. Incredible.

The pace of the meal was perfect: first the brew, followed by the timely appetizer, and spaced fairly with the entree so we didn't have to face the very stressful dilemma of finishing the appetizer before starting the entree (that's my restaurant pet peeve). The Moonbow Wit, recommended by my friend, was light and fresh with that beautiful fruit bite that I expect from a summer wheat microbrew. It went perfectly with the crispy on the outside and soft, yet substantial on the inside sweet potato fries--and oh, the cream cheese cinnamon genius sauce on the side...YES!

Once the appetizer was settling, the holy grail of a Jerk Chicken Sandwich flew across the bar to my seat. That was a great moment in my day. A juicy-as-can-be chicken breast, breaded with a glorious jerk seasoning that was heavy on clove, with a great kick to ease my troubled mind (and spice addiction). I was floating in pub paradise alongside the pickle spear and steak fries. They really do serve very large portions, so I was overly full when I left, but that probably also had to do with the fact that my company was so great we stayed forever talking and catching up. It's the kind of place that makes you feel at home.

Needless to say, I enjoyed my visit to Cumby's as always. I recommend this Louisville Original for phenomenal seasonal and local microbrews, friendly servers characteristic of the Highlands, and endless pub grub that is on point. Enjoy, my friends, and cheers!

Cumberland Brewery
1576 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205
Phone: (502) 458-8727

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