Jack Fry's is a restaurant full of history, opening in 1933 by Jack and his wife Flossie. A more romantic story of Louisville couldn't be better told, complete with "back room" bookkeeping and bootlegging, and a love of sports and our beloved thoroughbreds. A walk into the restaurant today transports you straight back to that era, frozen in time by the myriad of photographs and memorabilia displayed liberally and delightfully throughout the entire dining area. It's funny to think that it once had a brief hiatus as a Mexican restaurant, before returning to its former glory.
Today, Jack's is a restaurant that continuously serves up fine cuisine from the very soul of our hometown. Although it is not quite within my means to visit Jack Fry's with any regularity, it is and has been one of my favorite spots to celebrate a special occasion. On this particular visit, we were celebrating my mother's birthday, and seeing as that Jack Fry's is her favorite restaurant, we were more than happy to oblige.
We were kindly greeted at the door and quickly led to our seats (I would recommend making a reservation, especially on the weekend and during the holiday season...good luck during Derby). Our waitress was pleasant and attentive, delivering baskets of bread and their just whipped butter cream happiness on the side. The specials were recited as we swooned in our upright chairs, and we were soon faced with making a very important decision: what were we going to eat for dinner?!
...Okay, that's out of my system.
On my side of the table, I decided to go with the lamb shank. If I'm going to spring for Jack Fry's I like to try something on their menu that I know only Jack's can get right. It is a special occasion after all. Served garnished with garbanzos, Spanish Marcona almonds, prunes, and golden raisins, the lamb shank was slow-braised with vegetables until only their deep sweetness could tell their story. Finally, it was scattered with sesame seeds that happily danced in the sauce waiting to be sopped up by the lamb shank. The meat literally fell off of the shank with the slightest whisper of movement. I merely had to think about using the fork, and there it was, ready to bring on the food coma. I was happy to submit.
For birthday dessert, a sweet individual chocolate chip bundt cake was presented topped with a house-made scoop of ice cream and a birthday candle, drizzled happily with a sweet salted caramel sauce. Three of us helped devour it and we were more than satisfied. It was the perfect amount of sweetness to bring us down from our savory adventure of a few minutes before.
We took a moment of reflection before the check arrived, and everyone was very joyfully satiated. Another successful birthday celebration. When's the next one?
1007 Bardstown Rd.
They also feature live jazz nightly, and are available for carry out!