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20 Things You Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners About Louisville

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1. We’re Actually a Giant Small Town 

It is extremely difficult to not run into at least one person you know anywhere you go. Anonymity doesn’t exist, so stay away from the drunken debauchery on Monday afternoons… Or do it here!

2. You Will Be Asked Where You Went to High School at Least Once Per Day. 

This question is meant to eliminate that awkward period of trying to figure out your two degrees of separation and just get all that out of the way… and to make sure you aren’t THE John Smith that dogged their cousins’s friend’s sister’s friend.

3. Our Weather is Unpredictable.

Living in the Ohio River Valley means that you can experience any kind of weather any time of day, any time of year – sometimes you may experience all four seasons in one day.

4. U of L or UK? Choose Wisely. 

You’re going to be expected to declare an allegiance. Important questions to ask yourself:

1. How do I really feel about couch-burning?

2. Can I really get behind a team whose mascot is a bird with teeth?

5. It’s Pronounced “Lou-uh-vulle.”

You’re saying it wrong.

6. Our Bars Are Open Until 4AM.

Yeah, we party pretty hard. One of our favorites:

7. We Invented the Cheeseburger. We’re like the Thomas Edison of Sandwiches.

In 1934 a Louisville restaurant called Kaelin’s was the first ever to include “cheeseburger” on their menu. I don’t care that some guy in California “supposedly” was the first to put cheese on a slab of beef. We invented it. These guys are keeping the tradition alive:

8. Snow…

In the event of the sudden onset of winter, immediately

1. Drive [poorly] to the nearest Kroger

2. Stockpile milk, eggs and bread

3. ???

4. Profit? (Really, I don’t know. Is everyone making French Toast?)

9. We Actually Had a Professional Basketball Team. In the 70′s…

Remember the Kentucky Colonels? Yeah, me neither, but I bet your dad does.

10.  We REALLY love the Kentucky Derby Festival

Think the Derby is just a race? Think again. The festival entails much more than just a two-minute horse race. It’s a fortnight of festivities, featuring a parade, marathon, chow wagon, hot air balloon race, fireworks show (North America’s largest, nbd), and all kinds of things to jam up traffic for two glorious weeks of bourbon, gambling and horses.

11. Only Tourists Go to Fourth Street Live!

…and people who really enjoy paying for overpriced drinks, wearing Affliction t-shirts and reliving their college fraternity days. You know who you are. Instead, head to NuLu and check out this place:

12. We Have An Annual Zombie Walk – Eat Your Hearts Out, Every Other City. 

It isn’t even around Halloween. Is that weird? Every year in late August, the town makes their way to Bardstown Road, where traffic is blocked off so the public is free to stagger up and down in white paint and costume blood to their hearts’ content.

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13. We’re the Bohemians of the South

Louisville has a rich art, music, theater, culinary, comedy, what-have-you scene. Do yourself a favor and engage in it. The events are endless, but that’s what we’re here for.

14. East End vs. South End is an Argument

You know where you stand.

15. Muhammad Ali Really is That Awesome.

Louisville loves their own like no other and Muhammad Ali is the rule, not the exception. We take pride in The Greatest, I mean, we even gave him a museum.

16. Southern Indiana Makes No Sense to Us.

It’s only good for picking pumpkins and other such rustic activities at Huber’s Farm. Otherwise, avoid at all costs.

17. We Look Down On Non-Bourbon Drinkers. 

Oh, you’d like a gin? That’s cute. This is Kentucky, honey, home to heaven-trapped-in-a-bottle. We like our drinks straight-up and no, Jack Daniels doesn’t count. Ever been to Down One Bourbon Bar?

18. Waterfront Wednesdays are a City-Wide Reason to Celebrate.

Every last Wednesday of the (warm) months, there’s a free concert on The Great Lawn down by the riverside. The acts that play Waterfront Wednesday are diverse, so you’ll eventually find something you dig. It’s free – what else do you have to do on a Wednesday night?

19. We Host the regions most loved music festival, Forecastle Festival.

As it turns out, it’s kind of a big deal. People come from all around to come enjoy the music and get up to get down. Sorry folks, this one’s not free.

20. We Love Making L’s With Our Hands

It’s a Louisville thing, live with it. Oh yeah, we love you Jennifer!

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17 Things You Didn’t Know About The Kentucky Derby

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Heading to the Derby this year? Learn things you never knew about the Derby before you go.

1. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
The First Run in 1875 was won by horse Aristides under jockey Oliver Lewis.

DerbyWinner

2. A short jockey history lesson.
Black jockeys won 15 of the first 28 derbys. Though a rarity now, with Kevin Krigger being the last black jockey in 92 years, the first 3 decades were dominated by African-American riders.

3. Why they call it the “Run For The Roses”.
Adopted as the race’s official flower, the garland was introduced in 1932 for the 59th run of the Derby, won by Burgoo King. Four-hundred roses are sewn into satin.

DerbyRoses

4. The month long party in KY.
The Derby celebration is a month long ordeal. Everything from fashion shows to fitness expos. They have volleyball matches, basketball games, and marathons, Thunder Over Louisville, Taste of Derby, and black tie galas. There are tons of ways to celebrate before Derby day ever comes around.

5. May the odds be ever in your favor. 

The winner with the worst odds was in 1913 with winner Donerail, who has 91.45-1 odds. The win paid $184.90, which is still the highest paying Derby winner to date.

6. The White House and the Derby. 

Nixon is the only standing president to attend the derby. Once before he took office, and again after he won the election, since he promised to return if he was elected president.

NixonAtTheDerby 
7. The fastest horses in the world. 

Only 3 horses have finished the Derby in under 2 minutes.
 
8. The longest sporting tradition in the U.S. 

The Derby is the longest running major sporting event in the U.S. It has been hosted at Churchill Downs for the last 140 years.

Derby
 

9. Pre-party at the Oaks.
Modeled after the British Epsom Oaks, the Longines KY Oaks is the day before the Derby. Wear any color as long as that color is pink! The race shows support for cancer survivors and fundraises to support cancer charities and research.

Oaks

10. The bigger the hat, the closer to God. 

The hat tradition was brought over from England and has evolved into a contest of who can wear the most outlandish expensive headpiece. From custom designer chapeaus to homemade toppers, the hats are an event within themselves.

DerbyHat

 11. Betting big on race day. 

Gambling is a major part of the derby and the right pick could lead to a major pay out. This year experts predict that California Chrome and Hoppertunity will be the top contenders.

12. Derby drinking: The Mint Julep tradition. 

This tradition drink has been served at the KY Derby for over a century. Bourbon, sugar syrup and mint is given out in a souvenir cup for an outlandish $8 each. Derby goes happily consume 120,000 Mint Juleps at the race.

Mint Julep

13. Black-tie events for a good cause. 

The Julep Ball is a black tie event raising funds to research and fight cancer. With over 1,000 tickets sold, they attract tons of stars from silver screen actors, TV, sports, and music, as well as leaders in business and racing.

14. Celebrities own horses. 

Steven Spielberg, George Steinbrenner and Burt Bacharach has all had horses run in the Derby.

15. What the trophy is really made of. 

The winner of the KY Derby takes home a trophy made with 56 ounces of solid gold.

DerbyTrophy

16. Singing you heart out to My Old KY Home

The most moving moment in sports is when the horses step onto the track for the post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home”. Everyone joins in to sing this old time classic.

17. Eating enough Derby pie to make yourself sick. 

The world’s most amazing pie combines chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, and KY Bourbon in a fluffy pastry crust. This Derby tradition was invented by Kern’s Kitchen and continues to be a favorite every year .

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Eat Your Way Through OTR: The 11 Best Meals in Over-the-Rhine

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Our favorite area that has truly blossomed with decadent restaurants, some hell bent on causing as much artery clogging chaos as possible. Ditch the Olive Garden and try some of these culinary masterpieces.

1. Ricotta Gnocchi & Wood Grilled Hanger Steak at Abigail Street

Oh Abigail Street… This impeccable small-plates style eatery is the sister restaurant to Senate, Vine Street’s favorite gluttonous hotdogs. Every dish on their menu is in a class of it’s own. Our favorites are the Ricotta Gnocchi (ricotta gnocchi, melted leeks, asparagus, maitake mushrooms, brown butter) and the Hanger Steak (romesco, warm celery-potato salad, lemon, mustard seed).

2. Pork Buns & House-Smoked Wings at Kaze OTR

While you might know Kaze for their delicious sushi, they’re really blowing it out of the water with their Pork Buns (fuji apples, frisee, mustard vinaigrette) and insanely tasty House-Smoked Wings (Korean buffalo sauce, slow cooked for 4 hours). Get the OTR roll as well and wash it down with the Araki 2.0.

3. Little Fried Oyster Sandwich & Bucatini Pasta at Salazar

Right now it seems like everything Chef Jose Salazar touches, turns to gold. While his food might not be traded as currency, it should be. The Little Fried Oyster Sandwich (kimchi, radish sprouts, garlic mayo) and the Bucatini Pasta (little neck clams, preserved meyer lemon, pancetta bits) are divine.

4. Wagyu Meatballs & Quattro Formaggi Pizza at A Tavola

It’s kind of crazy to think that a pizza cooked at over 1000 degrees for only 90 seconds can be this perfect, but it is. Start off with the Wagyu Meatballs (house tomato sauce, pesto, pecorino) and then chow down the Quatro Formaggi (you should seriously add bacon and prosciutto).

5. Quarter Chicken and Mac & Cheese at The Eagle

If Abigail Street is the sister restaurant to Senate, then The Eagle is the bro restaurant to Bakersfield. The Eagle features a simple, yet scrumptious menu, our favorites are the 1/4 Chicken and the Mac & Cheese (it’s silly how good this is).

6. Thyme Roasted Tomato Flatbread & New Orleans Mussels at ZULA

ZULA is always a fun place to take a date. It’s an incredibly, casual, yet intimate experience. Order up their Thyme Roasted Tomato “Z” bread (fresh mozzarella, basil essence, balsamic reduction) and New Orleans Mussels (smokey gumbo sauce, shrimp, andouille).

7. Trailer Park & Poutine at Senate

It doesn’t make sense that someone could ever get tired of eating at Senate. I mean, these guys won’t even let you alter their “Dog of the Day”. You have to admire that kind of attitude. Stuff your face with a Trailer Park (bacon wrapped beef hotdog, american cheese, coleslaw, crushed grippos & brioche bun) and the Poutine (french fries, local cheese curds, braised shortrib & gravy add egg).

8. Maple Bacon Donut at Holtman’s.

I don’t even have to write anything about this. Just go eat it.

9. Chicken & Waffles at Taste of Belgium

By now everyone should be familiar with how mouth-watering Taste of Belgium’s waffles are. Breakfast, lunch or dinner this is the perfect meal. Wash it down with the mighty Rodenbach and you’ll be truly satisfied.

10. Short Rib, Pollo Rojo & Fish Tacos at Bakersfield

Being number 10 on this list doesn’t mean they’re the 10th best, just that I’m too lazy to accurately order things. Bakersfield makes me a very happy human. Without fail, twice a week for lunch, I enjoy these three tacos.

11. Iced Oysters & Orrechette Pasta at Anchor-otr

Home of the splendid Oyster Mania on Thursdays, we’re smitten with the Anchor’s oysters. Iced or Fried, these oysters are fresh, flown straight from the coast to your table. The Orrechette Pasta (with clams, hot italian sausage, ramps) is awesome sauce.

There you have it, the best meals in OTR. Maybe we left out something, if so, feel free to tell us and we’ll give it a go. If you eat all of these, I hope you become as happy as I was, your pants get tighter and you enter a brief food coma…

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Why Cincinnati Beats the Sh*T Out Of Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh… If I didn’t despise you enough already, I just have to run into your big mouth, drunken fans talking smack on my beloved Reds. Well you know what?! Your city is a bore. We can all agree that Cincinnati is better than Pittsburgh, but have you ever been asked to explain why?

1. We’ve got the Reds

As the oldest team in baseball, we started America’s past time, and have earned five World Series titles. Not to mention our opening day celebrations out rank that of any other city. We don’t always win, but we try to kick ass, as seen during the last series against the Pirates. The game combined 10 homers, a GABP record in a 7-7 game that was suspended by rain.

2. And the Bengals

Bengals vs. Steelers is a classic NFL rivalry.  So they have the rings, but right now we have the edge. The Steelers roster is old; the Bengals have better, younger impact players for the coming season. Not to mention our fans are a lot nicer and we don’t have those stupid towels.

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Plan the Perfect Girls Day: Our 12 Favorite Places

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It’s time for your lady friends to drop the guys, leave the kids at home, and ditch the drama. Let your girl day turns into ladies night out.

1. Grab Your Workout Buddy and Try A New Fitness Class 

Working out is always better with friends. Modo Hot Yoga offers hot yoga, pilates, and barre to get you bikini body ready. With three locations (Cincinnati, Clifton, and NKY) and tons of class options, there aren’t any excuses to not show up. They offer $5 charity classes and $8 community classes! Sign up with your girlfriends and keep each other accountable.

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6 Reasons Why Quest For The Queen Is Better Than The Color Run

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Listen up all you fitness fanatics, history buffs and adventure seekers, the next big fun run has arrived to Cincinnati. Yes, I know you love the Color Run, the Electric Run and all those other races that travel to every city, but Quest for the Queen is the event you should pay attention to.

Local residents decided enough was enough and took matters into their own hands, creating an epic race specifically designed for Cincinnati.

1. It’s not just a boring foot race

Running is below my list of favorite physical activities to partake in. In fact, the only time you’ll catch me voluntarily running is if I’m being chased… or if I’m dreaming that I’m running. Luckily, Queen for the Quest shakes up the average race with some riddles and brain teasers to solve.

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8 Ways to Make the Most of a Reds Game

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Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks! I don’t care if I never get back! Baseball is awesome and gets infinitely better when you’re watching our beloved Cincinnati Reds play.

1. Cheap Seats Are the Way to Go

Find a cheap pair of tickets on StubHub and then snag better seats from no-shows. (Don’t say we told you)

2. Indulge in the Brewery District

Featuring 60 taps, with 32 craft beers, and of courseAnheuser-Busch products. They’re serving local brew from Christian Moerlein, MadTree, Blank Slate, 50 West, Rhinegeist, Mt. Carmel and Rivertown, with new selections rotating throughout the season.

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The 13 Best Brunches in Cincinnati

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Dear Weekend,

We love you. Brunch, the welcomed relative of breakfast and lunch, is the only way to ward off remnants from last night’s shenanigans. It’s the pinnacle of weekend activities: curing hangovers, inducing food comas and catching up with friends. Ideal brunch spots have bottomless mimosas, a patio and bountiful, tasty menu options.

Otto’s

Situated in Covington’s Mainstrasse, squeeze into their windowsill booth or sit outside under a patio umbrella. Bring the sunglasses just in case the weather decides to cooperate.

Enjoy this café with it’s bustling bar and delicious brunch options. Die and go to heaven eating their strawberry filled French Toast or get the Otto’s Benedict with a side of goetta. This spot is extremely brunchy and will make your Sunday so much more delightful!

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The 11 Best Hangout Spots for Your Bromance

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1. Life Jackets & Beer Koozies at Southside Quarry

Remember the quarry in La Grange? Yeah, the police shut that down like an underground poker tournament. Fear not, my friends, there is a new quarry at which to have fun in the sun this summer. Plan to grill out and bring a cooler. The Southside Quarry is 21+ so, that’s good news for most of us and circumvents the issue of 18-year-old kids with braces bonging beers out of pool noodles that were causing problems for the quarry in La Grange in the first place.

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19 Things You Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners About Cincinnati

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You live in Cincinnati. You know what makes this city so great, but your out-of-town family and friends don’t. When they come to visit here’s how to answer their nagging questions.

1. The only city in the Midwest where a 2 hour wait is acceptable at restaurants.

Oh you want to make a reservation? That’s funny. Get there at 7pm and be prepared to drink the time away until 9pm. Our favorite long-wait restaurant?

2. We’re actually a giant small town.

It is extremely difficult to not run into at least one person you know anywhere you go. Anonymity doesn’t exist, so stay away from the drunken debauchery on Monday afternoons… Or do it here!

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