There’s no doubt that Louisville’s Germantown neighborhood is cool. Without me nerding out with regards to the steadily increasing residential property value or the astonishing transformation that the 40217 zip code has proudly endured over the past decade, one can simply drive through the area and know that Germantown is winning. Part of the beauty is a strong community bond. Germantown residents are proud to be immersed in Louisville’s rich culture and to be a part of this prized piece of Louisville’s past. Lately, some fresh additions have been made to the dining scene, one of which is Monnik Beer Co. Not only does Monnik boast a fabulous food menu, they also brew some delicious beer, and provide a nice environment in which to enjoy these things.
Located in one of the most well-known buildings in Germantown, Monnik Beer Company took over the former Zeppelin Cafe at the corner of E Burnett and Hickory, sitting catty corner to Check’s Cafe. The renovation of this classic building is fabulous and really showcases the character and charm of the original, while bringing a clean, modern feel to it. We showed up around 1:30 pm for lunch. I really like to sit and enjoy my time, plus I don’t love sitting in a lunch rush. There were a few people at the bar and a few tables of laid back lunchers enjoying some afternoon eats. The server immediately informed me of any beers on the list that were out or in transition. She had favorites and recommendations for me, so I decided to go with the Romulus – a single-hop ale that is described on their menu as “dank like bong water filtered through a grapefruit rind”. Um… ok. I will have one of those. Although I’ve never drank bong water filtered through a grapefruit rind, I can certainly say that the beer was a fabulously bright creation. Somewhat comparable to a session IPA, but it’s not an IPA at all, and it has much more complex flavor than a session IPA could ever find. I will drink it again.
It’s time to order lunch. The Kentucky Cuban sandwich is what immediately caught my eye. They have some interesting burgers and a couple of other sandwiches that are not what I would describe as “normal”, which is a good thing. They also serve the dinner menu during lunch. Most importantly, they have fries. Hand-cut, real potato fries. I love real fries. I went with my first instinct and ordered the Kentucky Cuban. I have to smile at the incorporation of some Kentucky ingredients into this sandwich. They use house roasted pork, country ham, mustard, pickles, and Kenny’s Farmhouse KY Rose cheese. I’m not certain as to whether or not the bread is made by Blue Dog, but that’s what I thought when my sandwich was delivered. It looks and tastes just like a Blue Dog creation. Either way, it’s delicious. The Monnik Beer Co kitchen makes a great statement with this beautiful sandwich. It’s well balanced with the amount of pork and bread, mustard and cheese. It was very warm, plenty of hot fries, and the portion was perfect for lunch. Look, I love Cuban sandwiches, but I’m also all about chef-driven food with a splash of creativity. I’m not always looking for the very first recipe introduced in 1868 to be duplicated with perfection. While historic, original recipes are very interesting and often delicious, adaptation can be an incredible treat as well. This Cuban sandwich makes me ready and excited to try other great stuff from Monnik Beer Company.
While I haven’t tried all that this very solid menu offers (food and beer), it has given me plenty of reason to come back and try more. I’m stoked that Monnik made its home in Germantown, and I can’t wait to visit this fine Louisville restaurant / brewery again!
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