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I think I spent $40 dollars on food during last year's Run for the Roses. And by "food" I actually mean what the infield vendor called a hot dog between a soggy bun. Nasty. One Derby I packed homemade sandwiches for guests, but that was a hassle — not to mention that the majority of the sandwiches ended up floating in my cooler's melted ice. Down the street from my Crescent Hill home, Crave Cafe & Catering (2250 Frankfort Ave.) offers a nice (and, really, a cheaper) alternative. And in the midst of a booze-drenched afternoon, it's a meal resembling some sort of normalcy. 

There are four different box lunches – from $7.50 to $10.95 — to choose from: Exacta Box, Trifecta Box, Infield Box and High Roller. The High Roller, the Cadillac of the choices, includes a triple-decker or hot sandwich, chips, a pickle, a side item and dessert. The cheapest option — the Exacta Box — gets you a sandwich, chips, a pickle and a cookie. Each box, owner Shannon Foster would like you to know, is track-approved, meaning the men searching you at the gate won't confiscate it unless they're starving.

I tell Foster about the group of 15 or so people crashing at my house this weekend and ask if she could possibly feed us all. "When's the latest you can get your order in? Wednesday is preferable," Foster says. "But if it's last minute, I'll try to get you in."  

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