Appetizers are food we eat while we wait for our real food to come. Let's not pretend; an appetizer is best when it's smothered in cheese, comprised entirely of cheese, or dipped in cheese. Here are three of my Louisville favorites:
1. Queso Fundido from Guaca Mole 
For $8 you get this magnificent skillet with melted cheese, chorizo sausage, sauteed onions, and sauteed mushrooms. It's served with chips but I ate it with a fork because I'm gluttonous like that, and I don't care if the roof of my mouth gets all burned off.
2. Baked Brie from 60 West Bistro & Martini Bar 
At $8, this dish is big enough to share, but you won't want to. Oven melted brie cheese with piquillo pepper honey and blackberry jam, this starter is simple, but utterly perfect with 60 West's Oatmeal Cookie martini or one of their other various drinks.
3. Quesadillaz at Zanazabar 
Zazabar is arguably the best kept bar food secret in town, and the only thing I find cloying about my home bar is their insistence on putting "Z" in every menu item description. Nonetheless, this pico de gallo and cheddar jack cheese combination with chicken, pulled pork or mushrooms for $8.50 is rich and creamy, a classic.
Do you have a favorite melted cheese based appetizer? Share it in the comments below!
Pictures by Elizabeth Orrick