I read in a really excellent article that one of the best ways to get the most out of your restaurant experience is to order the most unusual, unappetizing sounding thing on the menu. The thought behind this is that while every restaurant can probably crank out a good cheeseburger (be is with aged white cheddar or banana pepper mayonnaise or applewood bacon) the more unique choices are far more likely to showcase a chef's particular talent, or a restaurant's particular strength. This principal of dining out can be directly applied to Uptown Cafe, at 1624 Bardstown Road, and the weirdest thing on their menu, the Jaegerschnitzel.
The Jaegerschnitzel is breaded pork tenderloin in spicy brown cream sauce with peppers and mushrooms. This dish is bar far the oddest on Uptown's large menu, which mostly features classics like the aforementioned cheeseburger, or fried green tomatoes; and it does not sound particularly appealing. On the plate and the palate, however, the Jaegerschnitzel is tender, crusty on the outside and succulent within, hardy in the best possible way. This seems like the kind of food lumberjacks order for their wedding feasts, highly seasoned, highly meaty, highly delicious. The Jaegerschnitzel was by far the most interesting dish we sampled on a recent visit to Uptown Cafe. A few other standouts included sausage stuffed mushrooms in a brandy cream sauce, and prosciutto wrapped melon with a balsamic reduction.
We went to Uptown Cafe on a weeknight; it was calm and relaxing with good service and reasonable prices. Most of the food we ordered (a large salad, a cheeseburger, hummus and veggies, lemon cake, strawberry napoleon, amaretto cheesecake, fried green tomatoes, duck ravioli) was neither magnificent nor deplorable. The desserts were almost certainly not made in house and the duck ravioli was woefully dry. For a restaurant set on one of the most appealing stretching of dining in Louisville, I felt that Uptown wasn't quite bringing its "A" game.
photos: Elizabeth Orrick