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Car Paint, Hot Browns, and Eating Modestly at Lunch

Paint a rental car in the morning, eat a hot brown for lunch.

That’s how our road trip started and the next several posts will chronicle our trip along with all the food and friends we made along the way.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip since January when we surprised my grandmother with the idea.

Don’t leave five women alone with car markers.  This happens.

Belle Meade or Bust

And this.

And this.  Were we worried we’d forget our itinerary?


My sister’s cute handwriting exploded all over the van in the Starbucks parking lot.  A grown man was shaking his head and mumbling something about “women” and “trouble” as he got in his car.  I hope we did him proud.

For the morning drive down, my mom “done got all Southern” and made pimento cheese and Benedictine sandwiches to snack on in the car; complete with iced tea.

Southern Sandwiches

Our first stop was Louisville, Kentucky.  Lunch was to be at the iconic Brown Hotel, home of the original hot brown sandwich.

Brown Hotel


If you’ve never had a hot brown sandwich imagine a party with turkey, Texas toast, Mornay sauce, tomato, cheese, and BACON.  And then put that party in your mouth.  Nothing not to love.  Arriving right at lunch time, my sister and I opted for the buffet.  The spread was fantastic.  Tons of fresh fruit, salads, desserts, and of course…a big dish of hot brown.  Not many places in the Midwest “buffet” during weekday lunchtime.  I wasn’t missing out.

Brown Hotel Buffet

My mother, aunt, and grandmother decided to be oh-so-ladylike and decline the buffet.

In no particular order, I recall hearing the following: “After all, we’ve snacked in the car. It’s a hot day.  Modesty when eating is best.  We are in the South.  Let’s be ladies.  We’re at the hotel so of course we all must try the hot brown but the buffet would just be too much.  Salad, maybe I should just have a salad.”

Not me.  I was there to taste and try.  No shame in my game.

They all opted for the individual hot brown sandwich.  And when I say individual I mean serving platter.

Much to their dismay, THIS came out of the kitchen x3.

Hot Brown Sandwich

One sandwich could have fed the eastern seaboard.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  Imagine the circumference of a basketball.

This is what we call karma.  I quietly sat there enjoying my small scoop of hot brown heaven, crunchy salads, and fresh fruit.

…then I politely asked if I should pull the car around so they all could just roll downhill to the vehicle.

We started off on the right foot.

Filed under: Travels


Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

1 Comment

  1. Cute lunch story, I’d like to try a hot brown sandwich. Keep the vacay recaps coming. I’ve got Nashville on my list of cities to see, so curious about your travels!

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