Everyone is a Winner on the Hot Brown Trail Written by : Patti Nickell

With the first Saturday in May just around the corner, the commonwealth is gearing up for its biggest event of the year, and the consensus is “why wait for the first Saturday when you can get the party started sooner?”

Frankfort’s celebration kicks off May 1st, and continues through Derby Day, May 6th, with the Hot Brown Trail wending its way throughout the downtown area.

Kentucky’s favorite dish is on the menu at 12 local restaurants and four businesses, the latter ranging from Andy’s Artisan Bread and Artisan Capital Market to Completely Kentucky and Broadway Clay.

Most Kentuckians have tried at least one version of the classic dish which made its debut at Louisville’s Brown Hotel in 1926. The original was an open-faced sandwich on Texas toast with turkey, bacon, tomatoes and cheese Mornay sauce baked until bubbling hot.

Over the years, that original version has gotten many twists from inventive chefs and Frankfort’s Trail will be no exception.

Buddy’s Pizza and Locals Food Hub and Pizza Pub will both be offering Hot Browns in the form of a pizza.

Kentucky Coffee Tree Café will dish up some Hot Brown Soup and Sig Luscher Brewery will have a Hot Brown hot dog on the menu (choice of frank, Angus beef dog or brat topped with pulled chicken, hollandaise, diced tomatoes, bacon and parmesan cheese.)

At Bourbon on Main, it will be Hot Brown egg rolls with mornay dipping sauce; Trifecta BBQ will have Hot Brown cheese fries on its menu, and you can go to Mortimer Bibb’s Public House for Hot Brown sliders.

You can even have Hot Browns for breakfast at Main Street Diner with their breakfast Hot Brown loaded hash browns with grilled turkey, bacon, tomato, parmesan cheese and homemade sauce.

Knowing a good thing when they taste it, some restaurants have opted for the original Brown.  Goodwood Brewery will have the traditional Hot Brown featuring homemade bacon jam and Goodwood Beer Cheese.

Jim’s Seafood and Serafini’s will both stick with the traditional version, while Limewater may be serving the most sophisticated Hot Brown.  Their Brown will be house roasted turkey with black truffle mornay, served with green onion grit cake, slow roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Even the Brown Hotel would be proud to include these Frankfort creations on their menu.

However, it’s not just the restaurants that are catching Derby fever.  Several Frankfort businesses have come up with their own way of celebrating the big week.

Andy’s Artisan Bread will have a special Hot Brown croissant sandwich.  You can serve those sandwiches on a charcuterie board or in mini ceramic bowls from Completely Kentucky.

You and your significant other can make your own Hot Brown serving bowl on ‘Date Night’ at Broadway Clay.

Finally, Artisan Capital Market will offer a week of Derby discounts and specials.

So, even if your horse doesn’t cross the finish line first at Churchill Downs, you’ll still be a winner on the Frankfort Hot Brown Trail.