Louisville is a breakfast town; hence one of the staples has been North End Cafe. Open since 2003, North End has sought to do something seemingly simple, but, in reality, very hard to execute – create a fresh, comforting menu on a consistent basis. Well, for the past 12 years, they have done just that. And although they may be synonymous with breakfast and brunch, there is also little doubt that North End Cafe has become a destination for dinner – and bourbon. So we decided to stop by and check out what was new at one of Louisville’s favorite eateries.
On this particular visit, we tried a few breakfast staples – the chilaquiles as well as the migas and huevos rancheros. The chilaquiles – corn tortillas cooked with tomato sauce and topped with fresh cilantro, red onions, queso fresco and housemade chorizo – was phenomenal. The addition of two eggs, which we ordered runny, was perfect as the yolk mixed with the chorizo to create a creamy and savory concoction that was cut beautifully with the freshness of the cilantro and red onions. The queso delightfully lifted the whole dish. If you order this dish, be ready – it’s filling. As for the huevos rancheros, it’s hard to beat rice and two eggs, black beans and gooey queso fresco.
The other offering was the migas, three scrambled eggs atop corn tortilla chips, garnished with a generous handful of jalapeños as well as cheddar cheese, home fries and fresh pico de gallo. The result was another creation that was equally filling and immensely pleasurable. A little spicy and very zesty, it’s an additional excellent breakfast choice.
North End Cafe original aim when it first opened was to become a premier breakfast place in a city where breakfast and brunch culture had not yet taken off – and in a part of town where there really wasn’t much else. The place was and still is situated on the far end of Frankfort Avenue, and it quickly became a staple for locals. It’s popularity grew so quickly that after only a few weeks, the breakfast service was extended to lunch and dinner. In fact, it’s the dinner program that will soon be further developed with the induction of North End Cafe to the Urban Bourbon Trail. With well over 50 bourbons in their selection, and soon three dishes that will be added to the menu that incorporate bourbon, North End Cafe will cement its reputation even further as a top destination for dinner.
If that wasn’t enough, Christopher Seckman, chef and co-owner of North End, added that the team will soon have one more feather in its cap with the construction of a pizza joint at the back of their Bardstown Road location. With no pizza location in that entire neighborhood, it seems like a smart move. But add the fact that North End Slice (as it’s likely to be called) will uphold North End’s established standards, and you’ve got a fool-proof scheme.
“We will sell New York style pizza by the slice,” explains Seckman of the upcoming eatery. “But the pies and slices will be made with higher quality ingredients than you would expect at most places, and we will maintain our dedication to high quality.”
Seckman and his fellow partners, Walt and Whitney Jones, are also keen to stress that North End Cafe has a catering business. So with pizza and more bourbon on the horizon, it’s hard not to think that North End Cafe will only continue to rise for years to come. VT
North End Cafe is located at 1722 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY, 40206 and 2116 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205. For more information call 502.690.4161 (Frankfort Avenue) or 502.896.8770 (Bardstown Road) or visit northendcafe.com.