flying solo in Louisville
i will be at a conference in Louisville at the Hilton and am looking for decent restaurant with a bar. i will have a car so it doesn't have to be downtown.
i basically just need a good beer selection and better than average bar food.
I've been to the North End Cafe and liked that.
One of the many Irish pubs in Louisville would be a great choice -- Flanagan's, Molly Malone's, O'Shea's, The Irish Rover (my favorite)... I'm forgetting a couple. There are three in two blocks of Baxter Ave. There's a good deal of debate over whose fish and chips are the best (though they each have other unique and well-made food), and all of them have a beer selection that goes FAR beyond the expected Guinness-Harp-Bass offerings.
Maido (on lower Frankfort near Mellwood) has delicious sushi and a really good selection of funky Belgians and other interesting beers. Oh, and a wicked Super-Happy Hour that runs from 4:30-6:30.
If you're looking for a truly unique experience, though, I'd advise taking I-64 west out of Louisville and into Indiana. Rich-O's (a.k.a. The New Albanian) in New Albany, IN, has the best beer list in four states, delicious and absurdly inexpensive pizza, stromboli, and calzones, and did I mention the beer list?? It's staggering. Hundreds of selections from all over the world, from their in-house brews to rare vintages of obscure European craft beers. Whatever your taste is, you will not be disappointed. Incredible. Some folks take issue with the slow and sometimes-grouchy service, but I find it part of the charm.
Depending on how long you'll be in town, I'd recommend you do Rich-O's first, Maido second (if you're into sushi), and Irish pubs as a totally respectable fallback. They're solid, but Rich-O's is a really unique and much-beloved spot you shouldn't miss, IMO.
The North End is usually a solid choice. 732 Social is downtown and therefore closer. They have overall better food and if you like Belgian and craft beers it is a good choice.
Other options that come to mind are Palermo Viejo, Bourbon's BIstro, Basa, or Asiatique.