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Robin Garr

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Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

by Robin Garr » Wed Aug 02, 2023 6:17 am

Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

Is it a pizza? Well, not exactly. Nevertheless, a hand-formed flatbread dressed with tomato sauce, cheese, and Red Hog sausage and pepperoni fills a pizza-size space, in a good way.
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Blue Dog Bakery celebrated a quarter-century of making great bread for Louisville’s people this year, and it’s hard for me to believe that it has been that long.

It feels as if it was only recently, but it was actually way back in 1998 that I knocked on Blue Dog’s back door in the dark hours before dawn and met owners Bob Hancock and his wife Kit Garrett.

I was there to write a story about this new artisanal bakery, an assignment that I sought so I could get a look at this fascinating new Frankfort Avenue spot. I even got to peek inside its 45,000-pound, $50,000 Llopis (“YO-pee”) Spanish bread oven that Hancock purchased and got installed with the help of an expert from Barcelona who came over to Louisville to help.

Hancock had already built a wood fire in the oven, and I would spend the rest of the morning looking on, talking, and learning as this bright new bakery and cafe woke up around me. They told me about how they had come back home to Louisville from the Pacific Northwest with a bucket of natural bread starter bubbling in the back of their van. And I heard about how the name of the bakery perpetuates the memory of a beloved dog.

Mostly, though, I absorbed the look and feel and taste of an exceptional artisanal bakery. And I was impressed by the obvious desire for perfection that infused Hancock’s and Garrett’s work and that still shows in the quality of the bread that has become an iconic part of Louisville culinary life.
 
That same insistence on seeking perfection would later inform their second property, Red Hog, an artisanal butcher shop and restaurant that opened just down the street at 2622 Frankfort Avenue in 2017. Red Hog features sustainable, humane, and ethically raised pork, beef, lamb, and poultry from local farms.

Blue Dog continued operating as a commercial bakery during the pandemic, but its public cafe closed for a while. I’m glad it’s back. It is one of the city’s favorite spots for European-style cafe dining, with a bill of fare largely based, of course, on Blue Dog breads and Red Hog meats, plus artisanal coffee drinks, wines, and an appealing range of pastries and desserts. ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
https://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/blue-dog-perfection

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today:
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe
2868 Frankfort Ave.
899-9800
https://bluedogbakeryandcafe.com
https://facebook.com/bluedogbakeryandcafe
https://instagram.com/bluedogbakeryandcafe

Noise Level: Blue Dog is almost always busy, and the crowd makes its presence known in a steady but rarely ear-shattering buzz. Its 68dB average sound level is within the range of normal conversation.

Accessibility: The entrance and restroom appear accessible to wheelchair users, but the small dining room is packed with tables and chairs and may be challenging to negotiate in a wheelchair.
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Nathaniel C

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Re: Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

by Nathaniel C » Thu Aug 03, 2023 10:23 pm

I was hangry on a recent Saturday and my better half and another friend and I waited for a table. Despite there only being a couple of people in front of us in the queue, it took what was likely over half an hour to get seated (we had no preference for indoor/outdoor). There were empty tables outside that weren't cleared for a long time, which delayed guests being seated. I got the same flatbread and felt satiated, but it wasn't great. We'd have gone elsewhere had we known of the deceptively long wait, given the short line.
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James Natsis

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Re: Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

by James Natsis » Fri Aug 04, 2023 12:31 am

Its hard to talk seriously about Louisville being a foodie city without including Blue Dog in the mix. Their baguettes are about as good as baguettes get and are available in multiple locations. French style artisan baked breads and viennoiseries (pastries) is not our stronghand in the Ville. We could use a few more Blue Dog type of places around town to fill the void in my view.
James J. Natsis
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Robin Garr

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Re: Blue Dog achieves perfection, or comes mighty close

by Robin Garr » Fri Aug 04, 2023 4:57 am

Nathaniel C wrote:I was hangry on a recent Saturday and my better half and another friend and I waited for a table. Despite there only being a couple of people in front of us in the queue, it took what was likely over half an hour to get seated (we had no preference for indoor/outdoor). There were empty tables outside that weren't cleared for a long time, which delayed guests being seated. I got the same flatbread and felt satiated, but it wasn't great. We'd have gone elsewhere had we known of the deceptively long wait, given the short line.

Nathaniel, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m going to guess a staffing issue, but I know it’s disappointing.

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