Gralehaus, Louisville KY

The adorable cottage front of Gralehaus was a nice and cozy change of pace from a few of our previous brunch adventures. As we entered I enjoyed the vintage feel of the jam jars that drinks were served in as well as the wall of coolers along the back filled with both beers and fancy sodas under a beautiful reclaimed wood ceiling. The colorful and rustic garden out back was also inviting, though we decided to stay inside as it was a touch warm and sunny for us to be truly confortable.

Perusing the menu inside at the counter crowded with draft spigots, deserts and sides in a case, we took some time to look over the menu. To start we got lucky with the Horchata soft serve of the day, which I got ala Affogoto form (i.e. topped with a strong espresso, that did not pull any punches).

creamy Affogoto, Horchata soft serve topped with a good strong espresso
creamy Affogoto, Horchata soft serve topped with a good strong espresso

Though it was hard to whittle down the choices on drinks (as was also true with the food) I was quite happy with my decision as the bold espresso was rounded out by the creamy and subtly spiced Horchata soft serve. Eventually these two seperate elements blended into a frappe-like coffee happy place.

As I said though, there were lots of great drink options and our friends were generous enought to let me sample both the Beer and Shot along with the Beermosa. The Beer and Shot being a creamy and potent peanut butter stout complemented with the same great espresso my Affogoto was topped with, though both in separate glasses so you can part take of them separately or combined. The bubbly Beermosa was also pleasantly refreshing.

Top Beermosa, right happy Affogoto (again), bottom and left Beer and a Shot
Top Beermosa, right happy Affogoto (again), bottom and left Beer and a Shot
A close-up of the dark and complex complements, (peanut butter stout) Beer and a Shot (of espresso)
A close-up of the dark and complex complements, (peanut butter stout) Beer and a Shot (of espresso)

After ordering the rest of our food along with our drinks, we had a short wait at our bright azure table until they brought over our amazing spread that today contained: Speculoos Crepe with Bacon, Biscuits & Duck Gravy, Haus Ham & Egg Crepe, Lamb Sausage & Grits, and a Haus Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich on croissant.

crazy Gralehaus brunch spread
crazy Gralehaus brunch spread

It was just so artfully presented and tasted amazing.  My Black-Pepper Biscuit with Duck Gravy was just different enough to keep me interested and also wholly tasty, but the true star was the Speculoos Crepe with Bacon. The Black-Pepper Biscuit with Duck Gravy with its creamy, salty gravy oozing over tall, soft biscuits was exceptional. The alteration in this staple brunch item of using broken up bits of tender duck instead of the standard sausage (while I am a fan of the latter) I found a thoroughly enjoyable change of pace. These savory, moist morsels along with the perfectly cooked velvety egg pulled together a satisfying dish without leaving you to feel you were left with a rock in your stomach.

Black-Pepper Biscuit with Duck Gravy, yum!
Black-Pepper Biscuit with Duck Gravy, yum!

Again though the Speculoos Crepe with Bacon was where it was at. If you are not familiar with the wonderfully spicy and gingery Speculoos cookies or the smooth butter Trader Joes has made from them, you need to go run out to the grocery store and make yourself a personal introduction. Go ahead. This blog will still be waiting for you. Seriously don’t wait.

Speculoos Crepes with Bacon
Speculoos Crepe with Bacon

So hopefully you’ve now been introduced to the crunchy (or in cookie butter form creamy) deliciousness that is Speculoos. Now let me tell you that in these thin, slightly crisp and buttery crepe vehicles for this creamy, spiced Speculoos goodness. Each bite I sliced off and topped with a bit of whipped ricotta and a tiny bit of bacon created forkfuls of heaven. They were soft and sumptuous in my mouth, just pinging against my happy taste buds. I have said before that I am not much of a sweet fan, but the tiny drizzle of honey, dusting of powdered sugar and afforementioned creamy Speculoos center were slighty sweet wthout overwhelming the palate with a crazy sugar rush. You should not leave Gralehaus without at least giving them a try. I doubt you will regret this move.

Lamb Sausage and Grits
Lamb Sausage and Grits

In addition to those two great dishes, I also got to try a sampling from the rest of the also great and satisfying offerings. The Lamb Sausage and Grits were uniquely tangy, the grits forming a nice creamy base blended with a sharp cheddar that completmented the uncommonly interesting sausage.

Haus Ham & Egg Crepe
Haus Ham & Egg Crepe

The country ham in the crepe was smoky and richly layered in its yummy, salty goodness. The flaky goodness of the crossiant sandwich was also a welcome delight.

Haus Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich on croissant
Haus Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich on pretzel croissant

After all this decadent food I decided to enjoy some of the refreshing draft Orange and Beet Kombucha. In addition to its lovely sour tang that left my full tummy feeling lighter and better, it had a gorgeous pink color that was delightful to look at.

Haus draft Kombucha
Haus draft Kombucha

I guess hubby also go a bit peckish and curious as more people trickled in and we lingered chatting, so the rest of us were suprised with some yummy Beer Cheese and Pretzel. This salty treat came with cold beer cheese (which isn’t hubby’s favorite) that was not overly rich, but well-composed with the same tangy cheddar in the grits that was fully present  but didn’t overwhelm the great beer flavor. It was a nice treat at the end of a great brunch.

Beer Cheese and Pretzel
Beer Cheese and Pretzel

This nicely well-rounded sampling of brunchy goodness was a great first experience at the Gralehaus, but I look forward to returning to try their Country Ham and Pimento Cheese Tartine, the Sorghum Latte or one of the great looking sides in their cooler.

Look out for the second half of Brunches Past in Spain coming Wednesday. Until next time though keep eating and drinking well, hopefully with great company.

Today’s Featured Brunch: Gralehaus, 1001 Baxter Ave., Louisville, KY 40204

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