Tucked away in the corner of Brownsboro Center by Party Mart and down the way from Brownsboro Hardware is a quiet treat of a restaurant. It’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” sort of place that sits in the vicinity of many chain restaurants and subliminally markets to its customers. Their chalkboard out front displays the soup of the day, stakes claims to having Louisville’s best hamburger or even asks passers-by to try their breakfast. When we did our post about great hamburgers in Louisville, this place was mentioned time and time again. We have been back twice for more and tried out several things on the menu.
So what is this mysterious eatery of which we speak? It’s Shady Lane Cafe. And their signage couldn’t be more spot-on: Welcome to Goodness!
They open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays to serve breakfast (an experience we’re still anticipating), and customers rush in to get the blueberry pancakes and egg specials. We went for lunch on a Saturday, however, arriving at 11 a.m., and people were already lined up all the way to the back door.
You’ll find the menu on a chalkboard. It appears that the board on the right stays the same, while the one on the left features the daily specials. The menu features tons of classics, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
Shady Lane Cafe is owned by Susi and Bill Smith, Susi taking orders while Bill cooks. And Susi loves her hamburgers so much that she wears hamburger earrings!
During our visit, we tried a variety of things on the menu, and all were wonderful. Here’s what we ate:
What’s not to love about Shady Lane Cafe? They are locally owned and family run. If they served alcohol, this would be the Cheers of the East End, a place where everybody knows your name. Susi takes all the orders and chats with every customer. As a first-timer, she walked me through the menu when I ordered, along with half the customers in line who piped up with their recommendations. Everybody has their favorites here, and Susi is aware of them all. I was waiting for someone to come up and say “I’ll take my usual, Susi,” but that didn’t happen on my watch.
Shady Lane Cafe serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. They serve dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights. They open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays and serve breakfast and lunch until 3 p.m. Shady Lane is closed Sunday and Monday.
Follow Shady Lane Cafe on Facebook to see their daily specials, which always include a yummy soup and an excellent selection of homemade desserts.
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