By Hannah Filiatreau @Hannahtreks
A trip to historic Bardstown, Kentucky is the perfect chance to taste a host of world renowned bourbons. From Heaven Hill and Jim Beam, to Four Roses and Barton’s 1792. Aside from what it is most recognized for however, Bardstown also offers the chance to try one of a kind food from locally owned restaurants. A perfect example, is The Java Joint Café, conveniently located on the beautiful and historic downtown shopping strip.
Nestled between Wildflower Boutique and Downtown Hair & Nails Salon, Java Joint takes up only a space similar to the size of a small apartment. The store front consists of large floor to ceiling windows, filtering in the natural light and creating a very warm atmosphere. In combination with the rich and herbal smells that envelope you the moment you walk in the door, you'll be content to sit for hours. There is also plenty to look at as you enjoy your meal or beverage, as the walls are lined with all sorts of knick-knacks, as well as Kentucky themed photography, paintings, and memorabilia. Some of the paintings, which are available for purchase, are by talented artists of the 2014 Bourbon Festival.
The cafe is frequented by regulars, and people are quick to introduce themselves and suggest their favorites. A handwritten, chalkboard coffee menu, features standard options as well as specialty coffee. Intriguing flavors such as Raspberry Truffle and Heath Bar are just a few of the temptations. The menu itself consists of food of not only a meat variety, but also vegan and vegetarian. I myself have become addicted to the suggested half a sandwich and cup of soup combo, particularly the Italian Grilled Cheese (with a delicious homemade pesto) and their famed Tomato Basil Soup. Every item on the menu is packed with rich flavors and beautifully plated. My own consisted of not only my meal, but ripe fruits, including watermelon, cantaloupe, and delicious cherries, vegetables and ranch, lettuce and beans, and seasoned crackers. I couldn't have asked for anything more!
Passing through the small space in search of seating you might eventually find a very small patio, surrounded on every side by a brick wall, and looking up at the sky through a wooden trellis. While the outdoor seating is seasonal, one can only imagine how beautiful it would look in the spring or summer, with the pots filled with flowers and the trellis dripping with vines. The optimal dining location for the spring and summer. I personally plan to return soon and recommend others to make a visit to the charming cafe and explore the area and cuisine for themselves. Most importantly don't forget to grab one of the delicious cookies (I recommend the Snickerdoodles) for the road!