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Welcome to Road to the Eater Awards, in which the Indiana band Houndmouth chronicles the good eating along the Southern leg of their "From the Hills Below the City" tour, culminating at Eater Eve and the Eater Awards. This series is presented by Canon PowerShot, makers of the PowerShot that captured all the action.
The Eater Awards and the Eater Eve preview event this year are going to be big, wild, fun celebrations of the American South with plenty of drinks, a gang of the region's best chefs and, for the first time, a rocking band. The band Houndmouth lives right across the river from Louisville, KY and just released their debut album "From the Hills Below the City" earlier this year. Right now, they're touring some of the country's great Southern cities before making their way up to New York. And because the band members enjoy good food and drink — they have their own beer and include Bulleit bourbon on their rider — they've kindly agreed to chronicle their food adventures in this space.
To kick things off they stopped by an event at Louisville favorite 610 Magnolia to chat with chefs Edward Lee and Nick Sullivan (also Eater Awards attendees). More photos and a chat with guitarist and vocalist Matt Myers are below.
In general what is the worst part about eating on tour?
Matt Myers: The worst part is eating a big meal before a show. For instance we had a big chicken and waffle meal one night before a show and we came out and I think every song was too slow. It was just slowed down and it was really lethargic...if we have a bad show, it's a Chick. Chicken 'n' Waffles: awful.
What kinds of food are you eating out on the road. Are you seeking out fun options, is it mostly fast food? If we're in a rush we'll do fruits and nuts and trail mix and stuff. We've been kind of cutting out fast food lately except for Subway. Some of the perks about being on the road is depending on the area, you get something native to that area.
Any highlights from the food you had on the first Southern leg of your tour? In New Orleans I got great oysters. We actually went to a Mexican restaurant called Country Flame. It's the only Mexican restaurant I've gone to and ordered an oyster po' boy. It was fantastic.
Do any other towns or cities stand out to you for the food? When we did the Newport Folk Festival that was amazing. We had lobster. Being from Indiana, seafood is a novelty because we don't ever get it.
Where do you go out to eat in New Albany and in Louisville? My favorite place in Louisville is Jack Fry's. And Seviche. In New Albany, a place opened up called Feast. It's a barbecue place and they kind of have a secret special menu going on at all times. It varies. We've buddied up with the owner, because Shane [Cody]'s been working there washing dishes when he's in town for some extra money in his pocket. On the special menu is a thing called the brisket sandwich, and it has caramelized onions on it and a runny horseradish sauce. It's fantastic. And they serve beer and bourbon slushies.
Tell me a little about Houndmouth Ale. How did that come about? We went into the NABC, the New Albanian Brewing Company, where they do the brewing to shoot a video. And they dropped us a line to ask if we'd be interested in doing a collaborative beer. We sat down and discussed what we wanted. We agreed that we wanted something to be not terribly high alcohol content that could be sold year round. It's a wheat ale with dry hop. Kind of like Gumballhead but with less alcohol content. And I've never had a hoppy wheat ale.
You attended a party, shown in the pictures, at chef Edward Lee's Magnolia 610. How was it? It was great. He served a mushroom pate on top of a cracker that was really good. It's the one appetizer that never goes off the menu. We had a tiny little foie gras BLT bite with roasted tomato basil sauce. And the cocktails were great. He served a old fashioned with rye, which cut through the sweetness.
Ed's a really nice guy. They had a pig laid out and he sawed through it and separated the parts. Katie [Toupin] got a little squeamish we had to bail. We gave him some beer, a gallon of Houndmouth. He had a swig and gave it to his sous chef.
I heard you're big bourbon fans. Oh yeah, we have Bulleit bourbon on our rider.