Coming out of Nach Bar we needed eats to offset our alcohol consumption. I had wanted to give Hammerheads a try for a while and was waiting for just this type of night and it paid off in a big way.
Located in Louisville’s Germantown neighborhood, you can categorize Hammerheads as a gastropub if you want to get all fussy, but really it’s a dive that does high-end comfort food, and they do it well at an economical price point. The cuisine here has a white tablecloth quality. The owners have smartly chosen to dress it down into edibles that discernible night crawlers crave and can afford, such as the crispy soft shell crab or smoked mac & cheese with truffle oil.
You may think your GPS is off its rocker when first approaching Hammerheads. It just pops up in the middle of a residential neighborhood with a large hammerhead shark perched above the entrance. Cross the patio area and take a few steps down to enter. It’s not a basement, but a downstairs residency with a low ceiling that makes everyone feel comfy inside. Hammerheads does not have a large seating capacity, so there easily can be a wait, but be patient, grab a drink and wait outside – the kitchen gets this food right and it’s worth the wait.
Yes it can be loud when full and certainly is a hipster hangout, but all are welcome. Orders arrive on thick wood planks, similar to cutting boards. It provides a natural texture and blank canvas on which to showcase the delicacy provided for each diners’ delight.
Beware those with decision-making issues, the menu is full of tasty treats difficult to resist, from duck sliders, to crispy catfish, BBQ lamb ribs, pork belly tacos, or perhaps an elk burger. My mind was already set before arriving. Hammerheads is known for its fries. They do come in sharable baskets, but I didn’t want to share. The truffle fries, cooked with duck fat and tossed with truffle oil is enough to silence a table upon arrival. I couldn’t stop eating them.To go with these delightful tidbits I selected a house specialty of shrimp & grits. This deep South tradition has spread well beyond its intended environs and often not in a flattering way. Hammerheads makes this dish its own way with distinction. A plump, moist and sizeable grit cake sits below 4 crispy fried shrimp with drizzles of a flavorful sauce to give the grits some pop, and accent the dish’s natural flavors. It’s a substantial entrée, especially with the fries, but it was far too yummy to leave any behind. Since this meal had a New Orleans flavor I washed it down with a cold Abita Amber, in a can no less.
Come visit Hammerheads soon, and get your eat on, but bring a big appetite and try ordering several menu items to share, tapas style. If you like common fare with an exotic twist, you also should check out Game, the other restaurant run by this crew.
Hammerheads | 921 Swan Street | Louisville | 502-365-1112