127 W Main St.
Louisville, KY 40207
Right along the Whiskey Row area of downtown Louisville, Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar is a modern take on a southern favorite — big barbecue. With an enormous oyster bar greeting you as you walk in, and sandwiches so big that they’re served on metal sheets, this bar is larger than life. Over-the-top food is always easy to like, and seeing how this spot has quickly established itself as a southern food destination in the middle of the city.
The menu is heavily focused on thick and smoky barbecue with just a tad of refinement as well as some great seafood and of course good drinks. Some things to try:
- Beef brisket: Soft, but not overly so, and with a nice, smoky bark around the outside. The meat is the perfect shade of pink inside. What’s so good about it is how this brisket is served without any sauce on it; you add more to your liking. This ensures it isn’t smothered. A bit cleaner a kind of barbecue but wonderful.
- Mac and cheese: Also a little smokey but still loaded with cheese and some spices, this has to be one of the better mac and cheese recipes I have tried around the barbecue world.
- Cornbread: Another good side order, the bread is crunchy on the outside and very very thick inside. Get this one to share, it comes with a few big pieces but one will fill you.
- Baby Back Ribs: Smokey and well-done ribs coated in a sweet and salty dry rub, for a one-two-three punch.
- Oysters: Right from the raw bar, delicious appetizers. A little butter, a little cocktail sauce, and you’re golden.
Key Lime Pie: That wonderful, sweet citrusy custard. Key limes have a strong, more pungent flavor to them, but the even pie doesn’t leave you puckering.
- Mint Julep: The Doc Crow’s interpretation of this favorite Louisville cocktail has just a hint of sweetness to it in the front, and then that nice taste of mint on the end, a bit heavier than usual but very good.
- Old Fashioned: You can’t hit bourbon country without enjoying one of these. Orange and cherry is indeed muddled in, but the bartender is very light on the sweetness, to his credit.
The restaurant is more of a bar than a barbecue dive, and it’s also got a little bit of a cleaner feel, which makes it a good place to take a business group, a date, or some friends and still enjoy some good barbecue without getting too messy. That kind of concept is perfect for Whisky Row.
Barbecue in Louisville is a wonderful thing, because it sits at the crossroads of so many different influences; the Memphis, St. Louis and North Carolina iterations all mesh here for some great combinations. Doc Crow’s is worth a visit.
- The portions on the meats here are huge. Expect to be very filled. On the flip side, many of them come in more manageable sandwich platters which are good for a lunch or a smaller appetite.
- The cocktail menu here should not be ignored. In fact, I’d say it’s a reason to come in and of itself.
- This is a good spot to bring a business meeting or a group that likes barbecue but doesn’t want to get too messy.