Crane House Night Market: Louisville

I love Ethnic food. I love Mexican Food, I love Asian Food, I love Indian Food... I have yet to meet a cuisine I didn't like.

Whenever I visit home (Chicago), the ONE place I always visit is China Town. I wrote a little bit about it here from my last visit. The shopping, the FOOD, the culture, I miss Chicago so incredibly much. Aside from missing my family, the hardest part of leaving Chicago was my beloved food (I know... re-reading that sounds ridiculous, but its the truth!)

I really wish there were places like China Town available in Louisville, so when I heard that Louisville was going to have its own night market, I was ecstatic to say the least. Night markets are very popular in Asia (I've seen lots of them featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern), and I've also heard that they are quite popular in China Town California (bucket list!). I've visited day markets in Mexico when I was a teen, but to experience a night market was completely new to me.

I wish there were more outdoor Ethnic Markets/Bazarrs (aside from the occasional special event in Louisville), but I suppose maybe more will start blossoming in the future as our city grows. (Have you guys been to the World Fest? Its amazing how much its grown since we first moved here!)

When I decided to purchase tickets to the Night Market, unfortunately the tickets were sold out. I contacted the Crane House, they were so kind, and quickly notified me as soon as they placed more tickets for sale online. (That's a huge plus about living in Louisville, most places you call go above and beyond to help you find info. If I asked a Chicago venue for sold out tickets/extra info, I probably would have heard a dial tone...)

The event was located at the Crane House in Old Louisville. I've been to Old Louisville for their Spring fest, but this was my first time visiting Crane House. Its such a beautiful part of town, if you've never been, I highly recommend checking it out. 

I purchased the All You Can Eat Ramen tickets (of course), and it didn't disappoint. The line was super long, it wrapped around the event lot. (They had another line for what I believe was Vietnamese BBQ, but I was already stuffed from the Ramen.) You stopped at different stations along the line; first station noodles. second station you choose your broth, 3rd station you choose your meat and so forth.

Now, being completely honest, although I've read and have seen a lot about Ramen, I've never tried it fresh, or authentic. I've made different versions of dried instant Ramen from several Asian Marts in Louisville, (I've also prepared the noodles with raw egg, furikaki, and other authentic ingredients) but I've never had the opportunity to try it out.

Since I do not know how authentic fresh Ramen is supposed to taste, I can't vouch for its authenticity. But as far as taste goes? It was amazing! The noodles were *nothing* like the dried versions I've had, and the fresh ingredients offered several different textures and flavors that harmonized so incredibly well. It had an umami taste from the broth, and the fresh veggies and pickled daikon paired beautifully well. I was craving it so much, the next day I went out to try to find the noodles. Turns out most recipes are highly guarded, its very hard to find true recipes online to make at home.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much seating available, so we were stuck eating on a cement wall before chairs opened up for us. When we finally sat down, I *ran* over to the Boba Tea line that was almost completely sold out. I was served the last cup of Boba, and it was so watered down. I have no idea how it may have tasted when it was fresh, but this tasted like watered down milk tea. I think since it was their first event, they really had to guesstimate how much food and drink to have on hand, which I completely understand. I hope they bring back the event, and hopefully the vendors have an idea on how much stock to have on hand. (I'm not sure how long the All You Can Eat food lasted, Next year I will be first in line lol!) 

I saw a sushi stand, so of course I had to try it out. I was a little skeptical at first (The rice *looked* like it was long grain, and the spicy sauce he used to make the spicy tuna came out of a commercial squeeze tube...) but it ended up being so tasty!! I loved the flavor, no complaints. It tasted way better than it photographed. 

My husband purchased the kids a frozen treat after their Ramen, I'm not sure what it was... but I heard no complaints from the kids. Mango flavored maybe??

The Yelp Louisville Booth was there, and I won a chapstick for checking in! I was going to take a picture of them, but I didn't want to be a creep and ask! (They always seem to be at the cool events!)

All in all it was a great time! I purchased some jewelry from a booth that helps refugees. I'll def write up a post soon about their charity.

Did you go to the Night Market? Congratulations on the great event Crane House! I can't wait to see this event come back, and I'll be on the look out for more of them :-)

Asia Institute Crane House  
1244 S. Third Street
Louisville, Ky.

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