80/20 at Kaelin's
In 1934 in a neighborhood community known quaintly as the Highlands a local couple named Carl and Margaret Kaelin decided to open a family restaurant. Kaelin’s Restaurant was born and over the years thrived creating countless memories for generations of Louisvillians. The restaurant became known as the “birthplace of the cheeseburger” serving the first version of this timeless classic for over 70 years. This claim to fame is argued amongst historians and the real origins are unconfirmed for the record books. However, if you mention the name Kaelin’s Restaurant to anyone from Kentucky you will resoundingly here, “the cheeseburger place?” As this angle wasn’t enough Kaelin’s boasts another equally impressive distinction, Kentucky Fried Chicken. In its infancy KFC and specifically Harland Sanders himself cooked and sold his famous chicken within these walls. Kaelin’s will forever be the first business to serve the colonels famous recipe in the city of Louisville.
The burgers our in-laws got looked good and they said they were. My first experience ever with chicken and waffles was not so great. The waffles were flat and tasteless and the chicken was just some chicken strips. They were moist at least. The waiter joked that the Colonel himself was still alive in the basement making the chicken. I don't think the Colonel would have been too happy with it. My wife got some cheese grits that were really good. She didn't like the French toast but that was because she didn't read the description good enough and it just wasn't for her. I tasted them and they were good. Our waiter was OK, but he couldn't keep up. I would go back and just try something else when it is less busy.
Wonderful service and delicious food. We will definitely be back here!
This was my first time at Kaelin's and I have to say that it was a great experience. The burgers are amazing, as is the homemade ice cream. The salmon croquettes were wonderful, as was the 80/20 cocktail. The hush puppies were better than most's, but I don't care for hush puppies in general, particularly theirs since they had whole kernels of corn.
The service was excellent--prompt and thorough. The decor is interesting but not distracting. My main complaint would be that the place has poor sound design. Noise carries all over the restaurant and the sound system has too low a balance, so the only thing I heard was a mild cacophony of random conversation snippets and the bass line of the songs playing. That said, I plan on returning because the food quality is top-notch and the serving staff is wonderful. Highly recommend!
Really great burger and shakes. Disappointed that the onion rings and fries are the frozen crap you get anywhere.
Loved our first experience here. Burgers were delicious, fries addicting, drink specials were scrumptious, and service was fantastic! Only 1 downfall is the music is VERY loud, turn it down a notch and everything would've been perfect.
Burgers were very greasy. The restaurant lacks any atmosphere or charm. A step above fast food. Good fries though.
The appetizers, burgers, and dessert were all awesome.... the service couldn’t be any better as well. Our server was new but just rocked it.
Simply put, this is a casual burger joint with an expanded dinner menu. Nothing spectacular, yet many things done well.
Food was great, service was stellar. With the lack of any fabric and all that cement and metal, it is terribly loud. Also those chairs are the most uncomfortable chairs ever. If your goal is to get us fed and out, it worked. Unfortunately not lingering means no dessert, no more drinks and less tip.
Awesome place and great reception. Food is good and best cocktails
Cute outdoor seating, to me the food lacked flavor but the fries were great.
Great place. Classic Louisville
Food and service were great!
We dined here for Mother's Day and had a 5:30 reservation on a Sunday. They weren't busy by any means when we arrived, but our server was mostly MIA for the majority of our dining experience. It took forever to order drinks, then to order food, then to get food, and then to get some extra items we asked for after our food arrived. The food itself wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything worth going back for...especially at the prices they charge. Burgers were greasy and very lacking on the 80/20 sauce and the cheesy grits weren't cheesy. Order any beer that isn't on tap and apparently they don't think they need to bring you a glass with the can/bottle. Very disappointed and won't be back. There are too many good restaurants in this city, mediocre food and bad service isn't going to win you any business.
The service was spotty, the food was not prepared correctly, and was "luke warm."
Great neighborhood spot with a cool bar and patio. Nice options on menu.
Will be back.
Wonderful experience and fantastic Shrimp & Grits. Service was excellent!
Kaelin's has become a go-to for me. One of the best burgers in Louisville, along with some of the best fried chicken you will find anywhere. The patio is wonderful and the service is friendly and attentive. Also, try a malt or milkshake...you will not be disappointed.
This was our second visit to 80/20 after our visit during it's second week of operation - which was I total disaster. The food was much better this time, although once again, there was a longer than expected wait for both service (first two waiters then none), drinks (which took almost 15 minutes), and then food courses (when they finally came) overlapping before we had finished the previous one. That being said, the fried green tomatoes were and improvement over the previous "bites", the crab cakes were good but portion size was tiny, and unfortunately, the hushpuppies were totally non-uniform. Some big, some small, some with corn and pepper, some with just bland corn meal. I had a specialty salad for dinner, which was good - but not to the point that I actually remember what I ordered and my wife patty melt was excellent, minus the Texas toast which seems to make a mess of the otherwise we'll constructed sandwich. Rye is the way to go. I will mention that Blanton's for only $1 more than other Bourbon was an excellent price, but again, a high quality Bourbon in a dirty glass was a shame. Quality control, quality control, quality control. I hope the restaurant continues to improve because the location is very convenient for me, but I fear without a big step up in all areas, they will have a rough time of it in our city. The name can only carry you so far.
Good food. Sat outside because it was very noisy inside.
Went after Thurby, fun continued! Will be back!
We’ve been to Kaelin’s twice now for family dinners. The service was excellent both times and the food is very good. Great atmosphere and aesthetics. We will recommend to friends and family!
Went there for out Easter meal. Everything was great. Service was great as we had 9 people there.
I had the Ribeye Burger and it was PERFECT! So much flavor! Hubby had an 80/20 burger and said the same! We followed dinner with shakes from the malt shoppe! Highly recommend Kaelin's!
Great food & service!!!
All good. Like the new arrangement. Everything was good. The bean soup was excellent and the classic Kaelin;s cheeseburger was also good. I look forward to my next visit. Our server was extra-good. Patience was wonderful.
A delight and yummy food
We booked a table on Open Table and arrived on time. There were three parties ahead of us waiting for a hostess to appear. We stood there in the very crowded entryway for 10-15 minutes waiting for someone to appear. There were multiple empty tables. When the two hostesses appeared they seemed flustered and unsure where to seat people. I told the hostess that she was not making a good first impression and she had no reply. We were seated and our server, who was very nice, seemed overwhelmed as well. The food was delicious but the overall mood that evening was just not what we have come to expect of this restaurant. There was a large party upstairs and kids were running up and down the stairs, out to the parking lot and back again (numerous times), right by our table, as well as a constant stream of adults I guess going back and forth to the bathroom.
Very loud. Uncomfortable chairs. Drink tasted like soap and was $2 more than quoted.
Very good overall. I did ask for no bun on the burger, extra lettuce instead. Got the bun, so did not get to try the sauce, but it was still a great burger. ,y kids absolutely loved their burgers.
I love the relaxed feel of this place – like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. I definitely would return to try more dishes.
There were hits and misses. The pretzel baguette and beer cheese were fantastic. I would go for just that, along with a beer, and watch a game. The burger and fish sandwich were not as good. The burger, according to my husband was NOT the Kaelin's burger (and they don't call it that, but you kind of expect it). The fries were coated and that just means more grease and less potato flavor. I wouldn't have ordered them if I have known they were coated/battered. The fish sandwich was a little better. The tartar sauce was tasty, although there was too much of it. It would have been better to have it served on the side so the diner could customize the amount. The grilled rye was a nice touch. The fish itself was pretty greasy, but hey....it's fried fish. The Brussels sprouts were very good.
If you're looking for elevated bar food with some other options, too, this might be a good place for you.
There was a band which was a surprise. Luckily we had about 30 minutes before they started because obviously conversation became more difficult. The ambiance before was perfect for a girls get-together. The food was fresh and nicely portioned. The waitress answered all our questions and they even brought a server and dishes so we could share the pie my friend baked for my birthday! They went above and beyond to make our time there awesome. I would recommend making reservations with open table to ensure you have a seat!
This was our first time here, but we will be back! The food, people, and atmosphere were all amazing!
Way over priced, for the quality of food. Very disappointing, will not go back.
Out new favorite restaurant! Food is amazing, drinks are delicious. Might need more servers on s busy night. Our server was so nice but he had too many tables so our service suffered a bit. Overall it was wonderful and we can’t wait to sit on the patio this summer
Other than the $9 beer, everything was great. The beer was good, just didn't expect to pay $9 for it.
With so many great restaurants with this price point - quality of food fell way short. I would likely go back for lunch to grab a burger but would pass for dinner.