What's Derby Week Without Hot Browns?

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Whatever is Gut Check to do? Inspired by the onset of Derby Week, we've scrubbed the tarnish off of the julep cups and thoroughly sampled the bourbons to make sure none had gone bad. We've fenced off the mint patch so the dog won't pee in it. We've made the cheese straws and the spiced pecans. Our outlandish hat has remained perched on our head ever since the royal wedding.

All that hard work made us hungry, which naturally turned our thoughts to a Hot Brown, that perfect Louisville dish of cheesy sustenance. For a few years, it was possible to get a Hot Brown at the Deluxe Diner in Maplewood, which is, alas, no more.

In theory, a Hot Brown shouldn't be very hard to make: stack some sliced turkey on toast, smother in mornay sauce, top with bacon slices, pop under the broiler, then garnish with a bit of tomato and some parsley so that you can claim to have eaten your vegetables. In fact, we could make that recipe at home. But why?

We could drive to Louisville for a Hot Brown, but at four-plus hours and a time change, again we ask -- why?

Gut Check can only turn to our readers. If you know of any restaurant, joint, cafe, dive bar, or watering hole in the St. Louis area that makes Hot Browns, we'd love to know about it.

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