Story and Photos By Nick Carter
It’s no secret that the Southern Indiana/Louisville Metro community likes to support locally-owned businesses and restaurants. In fact, there are so many, we have been fortunate enough to be recognized both nationally and internationally for our little haven of foodie goodness. This independent farm-to-table culture that we have cultivated for ourselves has, I believe, become somewhat of a crutch, actually. We have become so entrenched in the Portlandia-esque notion of having to know the name of the chicken before we eat it that we have almost forgotten to consider establishments that may boast the names of a corporate-owned chain or restaurants that are mainstays in the community instead of trendy locales. Such is the case with Buckhead Mountain Grill in Jeffersonville, which is also known as Buckheads on the River.
When my boss, Extol Editor Angie Fenton, asked me to join her and her husband for Sunday brunch at Buckheads, I was a perplexed, especially because I know how much she loves to support local endeavors. Really?! A chain?? No, she explained, Buckhead Mountain Grill is definitely NOT a chain. The mid price range restaurant is often mistaken for a corporate chain because of the size and scale, but it’s not. Local guys Wes Johnson and Mike Kapfhammer co-own Buckhead Management Group, the parent company of Buckhead Mountain Grill in Jeffersonville, Bellevue, Ky., and Louisville; Rocky’s Sub Pub in Jeffersonville; and a fast-casual version of Rocky’s in Louisville. Johnson recently told Extol, “We don’t want to feel mom and pop – you can’t pull all of this off that way – but we definitely aren’t corporate. We really focus on buying quality ingredients when we can, and there’s a ton of stuff we make from scratch. Additionally, the locally-owned establishments employ 400 to 500 people, depending on the season, and have collectively donated more than $100,000 to charitable local causes in just the past two years.
Angie assured me the brunch at Buckheads was nothing to snub your nose at and, as it turns out, she was right. Upon our arrival, we were pleasantly greeted by General Manager Thomas Kapfhammer and welcomed into the space like it was his home. After an initial round of coffee, mimosas and a virgin Bloody Mary, our attention was directed to the brunch buffet. Oh my! It was a veritable cornucopia of deliciousness! A spread so widely thought out that it could literally bring you to your knees should you attempt the rather Herculean effort to try everything that is offered. Fried chicken, fresh fruit, pastries, cheesecake, blue cheese cole slaw, hash brown casserole – the list goes on and on.
One of the main attractions to this brunch buffet, and what I was most impressed with, is the omelet and waffle station. Manned by a lovely young woman who definitely knows how to work a frying pan, you could get a completely customized omelet or waffle made to order. I opted for the former with onion, tomato, green pepper and marinated mushrooms; it was perfect. And did I mention there was blue cheese cole slaw on the buffet? Yep, I said it twice but that’s because it was absolutely delightful. So is the view of the river from nearly every seat in the house.
If you’re a fan of watching the NFL on Sunday, you’ll enjoy the trifecta of ball, brews and brunch. Buckheads has an expansive beer selection, numerous big screen TVs and give patrons the ability to enjoy brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. When the weather permits, I highly suggest taking a seat out on the patio. The gorgeous view of the Louisville skyline sitting on the Ohio River is the perfect complement to brunch or any other meal.
I love to be proven wrong and my experience at Buckheads on the River far exceeded my expectations. The next time I’m in the mood for a little nosh on a Sunday morning, I will rethink my usual hipster haunt and consider frequenting a place with a different view.
BUCKHEAD MOUNTAIN GRILL | 707 WEST RIVERSIDE DRIVE, JEFFERSONVILLE IN 47130 | 812.284.2919
MONDAY – THURSDAY 11 A.M. TO 10:30 P.M. FRIDAY & SATURDAY 11 A.M. TO 11:30 P.M. SUNDAY 10 A.M. TO 10 P.M.
Brunch Buffet is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jeffersonville location only. Adults $14.99; kids 8-12$6.99; kids 4-7 $4.99; kids 0-3 free.