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Where To Order Box Lunches For Oaks And Derby

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Churchill Downs has become quite persnickety about what you can bring to the races, especially when it comes to Oaks and Derby Day. Coolers are completely banned, and among the few items permitted for carry-in on both days are "food items and box lunches contained in clear plastic bags or clear plastic containers measuring no larger than 18" x 18". Water and soft drinks must be in "plastic bottles that are sealed and unopened." Of course the Downs does offer its own food services (and will happily sell you both a cooler and ice once inside) but some people prefer to bring their own. Fortunately many local companies know how to fit some good eats into tiny, clear plastic containers. Eater provides a map of several such places, and some advice for those planning a day at the track: Better hurry up and place your order, because Derby day is drawing near and many establishments have limited availability.


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Wiltshire Pantry Bakery & Café

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Sandwich Boxes (Italian, tandoori chicken and vegetarian options) come with grain salad and pecan pie bars. There are also more elaborate Picnic Boxes (smoked pork tenderloin, grilled beef tenderloin and mezze plate) with bourbon espresso brownies. Order deadline: 3 p.m. on Monday, April 28.

Stevens & Stevens Delicatessen

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The Bardstown Road deli is offering a choice of beef tenderloin on ciabatta, herb-grilled chicken on whole wheat and vegetarian sandwiches. Order deadline: 24 hours ahead.

Crave Cafe & Catering

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Crave will box up anything on its menu to Churchill Downs' specifications, with 48 hours advance notice.

The Bakery at Sullivan University

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The culinary students at Sullivan University's bakery are planning to do box lunches for both Oaks and Derby, but menu wasn't finalized as of this publication. Call for details.

Cafe Fraiche

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This East End lunch spot is offering a wide variety of sandwiches (including smoked turkey and white cheddar, pecan chicken salad and Benedictine, bacon and tomato), wraps and beef tenderloin on ciabatta with Henry Bain and horseradish. Choice of side and a cookie. Order deadline: Tuesday, April 29.

Lotsa Pasta

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If you want an Italian racing experience, the city's venerable "international food shop" will box up pasta salads and/or deli sandwiches along with chips and a cookie. Order deadline: the day before the race.

The Cheddar Box

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The St. Matthews institution is boxing up favorites like roast beef with Henry Bain sauce, turkey with chutney mayonnaise and country ham sandwiches. All served with bow tie pasta salad, a fresh fruit cup and chocolate mint brownie. The telephone averse can use the ordering form on Cheddar Box's website. Order deadline: "as soon as possible."

Red Clover

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Chefs Matt Jones and Amber McCool are making "locally sourced hand packed lunches" for Oaks and Derby. Pick them up (call for details) or have them delivered (at an extra charge). Sandwiches include BBQ beef brisket, spiced cherry baked ham, smoked salmon with RC Benedictine spread and sorghum-brined turkey breast. All served with sweet pea salad, chips, red grapes, lemon cream cookies and chocolate bourbon pecan bars. Order deadline: Noon on Friday, April 25.

Cake Flour

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Cake Flour's Claudia DeLatorre is offering a Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich and a ham and Gruyere-stuffed croissant. Served with chips, cole slaw or fruit salad, and a Blondie bar. Order deadline: "a day or two" before your race day.

Heitzman Traditional Bakery & Deli

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This East End bakery and deli, which traces its roots to 1891, will box up any sandwich on its menu for Oaks and Derby. Order deadline: one week before the race.

Wiltshire Pantry Bakery & Café

Sandwich Boxes (Italian, tandoori chicken and vegetarian options) come with grain salad and pecan pie bars. There are also more elaborate Picnic Boxes (smoked pork tenderloin, grilled beef tenderloin and mezze plate) with bourbon espresso brownies. Order deadline: 3 p.m. on Monday, April 28.

Stevens & Stevens Delicatessen

The Bardstown Road deli is offering a choice of beef tenderloin on ciabatta, herb-grilled chicken on whole wheat and vegetarian sandwiches. Order deadline: 24 hours ahead.

Crave Cafe & Catering

Crave will box up anything on its menu to Churchill Downs' specifications, with 48 hours advance notice.

The Bakery at Sullivan University

The culinary students at Sullivan University's bakery are planning to do box lunches for both Oaks and Derby, but menu wasn't finalized as of this publication. Call for details.

Cafe Fraiche

This East End lunch spot is offering a wide variety of sandwiches (including smoked turkey and white cheddar, pecan chicken salad and Benedictine, bacon and tomato), wraps and beef tenderloin on ciabatta with Henry Bain and horseradish. Choice of side and a cookie. Order deadline: Tuesday, April 29.

Lotsa Pasta

If you want an Italian racing experience, the city's venerable "international food shop" will box up pasta salads and/or deli sandwiches along with chips and a cookie. Order deadline: the day before the race.

The Cheddar Box

The St. Matthews institution is boxing up favorites like roast beef with Henry Bain sauce, turkey with chutney mayonnaise and country ham sandwiches. All served with bow tie pasta salad, a fresh fruit cup and chocolate mint brownie. The telephone averse can use the ordering form on Cheddar Box's website. Order deadline: "as soon as possible."

Red Clover

Chefs Matt Jones and Amber McCool are making "locally sourced hand packed lunches" for Oaks and Derby. Pick them up (call for details) or have them delivered (at an extra charge). Sandwiches include BBQ beef brisket, spiced cherry baked ham, smoked salmon with RC Benedictine spread and sorghum-brined turkey breast. All served with sweet pea salad, chips, red grapes, lemon cream cookies and chocolate bourbon pecan bars. Order deadline: Noon on Friday, April 25.

Cake Flour

Cake Flour's Claudia DeLatorre is offering a Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich and a ham and Gruyere-stuffed croissant. Served with chips, cole slaw or fruit salad, and a Blondie bar. Order deadline: "a day or two" before your race day.

Heitzman Traditional Bakery & Deli

This East End bakery and deli, which traces its roots to 1891, will box up any sandwich on its menu for Oaks and Derby. Order deadline: one week before the race.