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May 15, 2007 04:50 PM

Need a good breakfast place in Lex, KY

Can anyone help this transplant from California find a great breakfast joint in Lexington? I've seen the other posts about Holly Hill Inn, and I'm dying to try it, but I'd LOVE to find a place closer to downtown to just outside of the circle. And please, no chains (I love it, but I've just about HAD it with Cracker Barrel). Aren't there any great mom and pop places that serve a good breakfast? I'm not looking for anything fancy--pancakes, biscuits, maybe an omelette or two and I'm happy! :) Any tips are appreciated!

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  1. Maybe I am in the minority, but I booked Holly Hill Inn last weekend for brunch and I was thoroughly disappointed. In fact I was down right embarrassed after telling my out-of-town mother what a great place I had reserved a table at for Mother's Day. It's too late to write a thorough review (I need to get to bed!), but we all (party of 4) found the fare to be very average. Three of us had the crab and cheese omelet and one had the Kentucky Scramble. Presentation was a disappointment (my dad's Kentucky Scramble looked like one large spoonful of eggs next to three lone sausages, with no garnish or anything). The sides, other than the potatoes, were very mediocre. The "tomato salad” tasted like tomatoes out of a can with some parmesan cheese on top (that was my mom’s description!). The service also was a huge disappointment. Our table was not ready until 15-20 minutes after our reservation time (and it was empty the entire time, just not ready/set). After we received our meal, my husband asked for salt and pepper. Shortly after our waiter brought him a set, another waitress (not ours) asked him if she could borrow his pepper. She proceeds to take the pepper to the table next to ours and says to a gentleman, “Sir, here is your pepper.” And she never returns it to my husband or comes back with another pepper. Very strange! I could go on, but will stop for now. I literally had to apologize to everyone, the meal was such a disappointment on a special occasion. That said, the drive there and the actual atmosphere was fabulous, it is a great setting.

    Maybe just brunch is mediocre? I have had Holly Hill Inn on my list of places to go for so long, I have to believe that others must have had a completely different meal/experience than we did. I'd love to hear if others have found brunch to be average and later went for lunch or dinner and had a completely different experience.

    Unfortunately I am not much help on recommending other places for breakfast inside the circle. Does Ramsey's serve breakfast? Please post if you find a good place. Good luck with your search!

    1. Hi cate, it's been a long while since I've been back to Lexington, but in the olden days, our downtown faves were Tolly Ho (not b/c it's particularly good, but it's always open--good for nocturnal high school kids) and Common Grounds (great spot to read a newspaper over breakfast for as long as you want). Great Harvest Bread Co. in Palomar Ctr or on Richmond Rd. is good for a quick, pick-up-and-run-out breakfast, but only has baked goods. Alfalfa's on Nicholasville Rd. has a nice brunch on weekends.

      Hopefully someone can update all this info (tho I'm pretty sure all of these places are still open)!

      1 Reply
      1. re: cimui

        Alfalfa's is still open, but has moved downtown to Main St.

      2. Tolly Ho is a greasy spoon kind of place that caters to the local college crowd and the after-bar crowd. It has the typical fare found at any greasy spoon.
        Ramsey's serves breakfast all day, but they just have one choice for breakfast. You can choose up to 5 eggs, pancakes, bacon, etc. for one price so it is good for those that want to eat all of that. You still pay the same price no matter what you order so you're screwed if you just want half that!
        One of my favorite non-chain breakfasts is at Winchell's on Southland Drive. They have great specials and everything I've tried there is pretty good. The last time I went, I had pecan choc. chip good. Also, I'm not a huge grits fan, but people that are have said their jalepeno grits are wonderful.
        Other places I've heard are good, but have yet to try: Rossi's in Chinoe Center, Cheapside downtown.
        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: adhow

          Those all sounds great! Thanks everyone! Can't wait to try them!

        2. Alfalfa is on Main St., but they only serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Hanna's is on Limestone. They serve Mon-Sat. For just coffee and pastry, Common Grounds is ok, but I would go to Sunrise bakery on Main St.
          Good luck!

          1. The Springs Inn on Harrodsburg Road has pretty good breakfast. I think they stop serving at 10am. It's not right downtown, but t's easy to get to from there (right across from Turfland Mall). They have typically southern things like country ham, "red eye" gravy, grits, sausage gravy, biscuits, etc. Their prices are reasonable and the staff is friendly and the portions are satisfying. I'd recommend them for lunch an dinner also. Their hot brown is better than any around. Just be preprared for larger than usual crowds when anything "horsey" is going on like Keeneland, Rolex or the Jr. League Horseshow since it's attached to a hotel.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RobertPlantFan

              I like a bowl of fresh fruit and oatmeal at Jonathan's (Gratz Park Inn) on a Sunday morning....