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Mar 12, 2008 07:35 AM

Between Louisville & Lexington KY & Bourbon Trail

I’m going to Cincinnati for the opening baseball game of the season and as part of the trip, meeting up with friends coming from Charlotte. They will be picking me up at the Lexington KY airport and we’ll be driving to Louisville. We’ll be staying in Louisville for a few days to do the Bourbon trail

Now my questions! Is there anywhere chow worthy between Lexington and Louisville where we can stop for dinner? Since they will have been driving for awhile I don’t want to get to off track, but want to try something worthwhile (It’s our first time in the area)

Since there is limited time, Can you recommend which of the distilleries are worth stopping at? We can’t go to every one! Also, Can anyone recommend places to eat on the Bourbon trail (I guess that would be the Bardstown area) that would be unique to KY

Thank so much for any info people can provide.

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  1. I went on a KY road trip this past summer and we stopped for dinner at Claudia Sanders Dinner house. It's much closer to louisville but it was interesting and the sides were tasty for dinner. Other foodie places that are inbetween that we stopped by were (in order from lexington to louisville) Rebecca Ruth's (Bourbon chocolate balls), Weisenberger Mills (milled grains, super cheap) and the wild turkey distillery.

    1. If you are in Midway (located "mid-way"--how 'bout that!--between Lexington and Frankfort during dinner hours (I do not think they are open for lunch) then Holly Hill is a must visit. We make it a point to go to dinner there every other year when we are in that area. It has been so long since we were in Louisville I would hate to even try to make recommendations.
      As for distilleries: Maker's Mark is probably the farthest off the beaten path but well worth the drive. They delight in visitors and do a great tour as well as being in an absolutely beautiful setting. We also enjoyed Buffalo Trace in Frankfort. It was not quite as thorough as MM--more of a "here is what we do and here is what we offer" but still a nice visit. Woodford Reserve in Versailles is nice but some what "commercial" as far as I am concerned. The location is not to be missed as they have done an incredible job re-furbishing the old distillery and the scenery is wonderful.
      If you are any where near Bardstown you should make it a point to stop at the Oscar Getz' Museum of Whiskey. It is located right off the square and really gives a great in-sight in to the product and why it took root in KY.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lan4Dawg

        I second the Woodford Reserve recommendation. It's beautiful, although definetly on the commercial side. I hate it that they changed the name!!

      2. I haven't been to the area since 2002 but my relatives tell me Claudia Sanders' original restaurant sufffered a fire a few years ago. I understand that the new place isn't quite the same cooking wise. But they still have good yeast rolls.At one time there used to be a Kentucky Dinner Train out of Bardstown that served Southern Plantation cooking family style. Also the Kreso and Kurtz Restaurants offer finer dining in historic buildings. Otherwise, I guess it's chain and fast food dining.

        As far a distillery tours, I second going to Makers Mark--gotta dip you own bottle!--and Woodford Reserve. But try Heavenly Hills for a more modern take. If you're in Clermont to go to Jim Beam, also look up Knob Creek Distillery and McLain and Kyne (Jefferson Select).

        And enjoy opening day by trying one of the pulled pork sandwiches from the Montgomery Inn concession. There are several beer stands that carry microbrews as well. But I think all the hot dog vendors get their dogs from the same packer.

        6 Replies
        1. re: crewsweeper

          I like the Four Roses Tour...I am not sure where you are staying but if I was on my way to Louisville you could not make me stop until I hit the Brown for a Hot Brown.

          1. re: crewsweeper

            I want to thank everyone for all these suggestions, with only a few weeks to go these posts are making me really excited about this trip!!!!!!

            1. re: crewsweeper

              I've never had Cincinatti Chili and I here there is a concession at the park, would it be the same as the other locations?

              1. re: MrPhil

                It would be the same (Skyline), but I think you can only get Coneys and not the spa-chili they're famous for. Darn difficult to eat that stuff in those seats. It IS a really nice ballpark, though.

                As for the Hot Brown, I would leave the airport and go straight to Ramsey's in Lexington (preferably the High St. location). They're a meat & three place, they have awesome pies (take a slice to go) and the most amazing hot brown.

                1. re: susanova

                  An assignment for you: Try both Ramsey's and The Brown's Hot Browns and give us your opinion on both, ala the Phillychows' take on Pat's vs Geno's, et. al.. And each of their bourbon chocolate pecen pies.

                  I'll shut up, I'm getting hungry.


                  1. re: susanova

                    I don't mean to be augmentative but I have hot brown's from all over the state including Ramesy and nothing comes close to The Brown' fact my hubby comment was "oh my God it is like I have never really had one before".LOL

              2. Hi there!
                Just got back from Louisville today after a four day stay, the best dinner was at Proof on Main in the 21 C Museum Hotel:
                Jack Fry's was very good as well. Great pastries at Blue Dog Cafe & Bakery and wonderful breakfast at North End Cafe on Frankfort Ave.
                Have a great time!

                3 Replies
                1. re: nemis

                  I like the ones you hit, but you missed an all time fave. Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville. It was on a Bobby Flay Throwdown, so you may turn away because of that, but she makes awesome breakfasts and it is a genuinely fun place to go. Louisville is full of great eating places. I go there once a year to visit friends and love every minute.

                  1. re: phneale

                    I'm pretty sure we are going to Lynn's on Saturday night, Now I'm wondering should we do the Brown hotel.... Maybe lunch on Sunday? before we head to Cincinatti (after the slugger museum)

                    1. re: phneale

                      Hi Phneale,
                      Actually we did eat breakfast at Lynn's Paradise Cafe and thought it was pretty average. Those buttermilk biscuits are way too heavy! The gift shop was great though, alot of corky gifts to get for family and friends.