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Apr 30, 2008 01:45 PM

Great Eating in and Around Lexington

Just back from Lexington (many thanks B and L!!!). Very impressed with all of the food.

Wallace Station, Versailles, KY
Fun atmosphere. Great baked goods. Breakfast sandwich and breakfast burrito were both delicious, cheap, and filling.

Goodfella's Pizza, Lexington, KY
Just like New York City. The heavy Brooklyn accent from the owner is a good sign. Not cheap, though. Over 3 bucks a slice.

Spaulding's Bakery, Lexington, KY
Delicious donuts. Cake donuts better than the filled donuts. The "butter cake" was A+. So was the butterscotch cupcake.

Cafeteria at Keenland, Lexington, KY
The ambiance is great. During racing season, eat among the jockeys, the horse owners, and the stable boys. Food is solid for a cheap cafeteria. Liked the biscuits and gravy.

Keenland, Lexington, KY
Great whisky bread pudding.

Jonathan's, Lexington, KY
Best of both worlds. Delicious food (of an upscale restaurant) and full portions (like a more casual restaurant). I had the shrimp and grits which was delicious. The carmel cake is worth the trip in and of itself. The country ham potstockers were an interesting take on Chinese dumplings. And don't forget to ask for bread. The homemade pakerhouse rolls are fantastic.

Talbott Tavern, Bardsville, KY
Dinner was hit or miss. The chicken and dumplings were terrific, especially for a Northerner. The Tavern Fries are great (fries and two cheeses and bacon amd ranch dressing). The soup was bland. The biscuits were only OK. The Chess Pie was outstanding, and a total surprise for a Northerner. Apparently they have a special pastry chef that's worked there for 30 years.

Breakfast was not great. With few guests at the tavern, the chef seemed not to care much.

Kurtz, Bardsville, KY
Hot Brown (locals called it the best in town) was only OK. Service was very cold. Place isn't very cosy.

Burke's Bakery, Danville, KY
Everything is great. The donuts, the chess pie, peanut butter pie, muffins were all great. Eat it all across the street in the park.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza, Lexington, KY
Great pizza, fun place. Their homemade pizza dough is used for Parmesean Prezels (great), the pizza (delicious) and the Calzone (should have had Ricotta Cheese, but good nonetheless).

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  1. Bardstown Ky not bardsville

    Did you stay at Gratz Park?

    6 Replies
      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

        I think it a great place to stay and I agree his food is top notch!

        1. re: LaLa

          Huh . . . I'm a Louisvillian and born in Baltimore. There's really good Ky food, but folks the food is just edible if expensive in Jonathan's.

          1. re: fresh

            I usually agree with you Louisville remarks but I disagree with you about Jonathon's. I have always had lovely meals there and while more expensive than average Lexington food I don't think it is way out there price wise.

            1. re: fresh

              Fresh, I have to agree with you on this one. Jonathan's is a pleasant place to go for dinner, but the meal I had there a few months ago was, again, just ok, not really anything I'd go out of my way for, again. Twice is enough! I don't mind the expense so much as I care about relative value. Sorry to keep comparing it to Holly Hill Inn (I'm in a Lexington, KY rut, I'm afraid)... but the latter is about the same price range and at least 3x better.

              1. re: cimui


                I agree with your comparison. My meal at Jonathan's last week was great if I had stopped with the appetizer (country ham potstickers). The tuna special had pretty good accompaniments, but the tuna was overcooked and flavorless. In contrast, all of the food I tried at Holly Hill Inn was very good to excellent (had the five-course tasting).

      2. Very dissapointed with Jonathan's
        The food and service were both big misses. When 30$ entrees are on the menu, customers expect quite a bit. I found the pork chops to be over seasoned and inedible and presented in a tired bland fashion. Many of the dishes that came out of the kitchen were cold. In an effort to expedite the dinner I chose not to send my plate back. When everyone was finished with dinner I handed the server my full plate and told her it was inedible. She made no effort to assuage my feelings and failed to comp the 30+$ entree. The menu presentation was weak and for the most part of the dinner we sat with empty glasses. If a restaurant wants to charge in the 30$'s. The quality of the food and service has to be greatly increased.

        3 Replies
        1. re: selliot1958

          I'm surprised you didn't try any sushi when you were in Lexington. Because of Toyota and all the companies that followed, Lexington has some terrific sushi places. A couple that I like are Tomo on High Street, which has a young crowd, and Tachibana, on Newtown Court. Don't just think Southern food in Lexington, it's becoming an international city.

          1. re: selliot1958

            I am shocked I have never had a bad meal or service there. Where you there for brunch ? Because I think that is the only meal they serve prok chops during.

            1. re: selliot1958

              I agree with you, selliot. I went with my family a few months ago and the food and service were both very hit or miss. I've found Holly Hill Inn to be much better (more consistent quality, higher quality ingredients in general, very, very, very good service).

            2. great report, native. so nice to see you on this board, too!