El Nopalito: El Nopalito--Cheap Authentic Mexican
Authentic Mexican from a real Mexican family in a laid back environment. The service here is SPECTACULAR....which means this is a great place to get in and out for lunch midweek. This isn't a place to go out of your way for, but if you find youself in J-town around lunch it is a great place to drop in.
Every meal starts with fresh chips and salsa
Chicken Taco Salad---
A delicious and authentic taco salad with great flavored meat...it truly needs no dressing only salsa.
Your basic margarita, but they have a variety of flavors, $1.99 special on Mondays.Related to:
- Budget Travel
2 Hahn's Mongolian Grill: 2 Hahn's Mongolian Grill---Great Quick Lunch
The Mongolian grill is based on the alleged custom of 13th Century Mongol warriors, who would place their steel shields over the campfire until they glowed red-hot, then stir-fry tidbits of whatever they had to eat on this rough-and-ready stovetop, using their swords as spoons.
The procedure is simple: Order lunch ($6.95 for one trip through the line for adults) or dinner ($12.95 for all you can chow down), grab a plate, and hit the buffet. Place a bed of spaghetti-like noodles in your bowl, then start piling it on: Onions, green peppers, scallions ... tofu ... thin-sliced pork, beef, chicken or turkey and all the tiny shrimp you can balance on top of the growing mound. Add sauces, following the suggestions posted on the wall or fashioning your own delights. Then take the bowl to the chefs, who'll upend it onto a big circular grill, attack it with wooden swords, tossing and flipping it all until it's done. With won ton soup, fried rice and a salad bar, only the most devoted gluttons will need a second shot at the line.
Favorite Dish: The lunch buffett---$6.95
Mongolian BBQ is the one and only attraction here and it is a great place for a quick and moderately healthy lunch.Related to:
- Budget Travel
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Tumbleweed Southwest Grill: Tumbleweed---Uninspiring Southwest
Tumbleweed is a Southwestern chain restaurant headquartered in Louisville. The chain offers your typical Southwestern style dishes in a casual ambience of Western and Native American pictures, potted cacti and other bric-a-brac. The best thing about this place is its waterfront loaction along the heart of the Ohio River in Waterfront Park. I must admit I wasn't at all impressed with the food or service here...in fact I thought it was horrible, but I would return for the 99 cent margaritas on Monday nights just for the opportunity to soak up the great view of the river.
Favorite Dish: Quesadillas--
Chicken & Cheese stuffed I must admit they were rather bland! Nothing worth returning for!
Also we had some dessert that I can't find on the menu that consisted of Strawberries, Ice Cream, & Whipped Cream served over a biscuit. It was really rich & satisfying.
Harper's---Best Brunch on Hurstborne
Nestled in Louisville's Hurstbourne area and neighborhoods, Harper's has become a local landmark on the East Side. The well-manicured landscape will lead you to the heavy brass doors, landing you inside a rich environment streamed with light, resembling a mountain retreat as much as an urban restaurant. Settle in with your troop to a spacious booth and think about the critically acclaimed gourmet Wood-Fired Pizza, Hickory-Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwich or the incredible New York Strip which could be on its way. Bring your family by on a beautiful afternoon and sit outside at one of the best outdoor dining spots in Louisville. Harpers, although a chain well exceeds my expectations. The restaurant also offers room service to the nearby Amerisuites Hotel, and cooking classes on occasion
Favorite Dish: Sunday Brunch Buffett --($16)
A wide array of options from croissants, fresh Belgian style waffles, made to order gourmet omelettes, fresh fruit, sweet potato casserole, salads, green beans, hand carved turkey and roast beef, bacon, eggs, sausage, a variety of casseroles, and chocolate bread pudding that is worth its weight in gold. %fRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Mark's Feed Store: Mark's Feed Store---Average BBQ
What started in a historic building that had been used since 1933 as “Hancock’s Feed Store” in Middletown has become a four location chain in Louisville. The restaurant serves BBQ with two signature sauces that are bottled and sold in the store.
Louisville Magazine’s readers poll voted them “Best of Louisville” for both BarBQ and Ribs six years in a row. It has also been featured in Southern Living, Saveur Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurants and Institutions and newspapers from St. Louis and Michigan.
Favorite Dish: I tried the:
Chicken Lite Meal---($5)
BBQ chicken with fried corn on the cob and country toast. Great for a quick BBQ fix, but
I found the meat rather greasy. The corn on the cob was disgusting literally dripping
with grease. My friend tried the pork and it was much better.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
The Old Stone Inn: Old Stone Inn---Relaxing Sunday Brunch
The Old Stone Inn, a national historic landmark, was built in 1817 by slave labor with stones taken from a quarry on the farm site of this frontier coach stop. Its two-foot thick stone walls still bear bullet holes from the Civil War. It has served as a tavern, stagecoach stop, inn, residence, and since the 1920s, a restaurant. Accommodation is provided in rooms. Upstairs at the Old Stone Inn, they have converted a generous common area into an art gallery, featuring regional art, crafts, and artists. The restaurant serves dinner Thursday through Saturday. They serve lunch Thursday through Sunday
Favorite Dish: I had an elegant Sunday afternoon brunch complete with made to order waffles with fresh blueberries, srawberries, and whipped cream as well as some great lunch fare. The food was average, but is perfect for the occasion when you have many palettes to please.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Claudia Sanders Dinner House: Claudia Sanders---Authentic KFC Country
This restaurant is as much of a tourist attraction as it is to get a taste of Kentucky homecooking. Col. Harland Sanders built this restaurant, named after his wife in 1964, after he had become a millionaire from the sale of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Guests ariving at Claudia Sanders enter an Italian porcelain tiled foyer with a grand antebellum styled staircase. To the right is the receptionist area and a gift shop. Guests will enjoy their dining experience in one of four elegantly decorated dining room: The Thoroughbred Room, The Saddlebred Room, The Kentucky Room, and The Colonel's Quarters.
Favorite Dish: Of course you're going to have the chicken, although there's also country baked ham and eight vegetable items that truly steal the show. The homemade yeast rolls and corn muffins are worth commenting on.
Try the breaded stewed tomatoes and creamed spinach. YUMM!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Stoney River: Stoney River---Great Steaks
Stoney River is a high end spin off of the popular O'Charleys chain that boasts legendary steaks. The restaurant works hard to fit in the already saturated steakhouse niche. The heavy wood decor and high back leather booths give it a lodge like feel, complimented by a large square bar in the center of the restaurant, and a few couches cozied up by a stone fireplace. The service was outstanding and I would highly recommend making reservations as we had an hour wait.
Favorite Dish: Dinner starts with delightful deep fried slightly coarse grained rolls served with whipped cinnamon-honey butter, that are delicious enough to be classified as dessert. My date and I ordered the following:
Mixed Greens w/ bacon, cheese, tomato, almonds---
Your average pre-dinner salad
Homemade Caesar Salad---
My boyfriend never eats salad with dressing, but he oohed and aahhhed about this
Pecan Encrusted Swordfish w/ Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Broccoli---
The swordfish was the best seafood I've had in Louisville, as fresh seems to be
a challenge in this landlocked city. The fish was as thick as a steak and was
prepared to perfection.
Ribeye w/ Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans----
The ribeye was succulent and I rarely eat steak! The mashed sweet potatoes were
certainly worthy of mention as well.
Overall Stoney River is a great up and coming chain although nothing in my opinion sets it greatly apart from the competition.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
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Papa Leno's- Berea
Some good things just never die. I’ve been eating at this place for nearly 17 years now. And, unfortunately, I’ve been ordering the same thing. Hot ham and cheese on homemade bread or a bowl of Wisconsin cheese soup. I don’t know why. Habit, maybe? But anyway, this is a great little place on College Square, around the corner from Boone Tavern. It’s a very old world kind of restaurant with wooden booths and dark corners and has become a favorite with the college crowd. If you’re in the mood for pizza, subs, or pasta, it’s definitely the place to go in Berea.
I've said this before, but if you really want to see Appalachian arts then you need to come all the way into Berea and not just stop at the Artisan Center. Papa Lenos has many nice shops around it and can be part of a pleasurable afternoon.
Favorite Dish: Personally, I like the spaghetti with meat sauce. Maybe it's funny that I got to a restaurant and make something that I could have at home, but, well, I don't cook. And the sauce is really really good.
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Lexington needed a place like this. This is the place that you eat at when you want to forget that you're in Kentucky. VERY European. (Although they say it's more like Manhattan.) Could have something to do with the fact that the owner is Russian. Check out the gift shop with lots of international stuff. It changes very often and there’s always a lot of little trinkets to be found. It's also across from the Kentucky Theatre so it's nice to have dinner and then go to a show. In the summer they have seating on the sidewalk.
Favorite Dish: Baked Brie & Fruit Chutney- pretty good if you want something lite
Little Italy SB--Fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, basil with a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is also called caprese, tricolore salad, and "tomatoes with mozzarella." Whatever you want to call it, it's good.
Hungarian Goulash--Traditional braised beef, tomatoes, peppers, paprika (also served as a wrap)-I personally like it in the wrap.
Gypsy Stew--Colorful stew of chicken, beef, and lamb, with mushrooms, olives, peppers, squashes, tomatoes, and herbs on a bed of brown lentils.
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In the summertime there is nowhere better to be than in the patio area of the Atomic Cafe, listening to music and eating. I LOVE this place. I can proudly say that I introduced all of my ex-boyfriends to it. It's Caribbean food at its best. Although the service is a little slow, and the food pricey, the taste all makes up for it. You should definitely go in the summer when you can sit outside on the patio. They usually have live reggae bands on the weekends.
After eating, check out Third Street Stuff next door. They've also opened a new coffee bar if you want to stop in for a drink there.
Favorite Dish: Let's see...the coconut shrimp? Or the chicken breast stuffed with shrimp and spinach? The black beans and rice? Or the macaroni and cheese? No, no, the rum berry cake. Oh, heck. It's all good. PS- try the B-52 as a shot fave. Not made with absinthe like in Czech, but still pretty darn good.
Halls on the River- Winchester
Although technically in Winchester, this restaurant is right over the county line on the other side of the river from Richmond and we tend to forget that it is not ours. It’s been around for a long time. I used to think that I was a jinx to it because every time I ate there something bad would happen to it the next day-it got flooded, caught on fire…Anyway, it has a nice location on the Kentucky River (hence the name) and you can get good views of it from the terrace and certain windows.
Halls is famous for their beer cheese although I think Bananas on the River down the road has better. The shrimp has always been good and they have great baked potatoes. (I judge restaurants on the quality and size of baked potatoes. Is that weird?) We've also tried the snowcrab legs and they were tasty as well.
On the weekends they sometimes have live bands in their bar. Mostly country, but occasioanlly an oldies band. Nothing TOO heavy. It's nice to sit in there and listen to the music and have a drink.
They have places for dining al fresco if you’re into that (we are) and they have a room where you can listen to bands on the weekend. In the basement there’s a good size room that you can reserve for meetings, birthdays, reunions, or whatever you need it for. In the summertime on the weekends it can get packed and you can actually have a long wait so it pays to call ahead. I was down there the other night and I think the wait was over an hour.
My friend Jose owns this restaurant that has only been open for a couple of months. He used to have another restaurant called Pranza Dimorare that served both Mexican and Italian, but they moved to another (better) location and now serve only Italian. The new place is better because since it is located on the Bypass it gets more traffic and is busier. It is also not on the dry part of town so he is able to serve wine and beer. I really like the sparkling wine but he makes fun of me and makes me order red. I'm sure he'll let YOU order whatever you want to, though. :-0 It is a family run restaurant and you'll meet his brother, his sister-in-law, his neice, and maybe even his daughter. It's a good place to go.
Favorite Dish: Jose makes his own pasta so right away it's a little different from your average Olive Garden. He mostly only has spaghetti, unless you order the lasagna or ravioli. I recommend the lasagna myself. The homemade marinara sauce is wonderful with just the slightest hint of sugar. (The Italians yell at him for the sugar bit, but it takes too long to make it without it.) For $3.95 you can get lasagna, a salad, and a piece of homemade bread. If you want to order off of the lunch menu for dinner (the portions are smaller) they will add $1 extra to the tab.
His dessert menu has expanded considerably and includes chocolate and cheese chimichangas, as well as Banana Alaska and other light fares.
Brass Lantern Restaurant: West Kentucky's First 3-Star Restaurant
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I was just amazed when my parents took our family to eat at the Brass Latern Restuarant in Aurora, Kentucky...why? Well, it's really the only fine restaurant near to where they lived on Kentucky Lake. It has five unique dining rooms that serve a total of 208 people.
Garden Room (80 people)
Fireplace Room ( 65 people)
Front Room (30 people)
Balcony Room (20 people)
Pioneer Room (18 people)
They serve dinner only and are closed on Mondays.
They open at 5:00 p.m.
In the winter, they are open only Thursday through Sunday.
It's a family-owned restaurant with new owners in 2002 (Kelly and Bertha Wilson)
They purchased from a family who had run the Brass Latern for over 30 years.
The food is really elegant, but you can come in casual dress.
Favorite Dish: The Prime Rib is wonderful and roasted slowly all day long. They charbroil their tender Lobster Tail as well as their pair of Pork Chops. They also offer Pork Ribs that are roasted and then charbroiled.
I love their special Filet Mignon that is USDA Choice Midwestern, grain-fed tenderloins that are cut by hand. You can order the 6 oz Queen or 10 oz King.
The best of all worlds is the Queen and Lobster which is a Filet and Lobster Tail.
The desserts are to die for, especially their famous Turtle Pie which is graham cracker crust with chocolate/vanilla ice cream, fudge, caramel, and pecans! Literally decadent!
The Grasshopper Pie and Derby Pie are also yummy. They have delicious Fruit Smoothies also that are made with frozen yogurt and fruit juice..
Entrees range between $7.95 to 26.95.
I'm telling you that this restaurant is like eating in a fine restaurant in New York or Chicago....just perfecto!Related to:
- Food and Dining
Sanders Cafe: Corbin, Home of Kentucky Fried Chicken
Colonel Harlan Sanders was my kind of man. His resume included: farm hand, streetcar conductor, soldier, and railroad fireman. He studied law by correspondance and parcticed in Justice of the Peace courts, operated an Ohio River steamboat ferry, sold tires, and operated a service station. At the age of 65, now retired, he took his $105 per month Social Security Check and started Sanders Cafe. The year was 1939. You know the rest of the story. KFC is now established in 80 countries and territories of the world, serving 6 billion pieces of fried chicken anually.
We recently took our grandchildren through Corbin and stopped in at the site of the original Sanders Cafe. Next to the restaurant is a museum which preserves Sanders first kitchen with much of the original equipment and decor. It also gives highlights of this amazing American success story. You'll never view KFC the same.
Favorite Dish: Nothing beats the KFC original receipe, with that secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
- Museum Visits
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