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a la lucie
159 N. Limestone. Lexington's special occasion address. Regarded as one of the region's best. Award winning menu with extensive wine list. Open 10-6, Mon-Sat.Reservations recommended. 252.5277

557 S. Limestone 253-0014. Voted best pancakes by Ace readers in the Best of Lexington poll year after year. Winner of 2001's "Best Veggie Friendly Restaurant." Vegetarian, chicken, and seafood entrees available. Homemade baked goods and desserts. Weekend brunch. Live music. Free evening parking behind the building. Daily specials. Open for lunch, Monday - Friday 11-2. Dinner, Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9, Friday 5:30-10. Brunch, Saturday and Sunday 10-2.

Billy's Bar-B-Q
101 Cochran Rd. At the corner of High St. in Chevy Chase. 269-9593. Genuine Western Kentucky style pit barbecue and fixins. Dine in/ carry out/ catering/ bulk deliveries. We're the home grown guys. Open M-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11:30am-8pm.

Cafe Jennifer
111 Woodland Ave at the Woodlands Condominiums, 255-0709. A cozy restaurant featuring Kentucky favorites, using locally grown produce. Lunch and Dinner daily, Mon.-Sat. Pub room atmosphere in the well-stocked bar and private room available for small gatherings.

Common Grounds

343 East High Street 233-9761 Voted #1 coffeehouse year after year by ACE readers. Fresh treats available daily in the bakery. Night life is great, too: Open mic Mondays. Call about art exhibits.

The Depot
128 East Main St., Midway 846-4745 Eclectic creations with a down home flavor serving Central Kentucky and beyond. Good times abound at “The Depot” in Midway, six days a week for lunch and Thursday, Friday & Saturday for dinner.

Ed and Fred’s Desert Moon
148 Grand Blvd. 231-1161 American Cuisine at affordable prices. Enjoy gourmet pizzas, fresh pasta, specialty salads and sandwiches, and a wide array of entrees in an informal yet elegant atmosphere. Wonderful wine list! Patio dining and banquet facilities. Lunch: 11a-3p Tue-Fri; Dinner: Tue-Sun.

Emmett’s Restaurant
Off Tates Creek Road, south of Man O’ War, offers innovative Southern cooking in a renovated farmhouse featuring a cozy bar, casual patio dining and seven lovely dining rooms. Dinner served Mon.-Sun. beginning at 5:30 PM and Sunday brunch from 11 AM-2 PM. Reservations accepted. 245-4444.

521 West Short Street. 455-9660 Where tradition meets style. Five course tea service at noon and 3 pm Wed-Sat. in an atmosphere of understated elegance. Reservations required. Greentree also offers graceful service and imaginative cuisine demonstrating fine Southern hospitality for professional meetings, club events, and every wedding occasion.

Happy Dragon Chinese Buffet
1510 Newtown Pike, 859-388-9988. All you can eat chinese buffet. Over 120 items daily, featuring fresh seafood, beef, chicken, pork, soups, salads, fruits... and much more! Open Sun. to Thurs. 11am - 10pm, Fri.& Sat. 11am - 10:30pm.

The Homestead
The Homestead Restaurant offers superb regional cuisine in a classic and beautiful setting. A warm and cozy ambience naturally complements the traditional southern dishes prepared by Executive Chef Tony Cortez. With a charming bar, a romantic patio, and laid back live entertainment, The Homestead is the perfect spot for any occasion. The Homestead is open for dinner six nights a week. They are closed on Sundays, except during Keeneland and on some holidays. Dinner: 5:30 Mon-Thur,, 5:00 on Fri & Sat.

Imperial Hunan
Woodhill. 266-4393. One of Lexington's oldest and finest Chinese restaurants. Voted Best Kung Pao by Ace readers. Don't forget the Sunday Buffet. " Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30am-10pm, Fri 11:30am-11pm, Sat Noon-11pm

Jonathan at
Gratz Park

120 West Second Street 252-4949 Redefined regional cuisine served in our Southern dining room or in the English pub room. Signature items and daily specials, every entrée a Jonathan original. Festive Sunday brunch from 11:30-2 pm. Reservations suggested. Also call us for intimate dinner parties, fabulous banquets, business lunches, pre-wedding events to the reception.

Mancino’s Pizza
& Grinders

1590A Leestown RD. 253-2299. First in Kentucky with HOT oven grinders! A taste of New York right here in Lexington. Everything from the traditional Mancino’s Pride pizza to the “New” Zesty Ranch Pizza. All Grinders are oven baked and served Hot from the oven. Everything made to order. Mon-Fri 11am-8pm; 11am-3pm Sat

Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade. A look and a feel of the Bleeker Street in the Village. A taste of Mediterranean cuisine interpreted by talented poet and chef Johnny Shipley. Lunch Buffet 11-2, Dinner 5-9. Lighter fair and exotic coffees in between. Fine dining for any income bracket.

Pacific Pearl
Chinoe Plaza. Boldly fusing Asian and American flavors. Coconut fried lobster, King Crab legs in ginger butter, and Grilled Yellowfin Tuna are just a few of the items that represent this extensive menu. Dining room, patio and bar offers elegant decor. Open 5-10 pm, Sun-Thu. and 5-11 pm, Fri and Sat. Reservations recommended. 266.1611

Scarborough Fare
355 Romany Road. 859.266.8704. A gourmand’s delight, featuring an array of entrees that will tickle your fancy and menu changes daily. Sample the mouth-watering desserts and you’ll be back to feed your newest addiction. Special dinners prepared daily. Café dining, or gourmet carryout for those on the go. Open Monday-Saturday 10-8.

l Strike!

Absence of agility are words that spring to mind when remembering myself as a fifth grader with a large number seven on each rented heel. A gangly shadow followed across an extremely shiny floor until just before the boundary when a Brunswick number six ball left my fingers, leapt into the air, and almost immediately fell into the gutter. This naturally made a future suitor in the next lane hoarse with laughing and teasing. Anything perseverated is annoying, especially when it is a shoe size/bowling score comparison, so I went to the restaurant to throw back a large Coke, with extra cherry syrup.

As an adult, walking into a modern bowling center seems immediately boisterous, as it always has been, with the crashing pins and people cheering and children running around, and it is easy to leave your cares behind to enter a world that exists expressly for fun. On Southland Drive, I recently allowed myself a Saturday afternoon of this escapism and remembered that there is another reason to bowl, the concession stand. You cannot bowl without eating or drinking, any more than you can go to the fair without extra pocket money for food.

I mentioned to several people that I had just bowled at Southland and they all asked what I had to eat. Southland Bowling Lanes, part of the Collins Bowling Centers, opened in 1961, is well known for their large offering of foods for meals and snacks. Mr. Bundy, the manager, said that in the late 1970s that the restaurant was so thriving that it was not unusual for 70 pounds of fish to be served on a Friday.

Food service begins at 8:30 a.m. for the early leaguers and walk-ins, serving eggs with ham, sausage, or bacon and toast along with doughnuts and other sweets.

After 11:00, the menu offers homemade soups with cornbread, grilled cheese, several types of hamburgers, and pork tenderloin sandwiches, just to name a few hot items. Homemade salad spreads such as pimiento cheese, chicken and tuna salads can be sandwiches or a plate, along with chef salads and club sandwiches. Hot lunch specials change throughout the work week, but open-faced roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy with a vegetable was the special for the day that I was there.

If fried food is what you crave when you bowl, there are many choices other than the standard french fries smothered in ketchup: chicken strips, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, buffalo wings, and banana peppers. Fried food is an excellent way to eat condiments.

Bowling has been in existence since possibly 3200 B.C. and it's remarkable how it has evolved into a $3 billion a year industry; no more pinboys set the pins. Everything is quite high-tech, but the food has mostly stayed the same and it keeps drawing us back.

I had asked a friend why do we get so excited about concession food? She said that it is because of the memories that you have of eating at concession places: a bratwurst at the ballpark, popcorn at the movies, elephant ears and cotton candy at fairs. It is part of the whole. Sensory memory and the four basic taste sensations mixed in with bowling and carousels and seeing Star Wars for the first time and laughing with your friends until milk comes out of your nose. It is amazing to be able to recall these events through taste.

I had a great time bowling. My score has not improved much over the years, but I can now proudly walk around in my sized shoes, which are hot pink and yellow these days because they glow in the dark for midnight bowling, step up to the grill and order a tenpin shaped beer, a strike burger, and a large order of fries.

The hours that the restaurant is open are a bit unusual: Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. until 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 4:00 a.m., and Sundays noon until midnight, which answers the question of where to nosh late in Lexington.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at