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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." Live music. Free evening parking behind the building. Daily specials. Lunch, Monday - Friday 11-2. Dinner, Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9, Friday & Saturday 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 on the Park
369 W. Vine St. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. (859) 231-9000. Wonderful view of Triangle Park. Breakfast 6:30am until 10:30am daily; breakfast buffet served in season. Lunch 11am-2pm, (pasta bar on Thursdays) Affordable upscale American cuisine and a wonderful wine list 5pm-10pm. 90 minute complimentary parking.

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.

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. Affordable American Cuisine. Gourmet pizzas, fresh pasta, specialty salads and sandwiches, and a wide array of entrees. 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, 245-4444, 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.

255-2431. It’s all about the food at this continental eatery where Chef Jim Plymale builds his menu around fresh, seasonal ingredients. For lunch how about Black Bean Cassoulet or Crispy Polenta Napoleon? Imagine the dinner fare. Located on (that’s right) 431 Old Vine St., the atmosphere is smart and cozy. And the bar is the swankiest in town. Dress: As yourself. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:30-10; Fri-Sat 5:30-11.

"Food with Character" 735 E. Main Street (859)266-9000. Full-blooded, dipped in the Bayou, authentic Southwest Louisiana Cuisine at Furlongs! PO-Boys, Burgers, Creole, Etouffees, Gumbo, Pastas, Salads, Seafood, Steaks, Fresh Fish, great daily dinner specials and extensive wine list. Open for dinner: Mon.-Sat. 4-11.

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
3955 Harrodsburg Rd, 219-9922. Why not tonight? 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. Open for dinner six nights a week. Open Sundays during Keeneland and holidays. Dinner: 5:30 Mon-Thur, 5:00 on Fri & Sat.

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. 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.

The Mansion
at Griffin Gate
1800 Newtown Pike. 859-288-6142. Lexington's landmark of good taste. The elegantly restored antebellum mansion offers traditional American and regional southern cuisine with European flavors. Experience gracious dining at Lexington's first Four Diamond rated restaurant. The Mansion is open daily from 6pm-10pm. Reservations are suggested.

Merrick Inn
3380 Tates Creek Rd. (Top of the hill in Merrick Place.) We pride ourselves on being the establishment of choice for over 30 years. Enjoy Chef Jeremy Ashby’s savory nightly specials and superb signature southern cuisine all served in our Kentucky manor house. When the weather’s warm, enjoy Lexington’s favorite patio by the pool offering a more casual menu. Mon.- Thurs 5:30 to 10:00, Fri and Sat 5:30 to 10:30.

Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade 259-0203. An array of tastes from Kiev to Cairo in the elegant atmosphere of a Parisian cafe. World cuisine buffet for lunch. Fine dining for all income brackets evenings after 5:30. Tour buses, business meetings and accordion players welcome. Voted Lexington's Best Ethnic Fare (ACE Weekly Readers’ Poll, 2001). Lunch Buffet 11A-2P, M-F and Noon to 3P on Saturday.

Scarborough Fare
355 Romany Road. 859.266.8704. A gourmand’s delight, featuring an array of entrees that will tickle your fancy. Menu changes daily. Deli dining, or gourmet carryout for those on the go. Open Monday-Saturday 10-8.

Starbucks Coffee
University of Kentucky Student Center. 257-1209. Lexington's first full size Starbucks location. Stop in today for fresh brewed coffee, espresso drinks, Frappuccinos, delightful pastries, and Starbucks merchandise. Conveniently close to downtown. We are a cyber-café; come surf the 'net on our laptop computers. Open Mon.-Thurs. 7am-9pm, Fri. 7am-4pm, Sat. 9am-4pm.

Yamamoto Japanese Grill
& Sushi
130 West Tiverton Way. 859-272-6668. Call for reservations. Prepared before your eyes!! Come enjoy our Fresh Sushi and a variety of Sushi Rolls and fantastic performance and taste in Habachi Grill. Lunch Specials and Lunch boxes available $5.95-9.95. Mon-Thurs 11-2, 5-10; Fri 11-2, 5-11; Sat 5-11; Sun 12-9.

l Picks and Pies

I have driven by Rosemont Crafts and Grill so many times wanting to try it, curious about what the interior must look like because it always seemed like an odd combination, but never stopped, for whatever reason (usually running late for something), until last week. I had heard "great burgers" and "like my mom's soup beans," but what really clinched it for me was "live Bluegrass on Tuesday and Saturday nights".

Roseanna's Grill, as it is known today (or will be, when the new signs are finished) began life as a Rexall Drug Store near the corner of Harrodsburg Road and Rosemont Garden/Lane Allen. After the store was a casualty of a gas main explosion in 1950, it reopened in its present location, in 1952, a few doors down. It has changed hands a few times and is now a grill, retro soda fountain, bakery, and coffee shop delivering to Lexington a unique venue for listening to 20 to 30 or more pickers sitting in a circle delving out old Kentucky tunes.

Anna Cimato, who owned the Crafts and Grill for many years, has resumed the reins with the help of old friends and colleagues, Debbie Bellis who is co-owner and manager of the coffee shop, and Brenda Stadnyk, who is setting up a bakery in the back kitchen. Their friendship and easy-going manner with each other are reflected by the relationships each of them has with the many loyal and regular customers; although to call the people who make the Grill a part of their week as customers, is to simplify and in some way lessen the power of this symbiotic association.

If you stop by more than once, don't be surprised to be called by name, asked about your day, and then Frances "Frannie" Kirby, who has worked behind the counter there for 37 years, will be happy to take your order.

The breakfast menu has the old favorites such as french toast, grits, home fries, pancakes, and specials like the "1-1-1." One egg, one order of bacon or sausage, and one piece of toast for $1.85.

For lunch, the grill offers burgers and dogs, dressed many different ways with cheese and chili and such, and deep-fried sides that accompany American grilled food so perfectly. Homemade sandwich salads (from chicken to olive nut), soups, stuffed tomatoes, and cottage cheese with fruit are served on a 1950's laminate and chrome counter with bar stools. It is the type of food that was served when it was built and the kind that can be enjoyed now as chewable nostalgia.

The soda fountain is great and a step back into time. They are still able to use many of the original appliances to make malts, milkshakes, phosphates, and root beer floats. Ice cream has four flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and chocolate chip mint) and are gooey delicious in one of Anna's banana splits or sundaes.

The grill is open serving breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., then shuts down and the coffee shop begins. Cold salad sandwiches and a few grilled sandwiches are available along with nightly special soups (chili, minestrone, white bean), and desserts that have those beautiful imperfections that let you know that it is homemade, all natural, and real. Mile high meringue pies alongside peanut butter, derby-type , and sugar-free (for diabetics) pies, cheesecakes, turtle brownies, fried apple pies, and when I was there, Debbie had just taken a pineapple blueberry cobbler out of the oven.

This grill/coffee house/soda fountain/bakery, although very difficult to properly describe, is very comfortable and has a large space that is excellent for the evening entertainment. Live music, often Bluegrass, is played in the middle of a room surrounded by couches, tables, chairs, and a couple of televisions. There is no cover, it is from 6 until 9:00, all pickers are welcome for most shows, bring the kids, stand up and sing along, and do not expect an alcoholic beverage.

The night that we went to see the Firehouse Pickers at Roseanna's Grill, it was pouring rain outside, but inside was packed with people playing and listening and having a great time. There were children running around, teenagers actually sitting with adults, neighbors chatting, and in the center was a large group of musicians entertaining the onlookers and themselves.

I asked Dave Kiser, one of the men playing that evening, about being in this atmosphere and he said that it always feels really good because everyone has this common interest in the music and is willing to help out others, "such as showing you a chord you may be missing in a song, or showing you a run that they saw you eyeballing. All in all, a great bunch of people, that are willing to share."

Sitting in Roseanna's Grill that night felt like a community gathering, a small-town, summer-night get-together where a diverse group of people sit, sing, play, and talk while sipping decaf and eating pie. Very wholesome and calm, not an ounce of showiness or ego, just everyone enjoying, simultaneously.

I will certainly be visiting Roseanna's Grill again; meeting more Lexington townsfolk, tapping my foot to the music whether Bluegrass or a 17 piece swing band who arrives on June 28th, and eating. Lots of eating, at the 1950's soda counter.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at