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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. www.cafeontheparkcom. (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.

Dudley’s Restaurant
380 S. Mill Street in Historic Dudley Square. 252-1010. A Lexington tradition, with adventurous takes on regional cuisine and an award winning wine list. Patio, bar, and dining room each provide a unique atmostphere. Open everyday: Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30 for lunch; Sun 11:30-2:30 for brunch; and dinner Sun-Thurs 5:30-10 and Fri-Sat 5:30-11. Reservations recommended.

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.

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.

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 Better Living Through Chocoloate

It's unsettling to discover that something as delightfully sinful as chocolate may actually be good for you. It's not just that we're being robbed of one of life's little pleasures-gorging on something we know is absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt horrible for us yet makes us feel so good-but once again They told us something which turned out to be wrong.

When I was growing up They said the harder I worked the more money I'd make. They said everything happens for a reason. And They said it was only a phase. Well, They were wrong all the way down the line.

Now it turns out they were wrong about chocolate too. After years of being warned not to eat it lest our faces break out in acne, we become hyperactive balls of unbridled energy, and our appetites go the way of the dial phone, it turns out the only thing chocolate used to do that it still does is make the Hershey family richer. Chocolate, you see, may actually be a health food.

No lesser source than The Journal of Nutrition (motto: "You are what we say you should eat") recently published a series of studies showing that chocolate contains flavonoids. Not to pull a Stephen Hawking on you, but flavonoids are those little teeny tiny chemical thingies that live in red wine, green tea, and certain fruits and vegetables which makes them expensive. Not only that, they help decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. So it's good that they're in chocolate.

But wait, there's more! A couple of years ago researchers at the University of California at Davis-undoubtedly while on a snack break-discovered chemicals in chocolate called phenols which stop the bad fat component of cholesterol ("Bad fat component! Bad fat component!") from oxidizing into plaque, the stuff that clogs your arteries. So while eating M&Ms may help plaque form on your teeth, at the same time it might help keep your aorta as clear as a storm drain in the Sahara. Since dark chocolate has more of these phenols than light chocolate, it's only a matter of time before aging boomers start sidling up to the bar and ordering a Cabernet with a Tobler Dark twist. Hold the almonds.

Medical researchers aren't the only ones getting their inspiration from snack machines. The fine folks in Detroit who brought us the Edsel, windshield wipers on headlights, and cars that talk ("Your door is a jar." "No it isn't, it's a door.") are looking into making shock absorbers out of chocolate. And you thought chocolate's most important use was as an I.V. drip during PMS.

It started a couple of years ago when a graduate student at Michigan State University and his trusty professor discovered that when they jolted melted Hershey bars with a moderately high-voltage electric shock, the creamy, smooth, I-wish-I-had-some-right-now-mmmmmm-wouldn't-that-taste-good liquid chocolate instantly turned into a stiff gel. And reverted back into a liquid as soon as the power was turned off. I'm not sure what ever made them think this was something grown adults should be doing, but I wish I'd been around when they worked their way through the kitchen cabinets, shocking Twinkies, Jell-o, and Tuna Helper before they got around to the Snickers bars.

So how do we get from giving electroshock therapy to a Nestlé's Crunch bar to cruising down the highway on fudge-filled shock absorbers? Easy. Electrified chocolate is the latest discovery in the field of electrorheology, or the science of using government grant money to buy candy bars. Actually, scientists are looking into using these "smart fluids" in automatic transmissions and hydraulic valves. The Monroe Auto Equipment Co. has already used a "smart fluid" in experimental shock absorbers for a Ford Thunderbird. The car not only raced around the track in record time-proving that chocolate not only causes hyperactivity in humans but also automobiles-but it turned out to be 100 percent acne-free. Of course it was a new car so it had quite a ways to go before reaching puberty.

But there's a fly in the chocolate shock absorber ointment. Like all electrorheologic fluids, chocolate stops doing its electroshock gel thing when it reaches high temperatures. This is where chocolate has a marked advantage over the other "smart fluids"-if you were stranded on a dark, lonely highway and your cholesterol level suddenly skyrocketed, you could pull off one of your rear shocks and suck the chocolate right out of that baby.

Unfortunately none of this may ever come to fruition because chocolate may soon be illegal. A report in Nature magazine (motto: "The most quoted periodical no one ever reads") disclosed that eating chocolate can make you high.

Apparently there are chemicals in chocolate which target the same brain receptors as marijuana. The bad news is you'd have to eat about 25 lbs. of Godivas to get a good buzz. The good news is, that's nothing you haven't done before.

Thus, chocolate turns out to be nothing less than a miracle: It's good for you, it can make your car ride smoother, and you can get a good high without having to inhale.

Stock up now before it becomes prescription only.