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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 atmosphere. 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.

Good Foods Coop
455-D Southland Dr. (859) 278-1813. Good food fast.
Eat in or carry out. Self-serve hot bar, cold salad bar,
grab & go deli goodies, free range chicken, hormone-free
beef & pork, fresh fish, cheeses, homemade breads, muffins, bagels. Coffee, juice & smoothie bar. Morning coffee and muffins, full lunch & dinner. Mon-Sat 7:30 am-9 pm, Sun 8 am-9 pm.

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 What's in this?

Allergies are the body's way of saying "Keep Away." They're the voice in the horror movie that sounds like James Earl Jones with laryngitis whispering "Get out!" but of course no one listens, instead heading down into the dark basement, usually half naked, and always figuring it would be a waste of electricity to turn on the lights or use a flashlight. Unlike allergy sufferers, people in horror movies deserve what they get.

An allergic reaction is actually a false alarm. The body's immune system, taking its lead from the FBI and CIA, has trouble telling the good guys from the bad guys. In its confusion, the immune system suspends the body's civil rights, creates a new cabinet position (Secretary of Homebody Defense), and gets the white blood cells to produce antibodies. The African-American, Latino, and Asian blood cells protest and file a discrimination lawsuit, but by then it's too late-the antibodies have already attached themselves to special cells in the body called mast cells. The mast cells get upset, release histamine, and as a result you end up with watery eyes, itching, sneezing, a runny nose, and a better excuse with which to try to convince your significant other to get rid of that damned cat other than "I don't like anything that gets more attention than I do."

The most common things that trigger allergic reactions are pollen, mold, insect stings, foods, and Regis Philbin. Though some of these are easier to stay away from than others. Others, like food allergies, are trickier. That's why most airlines have stopped giving out the traditional tiny bag of four peanuts, replacing it instead with a tiny bag of four micro-pretzels. Yes, apparently it's asking a little too much of people who are allergic to nuts to see the word "Peanuts" in 36-point type next to an anthropomorphized peanut wearing a top hat, holding a cane, and looking through a monocle and think, "Hmmmmmm, I'm allergic to peanuts. I wonder if there might be any in this bag?"

Sometimes allergens end up in our food by mistake, such as when you sprinkle ragweed pollen over your Sweet and Sour Tuna Helper because, once again, you mistook it for the salt. Recently Berkeley Farms, a California dairy producer, recalled a big batch of milk because they accidentally put too much penicillin in it. Actually they meant to put Cipro in it. Just kidding. The truth is they didn't put the antibiotic in the milk at all, the cows did. Of course they couldn't help it, it came with their dinner.

Still, Berkeley Farms had to pull the milk because it could cause serious problems for people who are allergic to penicillin. They retrieved umpteen thousand gallons of milk and are destroying it, which proves that they, like most large companies, make the mistake of seeing the milk glass half empty. If they were smart they'd recognize this as a marketing opportunity and repackage it as Berkeley Farms Milk With Calcium, Vitamin D, and Penicillin. It could prove very popular amongst those prone to strep infections, pneumonia, spinal meningitis, syphillis, and gonorrhea. Prostitutes would be hooked on the stuff, thanks to the advertising slogan, "A glass a day keeps the doctor away."

This isn't really so far fetched. After all, it's hard to find a food item on the grocer's shelf that doesn't have at least something added to it. Orange juice now has calcium. Bottled water has caffeine. My toothpaste doesn't just clean my teeth anymore, it also has fluoride, baking soda, peroxide, tartar protection, whitening agents, and probably oat bran. Hey, if I can stay regular just by brushing my teeth there's no question I'll be flashing a much brighter smile.

Now Crest is taking this one step farther by releasing Rejuvenating Effects, a toothpaste designed specifically for women. They're not saying whether it will have calcium, estrogen, or Midol added, all they're saying is that it will taste like vanilla and cinnamon. If it's a hit you can expect other companies to follow suit by putting out Colgate Mocha Frappuccino ("Now available in decaf with soy milk!") and Aqua-Fresh with Cheddar.

That's right, researchers at the Forsyth Institute in Boston have discovered that eating cheese can prevent cavities. They say it has to do with the calcium in cheese, an increase in saliva when you chew it, and cheese being able to replace tooth enamel, kind of like repainting the bathroom except you don't need to throw out an uncleanable paint roller every time you eat cheese.

Of course this means that anyone who's allergic to dairy products will have to watch out who they kiss. In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, two researchers wrote that kissing someone who has recently eaten an item you're allergic to can often cause you to have a reaction. Though the study confined itself to people who are allergic to nuts and seeds, the same could hold true of other allergies. Thus, if you have allergies, it's important to stop and have "that little discussion." Yes, before you kiss anyone you should find out if they've recently eaten peanuts, penicillin, dust mites, ragweed pollen, or cats. Hey, you can never be too safe.