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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

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, vinyl record night on Tuesdays (Bring your own jazz or blues!). Call about art exhibits.

Daniel’s Fine Food and Spirits
243 Broadway (across from the Old Capital in Frankfort), (502) 875-5599, Voted “Best Place to Have Dinner in Frankfort.”One of the region’s newest upscale fine dining adventures set in 150 year-old buildings. Enjoy “Traditional with a Twist,” extensive wine list, outdoor dining, private dining room, and the frequent special events. Check out our website for calendar, menu, map, and more. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mon-Sat 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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.

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

Phil’s Cookshop
on romany

342 Romany Road 266-0099 Seriously good food for the gourmet on the go. Artisan bakery, hot entrees, freshly prepared salads, made to order sandwiches, absolutely exquisite desserts, pies and cakes. Incredible selection of wines Join us for wine tasting Wed and Fri 4-8 pm. Open Monday-Saturday 8-8:30 Call the Cookshop catering, too!

l Country Road, Take Me Home

(Phone rings)

"Hello, Jot 'Em Down Store. This is Lum 'N Abner."

(cue music and applause)

Just smell the air.

Ions weighted down, carrying the scent of wildflowers, tobacco and muck. It is the sweet country air that drags you from the city, luring you with curving roads and your favorite music in the background or, maybe, it's the air that you breathe every morning on your own plot of land just outside the Circle.

I try to get out and inhale it as often as possible.

Recently, I was sitting at the crossroads of Russell Cave and Ironworks Pike enjoying the scenery and visiting Robey Terrell at the Jot 'Em Down Store. He proudly told me that since it opened in 1934, he is the third generation to own the store and not a lot has changed. Maybe an old cooler or two are gone and a television has been added to watch the games. Country markets are still great places to buy a sandwich, exchange stories, and ask directions, but this one in particular has a history.

According to the story told, this store was actually named by the famous Lum and Abner. Old time radio lovers will remember Lum and Abner as a pair of shopkeepers (Jot 'Em Down Store) in Pine Ridge, Arkansas in the early 30s that blended charmingly, innocent philosophy and a few fine messes into a very popular fifteen-minute show. Once when they were visiting Kentucky to buy and trade horses, they stopped at the Terrell's unnamed general store. Everyone knew who they were and they liked Robey's grandfather so much that the next week they brought back a painted sign with its new name emblazoned. And so it was christened.

Stepping inside our Jot 'Em Down Store with its hardwood floors, tin-tiled ceiling, old Hobart scale, and retro deli case, you'll find fairly typical country grocery fare. Along one wall is the cold beverage section (beer, sodas, etc.) while another aisle is filled with pantry staples, honey from the Hacker Family Farm, and cans of ingredients to pick up on your way home from work - but the deli is really why you should go.

If you grew up anywhere near a country store then you know that they always make great sandwiches. You certainly do not go in expecting peasant bread and wasabi mustard.

It's meat and cheese, dressed, on a nice white or wheat bread. Just like your mama made for your lunch box.

Brandon, the nephew, will make you a sandwich with bologna, liver loaf, pepper loaf, roast beef, turkey, ham, chicken salad, or pimiento cheese, along with either colby, swiss, or hot pepper cheese. These are your choices for the cold side of the deli and although there is a hot side that includes cheeseburgers, grilled chicken, Bar-B-Q, and metts, I did not try any of these so I can't pass on their merits.

Actually, I did leave out one sandwich, the country ham sandwich. If you like country ham, which I happen to, then you'll really like this sandwich. A heap of shaved country ham from Crescent Springs, Kentucky placed on sliced bread with a little fresh tomato and mayo, wrapped in white paper. It's perfect picnic-in-the-country food.

If you try to go during lunch on a weekday, be aware, it can be very busy. Not only will you find workers from the surrounding farms, but locals coming in on their way home and tourists from the scenic highway. If you want to eat in, there are four wooden booths with yellow Formica tables and the stories from the clientele are both entertaining and familiar. Be sure to ask about the Jot 'Em Down race at the Red Mile the night before Derby.

This is definitely not a non-smoking venue so if it bothers you (morally, not physically), please leave your polite coughing and over-the-shoulder glare at home and just try to enjoy one of the last vestiges of a unique, family run, community need.

Too many of these stores have faded away.

With a shrinking dominion of black fences, equine bloodlines, and oral tradition, they're gems holding their ground.

This is one and I hope that you take that beautiful drive down Russell Cave Road just five miles north of New Circle and experience it for yourself.

The Jot 'Em Down Store

3299 Russell Cave Road


Hours: 6 am to 7:30 pm, Monday through Saturday

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at