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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

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

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 Wheelin' and Dealin' and Eatin'

One of the things that you do not expect to hear as you are sitting with friends having a frosty beer after work is, "So has anyone eaten at Paul Miller Ford yet? I've heard it's really good."

What? Paul Miller Ford on New Circle Road? The car dealership with the great neon sign and slanted roof that was just begging me as a child to climb it? Where inside this landmark is it, and why is it? Really, I could not get my head around this strange idea of eating in the place where my dad had once bought an army-green Pinto station wagon, so I had to visit it for myself.

The Thunderbird Café, which is nestled into a corner close to the Service Center entrance, is what I imagine an office at Disneyland would look like. There are bright primary colors everywhere, walls of windows, retro comfortable chairs, and everything is perfectly placed and clean. It is a very airy open space, with glass walled offices to the side, where I suppose a lot of wheelin' and dealin' happens, and the eating area is an island surrounded by a bustle of activity.

The original idea for The Thunderbird Café was to create not only a customer and client friendly atmosphere but to furnish the 300 employees (on the 26 acres of Autoplex) a place to have nutritious and easily accessible food. Many people from outside the building, who probably work on the north side of town, have also turned out to enjoy the breakfast and lunch specials.

Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 9:30 and seems to be the typical (but delicious) fare for on-your-way-to-work sustenance: biscuits, sausage, bacon, and pastries to name a few. It's easy to get in and out quickly, which is a necessity for weekday breakfast service.

Lunch, on the other hand, is a menu consisting of large deli sandwiches and a changing daily hot special that you can call and find out about beforehand. The sandwiches are made from freshly sliced ham, turkey, or roast beef with American, Colby, or Swiss cheese, and then dressed. The consistent hot special is on Friday, which is a grilled ribeye or chicken breast, baked potato, salad, and a drink for $5.00. What a deal and zero a.p.r.

The actual work area of the kitchen is not a very big space and is in open view of the public. It's a busy kitchen and when I was there on a Saturday, the counters were covered in gorgeous chocolate-dipped strawberries because this is not only a café but, also, the hub of another business, DaRae & Friends Catering, Inc. Owner, DeRae Marcum, and co-owners, Donnie Johnson and Karen Covington, have created a menu that offer several choices for office breakfasts, lunches, afternoon/evening meetings, and food trays for any event.

The catering menu has many creative foods and old-standbys to serve many different types of tastes. The following are a few samples of what they offer:

"Just Another Manic Monday" is a breakfast menu that includes banana bisque with cinnamon croutons, brown sugar baked ham on biscuits, cheesy egg scramble, fried potatoes, and a variety of juices for $7.50 per person while the "Corporate Comfort" lunch selection offers southern fried chicken, grandmother's potato salad, country style green beans, buttermilk biscuits, and cherry cobbler for $8.50 per person.

DeRae & Friends have been catering for about ten years and knew the Millers from catering their events for them. When this space became open, they were thrilled to have the opportunity to work on a larger scale in such a great atmosphere.

It's odd to ask a friend to meet you at a car dealership for lunch but worth it to see the look of confusion on their face. It may seem like I've been making light of the café, but this is an interesting place for anyone to eat breakfast or lunch and could be the high-end one-stop shopping. I can hear the announcer now, "Come on in to Paul Miller Ford, buy an Explorer, fill the back with platters of tempting appetizers from The Thunderbird Café, and you're ready for tailgating for all of this season's games."

Paul Miller Ford, New Circle Road

The Thunderbird Café and DeRae & Friends Catering, 244-4248

Hours: Monday thru Saturday 7:30 to 2:30, Closed Sunday

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at