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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

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." Vegetarian, chicken, and seafood entrees available. Homemade baked goods and desserts. Weekend brunch. Live music. Free evening parking behind the building. Daily specials. Open for lunch, Monday - Friday 11-2. Dinner, Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9, Friday 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 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.

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
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 Sodas, Shakes and Sundaes

When I was very young, much too young for my toes to touch the floor, I remember being lifted up and set upon a round stool that, with a little effort, would gloriously spin all the way around. The prize for not doing this and behaving (like a young lady) was a creamy, strawberry milkshake. Unfortunately, the result of not sitting still but happily spinning round and round until dizzy likely involved a physics word-problem that possibly contained words such as trajectory, force, gravity, and frilly-dress-above-head. Fortunately, this soda fountain was in a pharmacy - first aid was nearby.

Today, we are very fortunate to have a few pharmacies that are also soda fountains and one of my favorites is Wheeler Pharmacy in Chevy Chase. Buddy Wheeler started the store in 1958 with an eating area that provided food from a cold menu - salad sandwiches and ice cream favorites. After a remodeling in 1965, the grill was added and along came the hamburgers, chuck wagons and chicken sandwiches. Today, Buddy's son, Stuart, runs the business and, except for a few small additions, the menu has stayed the same.

Wheeler's is set up basically like any other drug store - rows of sundries and a pharmacist in the back - but emanating from the left side of the building are wafts of coffee, chili, and fries. How can anyone shop here without wanting to eat? The pale, Formica counter is built with two U-shapes and then curves back in to allow for turquoise tufted booths at the end. Most of the fountain is chrome as are all of the retro accessories: sugar shaker, and straw and napkin dispensers. A huge mirror dominates the back wall and a great old, red pestle and mortar clock hangs atop.

One aspect that I really enjoy about eating in public is the sound that is produced by the restaurant. In this particular setting, the cooking is happening right beside you so there is the gurgling of onion rings in oil and sizzling burgers that mix with muzak and stories from the patrons. On my last trip, I heard the latest squirrel and grouse hunting news, which made me wish I had ordered pimento cheese instead of meat, but it was really interesting. It started with two men and as others filed in one by one, each said their hellos and then went right back into the story. The familiarity was very charming.

I have only been for lunch because I can't seem to remember that they also serve breakfast and it's a really good deal. For example, #3 consists of two eggs, juice, sausage, bacon, or ham, toast and jelly for $4.40. Omelets, country ham and biscuits, pancakes, French toast, cereal and oatmeal are also available so I will be bringing friends along to try this soon.

The lunch menu is fairly large and includes tossed salads and delicious homemade salad spreads such as olive nut, and ham, chicken, tuna, and egg salad. There are several styles of burgers if you're more in the mood for hot food, as well as pork tenderloin and fish sandwiches, B.L.T.s, and bar-b-que. Fried chicken, fish, shrimp, and fries are served basket-style ($3.75) as are chicken wings.

What is the fun in going to a soda fountain without dessert? This is the raison d'être. I desperately want to see, when I go to Wheeler's, teenagers completely moon-eyed sharing a milkshake with two straws, but usually it ends up being children in soccer shorts running around enjoying cherry cokes, which is still sweet. Ice cold sodas can be chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or cherry, as can the milkshakes and malts, which are never as good when made at home and are a perennial favorite. You can have a dish or cone of ice cream or a sundae with rich toppings.

There are many reasons to visit Wheeler Pharmacy - to pick up a prescription or supplies - but while there it's really fun to enjoy a meal, sit on a stool at the counter and talk to the person next to you, or buy a magazine and devour a shake. Another reason is that there are so few remaining eateries such as this in Lexington, especially that opened as far back as 1958. Due to several causes, they could not make it work but we do still have a few gems that have kept their own style and uniqueness and should be visited regularly for a taste of nostalgia (and a milkshake).

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