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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. (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.

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.

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. 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.

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
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.

Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade 259-0203. An array of tastes from Kiev to Cairo in the elegant atmosphere of a Parisian cafe. World cuisine buffet for lunch. Fine dining for all income brackets evenings after 5:30. Tour buses, business meetings and accordion players welcome. Voted Lexington's Best Ethnic Fare (ACE Weekly Readers’ Poll, 2001). Lunch Buffet 11A-2P, M-F and Noon to 3P on Saturday.

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 Not the average garden variety

Bridal showers and shopping are the usual reasons for taking me to Flag Fork Herb Farm; either appearing in pearls with a silver and white gift under each arm trying to stay upright in heels or searching for dainty embroidered handkerchiefs, Bybee Pottery replacements, or a really good trowel. I forget that this historic house serves more than sassafras tea, coffee, and the rich desserts to the guests of the blushing bride. It also serves a bustling lunch that is still a secret to many in Lexington.

That this cottage has a history is obvious the moment that you drive up the horseshoe-shaped drive of Flag Fork Herb Farm and Garden Café on North Broadway. It sits back on a lot off of a four-lane, is nestled among modern edifices of convenience stores and office buildings, but has preserved character of early Lexington settlements. Outside there is a long, covered porch on the front and wispy gardens of old-fashioned flowers and herbs. Inside are low, beamed ceilings, solid but creaking wooden floors, and small rooms filled with antiques, dried herbs, gardening novelties, and dining patrons.

Mike and Carrie Creech opened this piece of property as an herb farm and café in 1995, and have increasingly educated the public on the uses of herbs in cooking, medicating, and decorating. Mike is the chef for their Garden Café and has a menu that incorporates the herbs that they grow into the food that is being served. For example, his lemon geranium pound cake with glaze uses the leaves of a scented geranium. This cake is a personal favorite and an excellent reason to forego convention and have your dessert first.

The lunch menu, served Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 until 2:00, has many daily specials such as quiches (asparagus with swiss and mushrooms, and broccoli with cheddar) and fairly static choices that include sandwiches with homemade spreads (beer cheese, benedictine and bacon, olive nut, and pimento cheese) as well as sliced turkey and country ham. Soups, salads, and sides all have fresh ingredients to accompany the fresh herbs showcased. Reservations are suggested, as there is limited seating and many meetings, luncheons, and showers are held here.

If you are not interested in bourbon chocolate cake, then maybe chocolate pecan bread pudding with bourbon sauce and vanilla bean ice cream, or apple spice cake with rum sauce will be more to your liking. Whatever your needs, the desserts here are delicious and varied: chocolate chip carrot cake, dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake, black walnut chocolate fudge pie, and lowfat lime cheesecake with red raspberry sauce just to name a few more.

The Garden Café has several dining rooms; one in particular is a long, enclosed porch with windows along one wall overlooking the Bird and Butterfly Garden. Specific flowers and herbs are planted in this garden to attract birds and butterflies and very soon will be in full bloom for the viewing pleasure of those lunching. There are also lovely herb gardens behind the cottage and in a greenhouse lean-to that offer unique and common herb plants to purchase and plant in each of our gardens. They are useful for garnish, aromatic in a bouquet, and necessary snipping in almost any summer recipe.

To better inform us on the uses of herbs, there are several upcoming classes and talks at the farm. During the summer there are classes on making English Garden Wreaths and Dried Flower Topiaries, Green First Aid, and Planting a Basket Garden. "Dessert and Talks" are held every other Saturday from 3 until 5 and include Harvesting and Preserving Herbs, ABC's of Aromatherapy, and Perennial Planting for Fall. The cost for each of the classes varies but the "Dessert and Talks" are $7.50 and schedules for both can be picked up at Flag Fork.

This cottage is as cottages should be. It offers shade on its porch, beautiful gardens in which to walk, warm baked-goods, and cold glasses of iced tea. A nice reprieve for a hot, summer day.

Short History:

Flag Fork Herb Farm is located in the January Cottage built between 1790 and 1810 purportedly by Thomas January; one of the early settlers of Lexington who helped form its government, which created a recognized city in 1831. In 1839, the house and 150 acres around it passed from Mr. January's heirs to Dr. Benjamin Winslow Dudley, a famous researcher and lithotomist, who used the house as a surgery and classroom for the Transylvania Medical School. Around 1850, Mr. Dudley built Fairlawn, the large house adjacent to the cottage, and lived there for fifteen years until he moved into what is now the Bodley-Bullock house on Market Street that was then owned by his son, William.

Later, Gen. William T. Withers, a decorated soldier of both the Civil and Mexican Wars, bought Fairlawn in 1875 and established it as one the foremost breeding stables for trotters in the United States. He had several famous visitors at Fairlawn including Gen. U. S. Grant and King Kalakua, of Hawaii, who bought a stallion while visiting. After the General's death, the house and just a few acres of remaining land were sold the The Thoroughbred Record and now houses Host Communications.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at