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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 Gardening in the 21st century-
hold the veggies

It's spring, and all over the country people are digging up the back yard so they can plant a garden. They're sowing zucchini seeds, dropping spindly tomato plants in little holes, and feeling good because they can finally justify having paid way too much for those overalls at The Gap. You know, the ones they won't wear in the garden because, hey, they might get dirty.

But really, growing vegetables? How passé. This is what Homo sapiens have been planting since the Neolithic Age when some 10,000 BC pre-Einstein realized he could be a gatherer without having to leave the comfort of his own caveyard, leaving the hunting to those Neanderthals who moved into the Oog's old cave. That will teach them to drag down the property values.

Now here we are, 12,000 years later, still growing the same old things they did back then. Sure we now have varieties that are disease resistant, drought resistant, and taste resistant, but that's hardly befitting this, the 21st century. Remember, we waited years for this century to kick in. We held huge welcoming parties. We shot off lots of fireworks. We invested massive amounts of time, money, and neurotic energy worrying about a computer glitch that never happened. And probably most trying of all, we had to put up with more "End of the Century", "The Century's Top-100", and "Best and Worst of the Century" articles than anyone should ever have to see in four dharmic lifetimes. And what do we have to show for it? Sure it's brought us such modern wonders as disposable floor wipes, the Millennium Wheel, and Survivor, but it's time for something truly revolutionary. Like growing fish at home instead of vegetables.

I'm not talking about raising them in ponds in the back yard. No, I'm talking about growing them in the kitchen. Or better yet, in the laboratory if you happen to have one of those hanging around the house. Yes, 21st century home gardening will involve taking fish filets and turning them into whole fish.

Thanks to NASA, the same wonderful people who brought us Tang, pens that write upside down, and space-age polymers that fuel never-ending infomercials, this might soon be possible. They've been sponsoring research which has resulted in a scientist at Tuoro College in Bay Shore, NY successfully taking strips of goldfish filet, soaking them in a solution made from extract of cow's blood, and losing his appetite for two weeks. In the process the filets grew by 14 percent.

Once they get the technique perfected you'll be able to buy a box of Mrs. Paul's fish sticks, soak them in Miracle Fish-Gro for a week, and end up with a fish large enough to feed the family for a week. All they'll need to do then is work out a way to do the same thing with the packet of Create-A-Sauce that comes with it and you'll never have to learn how to use the microwave to cook anything else.

Since the market for goldfish filets is, well, nonexistent, and NASA probably doesn't want to launch a marketing campaign to convince people to start eating them ("Goldfish. The Other White Fish."), they're planning on shifting their efforts into growing something more useful. Like macaroni and cheese. Just kidding. Actually the next step is to try to grow chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. Imagine being able to soak a cocktail wiener for a few days and ending up with a foot-long hot dog. Or buying some chicken nuggets and growing them into, well, bigger nuggets. This is the stuff science fiction springs from. Well, unless it's a new Star Wars movie and then it springs from the same old tired story as the last one.

While turning sardines into swordfish would be a neat trick, especially for the sushi industry, this isn't the first time it's been done. Almost 2,000 years ago a Jewish carpenter from Bethlehem supposedly took five loaves of bread and two fish and fed 5,000 people with it. And had twelve baskets of leftovers, which his disciples took home in doggie bags. That is, after they spent an hour arguing about how to split the check and how much of a tip they should leave Jesus.

In between then and now, others have thought about ways to accomplish this feat. Like me, for example. They tell me when I was very young my father asked what I wanted to plant in the garden and I said a hot dog tree. At least that's the story my parents made up one night when they were bored and trying to come up with funny anecdotes which would amuse their friends while embarrassing my brothers and I for the rest of our lives. They did a damned good job. Of course I got straightened out when my father explained that hot dogs don't grow on trees. Hey, how was I to know they grow underground like potatoes, peanuts, and moles?

But soon I'll have the last laugh. And when I do, don't even think about begging at my door because I have petri dishes sitting around the kitchen filled with petite filets which are growing into T-bone steaks and slices of bacon becoming racks of spare ribs. Not unless you have a bag full of tomatoes and zucchinis from your old fashioned garden. Hey, I might be willing to make a little trade.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at