April 20, 2010 8:22 PM   Subscribe

A few quetsions for a upcoming trip to Lexington, Ky.

I will be in Lexington, KY on thursday on friday nights this week. I all ready have a woodford distillary tour planed for thursday afternoon followed by Maone's steak house. On Friday i will be eating lunch Keeneland race track. I will be traveling with 4 other twenty somethings from work.

We could us any advice on where we should be going after drinner for drinks. Is there a main strip of bars? Is there a college strip? What about a slightly older crowd? Is there any live music happening? Are there any good web sites for the lexington area?

Also, where should we eat on friday night? Are there any bbq joints that are not to be missed?
posted by ihadapony to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When my husband and I were there this spring break we enjoyed Pazzo's right by campus. It seemed to be on/near the college strip. The beer and bourbon list were impressive, and the food was perfectly adequate. We also like eating at Ramsey's for lunch. If you go, definitely get a hotbrown and a side of fried corn (though, I guess it's not really in season right now). My Mom went to UK and ate at Joe Bologna's frequently. Their current (newer) location is in an old synagogue.

When you visit Woodford Reserve, be sure to take the Grassy Springs rd from the 60. I think it's more scenic than taking McCraken Pike from Versailles. While you're out that way, drive back on the Old Frankfort Pike and stop by Wallace Station for awesome baked goods, sandwiches and ice-cream; all made as locally as possible.

My grandfather's farm is about 2 miles from the distillery. I only have an annual-visitor's knowledge of the area, but I'd be happy to assist with any other questions. Hopefully someone local will chime in.
posted by lizjohn at 10:40 PM on April 20, 2010

The Woodford distillery is fantastic. If you need a place to eat lunch on your way there, I'd suggest taking Old Frankfort Pike (Route 1681) to get there and stopping at Wallace Station. Old Frankfort is a gorgeous drive this time of the year, and won't take much longer than the directions on the distillery's website. Wallace Station is a delicious sandwich and bakery kind of place with a deck out back.

Downtown has changed LOT since I moved away, with a lot of bars closing and a lot of new ones opening. So my specific recommendations aren't super up-to-date, but I went out there last weekend and it was pretty rocking. Generally the area between Short Street and Vine, and starting at Triangle Park going several blocks to the southeast has a lot going on. I can't find a really good link, but I'm a big fan of Horse and Barrel--they have a beautiful selection of bourbon. I also like the Chase Tap Room, which is just down the block and has a good beer selection. Cheapside is pretty fun too, and in that same area. Horse and Barrel and Chase both have a slightly older crowd. Cheapside tends to have a mix of college and older people.

Sadly for the music scene, the Dame is no more, but their website remains extant and usually has the schedule for whatever establishment is currently attempting to fill their place. I don't know anything about the place they're linking to right now. Al's Bar is supposed to be pretty good too.

There are good barbecue places, but nothing I would consider not to miss. (Western Kentucky is the part of the state known for its barbecue.)

I'll post again later if I can think of more.
posted by little e at 11:21 PM on April 20, 2010

Oh, hah, yeah, that's what I get for leaving a tab open for an extended time and not previewing. What lizjohn said about Wallace Station. Also what she said about Ramsey's.
posted by little e at 11:32 PM on April 20, 2010

I live in Lexington, here are my recommendations:

If you want to drink with the college crowd, go to Two Keys Tavern or the Tin Roof (or both, they are basically right next to each other). Tin Roof gets some pretty good musical acts. There are 3 or 4 other bars in that area that also might be worth checking out, but I am less familiar with them--the Paddock is lower key than the previously mentioned places and is fun.

If you want to drink with an older crowd, you have to get away from campus. Since you will be out at Keeneland anyway, you might want to check out the patio at Murray's which is only a 10 min drive from the track. I've been there twice in the last couple weeks and it is my new favorite patio in Lexington. Merrick Inn is owned by the same people and has a smaller but nice patio and bar area; both are big post-Keeneland places and both have really, really good food as well. Additionally, since you will be at Malone's already, check out Harry's (which is next door) for a nice, largely non-student bar scene.

For food, the previous recommendations are spot on if you want casual dining. For BBQ (although Lexington isn't particularly known for it), the best in town is Billy's. You should also consider going to Bourbon and Toulouse for some of the best Cajun food I've ever had--its one of Lexington's most popular spots and has an amazing atmosphere.

If you want something a little fancier, here are a couple to consider: Jean Ferris Winery is a little out of the way from everything else but is really beautiful, plus the food is excellent. Jonathan's at Gratz Park is also fantastic and is right downtown. Probably a good idea to call for reservations ASAP if you want to eat at either of these--they are popular and fairly small so getting a table can be difficult sometimes.
posted by jtfowl0 at 6:11 AM on April 21, 2010

Are there any bbq joints that are not to be missed?

Billy's Bar-B-Q is great, and it's right across from an excellent Mediterranean joint, Oasis.

(It's also near Bourbon 'n Toulouse, which someone mentioned, and which is also great)

The "college strip" is basically up and down Euclid Avenue (which is also Avenue of Champions on campus), with restaurants like Billy's and Oasis on one end, and bars like Pazzo's and Two Keys on the other.
posted by edguardo at 7:26 AM on April 21, 2010

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