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Share The Lex

Blogger Dinner Party

Hey, y’all!

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a Blogger Dinner Party hosted by my friend Marie of Backroad Bluegrass Blog.

Blogging is fantastic — it allows us to connect with like-minded individuals. People that share our same interests, passions, and concerns. People that are equally as quirky, eccentric, and adventurous. While that is great, it’s even better when we get to get together IRL (am I right, y’all?). The Internet is fun, but it never parallels real, face-to-face experiences.

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The other attendees were Nicole of Share Lex KY, Reagan of Food Is My Thang , Karrie of Muse Marketing, and Brooks!

Marie was a gracious host – however, knowing her, I expected no less. She is a true Kentucky Woman!

The theme of the evening was locality in Kentucky — we dined using all local ingredients and dished about life in true blogger fashion! Everyone at the table, in their own way, uses their platform to better local business in Kentucky. It was a very powerful feeling to all come together — the symbiosis was palpable, y’all.

Though this was a March dinner party, it still snowed. If you know anything about Kentucky weather, you know that it is wildly unpredictable. One moment it is 60 degrees and sunny, the next it is sleeting. You get used to it – and a little bit of winter weather wasn’t keeping me from this event (I was the only Louisvillian).

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The ambiance of the evening was set by the aroma of Wixology candles, which are local to the Commonwealth; inspired by Kentucky bourbon-based cocktails, the scents are sure to please. From there, the pre-party included cheeses from Boone Creek Creamery, wine from Harkness Edwards Vineyards (out of customized, etched glasses via Forever Lasered Memories, no less!), and dipping oils from Stuarto’s.

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The main course? Fabulous pasta from Lexington Pasta, of course! As a group, we prepared the Caprese Gnocchi + the Four-Cheese Ravioli. They were both Write Your MeeMaw good!

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The pasta was finished by Triple J Farm; their pasta sauce + Italian sausage were both finger-lickin’ good.

Last, but in no shape, form, or fashion, least — dessert from Martine’s Pastries! Five words: Pistachio Cake, French Buttercream Icing. Need I say more?

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A special thank you Karrie of Muse Marketing for the photography. Also, shoutout to all of our sponsors for the fabulous goodies + to Marie and Brooks for being fabulous, gracious hosts.

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I am better because I know these people!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is not a commissioned post; all opinions are my own.

 

The Southland Neighborhood, Lexington, KY Experience

Hey, y’all!

I recently visited my friends at Visit Lex to check out all that the Southland Neighborhood has to offer. This was a region of Lexington that I was not very familiar with; thus, it was truly an honor and a privilege to dive head-first into the culture.

About Southland:

Largely a residential section of the city, Southland boasts a charm and a devotion that is unique to areas of its nature. The restaurants were full of locals. That, to me, says it all; when in Southland, you are having a truly authentic Lexington experience.

Now, the best part — the food!

Winchell’s

348 Southland Dr., Lexington, KY 40503

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Winchell’s is, without question, an icon of the neighborhood. Having been a part of the Southland community for over 25 years, they have proven to be a casual go-to for Lexingtonians. From grabbing a drink, to boasting well-rounded breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, you should not – if seeking an authentic experience in Fayette County – miss Winchell’s.

Also, biscuits and gravy.

Enough said.

Those are the three words to this country boy’s heart. Winchell’s gravy is smack-your-MeeMaw good – savory, heavy, and beyond flavorful. It’s that old-fashioned gravy that you grew up on – and it doesn’t get much better than that.

Also, might I add: the jalapeño cheese grits are everything that I’ve ever wanted and more.

The Ketch Seafood Grill

2012 Regency Rd., Lexington, KY 40503

Much like Winchell’s, I very much noticed the local devotion to the Ketch when dining. Many of the diners were regulars – that was clear. Conversations were shared between the staff and the patrons; they seemed as if they were friends. In fact, I have no doubt that they were. That is an accolade that cannot and will not, in my book, be overvalued.

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Plus, anywhere that puts Old Bay on their fries is a place for me.

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Willie’s Locally Known

286 Southland Dr., Lexington, KY 40503

*Edited (November 25th, 2018): Willie’s has, unfortunately, closed. I am proud to have dined there!

Willie’s served up some of my favorite food of the day. I have three words for you: pork belly tacos. Enough said, am I right?

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Apart from the trio of tacos that I tasted, The Original Willy’s Pork Burger was a standout. Featuring a pork and beef blend, it boasts a house seasoning, smoked cheddar, pickled onions, house-made pickles, and a Carolina Mustard Sauce. Sound familiar? You’ve likely seen it on the Food Network’s Burgers, Brew, & ‘Que!

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Pietana

210 Rosemont Garden, Lexington, KY 40503

Proudly claiming themselves as Southland’s hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, Pietana is just that. I found the space to be aesthetically pleasing, modern, yet cozy – a balance that is not the easiest to obtain. They use fresh, local ingredients: West 6th’s Amber Ale goes in the dough, the brisket is from the Blue Door, the sausage is from Marksbury Farm (one of my favorites), several meats are from Critchfield, and Winchell’s sausage gravy makes an appearance on the breakfast pizza pies.

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I chose to special order a pizza with prosciutto and arugula. Two thumbs up — a solid choice. The pairing of the two + Pietana’s great base ingredients = magic.

Marikka’s Bier Stube

411 Southland Dr, Lexington, KY 40503

If you ask a Lexingtonian about the institutions that they have great memories connected to, chances are you will commonly hear “Marikkas”.

Marikkas first opened in 1991; given the popularity and size of the original location, the owners knew that they had to expand. The new location is here and it is quite the sight for the eyes! Approximately 22,000 sq. ft., Marikkas has six volleyball courts, a 10,000 sq. ft beer hall, Kentucky’s largest beer selection, a restaurant, and a private party space.

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As one of the region’s only German eateries, Marikkas proudly serves native delicacies such as homemade sausages, wursts, wienerschnitzel, and more. Whether you are venturing into Marikkas to socialize with friends over drinks, spike on your opponent, or to satiate your appetite, take it from me – you won’t regret your visit!

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I cannot thank my friends at Visit Lex enough for this fabulous day. If you haven’t explored the culinary scene in Lexington’s Southland Neighborhood, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits!

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As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; all opinions, however, are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

A&W: Burgers, Chicken, & Floats

Hey, y’all!

I am so excited to be bringing you the second part of my series with A&W — the food!

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If you know me, you know that I love comfort food. To me, that largely involves burgers. There’s nothing better, if the craving hits, in my book. A&W Burgers, Chicken, & Floats delivered on that end… and so much more.

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Their burgers feature diner-style patties, which are my favorite! Thin, crispy, and simply divine!

While there are the classic A&W restaurant locations, if you are in the Lexington, KY area you have another concept to choose from: A&W Burgers, Chicken, Floats. Conveniently located in three area locations (Main Street, Hamburg, and Leestown Road), this is the quick spot for a delicious meal, a family outing, or to fulfill that unwavering craving.

I was lucky enough to sample a large portion of the menu. To understate: I had my fill, y’all!

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Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, Corn Dog Nuggets, fries, onion rings, oh my!

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Cheese curds, y’all. One of the highlights of the menu. The classic variety is delicious – however, if you like a little kick and extra flavor, be sure to try the Sriracha curds!

Trust me — they are iconic.

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Solution to many of life’s issues: put cheese on it. It’ll be better.

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Also, you can’t miss out on the classic root beer float while you’re there! They take them seriously – so much so that they decided to make their own holiday surrounding them. How legendary is that?

On August 6th, A&W celebrates National Root Beer Float Day! The best part? Patrons get a free float and the day supports the DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Donations are gathered all day for the worthy charity, which deserves snaps from all of us. I love companies that have big hearts & a philanthropic reach!

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One of my favorite menu items = the chicken sliders. I often like to order multiple things across a menu; thus, a slider is the perfect size to accompany other items! You can order the sliders with either grilled or fried chicken, which I also appreciated! Naturally I got both…

The next time you are needing a quick meal in Lexington, be sure to check them out – and tell ’em that I sent ya!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, all opinions are my own.

 

The Barn at The Summit at Fritz Farm

Hey, y’all!

I was recently invited to spend an afternoon at The Barn in Lexington, KY. What is The Barn? To quote their website, “The Barn is Kentucky’s first and finest artisan food hall—bringing the best of Lexington’s culinary scene to the heart of The Summit at Fritz Farm. An all-local, all-independent lineup of restaurateurs comprise a new food destination for the city, with craft ice cream, pasture-raised fried chicken, Greek street food, Japanese ramen, and more. The Barn is where locals can hang and out-of-towners can experience authentic Lexington.”

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Conveniently located at the Summit at Fritz Farm, the Barn is a one-stop shop (or chow!) for your Kentucky palate. While you’re there, be sure to stop and shop at the Kentucky for Kentucky store, too – it’ll be a good break while you contemplate your next food move of the day!

Now, to what I tried – the best part!

Smithtown Seafood:

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Traditional Fish ‘N Chips Platter (love, love, love the West Sixth beer batter!)

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Singapore Salad

Atomic Ramen:

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Athenian Grill:

9affc40f-2e38-4a23-8394-d8c2cd4a9954Gyro (with amazing tzatziki)

f7aa4342-daed-4317-9b8e-3b607902754cTo be honest, I’m still drooling over this combo plate.

La Petite Crêperie:

e229a65d-96c0-41b2-80b1-d9bc64750f31Breakfast crêpe, topped with an egg.

Pasture by Marksbury Farm:

13f4c289-0e98-4051-ad3c-c8bf016e09ecChorizo burger + fried pickles.

cc85c205-6c1a-4c66-890a-f438573c146aBeer cheese fries + pulled chicken.

Crank and Boom Craft Ice Cream:

a3e08a97-e570-44a1-a54a-f40034a29aefS’mores Sundae – need I say more?

Whiskey Bear:

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Both cocktails were amazing! My favorite was the Bear Necessities (pictured above). I love that there is a beautiful cocktail bar in The Barn — there’s something to pair with each of the other eateries. Iconic.

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The next time you are in Lexington, this is a must-stop! A new concept to Kentucky, I truly feel that it was a needed addition. It’s perfect for group gatherings because there is a dish (or a restaurant) for everyone. Genius, if you ask me.

As always, Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a sponsored post; however, all opinions are my own.

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