01 October 2009
We've done an admittedly terrible job getting our Road Trip Guides out the last few road trips... and I'm here to shoulder the blame.
Kentucky is vexing for us; I've never been for a football game. The last time I was there, was a long, long time ago. Fortunately, I was able to call on a friend and Lexington native to give us some advice for the weekend.
Let's start with one of my favorites - steak. We've heard positive returns from steakhouses: Malone's (with three Lexington locations) and Columbia's Steak House (strangely, with three Lexington locations as well). Malone's seems to be the more upscale "nicer" place. It's more expensive, has a better web site, and is probably cleaner and newer. It's no doubt a reliable "nice meal".
But Columbia Steak House is the sort of place that has "Lamb Fries" on the menu, and boasts the "Best Burger in Lexington". It's not going to be as nice. All accounts are it's a great steak, however. The Night Hawk Special is supposed to the real deal. This is one of the oldest restaraunts in Lexington, and you have to figure that's for a reason.
Kentucky is the home - the ONLY home, mind you - of bourbon. As such, it makes sense that deSha's Restaraunt and Bar in Lexington boasts what they claim is the largest bourbon selection in the world. They have at least 53 different varieties. They also sport 50 different varieties of beer - and it's a pretty decent selection as well.
The restaraunt at deSha's is a Lexington institution that serves the world famous "Hot Brown Sandwich". The fried banana peppers are a very popular selection here too. This stuff looks good.
Near campus, there are lots of options - particularly on the main drags through Lexington. Look for lots of options on Nicholasville Road and Tate's Creek Road (they run on either side of Commonwealth Stadium).
No matter what, make sure you visit the "World Famous" Two Keys Tavern at 333 South Limestone Street near campus. Yes, I've just recommended a place whose first CitySearch review is titled "Threatening and Unreasonable Bounce Staff". It is the dive to drink and be merry pre (or more likely) post-game. It'll be packed, but the atmosphere is vintage gameday.
Near the Two Keys is Tolly Ho's - and they've got Burgers. Nice ones. Since 1971. They're alweays open. Since 1971. There's not chance that sucks. Like most places in Lexington, they stop serving beer at a relatively tame hour (1:00 a.m.ish I'm told), but considering there's a game Saturday around noon, that's probably a good thing.
Not far from the Stadium, you'll also find Marikka's. It's a German bar that has food - and it's seriously German. There's something called "Gemischte Wusrtplatte mit kaltem oder heissem Kartoffelsalat". Apparently that translates to "mixed sausage plate". Yes, please. The beer list here is extensive, and there's an unsurprising tilt towards German beer.
The Chase Taproom is a popular option for post-game cold beers - with 22 taps and another 40 or so bottles. There's no food here, so make sure you've had all you want to eat when you arrive.
Finally, Cheapside Bar and Grill is a patio bar - regretably with music on their web site. But, they serve brunch and an awesome patio built for people watching and hanging out. If it's possible to find a seat, you just may find me trying the Southwest Benedict ("A bed of crispy tortilla chips topped with Chorizo sausage, poached eggs, Chipotle cheese sauce and Tomatilla salsa") and a bloody mary a bit before kickoff...
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