Bowling Green
Campbell Lane
31W Bypass
31W South
Scottsville Road


Serving Kentucky Since 2000


Fast Food
Japanese Mexican Occasion Pizza Steak
Lunch in Bowling Green brings together an eclectic crowd of people : office workers over the noon hour, shoppers between stores, salesmen between appointments and service workers on their way across town from one job to the next. And while many of the full scale restaurants offer a pared down menu with reduced prices to attract these people, our focus here is those specialized restaurants serving only lunch, or at least treating lunch as their most important time of day. This list includes delis, soup & sandwich shops, and high efficiency lunch counters. These places have made an art form out of a bowl of soup, a beautiful salad, and a gourmet sandwich. Many of these little eateries have developed their own cult following, who eat lunch there every day year round five days a week, have their favorite table and know the staff by first names. They are a long overlooked but critically important part of the Bowling Green culinary scene.
Baker Bros.
Honey Baked Ham
Linzie's is a locally owned sandwich shop with three locations. This one is across 31W from the Medical Center at the North end of the bypass. The menu includes salads, soups, chips and desserts but the sandwiches are the stars. Owners Gary and Debbie Wilson obviously have the lunchtime crowd in mind, but if you weren't too hungry a Soup, Salad, Sandwich, hand dipped Milkshake and Dessert combo could be dinner. During the noon hour Linzie's gets crowded so if possible come before noon or after 1. You might consider Linzie's an upscale version of Subway. They offer 48 baked sandwiches, with traditional favorites like BLT, French Dip, Roast Beef, Turkey, Chicken and Ham; ethnic versions like Grinders, Meatball, Muffaletta (Salami), and Pizza; and creative offerings like Monte Christo (Turkey & Jam), Tomato Avocado, Black Bean and Crab Melt. We were pretty impressed with the Hawaiin, Shrimp, Cuban and Pastrami. Every sandwich costs $5. This is a bit higher than you'll pay elsewhere, but the sandwiches are enough better that you get your money's worth. At first glance, they appear a little small, given our lifetime conditioning of Quarter Pounders With Cheese and Whoppers. But these are filled with all natural ingredients carefully prepared and you definitely won't leave hungry. Oh, and Linzie? She's the daughter, now 14.
Baker Brothers is a national sandwich chain founded in 1998 in Dallas, Texas. To compete with Subway, Blimpie and Linzie's, Baker's makes a very big deal out of its breads. You can choose from four : eggspun, sourdough, whole wheat and light rye, all mixed from gourmet ingredients and baked under carefully controlled conditions. Then they use these breads in their upscale sandwiches : Reuben, Philly Cheese Steak, Roast Beef, Salami, Turkey, etc. We like their New Orleans (ham, salami and melted provolone served with olive tapenade, lettuce, tomato, red onion and vinaigrette dressing on a toasted Farm Bread roll), Los Angeles (portabello mushroom, roasted red, green and yellow bell peppers and onions topped with melted provolone and olive tapenade on a Whole Wheat roll), and South Beach (smoked turkey, bacon and melted cheddar with spicy mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion on toasted EggSpun roll). In addition to their sandwiches, Baker's offers four outstanding soups : Baked Potato, Texas Chile, Beer Cheese and Black Bean. There are gourmet pizzas, like Barbequed Chicken and Veggie Pesto. And they've got six large salads. Baker's has also made quite an investment in their interior, a classy, contemporary and quite comfortable decor. As a lunch time stop, this is hard to beat.
Griff's is a lunchtime deli specializing in baked potatoes, salads, paninis, wraps and soups. Plain Jane comes with bacon, cheddar and butter. But there are Grilled Chicken, Veggie, BBQ, Broccoli and Fajita versions. The Bomb is a three pound potato stuffed with chicken, bacon, cheese, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream and butter for a total weight of six pounds. Of seven salads, the Special has greens, chicken, cranberries, grapes, pecans, artichoke hearts, gorgonzola cheese, and a vinaigrette dressing. And there's the Southerner (adds chicken salad and sliced green apples),Ultimate (adds ham, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers and cheddar), and Black & Bleu (adds steak, gorgonzola, and bleu cheese). Of seven Paninis, we like the SuzieQ (grilled chicken, bbq sauce, sliced green apples, provalone, and special spices they won't disclose), the Wise Guy (salami, ham, pepper jack cheese, pepperoni, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and pepperocinni) but we have friends who love the Steak Panini (grilled steak, onions, peppers, mushrooms and swiss cheese). Of the four Wraps, our favorite is the Veggie (greens, sprouts, avocado, tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, pepper jack cheese in a spinach wrap), but there's a Chicken, Turkey and Santa Cruz version. Griff's offers Broccoli & Cheddar and Potato Soups every day and a revolving Soup of the Day.
Honey Baked Ham has been in business for 50 years selling whole hams and are a tradition at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter for many families. Recently they've expanded into the lunch deli niche and have delicious sandwiches and salads. Their honeybaked ham and turkey are a whole level above what you get at any regular restaurant. You buy a boxed lunch for $8-9. They have a very limited menu but what they offer may be the best lunch you've ever tasted. Their Cobb Salad, for instance, includes ham, turkey, bacon, diced eggs, cheddar, swiss, tomatoes and lettuce. Sandwiches include Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, and Veggie. They have various trays and packages for groups.
Mancino's Mancino's is a national chain specializing in "Grinders." A Grinder traces back to World War I, when Italian immigrants set up sandwich shops near the U.S. Naval shipyards. In these shops they would place huge amounts of high quality meats and cheeses in a cast iron food grinder, turn the crank, and produce a mix which they then spread on large freshly baked Italian rolls, further bake in brick ovens, and garnish with fresh tomato and lettuce. These large hot lunchtime or work break sandwiches became very popular with the shipworkers, who came to refer to them as "Grinders." After the war, sandwich makers drifted off to urban neighborhoods across the Northeast, where Grinders became a fad long before burgers, pizza and other fast food came into existence. Mancino's offers three sizes of Grinders ($5 third, $6 half and $9 full sized) in 17 classic and 13 contemporary ("gourmet") flavors. The Original Grinder includes ham, sausage, salami, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. Variations on this offer Turkey, Chicken, Crab, Fish, Stromboli, Meatloaf, BBQ and Tuna in differing combinations. Gourmet versions include Southwest, Reuben, Chicago Steak, Ranch and Cordon Bleu. You might consider Mancino's as Hot Sub specialists. These are good.
Panera's is usually considered a breakfast stop, but they're great for lunch, too. There are eight flavors of Bagels, seven Sandwiches, and 15 flavors of Breads, five flavors of Pastries, three kinds of Scones, six kinds of Muffins, four kinds of Sweet Rolls, not to mention Brownies, Blondies, Coffee Cakes, Cookies, and Mini Bundt Cakes. We like their Sourdough, Honey Wheat and Asioga Cheese items. They also have gourmet teas, cappucinos, lattes, espressos, and freshly brewed coffees. Of all the outlets offering Cappucinos, Panera's has the best. They seem to be the only ones who understand how to make it, while everyone just treats it like another kind of Coffee. Panera's also features excellent soups. Whatever the Soup of the Day, you should consider ordering a cup. The salads there are fresh and lively. Then there are fruit smoothies, mangos, caramels and mochas, and, for the traditionalists, orange juice and apple juice. The crackling fireplace is nice on cold Winter days. This Panera's is the second restaurant on the right as you enter Campbell Lane from Scottsville Road. As you can imagine, it is usually crowded between noon and 1. If possible, go at 11:30 or 1. Panera's
Quiznos Quiznos is a Sub shop started in an abandoned gas station in Denver. In an attempt to differentiate itself from its chief rival, Subway, Quiznos toasts its Subs and has added Soups, Salads, Wraps( which they call "Bullets"), Flat Bread Tacos (which they call "Sammies"), and Toasted Baguettes (which they call "Torpedoes"). The soups include Broccoli Cheese, Chicken Noodle and Chili. We think their Broccoli Cheese is their best. Of their "Sammies," we prefer the Smoky Chipotle Turkey, but friends really like the Italiano. (There's something amusing about an Italian Taco, but it really is good.) The Salads contain chopped greens. There are six, of which we like their Raspberry Chipotle Chicken (chicken, bacon, cheddar, tomatoes,and raspberry chipotle dressing). But their signature item is still their Subs. We like the Veggie (guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar and red win vinaigrette), and the Mesquite Chicken, but they've got 15 others, all nicely toasted.
SaladWorks offers made to order Salads, Soups, Wraps, Paninis, and Sandwiches. You can order 50 ingredients and 17 dressings. The core menu consists of 13 basic Salads for $8 or $9, and eight "high protein" Salads for $12. You can then customize these as you wish. The Wraps and Paninis are $8, and the Soup is $3 - $5 depending on size. Beverages include mostly waters, juices and teas, although if you insist you can get sodas. Optional toppings include everything from grapes and raisens to sunflower seeds and apple slices. They chop, slice or grate everything right in front of you. Of the standard Salads, we like their Thai Chicken, Steakhouse, Autumn Harvest, Greek and Garden Deluxe. These choices are not important, however, since you can add whatever ingredients you wish as you come through the line. Prices are a little high, but the ingredients are unquestionably fresh and much healthier than fast food. The Turkey Melt Panini is a good alternative if you're not in the mood for greens. We think their Soups and Sandwiches are only average, and their Wraps are just another way to serve their Salads, but they really do have the best Salads in town. SaladWorks is becoming extremely popular, especially between 11:30 and 1:00. Service is necessarily slower, anyway, since everyone is customizing their orders. So try to avoid the lunch hour and come prepared to stay a while. SaladWorks
Subway The famous Jared campaign where a grossly overweight guy lost 245 of his 425 pounds by eating all his meals at Subway for a year was humorous but also accurate. They brag about their eight basic sandwiches containing six grams of fat or less. Of that array, we love their Black Forest Ham, Chicken Teriyaki, and Oven Roasted Chicken. You control your ingredients, but your choices are vegetables, freshly made breads, and fatless cuts of meat. If you do want to add a little cholesterol to your diet, there are Meatball Marinara, Philly Cheese Steak, and eight other alternatives. Subway isn't into teas, soups, desserts or other menu items. You can construct a salad from the veggie sandwich ingredients but that's about it. However, if you just want a great basic sandwich, Subway is your place.
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