African Asian Barbecue Breakfast Chains Chinese Classic Contemporary European Indian
Indian Italian Japanese Lunch Mexican Middle Eastern Pizza Seafood Special Occasion Steak



puerto rican
Old San Juan
By Caribbean we refer to Cuba, Guatamala, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. These restaurants offer a fusion of all of these plus Mexican and TexMex. It's a lively cuisine, a Central American Fusion. It's lighter than Mexican and not as spicy as TexMex. It's also a precarious cuisine. Six restaurants in the last decade have opened and closed while trying to offer Nicaraugan, Salvadorian and South American food. Customers liked the food, but the owners lacked adequate financing and business experience and couldn't survive long enough to build a strong clientele. The ones we list here have weathered that initial difficult period and established themselves as solid businesses with authentic and well prepared food. There are traces of African, Portugese and Spanish cuisine in the Caribbean, along with remnants of the original native tribes before Columbus arrived. El Salvador food

Brasabana is run by Azur restaurant's staff and features the same simple but classy decor and great kitchen skills, although the food here is totally different. This is modern upscale Cuban at its finest. Their Latin Iceberg Salad includes chorizo, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheddar and scallions, and the Avocado Salad comes with diced avocado, red onions, red peppers, scallions, spiced onions rings and cilantro lime aioli. The Latin Style Onion Soup is quite different from the usual French Onion Soup, containing jalapeno caramelized onion, pepper jack and crostini. Of their seafood, we love the Veracruz Whitefish in a stew of peppers, onions, tomatoes and onions over rice and black beans; and the Crusted Whitefish over a bed of Plantain, bacon, poblano salsa and tamarind black olive aioli. There's also Baja Salmon and Herbed Shrimp. You can't have a Cuban restaurant without great pork dishes. They lead off with Havana Nueva, the classic slow roasted Cuban pork in a garlic citrus marinade on sweet plantain and fried yucca. No Miami restaurant does it better. There are Carnitas, slow roasted chunks of pork with sweet pickled onions and peppers over beans and sweet plantains. A little more exotic is the Puerco Brasabana, pan seared shredded pork glazed with peppers, onions, sweet plantains, papas bravas, black beans and the famous Mojo (a citrus garlic sauce considered a Cuban icon). You can order Steak Chimichurri, Ropa Vieja (slow cooked shredded beef) and Braised Brisket.

Ellos ("Ayyos") is the smallest legitimate Caribbean restaurant in town. It's on South Broadway a long block from Rupp Arena. There are no tables; you stop by for your food and eat on the run, although the table in the photo can be set on the sidewalk for a makeshift patio. However, the place has already developed a loyal following, especially for lunch, because what you get here is excellent cooking. This is a blend of Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic and Mexican. Ellos serves unquestionably the finest Veggie Burrito in town. It's big enough to make two meals for most people and it's delicious. The Rice here is interesting; it's yellow, very tasty, usually served in a mix of onions, peppers, garlic, peas and tomatoes. Ellos serves a Torta, a very thick sandwich, stuffed with small cubes or strips of meat (your choice of chicken, steak or pork), garden vegetables, avocado, and cheese. They grill the bread to keep it from getting soggy and you'll be spilling ingredients as you walk down the street, but this is a great sandwich, a meal in itself. They serve a fine soft taco and their sauces and salsas are better than most restaurants. Most days Ellos also serves Tamales, corn meal pockets stuffed with meat and vegetables and steamed. These have become a favorite among UK students living in the apartments down the street. The menu is on a blackboard and changes from day to day to include specials. There are no alcoholic beverages. Service can be a bit slow, especially over the lunch hour, but the food is worth waiting for. Ellos
Old San Juan Old San Juan is a classic Cuban restaurant, run by a Cuban couple along with their daughter and son in law. It's a low key storefront with a Cuban grocery in the back, but the food is outstanding. This is an especially good lunch stop. You could order the Cuban sandwich (ham, swiss cheese, roast pork, mustard, pickles and their incredible homemade Cuban bread), or the Roast Pork Sandwich (pork, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes on that same bread), or one of the other six sandwiches. You could easily become addicted to this bread. Sides include Black Beans & Rice, Fried Plantains, Beef Stuffed Potatoes or Chicken Croquettes. The Coffees here, especially the Cuban Expresso, are almost worth a stop in themselves. But their milkshakes are even better. We love the Pina Colado Shake, but the Mango, Mamey, Guava, Tamarindo and Guanabana Shakes are all good. Order the Medium, however, as these are pretty rich. The Large is a meal in itself. The dinner menu includes Steak, Pork Chop, Ground Beef, Pulled Simmered Beef, Red Snapper, Shrimp, Chicken, Sausage With Onions & Cheese, and a Cuban Vegetarian Platter (black beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions & peppers). Ingredients are basic but their sauces, seasonings and dressings are special. If you can leave room for dessert, there are Cuban Flan, Tres Leches, Pastries and Quesitos, all quite rich. Leaving here you can't help but wonder how Mexican instead of Cuban food became so popular. This cuisine is much lighter and the tastes much more delicate.
Central Ky
Kentucky Lake
Northern Ky
The Mountains
Western Ky
Join us on Facebook : Lexeat for restaurant openings, closings, menu specials, remodellings and other news
LAST YEAR'S IP VISITOR TALLY : 517,824 Contact us or add your comments on Facebook : Lexeat