Middle Eastern
Special Occasion


Fast Food

Your Guide To Fine Dining

Long John Silver's
Burger King
Kentucky Fried Chicken
White Castle
Fast Food has certainly come a long way in the early years of the 21st Century. Long gone are the tiny stands with burgers, fries and shakes. The cholesterol heavy, deep fried foods and liberal use of sugar and salt are relics of the past. Even the soups, salads, vegetable wraps and baked or broiled items have been surpassed by creative menus modelled after high cuisine. Heart healthy is the standard. Even the architecture has come upscale. Fast food has taken on a certain elegance. The food is not quite as instantaneous as it used to be, and the sophisticated menus require a few minutes of study before ordering. There are wines and Margaritas available at many outlets. Fireplaces, large tv screens, plush easy chairs, Texas style patios and quiet nooks beckon customers inside, discouraging drive throughs and carry outs. Even if you still want a burger and fries, the kinds of burgers and fries available were unimaginable just a decade ago.
McDonalds is the all time fast food giant, and you can still feast on a Double Quarterpounder With Cheese, Large Fries and Triple Shake so thick you eat it with a spoon. However, even McDonalds has moved on. Their Wraps are very good in Ranch Grilled, or Chipotle Grilled Barbeque. The Grilled Chicken Sandwich is listed by the American Heart Association as the heart healthiest item on the McDonalds menu. The Grilled Premium Chicken Breast Strips are also great, as are six kinds of salads, especially the Premium Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad or the Asian Salad. McDonalds offers Paul Newman's Own Dressings in six flavors. These are nationally noted for their low fat, low cholesterol content. McD's still offers the sugary desserts, but the Fruit Yogurt Parfaits and Baked Apple Pie Slices avoid that problem. There's also Low Fat Milk, Apple Juice, Dasani Water, Orange Juice, and Iced Tea. For a caffeine fix, there are five flavors of iced coffee. McDonalds has 16 locations in Lexington. The closest one to downtown is the UK outlet at 357 South Limestone. Walking from the Hyatt, go East on High Street, then South on Limestone two blocks. You cannot drive this route due to one way streets.
Charlie's is a classic harborfront fish counter transplanted to Lexington as the ultimate fast fish operation : you step inside, place your order, step down to the cash register, pay, then step further down for your food. Charlie's offers Crab Cakes, Shrimp, Oysters, and Scallops, but the reason for its loyal following is The White Fish Sandwich, either $4 or $5 depending on whether you want one filet or two. For $7 you get hush puppies, fries and cole slaw. They claim this is the best fish sandwich in Lexington. Whether you agree with this or not depends on your taste, but it's very good. Charlie's is pure carryout, with no tables. It's at 928 Winchester Road, on the right heading out of town. They're open 9-5 six days a week. Bring cash. Expect a line.
Arby's carved out its reputation with roast beef sandwiches and they still fix the best in town. They slice it thin, oven roast it and put it between toasted sesame seed buns. There are three sizes. They offer it in cheddar cheese and pepper bacon versions. The basic sandwich is one of the most heart healthy fast foods out there. But there's a corned beef /swiss cheese/ sauerkraut on rye, two roast turkey sandwiches, and three chicken sandwiches. Arby's has added four kinds of subs and three salads. The only concessions to the cholesterol culture are the curly fries, mozzarella sticks and potato bites. Arby's has 15 Lexington outlets. The closest to downtown is right inside the Lexington Center Shops down the escalator from Rupp Arena or the Hyatt lobby.
Wendy's was the first national chain to openly challenge McDonald's in the burgers and fries wars, and the Ohio based company still makes fine burgers, in that unique square shape Dave Thomas created. You can get hamburgers or cheeseburgers in single, double or triple stacks with bacon and other additions. There are grilled chicken and fish sandwiches and wraps, and a line of stuffed and baked potatoes with sour cream, chives, broccoli and cheese and bacon. Wendy's has really focused on its salads. They offer Mandarin Grilled Chicken, BLT, Grilled Chicken Caesar, and Southwest Taco Salads. As sides you can have dishes of Mandarin Oranges, bowls of Chile and a Strawberry Yogurt Squeeze. Wendy's has always taken great pride in its milkshakes and still offers Vanilla, Chocolate, Fudge, Strawberry, and Nestles Toll House Cookie Dough. In Lexington, Wendy's has eight Lexington locations, with one downtown in the Lexington Center Shops.
Long John Silver's was the first fast food seafood restaurant chain, although it borrowed its tradition from century old boardwalk beach shacks on Cape Cod, Long Island and The Jersey Shore. The menu is still heavy with various kinds of breaded fried entrees, including flounder, clams, shrimp, crab cakes, and the newer Lobster Bites. Fortunately, they have also introduced The Freshside Grille menu, which is the heart healthy alternative. There's Grilled Tilapia, Shrimp Scampi and Pacific Salmon, all served with long grain wild rice and steamed vegetables. Sides include Cole Slaw, Corn, Baked Potato, Clam Chowder, and Mixed Vegetables. The Pineapple Cream Cheese Pie is one of the more obscene desserts in town. One of Long John Silver's most famous items has always been its vinegar fish sauce, which can be bought bottled and taken home. There are four Lexington locations. The closest to downtown is a long walk or short drive out East Main, right across from the Fayette County Schools Central Office.