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Fayette Mall Area

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Applebees BelleNotte BJ Brewhouse Carinos Cheesecake Factory Chilis ChinaBuffet Chipotle Chuys
TGI Fridays Guiseppis Logans Mellow Mushroom Newks Outback Palmers
P.F. Changs Pie Five Pub Roosters Saul Good Schlotzkys Smashburger

The Fayette Mall Area extends from New Circle Road southward to slightly beyond Man o' War Boulevard. All but three of the restaurants are on the West side of Nicholasville Road. It wraps around Courtesy Acura Complex, a sprawling series of buildings used for display, sales, and servicing of the luxury car line (see above photo). The western boundary of this area is the heavily used Norfolk & Southern Railroad right of way. Approximately one train every 30 minutes cruises this route between Cincinnati and Atlanta. The Fayette Mall Area includes 23 restaurants and a high percentage of them are very good. At all of these restaurants, you'll need reservations on Friday and Saturday nights. Without them, you should arrive before 6 pm. Because 37 counties from here to Virginia and West Virginia shop at Fayette Mall, the traffic and parking are a problem all weekend six weeks before Christmas. Sadly, Petra, the great Middle Eastern restaurant, has closed.

Norfolk & Southern
Applebee's Applebees is tucked besides the dentists' complex one block north of Man o' War. They have one page of items with less than 550 calories, and a "2 for 20" deal where you pick one appetizer and two entrees for $20. Yes, there are fried items. However, there are plenty of soups, salads, pastas and fajitas, under the seafood menu you can get your tilapia and shrimp grilled., and five of the six chicken entrees are grilled. One of their best entrees is a Fajita Combo : grilled steak and chicken fajitas on a cast iron skillet with Southwest rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, caramelized onions, and green peppers and Jack Cheddar Cheese. The steak menu offers six entrees priced from $10 - 15. Among their appetizers we like the Queso Blanco : white queso blended with fresh tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, roast pablanos, jalapenos and chips. There are also Wonton Tacos : pulled pork stuffed in crispy wonton shells and topped with crunchy Asian slaw. The dessert menu features strawberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse and a hot fudge sundae. Beverages include the usual beers, margaritas and mixed drinks. Kendall Jacksons are probably their best wines and they offer several good sangrias.
Bella Notte can also be considered a Special Occasion restaurant. It is very upscale, very classy, and the closest thing Lexington has to the kind of Italian restaurant you can find in Boston or New York City. The title means "Beautiful Evening" in Italy and that's pretty accurate. You can be seated near the large fireplace, a nice touch on cold Winter nights, under the spreading tree with all its lights, or by one of the oversized windows. It's a beautiful facility. Your meal begins with a very good loaf of bread and saucer of Olive Oil to dip it in. Most of the items on the menu can be ordered as singles or a family platter. Of nine appetizers, we like the Antipasto, a mix of Genoa salami, wood fired prosciutto di parma wrapped asparagus, marinated olives, cherry peppers and roasted red pepper coulis. We include this in our list of Lexington's 10 best appetizers at any restaurant. A salad of arugula, poached figs, prosciutto, goat cheese, spice walnuts and lemon vinaigrette certainly sets up the taste buds for the main course, but we always like to add a cup of their Zuppa Di Giorno. The six page menu is full of delights, but our favorites are the Rigatoni Romano (stuffed sausages), Ravioli in three different sauces, and Salmon Oreganoto. The kids can get four kinds of brick oven fired pizza. Do save room for dessert, of which our favorite is the Dolce de Latte, a vanilla infused creme caramel flan. Nicholasville Road. Pass Fayette Mall, turn right at the car dealerships, then left. Bella Notte
Restaurants frequently start small and expand, but B.J. Brewhouse has taken this model to its extreme. They began in 1978 as a California pizza outlet. BJ's original gimmick was a thick deep dish Pizza baked in a cast iron skillet. They still consider this their signature item, but their Pizza menu now includes 21 versions. And that's only one page of a seven page menu. BJ's has become famous for its craft beers. They operate their own breweries in five states and won awards for some of their beers and ciders. But BJ's has also developed one of the most comprehensive menus in town. Appetizers include Egg Rolls, Flatbread, Artichokes, Fried Brussell Sprouts, Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms, Wings and Pot Stickers. There are six Soups, including a great Tuscan Tomato Bisque, Piranha Pale Ale Chili and Bread Soup ( in a sourdough bowl; you eat the soup, then take knife and fork, cut up the bowl, and eat the soup soaked pieces). They offer eight creative Salads : Seared Ahi, Kale & Roast Brussell Sprouts, Chopped Asian. Santa Fe, Chicken Cobb, BBQ Chicken, Honey Crisp Chicken and Caesar. There are two Peruvian Quinoa Bowls : Roast Salmon and Chicken & Spinach. Entrees include Salmon, Chicken, Shrimp, Bison and Turkey. Ribs, Steaks, Jambalaya, Pastas, Ziti and Ravioli. If you just want beer and a bite, you can get Burgers and Wraps.
Johnny Carrino's is the youngest Italian restaurant in town but it's done quite well. Much of their success is due to their menu, which offers items nobody else does. The Crab Fondue is one of those : crabmeat, cheese, pico de gallo, parmesan, and garlic. They're quite proud of their oven here. They display it prominently and offer 13 entrees baked in it. Of those, we think the Jalapeno Garlic Tilapia is the best. The fish is pan sauteed with garlic, tomatoes, jalapenos and spinach in lemon butter cream sauce, then served over angel hair pasta. But the Chicken Scaloppini and Skilletini are also appealing. Carrino's offers 12 Family Platters designed to serve three, but easily capable of serving four. For traditionalists, there are 13 classic Italian items, ranging from Lasagna, Tortelloni and Rigatoni to Ravioli, Gorgonzola and Parmigiana. The Ravioli are especially interesting. They're stuffed with crabmeat, spinach and diced tomatoes, topped with lemon basil cream sauce. Three fire grilled steaks are available as are five grilled Paninis. Save a spot for dessert. There's Apple Skillentini, Turtle Cheesecake, Chocolate Cannoli and Mascarpone (bread pudding). Directly behind Courtesy Acura, two blocks back from Nicholasville Road.
The Cheesecake Factory is famous for its Cheesecake and other desserts, but it doesn't get credit for the good job it does with the rest of the menu. It starts with the Appetizers : Egg Rolls, Pot Stickers, Garlic Cheese Bread, Corn Tamale Cakes, Crab Wontons, Zucchini Fries, Flatbreads and a Soup of the Day. Nine Salads include Chicken & Avocado, Luau, Tuna Tataki and Santa Fe. There are 15 Pasta dishes, of which our favorites are Tomato Basil, Shrimp & Sausage, Chicken & Roast Garlic and Jambalaya. Entrees feature the usual Steaks, Chops and Shrimp, but Cheesecake chefs have mastered Catfish, Salmon and Gumbo and we highly recommend those. Then there are the House Specials, which are outstanding. They include Shepherds Pie, Meat Loaf, Chicken Marsala, El Grande Burro, Eggplant Parmesan and White Chili. Taco lovers race about the Baja Chicken, Fish, Grilled Steak, and Stuffed Chicken Tacos, plus Chicken Enchiladas and El Grande Burro. Milkshakes are excellent, as are the various Lattes, Cappucinos, Mochas and Espressos. Ylou can order Gourmet Hot or Iced Teas. On weekend nights we urge you to eat early, preferably 5:00 - 6:00, as waits from 7:00 - 9:00 can be two hours. Lunch here is also good, and they offer a Brunch on Sundays. If you go, we highly recommend their Huevos Rancheros and Chorizo Avocado Omelette.
Chili's is tucked into the corner at the Nicholasville Road - Man o' War intersection. The appetizers are mostly fried but we really like the Southwestern Egg Rolls (six flour tortillas filled with smoked chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeno, Jack cheese, red peppers and spinach, served with avocado ranch dressing), and there's a hot spinach artichoke dip served in a hot cast iron skillet with fresh warm tostado chips). One of Chile's claims to fame is its Chicken Green Chile Soup (rice, green chiles, lime, avocado, cilantro, and tomatoes), but there's also the Chicken Enchilada Soup and a very good Terlingua Chile (slow cooked with beef, onions, chiles and cheese). Eight salads include the Caribbean (pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, green onions, cilantro, grilled chicken or shrimp, and honey lime dressing) and Quesadilla Explosion (grilled chicken, cheese, corn relish, tortilla strips, cheese and citrus balsamic dressing). Chile's other claim to fame is its 11-entree Grill Menu : Chicken or Beef Fajitas, Buffalo Chicken Fajitas, Steak/chicken/garlic/lime/shrimp Fajitas, Southwestern Quesadillas, Salmon, Monterey Chicken, Margarita Chicken, Cajun Pasta, Classic Sirloin, and Flamed Ribeye. The menu includes very traditional sandwich, burger, taco, dessert and beverage pages.The entrances to Chili's are a block back from the intersection along either Nicholasville Road or Man o' War. Chili's
China Buffet China Buffet is just what its name implies : one of those old fashioned classic buffets with over 100 choices laid out and unlimited return trips. We should admit up front we are not huge fans of buffets; perhaps we spent too many years as students and teachers eating in cafeterias. That said, this is the best Chinese buffet in Central Kentucky. There are two major standards for buffets : freshness and variety. They do a good job of stocking fresh food and they offer a wider variety than the other buffets. The range of beef, pork, chicken and seafood is impressive. Their Crab Rangoon is the best of any buffet we've tried. We think their egg rolls are disappointing, but the Mongolian BBQ is good. There's a habachi grill at dinner. They do serve Sushi, but we're a little skeptical of any Sushi unless we watch them make it right in front of us and hand it to us. They'll do a custom stir fry for you and it's very good. There is a good selection of desserts but they're not made in house. China Buffet is located in the Crossroads Mall, on the EAST side of Nicholasville Road, ACROSS the road from Fayette Mall.

Chipotle bills itself as "fast casual" Mexican food. It was originally a McDonalds brand but has since been spun off into its own company. Chipotle's menu consists of five items: burritos, fajita burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, and salads, with a choice of chicken, pork carnitas, barbacoa, steak, or vegetarian (with guacamole). The price of the items is based on the type of meat chosen. Additional toppings include rice, beans, four types of salsa, sour cream, cheese, or lettuce. Chipotle keeps the menu brief, because in the idea that just doing a few things means they can do them better. Chipotle sells beer and margaritas in addition to soft drinks and fruit drinks. Quesadillas are made on request, though they are not listed on the menu. Chipotle has a modern, industrial, stainless steel and sheet metal and glass look. There's a patio, as shown at left, and lots of big windows you can look out of while eating inside. The Black Bean Burrito is their best item.

Chuy's Chuy's doesn't claim to be Mexican. It's 1950s Arizona and New Mexico : formica, pastel colors, black and white floor tiles and auto art. A 1956 Pontiac trunk offers fresh Salsas, thin crisp Nachos, and smooth and creamy Refried Beans. You get six sauces of varying heat. We find the Tomatillo Sauce delightful even though it's very mild. We love the Tortilla Soup (chicken broth, roast chicken, avocado, green chiles, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro and thin tortilla strips). It has a very clean and fresh taste. For Rellenos they use Anaheim (New Mexican Magdalena) peppers rather than Marconi or Poblanos used by their rivals. Anaheims are milder and sweeter with thinner walls and make fine Rellenos. Chuy's offers cheese, ground sirloin, chicken or shrimp for filling. The Special Enchilada (blue corn tortilla stacked with roast chicken, cheese, tomatillo sauce and sour cream) is a favorite among regulars. Fajitas are served cut but not separated so you basically get chicken breast and small sirloin semiwhole on a bed of onions and serrano peppers. The meats have been marinated all night in beer, lime juice and spices. Lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo, rice and refried beans come as sides so you can stuff the tortillas with them or use them to garnish the fajitas. Chuy's offers huge Burritos and very good Margaritas. Their Texas Martini is worth ordering just to taste the jalapeno stuffed olives. Quirky and creative, Chuy's has a devoted following.
Friday's was created in 1965 by Allan Stillman because he wanted to meet girls and noticed there was no bar they would consider classy enough to go to. He decorated the New York City original with hardwood floors, brass railings, leaded glass, Tiffany lamps, upscale tables and chairs, and antiques. The menu featured classic American food and a wide choice of the kind of drinks that would appeal to young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Stillman and partner Dan Scoggin began franchising the concept in 1971. They've evolved the menu to appeal to families but the bar at Friday's is still a popular hangout featuring a wider variety of drinks than most. The Appetizers are "bar food" pushed to its upscale extreme : Warm Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce, BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Skillet Potatoes, Garlic Parmesan Wings, etc. There are six very good Salads to appeal to those single girls Stillman targeted. We think Friday's best Entrees are their Jack Daniels Grilled Chicken & Shrimp, Sauteed Garlic Marinated Chicken & Cheese, Dragon Fire Salmon (fire grilled with pineapple pico de gallo, mandarin oranges, ginger lime slaw and broccoli), and the Salmon & Grilled Shrimp Scampi. Save room for Dessert : There's Caramel Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Tennessee Whiskey Cake, or the best ice cream sandwich in America, called Oreo Madness. Friday's
Giuseppi's Giuseppe's is a little hard to find, but it's worth it. Drive out Nicholasville Road all the way past Man O War Boulevard, get in the left hand lane, and look for the restaurant's sign pointing down an obscure country road. This is a difficult left turn to make, across two lanes of oncoming traffic. Giuseppi's is a block down on the right. The interior is dark and intimate. The Pasta Fagioli (white bean soup with tomato, basil and garlic) is always a good appetizer, although many rave about the Portabello Bresciole (grilled mushrooms and mozzarella wrapped in ham and topped with balsamic vinegar glaze). We like the Melanzane (Eggplant) Parmigiana here. It's lightly breaded and fried, topped with mozzarella, baked, and served over spaghetti. The Grilled Sea Scallops (over a bed of cappellini with roast red peppers and peas) are very good. If you're into Italian seafood, the must try item is the Spaghetti Alla Vongole, a concoction of diced clams, capers, olives and little neck clams, sauteed with olive oil, garlic and clam stock, tossed with spaghetti. There are six steak entrees, five additional seafood entrees, and the usual menu of chicken, veal and pasta dishes. There is limited parking at Giuseppe's and the narrow road is not suitable for much overflow, so going early on weekends is a good strategy.
Mi Pequena Hacienda is the closest thing to an authentic Mexican village or neighborhood restaurant Lexington has. All its rivals are in shopping centers or business zones. Hacienda is in a residential area, and has become a hangout for locals. While you're eating, familiars will greet each other and the staff at the bar or as they are seated at tables. There is a real feeling of camaraderie here. However, that wouldn't be true if the food hadn't brought them back enough times. The Chile Pablanos, their interpretation of Rellenos, use the much larger Pablano peppers. They don't use the sauces of their rivals but they can fit a lot more filling in. They're definitely worth ordering. But Hacienda takes great pride in its Grilled Tilapia Fillets, Seafood Burrito, Fish Taco, Cactus Jack Quesadilla, and Tequila Baby Back Ribs. The El Grande Burro is Huge !! One block east of Nicholasville Road on East Reynolds Road. Hacienda
Logan's Logan's is a classic Texas roadhouse, featuring flame grilled steaks with other menu items for those watching their cholesterol. Logan's revels in a redneck male atmosphere, so good old boys can get back to their roots here. The steaks are USDA but are midwest corn fed, rather than high country grass fed or feedlot chemical fed. The house specialty is an 8 oz. sirloin laid atop a bed of Michelob braised onions and brushed with garlic butter. Then there's a straight 6 or 8 oz. sirloin, 8 oz. teriyaki club steak, 12 oz. New york Strip, 6 or 8 oz. Filet Mignon, 12 or 16 oz. Ribeye, 16 oz. T bone, 20 oz. Porterhouse, and 12 or 16 oz. Prime Rib. A block from Courtesy Acura, two blocks in from Nicholasville Road.
The Mellow Mushroom is a 1960s Pizzeria, a taste of what your grandparents experienced. The House Special features red sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, onions, green pepper, shrooms, black olives, tomatoes, Applewood smoked bacon, ham and cheese. There's a Mighty Meaty, exclusively meat pizza, heavy with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and bacon and just skipping all that other stuff. The MegaVeggie offers sun dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, tofu, green peppers, shrooms, black olives, fresh tomatoes, broccoli, feta, banana peppers, and artichoke hearts. There are Gourmet White, Pesto, Jerked Chicken, Hawaiin and BBQ Pizzas; Calzones, 15 kinds of Hoagies (we particularly like their Meatball and Avocado Hoagies), and Pretzels. They feature a wide range of Craft Beers : Kentucky, American, European and International. This Mellow Mushroom location is across Reynolds Road from the back of Fayette Mall, across the parking lot from Target.
Newk's is a an upscale fast casual restaurant with Richmond Road and Fayette Mall locations. Ambience is sleek and modern. You order off a wall menu and find a table, watch through the glass as they fix your order and the waitress brings your food. Newk's offers Salads, Soups, Pizzas, Sandwiches, Mac n Cheese and Dessert. There are no microwaves; everything is fixed fresh from raw ingredients in front of you. Salads are spectacular, with large bowls of five kinds of fresh lettuce and whatever other ingredients you specify (chicken, shrimp, tuna, avocado, steak, cheese, etc.). These may be the best Salads in town. Soups are also outstanding, offrered on rotation, with each one appearing 2-3 times a week and each day offering three choices. We like their Tomato Basil, Crawfish Pepperjack, Spinach & Feta, Seafood Provencal and Fire Roasted Tomato. Mac n Cheese options include Five Cheese and Pimento Bacon. Pizza lovers can try Spicy Shrimp, BBQ, Flame Grilled Chicken, Mediterranean, Veggie and Margherita. One nice touch is a Condiments Table with Cholla Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, etc. Beverages include Beer, Wine, Soft Drinks, Fruit Juice, Sparkling Waters, Coffee and very good Sweet Tea. Dessert can be Strawberry, Chocolate or Caramel Cake. They're very rich and delicious and make great take hone.
Outback Outback is at heart a steakhouse, but offers a surprisingly diverse menu. A Bloomin Onion is a must. They're cooked until golden, then served with dipping sauce. Several of the Soups of the Day are really unique. But the steaks are the show. They include a Slow Roasted Sirloin, 12 oz. center cut Outback Special, 9 oz. Victoria Center Cut Filet, 8, 12 or 16 oz. Prime Rib, 14 oz. Ribeye, 12 oz. New york Strip, 20 oz. Melbourne Porterhouse, and Filet Medallions. Then there are Salmon, Crab Cakes, Rack of Lamb, Grilled Pork Chops, Lobster Tails, Alaskan King Crab, Baby Back Ribs, various burgers, and an obscene dessert called the Sydney Sunday. The Outback empire was founded by a UK graduate. Across the access road from Bella Notte, one block in from Nicholasville Road.
Palmer's is the closest Lexington comes to a waterfront restaurant. Yes, it's only a large pond with a spectacular fountain in the middle and ducks and geese swimming around, but on a hot humid Summer evening, it's pretty classy. So is the menu. Among the appetizers, Bacon Wrapped Scalllops, Sweet Onion Hush Puppies, Chipotle Egg Rolls, and Smoked Meatloaf Minis all have cult followings, but we like the Tabasco Infused Onion Rings. Corn Clam Chowder is one of the city's best soups and there are six really good Salads. This is not advertised as a seafood restaurant, but their 12 seafood entrees are outstanding. We particularly like the Scallops, Tilapia, two kinds of Trout and Shrimp & Grits. Of the other entrees, the Pork Tenderloin Piccata, Steakhouse Meatloaf, Bone In Porkchop, Champagne Chicken and Chicken Piccata are the best but there are two good steaks and six other items. Smoked Gouda Mac n Cheese and Sweet Potato Fries are excellent sides. There are Beer Battered Cod, Cornmeal Crusted Catfish and Blackened Tilapia Sandwiches. The wine list is 95% California and French but is very good. palmer's
p.f.chang's P. F. Chang's has become the face of Chinese food in Lexington due to its location at the entrance to Fayette Mall. It is by far the largest Oriental restaurant in town. Ironically, its menu is not as large as some of its rivals, who almost bury diners in excess with over 100 items. But Chang's has everything you could possibly want and the quality is outstanding. The Hot and Sour Soup will wake up your taste buds. Of their sides, we're particularly fond of the Shanghai Cucumbers. We think their Lemon Scallops or Oolong Sea Bass (the fish is steeped in Oolong tea, broiled and served with ginger, soy and spinach) are the equal of any entrees offered by the best Lexington seafood restaurants. There are 14 chicken dishes which can hard to select from, but we recommend the Eggplant Chicken (stir fried with scallions in chili pepper sauce), or the old standard Moo Goo Gai Pan (chicken, shrimp, mushrooms and vegetables). People do not generally go to a Chinese restaurant for steak, but Chang's does a great job with their Asian Marinated 12 oz. New York Strip. They offer chicken or beef which gives the meat a delicate citrusy taste. For dessert they bring you an array from which to choose. For couples, there's an interesting menu of $40 all inclusive dinners for two. The menu contains one whole page of gluten free appetizers, soups, entrees, sides and desserts.
Pie Five joins Lexington's crowded Pizza market. It's right next to Dillard's, so you can stop there for a break while shopping or hanging out in the Mall. They offer 10 signature pizzas, or you can design and build your own. Our favorites among the standard pizzas are their Margherita, Pesto Chicken Alfredo and Athenian. If you choose to design and build your own, you can decide on your crust, sauce, cheese, meats and veggies. Pie Five is quite proud of their three kinds of Bread Stix : Garlic Butter, Cheese, and Bacon Cheese. There are four full Salads and three side Salads. Any pizza is $7.50, or you can add a drink and either Brfead Stix, Salad or Dessert for $11. You can sit at one of the inside tables, out on the covered courtyard, or just wander off down the Mall with your pizza.
Pub The Pub is Kentucky's only British restaurant, and it makes quite a sight in its glossy black and gold decor. Among the Appetizers we like the Fried Pickles and Crab Fondue, but the Goat Cheese, Jamaican Jerked Shrimp, and Curry Chips (huge bowl of steak fries with yellow and red curry dip) are also good. There's a Seafood Platter of Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Jamaican Jerked Shrimp and Ahi Satay for a group to share. Our favorite salad is the Chicken Cranberry Pecan, which includes bleu cheese, red onions, mandarin oranges and grilled chicken. There are four paninis and seven sandwiches, of which we like the Portabello Goat Cheese and Pub Burger. The Pub's best entree is the Shepherd's Pie, a pot pie on steroids. The London Broil, Whiskey Cracked Pepper Steak, Crab Halibut and Grilled Salmon are all worthy choices. Save room for the Jamaican Cheesecake, although Tipsy Laird and Guinness Sundae are tempting. There's a great patio in good weather. The Pub has one of Lexington's finest beer collections, heavy on British, Scotch and Irish ales, lagers, stouts, bocks and ciders. Off Nicholasville Road. Two blocks back from Nicholasville Road, behind Courtesy Acura, across the parking lot from the Cineplex.
We never know what to make of Roosters. Is it a restaurant? Sports bar? Fast food outlet? EVERYONE agrees these are the best Wings in town. You can order them fixed various ways with various sauces (garlic, chipotle, sweet Thai, BBQ, Teriyaki, etc.). The Dumpster Fries come topped with melted cheeses, bacon bits, diced onion and tomato and jalapeno, and your choice of dressing (Ranch, Thousand Island, Sour Cream, Horseradish). They offer 11 salads. The Red, Bacon and Blue features bacon bits, bleu cheese crumbles, mixed lettuces, tomatoes, red onions and their Red Dressing. There's Clam Chowder, Roosters Cheddar & Onion Chili and a Soup of the Day. They make pretty decent Chicken Fingers, especially if you add one of their many sauces. Roosters does offer Pizzas, Burgers and Sandwiches, but those are their weakest items. We really like their Burritos, and their 10 Oven Baked Subs are outstanding. Beer, Wine and Mixed Drinks. Along Man o' War next to the BP Gas Station. Rooster's
Saul Goode's Saul Good's features a very upscale menu of two soups, six appetizers, six salads, nine exotic pizzas, four sandwiches, four burgers and nine desserts. Each of them is unique in some way. The French Onion Soup, for example, is made with red, yellow, and green onions, shallots, melted Swiss cheese and sherry. The Beer Cheese Dip is made with aged Cheddar, amber beer, garlic and Worcestershire served with celery, cucumbers, pita chips and crackers. There's also the Steak and Beer Cheese Nachos, a platter of crisp blue corn tortilla chips, marinated steak, tangy beer cheese, five different white cheeses, jalapenos, cilantro, scallions, lime and a sea salt topping. It's an amusement park for pizza lovers. There's the Saul Cheese Pizza (Arrabiata tomato sauce plus five cheeses), Kentucky Hot Brown Pizza, Parisian Pizza, Thai Pizza, Mexican Pizza, Argentinian Steak Pizza, BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Saul Meat Pizza. Saul's does interesting things with sandwiches. For instance, the Szechwan Steak Sandwich includes marinated grilled steak, spicy shallot soy mirin glaze, sesame ginger dressed spinach on a toasted artisan hoagie. A Saul burger starts with a third pound beef patty with your choice of Cheese and Bacon, Blue Cheese, Hawaiian or Texas style. Or you can substitute a chicken breast for the beef patty but keep the flavoring. The desserts are another fireworks display. There's the Bananas Foster Waffle and Waffle Sundae but the main track is a very decadent chocolate page. It offers Chocolate Pizza, Chocolate Popcorn, Chocolate Beer Float, Kahula Cupcake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae, Chocolate Fondue, and White Chocolate Cheesecake. There are specials directed at the dinnertime fans : Grilled Salmon, Wild Turkey Top Sirloin and Chicken Waffles. There's also a Saul's Big Breakfast with eggs, maple pepper bacon, potatoes and a Belgian waffle. After the lunchtime crowd disperses, there's a 3-7:00 Afternoon Delite with a rotating series of daily specials at half price. Across from the Cineplex, two blocks back from Nicholasville Road.
Schlotzky's Deli is on West Tiverton, one block in from Nicholasville Road. This is a gourmet Sandwich restaurant which also serves Soups, Wraps and Flatbreads. Their breads are a bit different, and they have their own legion of loyal fans who adore the Sourdough. In Lexington, their most popular items are the Roast Turkey Breast, Angus Roast Beef & Cheese, and Fiesta Chicken. We also like the Angus Pastrami & Swiss, Corned Beef Reuben, and Beef & Provolone. The Flatbreads are interesting and well worth trying. There are the Chicken Avocado, Chicken Chipotle Pesto, Italian Sausage and Basil, and Margherita. There are 10 Salads, of which we particularly like the Cranberry, Apple, Pecan & Chicken, and the Turkey Avocado Cobb. Schlotzky's serves nine Soups. We highly recommend the Chicken Tortilla, Chicken & Wild Rice, and Tomato Basil. There are the usual Desserts (cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate chip cookie, etc.), and then there is a whole line of Cinnabon, which is a glazed muffin in a dozen varieties. They do serve Iced Tea and Lemonade, along with Coffee and soft drinks. There's a line of Pizzas, but that's not why you're here. If you want Pizza, others do it much better.

Smashburger certainly lives up to its claim as the Gourmet Burger outlet. They smash the Angus Beef patty on the grill to sear the beef and seal in the flavor. The menu offers seven $6 burgers, three $4 hot dogs, three $7 salads, seven $3 sides, two $4 floats and a milk shake. These will probably be the best burgers and dogs you've ever eaten and the sides, salads and floats are way above average, too. Even the bread is special, an extra rich egg, chipotle or multigrain bun. We're particularly impressed with their Baja Burger (pepper jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, chipotle mayo and fresh jalapenos) and BlueGrassBurger (Wild Turkey Bourbon sauce, applewood smoked bacon, melted cheddar cheese and fried banana pepper rings). But the Chicago Dog (mustard, tomatoes, pickles, peppers, relish and onions) is a close runnerup. An alternative is the Bourbon BBQ Ranch Chicken Club Salad (strips of buttermilk seasoned chicken, chopped applewood smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, romaine & iceberg lettuce, Wild Turkey Bourbon bbq sauce and buttermilk ranch dressing). Our favorite sides are the Russet Fries, Haystack Onions, Sweet Potato Fries, Fried Pickles and Veggie Frites. You MUST try the Ale 8 One Float. No one else has it, and it's great. Or there's bottled beer or wine by the glass. Across from Courtesy Acura, one block in from Nicholasville Road.

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