Covering Kentucky and Nearby Cities Since 2000

Japanese Mexican Occasion

We define "Greenwood" as the neighborhood centering around Greenwood High School along Scottsville Road outside the interstate. There are 12 restaurants in this cluster, plus one further out in the Alvaton neighborhood. They're all franchises, but they're good ones. If you're staying at one of the interstate hotels or live in this area of town, there's no need to drive downtown or even to the other side of I-65. The photos here are the Western Kentucky University football stadium (home of the national champion division I-A Hilltoppers, who have since moved up to NCAA Division I), Greenwood High in overtime against Bowling Green High, and the Kentucky Rumbler nationally ranked wooden roller coaster at Beech Bend Amusement Park.

Cracker Barrel
Motor City
Cracker Barrel is a familiar site along interstates across the country. This one has all the familiar touches : rocking chairs on a wide roofed porch, gift shop of crafts items inside, and country cabin furniture in the dining room. The menu is Country Farm. Favorites include Fried Chicken, Sugar Cured Country Ham, Chicken n Dumplings, Catfish, Bean Soup, Roast Beef, Hot Roast Beef Sandwich, Hickory Smoked Pork Barbecue, Fried Chicken Livers, Homemade Beef Stew, and Meat Loaf. All of these come with fresh vegetables like Corn on the Cob, Green Beans, Fried Apples, Fried Okra, or Mashed Potatoes & Gravy. They prepare their Turnip Greens, Hash Browns, Corn Muffins and Green Beans the old fashioned way, in meat sauce. For dessert there's cake, pie or ice cream. They also serve a great country breakfast. There are biscuits, sausage, ham, eggs, pancakes, hot cereal, fresh fruit and lots and lots of coffee. Cracker Barrel's goal is that eating here reminds you of a visit to Grandma's. They've succeeded.
Culver's might be referred to as Upscale Fast Food. The Wisconsin based menu features a core of fried foods with various custard based desserts and their famous Butterburger, using a heavily buttered bun and high quality beef patties. Culvers restaurants are sit down outlets, but you order from the counter and they bring your food to you. There are five full dinners : Fried Chicken, Cod, Shrimp, Pot Roast and Chopped Steak. There are six burgers and two melts, 10 sandwiches and a Grilled Reuben Wrap. Five Salads, a Soup of the Day and four classic sides (Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Cole Slaw, Green Beans and Fries) round out the menu.
Jalisco is the southwestern Mexican state where much of Mexican culture came from. This includes Mariachi music and such food items as Chile Rellenos and Carnitas. Its capital is Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, but most of Jalisco consists of small rural villages. El Maguey specializes in Jaliscan cuisine. It offers the best Margarita, Cocktail, Wine and Beer selection of any Bowling Green Mexican restaurant. They serve a great Tortilla Soup and their Soup Of The Day is always good. The Choriquesadilla is one of the best Mexican appetizers in Kentucky : chorizo sausage and cheese stuffed in a flour tortilla and gsrnished with lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream. It could be a lunch in itself. There's a good selection of Nachos and Dips including Hummus. Maguey's takes great pride in its seafood menu. They offer a page of Tortillas, Chimichangas and Burritos stuffed with shrimp, tilapia, crabmeat, etc. The Enchilada menu is outstanding. You'll find the usual Fajitas and Steaks here, and seven Chicken entrees. The Chili Rellenos are the best in Bowling Green and at the back of the menu is a good selection of Chimichangas, Quesadillas and Burritos. Desserts are authentic Mexican : Banana Chimichanga, Fried Ice Cream, Flan and Sopapillas. The breakfast entree of Huevos Con Chorizo is excellent. In the former Denny's on Scottsville Road.

El Mazatlan has six restaurants : Glasgow, Cave City, Munfordville, 31W North, the 31W Bypass Shopping Center, and this one in the former Catfish House on Cumberland Trace Road, directly facing I-65. This is their most impressive building. The menu offers all the usual Mexican favorites with low prices, fast service, and festive interior. Their Slow Roasted Pork, Chili Colorado and Chili Relleno, a grilled plate of mixed meats they serve sizzling hot, and their Fajitas and steaks are all popular with locals, but we think what makes this a great stop is their extensive seafood page. The Coctel de Cameron is a spicy shrimp soup cooked with onions, tomatoes, avocados, cucumber and cilantro, with a slice of lime for good measure. Or try their Cuatro Marses Soup, a mix of shrimp, crab, scallops and Tilapia (or Snapper) in pico de gallo, avocado and lime. In honor of their Bowling Green location, El Mazatlan offers two Catfish dinners, plus 12 Shrimp dinners. They wrap it up with Carpa Dorado (deep fried Tilapia in tomatoes, onions, avocadoes and limes). But what really sets Mazatlan apart, raising it a level above its rivals, is its two Molcajete entrees. Only three Mexican restaurants in Kentucky offer this specialty. A Molcajete is a bowl made of volcanic stone. Like American cast iron, volcanic stone spreads the heat evenly and then holds that heat a very long time. You order a stew of pork, chicken or steak plus various peppers and other vegetables. They're slow cooked until tender, tasty and their flavors have had time to mix together.
Motor City Bar & Grill. True enough, as bars go, this is a nice restaurant. It's large, airy, well lighted and looks liike any other national chain restaurant. And the food tends to be good. Their problem is service. It tends to be slow and inaccurate. Waiters bring white wine when you ordered red, or forget the wine altogether. If you order steak or prime rib they assume you want sauce put on it so they choose a sauce for you. Figure on an hour wait for dinner or half an hour for lunch. If you're out in a group and have a lot of talking to do, this might not be a problem, and if not, then the food here might be worth your stopping. But if you're in a hurry, you may leave unhappy.
Ryan's is a different restaurant concept. You pay the cashier as you enter, then choose from their Megabar. This massive buffet offers everything from steaks to salads to desserts to sides. From 1-3 every afternoon Seniors get a special lower price. Many loyal Ryans fans rave about their Steaks, daily Pot Pie, two Soups of the Day, or Peach Cobbler. Ryans makes a special effort to offer mostly low cholesterol, heart healthy foods. They bake their Fish and make their own Macaroni & Cheese fresh in their own kitchen. The Bowling Green Ryans does not offer for breakfast. If you were a big fan of the old Blue Boar Cafeterias or College Street Inn (or the WKU cafeteria), you'll love Ryans.
Shogun Express offers Japanese fast food. The menu doesn't compare with the excellent sit down Japanese restaurants elsewhere in town, but it's not bad if you're in a hurry and just want a quick bite. For example, you can order Crab Rangoon (five deep fried dumplings filled with crab and cream cheese) to munch on as you head down I-65. There are also Gyozas (pork and vegetable dumplings), Spring Rolls (vegetable rolls with sweet chili sauce), and Egg Rolls (vegetables and deep fried pork with sweet and sour sauce). If you like to eat greens while driving, their Seaweed Salad and Squid Salad are really pretty good. There are 10 Sushi Rolls. Our favorites are the Alabama (smoky salmon, crab), Alaskan (salmon, cucumber, crab), Boston (avocado, salmon), California (avocado, cucumber, crab), Veggie (pickles, radish, cucumber) and Tuna (tuna, spicy sauce). Their other item ideal for eating while driving are the Bowls. They all come with fried rice and stir fried vegetables. There's Teriyaka Chicken, Teriyaki Steak, Teppan Shrimp, Tuna, Scallops, Veggie and Noodle. If you're just picking up an order to take home there are two Soups (Miso and Clear) and the Combination Dinners (steak & shrimp, steak & chicken, chicken & shrimp, steak & scallops, shrimp & scallops) which are good. Beverages are a weakness. They offer only the usual soft drinks and sweet tea. There are no Japanese teas, beers, wines, etc. You're better off buying drinks elsewhere. Desserts are also cliches : Fudge Filled Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, and Southern Cheesecake. They're rich and tasty, but certainly not Japanese. Shogun is in the former Mancino's building, on the western edge of I-65, right at the exit and entrance ramps.
Sonic is a retro drive in restaurant where for half an hour or so you can pretend you're back in the 1950s. They even have girls on roller skates coming out to take your order and carrying your food out on trays which hook onto your car window. The menu is the classic burger, fries, shake and ice cream, although they've updated it a little with Nachos, Onion Rings and Chicken Nuggets. They play Golden Oldie music over the speakers. On Fridays and Saturdays it's a frequent stop for guys cruising in their restored 50s and 60s cars, so you might want to bring your camera. There are a few picnic tables set up under umbrellas so you can sit outside and enjoy the ambience.

Waffle House is famous for their waffles but ironically their menu features everything else. They promote their Steak & Eggs, Pork Chops & Eggs, Grilled Chicken & Eggs, Omelettes (Cheesesteak, Chili Cheese, Jalapeno and Ham & Cheese), Egg Sandwiches, Hash Browns and classic EggsnBacon or Ham & Egg plates. They're also pretty proud of their biscuits, sausage and bacon sides. Then, over there in the corner, they get around to their Waffles. Their basic is the classic Butter Milk Waffle. There are Double Waffles and Waffles With Sausage or Ham or Eggs. You can pick from Pecan, Chocolate Chip, Blueberry and Strawberry. Actually, we regret the evolution of Waffle House. Way back there, they served ONLY waffles, two pages of every variation imaginable. We could try waffles here we could never find anywhere else and couldn't fix ourselves. Now they've diversified, but the waffle choices are narrowed. Luckily, they still do a good job, with waffles and everything else.

Zaxby's was born in 1990 when two basketball playing buddies decided their small town didn't have restaurants to suit them. They focus mainly on chicken fingers with fries. This combo comes in various platters and forms. There are four salads, each incorporating sliced chicken fingers with lots of greenery. Sides include wings, mushrooms, cheddar cheese bites, house fried tater chips, onion rings, celery, cole slaw and fried pickles. You have your choice of ten sauces ranked according to heat. If you think of meals as wars between you and your food, order the Insane Sauce. It's guaranteed to light your fire. Dessert is your choice of ice cold, purely ice cream milkshakes.

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