Sunday, February 22, 2009

Taste of the Bluegrass

The 2009 Taste of the Bluegrass will be held on Friday , May 29 at the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center at Keeneland . This annual event is presented by God's Pantry Food Bank and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Kentucky Restaurant Association . Reservations are now being taken for booths .

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Old Kentucky BBQ in Lexington , KY

We have a new BBQ restaurant in Lexington and I had the pleasure of dining there for lunch today . It is a bright red building at 771 East New Circle Road near Winchester Road . They have nice variety and some unique items like their Tater-Q which is a one pound potato loaded with either pulled pork, pulled chicken or beef brisket .

Check out their website at .


On Saturday May 16, 2009 the first annual BLUEGRASS CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL will be held at The Red Mile from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and hosted by Bayou Bluegrass Catering . The event organizers expect over 100 different samples of beer to be available for sampling .

Live music will be provided by G. Busy and the Blues Revue .

For more information go to the event website .

Friday, February 20, 2009

Central Kentucky Restaurant Sites

There are a lot of good restaurant sites available in Lexington and the surrounding areas . With the economy in a downturn this can be a great time to negotiate a favorable lease or purchase . I am aware of several locations .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

North American Pizza and Ice Cream Show

I may attend this and wanted to share some information about it . It will be held February 22-23 in Columbus , Ohio at the Greater Columbus Convention Center .

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Top Ten Tips for a Restaurant Sustainability Program

I just finished reading True Restaurant Sustainability : More Success, better future which is guide from QSRWeb, Fast Casual and Pizza Marketplace and Sponsored by Truitt Brothers , Inc which is Food Alliance -certified producer of shelf stable foods for the foodservice industry . This is full of useful information and I thought I would share one except from it. The following is the National Restaurant Association's Top 10 tips for starting a sustainability program :

1. Turn Off
Turn off interior/exterior lights and cooking hoods when not in use. Install motion detectors in storerooms, offices and restrooms. Set lights on timers.
2. Fix Leaks
Repair leaky faucets and toilets. Stop air leaks by caulking and insulating around leaky windows and doors and installing energy curtains in freezer rooms.
3. Replace Lighting
Replace incandescents with longer lasting CFL light bulbs or LED lights. Replace traditional exit signs with LED exit lighting.
4. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Follow the 3 R's of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recyle. Reduce waste. Reuse furniture, flooring. Recycle paper, plastics, glass and aluminum.
5. Unplug
When not in use, unplug computers, electronics, coffee machines, POS system and any small appliances.
6. Use Less Water
Serve customers water upon request. Run dishwashers, washing machines only when full. Install low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, tankless water heaters.
7. Train and Inform
Train employees on energy saving procedures and on the importance of energy conservation and water use. Tell customers about your energy efforts.
8. Clean and Maintain
Clean equipment runs more efficiently. Regularly dust and clean appliances, top to bottom. Perform routine preventive maintenance on HVAC, plumbing, appliances, major equipment.
9. Remodel or Build Green
Use low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) or no-VOC paints, recycled flooring and managed forest wood. Install a reflective roof, sun lights and energy-efficient windows.
10. Look for the ENERGY STAR Label
Purchase appliances, electronics and other EPA-tested equipment that carries the ENERGY STAR label.

More information from the NRA can be found at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Karlo's Bistro Italia - An independent restaurant gem

I had the occasion to have lunch today at Karlo's Bistro Italia at 4911 Houston Road in Florence , KY with easy interstate access and just off Turfway Road .

This restaurant has great food and atmosphere . I had the Karlo's Hot Club which in many ways is an Italian version (in my opionion ) of the venerable Kentucky Hot Brown . The Ministrone Soup was a welcome option to fries .

In a sea of chain restaurants , this place is a great alternative . It is owned by a larger group of restaurants and I encourage a visit .

SILKS Renovation Update

Sandy Fields renovation of the Scarett Lounge into SILKS continues and they recently had a nice discovery as they tore down walls . Check out these old columns from this 1837 building .

Chocolate Event News from Slowfood Bluegrass

The following looks like a pretty nice event :

P.O. Box 976, Pewee Valley, KY 40056, 502-572-0745, Mark Williams, Chapter Leader

Slow Food Bluegrass, in partnership with The Green Building, Whole Foods Market Louisville, and Safai Organic Coffee, are pleased to announce the visit to Louisville by Kallari chocolatier Enrique Cerda of the Kallari Rainfamily Association from the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. We would like to cordially invite you to sample some of the worlds best chocolate with us on Sunday, March 1, 2-4 p.m. at The Green Building, 732 East Market Street, Louisville. Cost for the chocolate sampling and presentation is $10.00 per person, free for Slow Food members. There will also be organic coffee provided by Louisville's Safai Coffee, and local food samples provided by Louisville's Whole Foods Market.

The Kallari Association is the first indigenous organization of cacao growers to receive 100% of the proftis from their own line of chocolate bars, which are retailing nationwide at U.S. Whole Foods Markets. With help from international volunteers and entrepreneur Stephen McDonnell, the Kichwa cooperative of over 850 families has been recognized for this unique line of chocolates by Today Show food guru Phil Lempert.Kallari cacao growers transport their cacao harvest to a nearby factory in Quito Ecuador. The Amazon beans are processed when they are still fresh, only weeks after the harvest. Kallari is one of the few chocolate bars made without the typical Methyl Bromide fumigation of cacao beans prior to export, weeks spend in airtight shipping containers and months/years spent in storage as brokers await price hikes in cacao or chocolate makers churn out bars.Kallari chocolatier Enrique Cerda and intern Rebecca Roebbler will be visiting Louisville to share the techniques of organic cacao production and artesanal chocolate making. Participants will also have the opportunity to sample various chocolates in a blind tasting, including several gourmet, organic, fair trade, and single origin dark chocolate.For more press information, please feel free to contact the Public Relations Manager for Kallari Chocolate Company:Priscilla: office@eleanorbertinopr.comKallari was featured in the New York Times Dining Section, Nov. 5, 2008.When Chocolate is a way of Life: the Story of the Kallari Rainfamily

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bibb lettuce or Limestone lettuce - A Kentucky original

In my opinion not enough Kentuckians realize that Bibb lettuce originated in Frankfort, KY . As a youth I lived near downtown Frankfort in a neighborhood called the Corner in Celebrities because so many famous people once lived there .

Major John Bibb , a veteran of the War of 1812 , lived on Wapping Street in what is currently known as the Bibb-Burnley House . He had a greenhouse in his backyard and it was there he developed and grew Bibb lettuce which was also called Limestone lettuce . This type of lettuce , which is type of oftbutterhead lettuce , thrived in the limestone rich soil of central Kentucky .

At one time Kentucky lead the nation in Bibb lettuce production. It fell somewhat out of favor with the rise of salad bars since its a tender and delicate leaf variety . Today much of the Bibb lettuce that is grown is grown hydroponically .

Bibb lettuce is better for you than iceberg lettuce being a better source of vitamins A & C , calcium, phosphorus, and potassium . It is best served with a mild vinaigrette . It was a standard item on the menu of the Maisonette in Cincinnati where it was called laitue de Kentucky .

Lightfoots Restaurant Location in Newport Available

The location of the now closed Lightfoots Restaurant in Newport, KY is available . The second floor can me used as an apartment , B&B , or extended stay apartment providing another revenue stream or partial compensation for a manager . If interested please contact me .

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake Recipe originally by Monsier Giron of Lexington, KY .

This year , 2009 , is the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. Lexington , Kentucky has some rich culinary history ties to Lincoln that I thought worth mentioning . In 1825, a local confectioner Monsieur Mathurin Giron prepared a special vanilla-almond cake to commemorate the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette ( for whom Fayette County was named ) . The cake was a big hit and Mary Todd , who was one of Monsieur Giron's best customers , talked him into sharing the recipe with her . In later years , when Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln were courting in Springfield , Ill she would often make that very cake . The cake became a part of the culinary tradition in the Lincoln household all the way to the White House .

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake(adapted from Lincoln's Table by Donna D. McCreary)
1 cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour1 cup butter2 cups sugar3 cups flour3 teaspoons baking powder1 cup milk6 egg whites1 teaspoon vanilla extractconfectionary sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Turn out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top

Google tool for getting restaurant and other phone # 's

Here's a number worth putting in your cell phone, oryour home phone speed dial: 1-800-goog-411 (-800-466-4411). This is an awesome service from Google, and it's free --great when you are on the road. Don't waste your money on information calls and don'twaste your time manually dialing the number. I am drivingalong in my car and I need to call the golf course and Idon't know the number. I hit the speed dial for informationthat I have programmed. The voice at the other end says, 'City & State.' Isay, ' Garland , Texas .' He says, 'Business, Name or Typeof Service.' I say, Firewheel Golf Course.' He says,'Connecting' and Firewheel answers the phone. How great isthat? This is nationwide and it is absolutely free! Click on the link below and watch the short clip for aquick demonstration.