Spotlight Lexington Serves Up Tasty Foods

by Alex Cheser

You’re sick of hearing about the WEG at this point. I realize this. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest horse person myself, but I do realize what this event means to Kentucky and specifically Lexington. It’s a great chance to highlight the city, the equestrian culture in its roots and what the city has to offer nowadays. What does it mean for us? Well, it means there’s some good noms just a few blocks away.

My friend Jerry Ramey and I headed downtown on Sunday despite the cold. I was legitimately excited because I hadn’t been able to get downtown yet during the WEG. As imagined, there weren’t a whole lot of people. My first stop was at the Kentucky Market in Triangle Park. While I was futilely attracted to the Baskets by Madonna booth, I did stop by Triple Crown Cookies.

A recent offshoot of Queen City Cookies in Covington, Ky., and Cincinnati, Triple Crown Cookies offers an array of equestrian-themed shortbread cookies especially for the WEG. The cookies are made using quality ingredients such as farm-fresh eggs, Plugrá butter and Swiss chocolate. Each cookie has a hand-pressed icing or chocolate top from one of their over 400 molds. We’re talking fancy cookies, people, but delicious cookies too.

Next, I stopped by the booth showcasing Kentucky Specialty Sauces and Screamin’ Mimi’s Salsa. Both ladies were extremely kind and explained how they had been encouraged by their families and friends to market each other’s respective sauces. Kentucky Specialty Sauces offered several steak and meat sauces as well as chutney and bourbon sauces, while Screamin’ Mimi’s also had meat sauces in addition to its salsas. There were also Kettle Korn and American Fare booths at Triangle Park, but, at Jerry’s suggestion, I waited to get lunch at Centerpointe.

My wait was rewarded. As soon as I crossed Upper Street, my eyes fell on La Petite Crêperie and I knew what I was having for lunch. Although their sweet crêpes sounded delicious, most notably the Nutella ones (they had a foot-tall jar of Nutella!), I ordered the Virginia ham, cheese, spinach and onion crêpe. Since business was slow, I talked to Mark, the owner, while he prepared my lunch. Apparently, he runs the operation with his wife. The two have spent plenty of vacations and holidays in France. She actually went to high school and college there and taught French for several years. Mark delighted in telling me of how their way of cooking crêpes is the most authentic because of their batter and griddle. Mark was using a Krampouz griddle and apparently that’s like the Cadillac of crêpe griddles. The crêpes are served up on blue and white checkered paper and mine lived up to all my expectations as it was delicious.

In the meantime, Jerry went to The Southern Porch, a booth by DaRae & Friends Catering, and ordered the lamb chops. Although a little pricey, the bite I had was wonderfully seasoned with rosemary and other spices. We also enjoyed some hot apple cider and hot chocolate while waiting for our food. Other food options at Centerpointe included another American Fare booth with burgers and such; Kettle Korn; Fat Boys BBQ; the horribly named Salvador’s Deli with taquitos, tortas and nachos; Domino’s Pizza; Sharky’s, which is a trailer that offers traditional fair fare; Cookin’ Up Kentucky; Panda Cuisine; and a Mini-Burger booth. There were plenty of alcohol booths too for you cool kids over 21, but I avoided them a la beer cheese incident a few weeks ago.

Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed by the food options downtown. I realize it was a cold, dreary Sunday and maybe not everyone was out, but I thought there would be a lot more to choose from. Most all the vendors I spoke with other than La Petite Crêperie admitted that crowds had been good but not what they were hoping for. Still, it’s a lot more food downtown than we’re used to and quite delicious all-around. You should definitely check it out before the WEG ends on Sunday.


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