Connected by an asphalt web of highways, state roads, and thoroughfares, blocky yellow signs gleam nonstop, casting a dandelion glow from the words “Waffle House.” The booths at the eateries fill 24 hours each day with the aromas of sizzling pork chops, Jimmy Dean sausage, and endless mugs of coffee. Line cooks brown shredded potatoes on a grill as waiters shout back in a language all their own for hash browns “smothered,” “covered,” or “topped”—served with onions, cheese, or chili, respectively. Angus burgers and steak melts share space on the rippling-hot surface at all times of day, allowing tired drivers to stop for food when they are on a long journey or just listening to an 11-hour drum solo on the radio. The first Waffle House switched on its lights in 1955, and some menu items still bear the names of Waffle House staff of the past, including Bert's chili from Dallas and Alice's iced tea.
Zaxby's defines comfort with a single word: chicken. However, that one word is hardly limiting. The casual restaurant?which can be found in 15 states?transforms poultry into salads, sandwiches, wings, chicken fingers, and more. Their most popular item remains the chicken finger plate, which comes with crinkle fries, Texas toast, cole slaw, and Zaxby's own signature sauce.
Sauce is the second pillar of Zaxby's cooking philosophy. Their cooks make nine different varieties for dipping, drizzling, and coating crispy eats. These sauces go from mild buffalo all the way up to "insane," which pushes the mouth's central air-conditioner to its limits. Other options break from buffalo into teriyaki and BBQ territory, incorporating a touch of hickory flavor. And for dessert, there's always chocolate syrup, poured liberally over signature milkshakes such as the chocolate cookie.
For owner Kelly Harris, every pound of pulled pork and beef brisket sandwich served at Wagon Bones Grill is a step toward helping the community. In a profile for WKYT News, she explained the profits of each sale go toward building a million-dollar community-service center she hopes to one day open in Lexington.
She works toward her goal, plate by plate, with tender beef, pork, and chicken slowly cooked according to her special recipes. The proteins are first rubbed with a Western Kentucky spice blend and smoked over an open fire pit for 3–15 hours. Chefs finish off the tender meats with a healthy splash of tangy and sweet barbecue sauce made in-house to keep the recipe secret from those who would use it only for evil.
At Taj India Indian Restaurant, chefs pride themselves on their expertly seasoned sauces and "off-the-pier-fresh" seafood. Traditional Indian ingredients of coriander, ginger, and clarified butter permeate curries blended with succulent chunks of lamb, chicken, or fresh cheese. Before sinking into a charcoal-fired tandoor oven, skewered meats marinate in tangy yogurt, which infuses each smoky morsel with extra juiciness. White tablecloths brush diners' knees and vestigial marsupial pouches as they slide into cushy black booths or tables, where sips of Indian beers such as Kingfisher or Maharaja help cleanse palates between bites.:m]]
Inside Masala Indian Restaurant’s kitchen, chefs infuse a savory mix of spices, or masala, into their halal and kosher Indian dishes. They roast marinated bits of chicken and skewers of minced lamb in a tandoor-style clay oven, and bake eight types of indian bread whenever the absorbent accompaniments are ordered by customers or demanded by a booming voice in the sky. Other table-toppers include more than a dozen vegetarian dishes brimming with fresh vegetables, homemade cheese, and lentils.
Cuisine Type: Iraqi, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Gus (shawarma), lamb/chicken/beef kebabs
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: Yes