Food & Drink in Lexington

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Growing up in Guinea, Mamadou Savané—"Sav" to his family and friends—loved watching his sisters prepare family meals. He learned to cook himself, and, after marrying a Peace Corps volunteer, packed up his recipes and moved to Lexington. The change of scenery continued to fuel Sav's culinary passion, inspiring him to open Sav's Grill & West African Cuisine. Here, he combines Southern specialties with the traditional food of his youth to create a unique dining experience.

Visitors to Sav's find a wealth of global flavors at their finger- and fork-tips. Simmering stews arrive loaded with savory chunks of local goat meat, eggplant, and potatoes, and plantain-based fufu rounds out plates. Besides West African classics, Sav whips up a few staples of Southern American cooking, such as pork ribs with sides of cheesy grits. A locally roasted blend of Ethiopian, Mexican, and Brazilian coffees can complement feasts, which unfold in a casual space adorned with paintings of African landscapes.

304 S Limestone
Lexington,
KY
US

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.

5548 Athens Boonesboro Rd
Lexington,
KY
US

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.

1772 Sharkey Way
Lexington,
KY
US

For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to bring out the hidden flavors found in butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisan breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles ranging from the prime rib mushroom and swiss to the classic italian donning black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Those closely monitoring their waistlines can take unabashed bites of sandwiches that have fewer than 500 calories, such as the pork-cuban, Baja-chicken, and veggie-caprese subs. Quiznos' Sub Sliders offer slimmer versions of sub fare and flaunt supreme aerodynamics when shot out of T-shirt cannons and into mouths. A selection of Flatbreads, soups, and salads round out Quiznos' varied menu.

3191 Beaumont Centre Cir
Lexington,
KY
US

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.

591 W Short St
Lexington,
KY
US

The primary goal of the husband-and-wife team behind Brannon Family Chiropractic is simple: to eliminate pain. Their expert treatments and adjustments are designed to ease the sort of spinal discomfort that can adversely affect quality of life, even when the pain isn't necessarily severe. After opening their first location, known as Eastland Chiropractic, the pair added the Brannon location in 2009, the better to meet their goal of subduing the region's aches one vertebra at a time. Today, Brannon Family Chiropractic is also home to the Serenity Massage Center—a tranquil space where licensed massage therapists work to release knots in backs, necks, shoulders, and Gordian shoelaces.

1301 Winchester Road
Lexington,
KY
US