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One Bite at a Time

You can tell Kentucky is south of the Mason-Dixon line by its abundance of comfort food. Heavenly smells of barbecue, fried green tomatoes and decadent pies hit my nose at lunch stops in Louisville, Paducah and Bardstown.
The elegant interior of The Café in Louisville at once brought to mind Southern dining with chandeliers and colorful decor. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant offers refreshing takes on classic dishes such as a chicken pot pie soup and pizza served on pita bread.
I tasted more twists on traditional favorites at Paducah’s bbQ and More. The river town draws barbecue fans throughout the year, so the downtown restaurant keeps things fresh by substituting the traditional sandwich for alternative barbecue dishes. I greatly enjoyed the barbecue quesadillas and barbecue nachos, which proved not only original, but also savory and satisfying.
“We call ourselves small-business incubators,” said Susie Coiner, owner of bbQ and More. “We have local barbecue sauces for sample and sale. We can customize crafts for groups to make and take home.”
Just as art mixes with cuisine in Paducah, history plays a vital role in the dining experience at Old Talbot Tavern in Bardstown. Traditional fare like fried green tomatoes and bourbon barbecue pork sandwiches proved delicious, but the historic building is the real star.
Originally built in 1779, the tavern is one of the oldest Western stagecoach stops in the country. I learned about the fascinating history of its former diners, including Daniel Boone, Jesse James and Stephen Foster, while eating more than my share of Southern cooking. | |