Barbecue lovers are always searching for a better pulled pork or brisket. A new barbecue place in Lexington is Butt Rub BBQ at 450 Southland Drive, next to Old Kentucky Chocolates.
The owners are Leigh and Greg Pence. "We came up with the name years ago," Greg Pence said. "I use Boston butt, and I put a rub on it. It just sounded right."
Their specialty is the pig-cow-pig pie, which is pork, beef brisket, and mashed potatoes served in a pie shell. Also on the menu are barbecued turkey and chicken, sweet potato fries and blackberry cobbler.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 277-0099.
Month of specials marks anniversary
Few restaurants in Lexington ever reach their 25th anniversary, so it's a big deal for Paisano's Italian Restaurant.
The restaurant has been at the same location, 2419 Nicholasville Road, since 1984. A second location opened in Gardenside Shopping Center in 1997, but it closed in March 2004.
In celebration of the milestone, Paisano's will serve a special dish each night in August. On Friday, the chefs are preparing Florentine rolls, pasta rolled with ground sirloin, spinach and ricotta and baked in a marinara or Alfredo sauce.
Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call (859) 277-5321 or go to www.paisanos1984.com.
Parkette reopens, take two
Randy and Jeff Kaplan, the new owners of Lexington's venerable Parkette Drive-in, 1230 East New Circle Road, are asking for a second chance to make a first impression.
After spending eight months renovating the restaurant that has been around since 1951, the brothers opened for business in March. Many people showed up, and some went away unhappy. The combination of new employees, a new computer system and large crowds just didn't mesh, the Kaplans said.
"We were so slammed upon opening that we disappointed some folks," they said.
The solution: a grand reopening Monday that includes free fries with every order. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. The doors open at 11 a.m.
Tomato takes center place
Jonathan at Gratz Park, 120 West Second Street, is honoring the heirloom tomato this weekend.
Chef/owner Jonathan Lundy is preparing a five-course tasting menu featuring Kentucky-grown heirloom tomatoes from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The cost is $40; the menu features red and yellow tomato gazpacho, summer pudding, seared sea scallops with pomodoro crudo sauce, tomato sorbet, and grilled shrimp with barbecued tomato preserves.
From 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Lundy will be at the Tomato Festival at The Arboretum, 500 Alumni Drive, and will offer samples of tomato sorbet. Call (859) 252-4949. or go to www.jagp.info.More time to party on the patio
The Julep Cup is continuing its Saturday happy hours with half-price appetizers on the patio until 7 p.m. Dinner specials include hand-cut prime rib with horseradish cream, and salmon croquettes with cream gravy.
Saxophonist Paul Osborne and keyboard artist Harold Young will entertain in the Seahorse Lounge from 8 to 10 p.m. The Julep Cup is at 111 Woodland Avenue. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to www.thejulepcup.com.
Going wild for blackberry jam
Jennifer Gleason of Sunflower Sundries and her husband, Jim Lally, have picked more than 320 pounds of wild blackberries on their farm in Mount Olivet this summer.
"The berries are so sweet and juicy this year," Gleason said. "I've used half the amount of sugar I usually use. The batch is the best wild blackberry jam I have ever made."
Gleason and Lally will have samples of their jam at the Shaker Village Craft Fair on Saturday and Sunday at Pleasant Hill.
"We will also have our mustards and freshly ground corn meal made from Hickory King corn, an open-pollinated, heirloom variety of corn grown in this area for over 200 years. We grow an acre of it for use as corn meal and for our chickens," she said.
Call Sunflower Sundries (606) 763-6827 or go to www.sunflowersundries.com.
Meet a Bengal at Whole Foods
Cincinnati Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe will be at Whole Foods from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The store, at 161 Lexington Green Circle, will donate 5 percent of the day's net sales to The Ndukwe Foundation, dedicated to programs that focus on nutrition and physical activity for local youth. Call (859) 971-8600 or go to www.ndukwe.org.
Michel's farm dinner is at the farm
Holly Hill Inn chef/owner Ouita Michel and her staff will prepare a down-on-the-farm dinner at 7 p.m. Saturday at Happy Jack Pumpkin Farm, 966 Hickman Hill Road, Frankfort.
Side dishes feature just-picked vegetables from Lee Ann and Richard Jones' fields and grilled on site. The menu includes Bluegrass chicken, squash-blossom fritters, gazpacho, sweet-corn salad, Richard's fire-roasted potatoes with bacon and onion, and fruit crisp with whipped cream.
In case of rain, the meal will be served at Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street, Midway. Cost is $35. Call (859) 846-4732.
Early birds might want to catch Sal's
Sal's Chophouse now offers an early bird menu for $12.99 from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Included are oven-roasted salmon, stuffed pork chop, petite sirloin, crab cake, chicken Parmesan, baby back ribs, cedar-wrapped salmon and fettuccini Alfredo with chicken. Sal's is at 3347 Tates Creek Road. Call (859) 269-9922 or go to www.salsrestaurant.com.
Thai Orchid cooks from its garden
Thai Orchid Café, 1030 South Broadway, is offering a healthful bounty special that includes some fresh vegetables from the café's garden. Some of the menu items are zucchini squash delight, garden fresh veggie medley, spicy pepper medley and Thai summer rolls. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to www.thaiorchidcafe.net.
Natasha's burgers branch out
Gene Williams, owner of Natasha's Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, said the bistro has "had so much success with our evening 'spaceburger,' we've come out with a lunchtime burger, calling it the 'star burger,' using the same homegrown bison from Kentucky Bison in Louisville."
The star burger is a 51/2-ounce patty of fresh bison with traditional fixings on a kaiser bun. It is served with fries for $8.75. Call (859) 259-2754 or go to www.beetnik.com.
Finding comfort at the buffet
Campbell's in Paris, 519 Main Street, is serving a buffet featuring skillet-fried chicken and meatloaf Saturday. Also included on the buffet are vegetables from the garden. The cost is $14.95. Call (859) 987-5164.
Farmers market reports
Here's what's fresh at the farmers markets:
■ The Bluegrass Farmers Market will have corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers, beef, Amish cheese, eggs, herbs and blackberries. The market is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Fast Signs and Pedal the Planet. Go to www.localharvest.org/blog/29529/.
■ Anderson County Farmers Market will be open longer hours to accommodate shoppers at the World's Longest Yard Sale, which takes place this weekend along U.S. 127.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday The market, known as The Old Depot, is in the historic 19th-century building that housed the Anderson County Railroad Depot. It's at 1505 127 Bypass North between Lawrenceburg and Frankfort, across from the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
Produce includes melons, berries, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and fresh eggs.