When Sean Jackson of Richmond found out that the space where Opal's Restaurant had been was for sale, he knew it would be an ideal spot for his own restaurant. After working for Outback Steakhouse for 13 years, he has opened Jackson's Restaurant at 203 South Third Street in Richmond.
He says he wanted to serve a homestyle menu, and the restaurant has a food bar of favorites that changes daily. Offerings include country-fried steak, meatloaf, pork chops, catfish, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, salmon patties, green beans, mashed potatoes, mixed greens, broccoli casserole, and macaroni and cheese. The cost for meat and three sides is $5.99.
The country breakfast special, served all day, includes eggs, pancakes, meat, potatoes, biscuit, gravy and apples for $7.99. Burgers, sandwiches and salads also are on the menu. Desserts include chocolate, butterscotch and coconut cream pies, and homemade cakes.
Jackson's is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 623-2090.
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■ Brontë Express, a coffee kiosk, is now is open at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at The Mall at Lexington Green. It offers freshly baked pastries, grab-and-go food and drink, and coffee and espresso drinks. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 271-5330 or go to Josephbeth.com.
■ Chinese restaurants are noted for their fast, hot food, but what's even quicker is one with a drive-through lane. Panda Express, 2433 Nicholasville Road, at Dennis Drive, offers indoor dining as well as drive-through with a full menu. It's the first standalone restaurant in Lexington for the Rosemead, Calif., chain, which has about 1,500 locations nationwide. Specialities include kung pao chicken, string bean chicken breast, Beijing beef, Shanghai Angus steak, honey walnut shrimp and eggplant tofu. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. Call (859) 389-6761 or go to Pandaexpress.com.
New menus and offerings
■ Greentree Tearoom, 521 West Short Street, is serving a hearty menu for November. Included are lobster bisque, sweet potato scone, chicken croquettes with basil mashed potatoes, citrus spice panna cotta, and brown sugar cupcakes with caramel frosting. Luncheon tea is served at noon Wednesday through Saturday. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.
■ Stone crabs from Florida have arrived at Lexington Seafood Co., 867 East High Street. "I have a great contact in Florida, and the stone crabs so far have been the best in a couple of years," owner Mike Yessin said. Call (859) 266-8888 or go to Lexseafood.com.
■ Ted's Montana Grill, 2304 Sir Barton Way, has a new seasonal dessert: apple berry crisp. It features Granny Smith apples and a blend of strawberries, red raspberries, blackberries and blueberries baked in a caramel sauce, topped with a crispy oatmeal pecan crust, and served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Call (859) 263-5228 or go to Tedsmontanagrill.com.
■ Moveable Feast Lexington is having its annual Cause for Pie fund-raiser through Nov. 12. If you buy an apple, blueberry, cherry or pumpkin pie for the holidays ($20 frozen, $25 freshly baked), the proceeds will be used to deliver nutritious, home-cooked meals to critically ill people in Lexington. Pies may be picked up at the Moveable Feast office, 474 Silver Maple Way, on Nov. 20 and 21. Call (859) 252-2867.
■ Blue Grass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing are presenting the GoodGiving Guide Challenge, an online giving campaign to benefit 68 local non-profit groups. In conjunction with the program, West Sixth Brewing has created a special beer. Pay it Forward Porter will be offered during November at the brewery, 501 West Sixth Street. Call (859) 951-6006 or go to Goodgivingguide.net.
■ Winners of the first International Chef Showcase are Jeremy Ashby, co-owner and executive chef of Azur Restaurant and Patio in Lexington, and his international chef partner for the competition, Petr Elias, executive chef of Hotel Villa in the Czech Republic.
Eight chefs representing Ireland, Italy, Argentina, Spain, France, Peru, Brazil and the Czech Republic were paired with eight chefs from the Bluegrass for the challenge at eight local restaurants.
■ Georgia's Kitchen, 900 North Broadway, which opened in February, has expanded its dining room to add 40 seats. Stop by for a look on Friday and be entertained by The Swells starting at 7 p.m. Call (859) 252-6837 or go to Georgiaskitchencafe.com.
Farmers market report
■ Lexington Farmers Market will be open three days a week through November: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at South Broadway and Maxwell Street; and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at Fifth Third Bank Pavilion in Cheapside Park. Seasonal items include broccoli, cauliflower, rhubarb, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, radishes, winter squash, pie pumpkins, kale, honey, cheese, tomato sauces, beef, chicken, lamb and turkeys. Go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.