Restaurant News & Reviews

Maria’s Kitchen moving into bigger space up Broadway

Berea baker Meghan Smith’s winning cake from Cake Wars on the Food Network included Shrek and Fiona, the dragon, Donkey and other storybook characters to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Shrek.
Berea baker Meghan Smith’s winning cake from Cake Wars on the Food Network included Shrek and Fiona, the dragon, Donkey and other storybook characters to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Shrek. Food Network

Great news, fans of Maria’s Kitchen, at 895 North Broadway: sometime in March the restaurant will be moving up Broadway into the former home of Willie’s Locally Known at 805 North Broadway. Zulema Hernandez, daughter of owner Maria Hernandez, said the larger space would mean they can expand their offerings and hours, and they hope to have an alcohol license eventually.

“The plan right now is serve a buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week, with a rotating variety of different dishes, and if people want to order off the menu they can,” Zulema Hernandez said. “We have a lot of people who want a fast lunch.” The new restaurant will stay open until 10 p.m. The old restaurant site will be used for prep work and to bake cakes, so fans of Maria’s tres leches cake will be able to order a whole one and pick it up there.

▪  Willie’s Locally Known, which is moving to 286 Southland Drive, is hoping to open in mid-March with all the old menu items, plus some new ones, according to owner Wilson Sebastian. Willie’s will be open for lunch and dinner daily, plus brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, with live music on Sundays. Call 859-281-1116 for more information.

▪  Caldo, which opened last year at 309 North Ashland Avenue, is moving into new digs at Proof Fitness Spa, 230 West Main Street. The cafe will continue to feature the signature broths and smoothies but will add more options for an expanded menu, including broth bowls, sandwiches and salads. Caldo’s last day at Centered is Friday; on Saturday, there will be a preview day, beginning at 9 a.m., at Proof. Take the elevator to the seventh floor to see the new space. The restaurant will open in March for breakfast, lunch and light dinner. Caldo also will offer corporate catering from the location. Call 859-252-6817 for more information.

▪  Uncle Maddio’s Pizza, 630 Euclid Avenue, is opening Friday. For the grand opening Saturday, if you’re in line from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can get a free pizza. The restaurant will have seating for 100, and will offer pizzas cooked in ultra-fast ovens and served in about six minutes. You may choose from one of three crusts, including a gluten-free option, and 48 toppings, including six sauces, 27 vegetables and 15 meats. Two more Uncle Maddio’s Pizza restaurants are planned for the Lexington area.

▪  Meghan Smith, the Eastern Kentucky University student from Berea who has her own cake business, Doodlebugs, won her competition this week on the Food Network show Cake Wars with a multilayered cake celebrating 15 years of Shrek. “We got to deliver our cake to DreamWorks Animation,” Smith said. For the final $10,000-winning cake, she pulled out all the stops, with all the Shrek and Fiona and other fairytale characters in their swamp, and a three-tiered cake within a cake on the back of the Dragon, and topped off by Donkey. The full recipe is available at, but it will be up to you to shape your own ogres. The episode will air again at 2 p.m. Saturday.

▪  The March menu for Greentree Tea Room, 521 West Short Street,will feature potato leek soup; Irish oat scone with blackberry jam and Fayette cream; spanakopita; corned beef salad, egg salad and benedictine tea sandwiches; Bailey’s brownies; pistachio cake; Greentree French filled wafers, and Irish blend tea. Reservations required; call 859-455-9660.

▪  Columbia Steakhouse, 201 North Limestone, 2750 Richmond Road and 125 Southland Drive, will have the famed Nighthawk Special — an 8-ounce tenderloin in garlic butter — for $13.99 for a limited time. Dine in or carry outis available at all three locations, and delivery is available through Southland Drive. Call 859-253-3135 for downtown, 859-268-1666 for Richmond Road, 859-313-5300 for Southland.

▪  The Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street, Midway, is preparing an authentic Ethiopian menu through Saturday as part of the winter dinner series Around the World in 80 Days. The main course is served on a large platter draped with a crepelike flatbread called injera, and includes traditional dishes such as doro wat (spicy chicken stew), kitfo (with spiced beef), yebeg tibs (with Kentucky lamb), and kik alicha. Vegetarian options are available. The four-course meal is $45. Call 859-846-4732 for reservations.