Food & Drink

There's great barbecue to be had at Neal's, inside Chevron station

Western Kentucky is known for its great barbecue, so when you find a good barbecue place in Central Kentucky, it's worth noting.

Neal's B-B-Q is in the Polo Club Chevron station, 6400 Polo Club Lane. Neal Harris smokes the meat on site and makes his rub and sauce. He also fries chicken. There are a few tables in the small deli, and take-out is available. Before opening Neal's, Harris sold his barbecue specialties at Lexington Farmers Market to benefit the Ruby E. Bailey Family Services Center.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call (859) 285-1270.

Making Mother's Day specials

Mother's Day is the year's most popular day to dine out, according to the National Restaurant Association. If you're planning to take Mom out Sunday, here are some places that offer special menus.

■ The Back Door Café, at Athens Schoolhouse, is offering a Mother's Day special all weekend. The menu includes creamy potato soup with bacon and crusty corn bread, sandwiches, and peach cobbler. Athens Schoolhouse is at 6270 Athens Walnut Hill Road. Call (859) 255-7309 or go to www.AntiquesKentucky.com. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

■ Paisano Restaurant, 2478 Nicholasville Road, Stone Square Center, will be open noon to 9 p.m. The special is polo impasto, puff pastry stuffed with marinated chicken, mushrooms and artichoke hearts, with a lemon wine sauce. Dessert is free for moms. Call (859) 277-5321.

■ Stonefence Bistro, 730 Main Street in Paris, will serve brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu features eggs Benedict Florentine, seared tuna, herb-marinated lamb, and tarragon-roasted chicken. Call (859) 402-2009.

■ Three Suns Bistro in Brannon Crossing will serve a brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be roasted pork loin, fresh salmon with mango basil relish, beef tips bourguignon, leg of lamb and pecan-fried chicken. Cost is $25. Call (859) 245-0048. A limited dinner menu, including prime rib, will be served beginning at 5 p.m. Three Suns is at 298 East Brannon Road.

■ Varden's, 509 Main Street in Paris, will serve a prix fixe menu from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $24.95. Entrée choices are honey-glazed salmon and pork tenderloin with pineapple salsa. Call (859) 987-4700.

■ J. Graham's Café and The English Grill at the Brown Hotel in Louisville are open for formal and informal dining. J. Graham's will have a brunch buffet with a waffle and omelet station. Seating is available at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Cost is $29 for adults. Call (502) 583-1234, Ext. 7225.

The English Grill is offering a more formal brunch, with reservations at noon and 12:30 and 1 p.m. Plated entrée choices include filet mignon, lemon-crusted halibut or roasted Amish chicken prepared by Laurent Géroli, The Brown's executive chef. The price is $49. Call (502) 736-2998. The Brown Hotel is at Fourth and Broadway. Go to www.brownhotel.com.

The patio's open: Let's party

Merrick Inn is opening its patio Wednesday with a luau. The chefs are smoking a pig for the kick-off party, which begins at 5 p.m. Mike Archer's Band will entertain from 6 to 10 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best Hawaiian costume. Merrick Inn is at 1074 Merrick Drive. Call (859) 269-5417.

Mai Thai reopens in new location

It's been several months since Nat Yuttayong announced that he was moving Mai Thai restaurant, and his customers have been waiting. Mai Thai is now open at 130 West Tiverton Way. Call (859) 231-0366. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Bourbon maker talks around town

Tom Bulleit, founder of Bulleit Bourbon in Louisville, will be talking bourbon Tuesday when he stops in Lexington. He will be at Pazzo's, 385 South Limestone, at 5 p.m.; DeSha's, 401 West Main Street, at 6:30 p.m., and The Chase, 135 North Broadway, at 8 p.m. Call Ken Lofald, (502) 435-5007, or e-mail kennethlofald @southernwine.com.

Restaurant helps with school project

Parents of students at Woodford County High School are having a fund-raiser for Project Graduation at Ricardo's. The restaurant, 110 Frankfort Street in Versailles, will donate a percentage of its proceeds from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday when customers mention Project Graduation. Call 859-873-3663.

Just put it by the mailbox

On Saturday, you can help feed others by participating in the nation's largest single-day food drive. Stamp Out Hunger is a project involving letter carriers across the country to help local food banks.

You may leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to your mailbox before your mail is delivered Saturday. Food items should be in non-breakable containers, such as boxes and cans. Donations go to food bank members of Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest). Go to www.helpstampouthunger.com.

Grow your own

If you don't have room for a back-yard garden, you can buy hanging herb and vegetable gardens at Botanica. The nursery, 6327 Old Richmond Road, is having its spring open house 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 806-9424

Farmers market reports

■ Woodford County Farmers Market has assorted greens; green onions, radishes, and local beef, pork and sorghum. The market is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on the courthouse square in Versailles.

■ Items available at this week's Bluegrass Farmers Market include free-range eggs, herb seasonings, dried tomatoes, asparagus, rhubarb, lettuce, green onions, bedding plants and more. The market is at 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet Bike Shop and Fast Signs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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