Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vacationing in Horse Country: Keeping Everyone Happy

By now in our journey through Lexington, we've discovered some great things for horse lovers and great things for those with other interests (namely, drinking). Today, I want to look at some of the great restaurants we hit up, as well as an amazing bookstore we wandered into. These three places are absolute must-sees!

Sals | Food Deliciousness Rating **** | Cost: $10-$20 per person
As a French toast master chef myself, I feel pretty confident in saying this was some of the best French toast I've ever eaten.
We hit up Sals for brunch, but they also offer a dinner service. Honestly, I have to recommend their brunch more. The food was astounding, there was zero wait, and the service was friendly. Plus, Sals serves brunch from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday! It's almost impossible to miss.

After ordering mimosas and a trip to the Bloody Mary bar (yes, there's a Bloody Mary BAR), we started with an order of French toast for the table to share. I think this might have been the best decision we made all morning. If you like custardy and delicious French toast, flee to Sals this minute and order this.

The rest of our meals followed the stellar example set by the French toast starter. I'll go out on a limb and say everything on their menu is delicious. Really, you can't go wrong.

Coles 735 Main | Food Deliciousness Rating **** | Cost: $50 per person
Located in a historic building, Coles has a ton of charm.
For a special dinner, we wandered down to Coles 735 Main. With an interesting cocktail menu (including lots of local bourbon cocktails!), and a menu with a ton of different choices, we knew we would be in for an interesting time.

The restaurant is a tiny little place, with extremely limited seating. It is also pretty popular, and I would recommend making reservations way ahead of time. We tried calling for reservations on the day of, and ended up waiting until 9:30 to get a table. Though we had the time to spare, you may not. So, PRO TIP: Call head.
Poblano mashed potatoes with smoky vegetables on top? This dish is amazing...
That said, the wait was completely worth it. Coles' food is astoundingly well thought out and delicious. I had the Beef Shoulder, and almost went weak in the knees when I tasted the potatoes that went along with it. Our server was fantastic, and made fabulous suggestions. Plus, the vintage foxhunting murals along the ceiling of the seating area really made me fall in love with the place. Tons of charm! Have you called to make those reservations yet?!

Black Swan Bookstore | Horse Lover Rating *** | Non-Equine Rating **** | Time Spent: 1 hour
While walking through a historic neighborhood in Lexington, we wandered upon Black Swan Books. If you're anything like us, a used bookstore with piles of books spanning every subject under the sun fills you with a ton of excitement. Or maybe I'm just a huge nerd. Anyway...

Black Swan carries enough rare and historic horse books (as well as more current horse books), to entertain the horse-lover. However, the true awesomeness of this store comes from picking the brain of the shop owner and perusing his awesome collection of rare and old books.

My med-school husband went nuts for some ancient surgery texts, while I ended up lost in the art and architecture section. We actually ended up needing to leave before we were ready due to an impending hotel check-in time.

This shop is one of those little treasures you find when exploring a city on foot. For those loving books and history, it's definitely a must-see.

Do any of you have favorite little shops like this in your town (or your favorite vacation spot)? Let me know! I'm always looking for something like this when I travel!

(All photos in the post thanks to the websites and Facebook pages of each respective business! The links to each can be accessed by clicking the name of the business!)

14 comments:

  1. aaaand now i want to eat all the things lol. those potatoes looking amazing :)

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    1. So hungry! Must stop perusing brunch menu ...

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  2. Brunch until 3 PM?! Must go.

    My favorite place in Tulsa (and my favorite place to take visitors) is Gardner's Used Books. It isn't much to look at and is located in an especially ugly part of town, but it's 23,000+ square feet of books. I find it's best to use the buddy system while shopping, because it's massive and labyrinthine. They have books on every possible topic, old magazines, comics, CDs, DVDs, games- all sorts of stuff. I'd definitely recommend it if you're ever going through Tulsa!

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    1. Used bookstores are seriously the best! I love that you have to use the buddy system :)

      I have never been to Tulsa. Is it a neat town?

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  3. All 3 places are new to me! Now we must go back for a visit :)

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    1. Learning something new all the time! :) Let's go!

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  4. That French Toast looks like heaven & the bookstore sounds fab. Made me think of a lovely place a friend brought me to in Paris. Must ask her for the address for any return trips i may be making next month ;-)

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    1. Oh man! A bookstore in Paris? Someone hold me, I'm going to faint! :)

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  5. OMG that French Toast looks amazing. !!!!

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  6. Horses, bourbon, and good food =best vacation!

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  7. Yum!!! I agree- the best spots are often found via random wanderings. Oakland is a total foodie town- if you have stop through CA I can put together a fab list!

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    1. I haven't been out to SF or Oakland in YEARS! I'm due for a visit sometime soon.

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