Monday, October 8, 2012

How long to atone for 24 HOURS OF TOO MUCH RICH FOOD???

My husband and I drove down to Bardstown, KY, reputed to be one of the prettiest small towns in America, this past Saturday. We spent one night at a new Hampton Inn on the outskirts and enjoyed walking through the town and visiting some sights in the area. It's on Kentucky's "bourbon trail" -- and I am a fan (see post just below this one) -- and near some lovely horse farms.
Before we went, I did a little research to find out where we should eat and came to the conclusion that the best restaurants in town probably were Circa and (for much more casual fare) Mammy's Kitchen (no website).

We arrived in town on a beautiful, sunny, and cool day in time for a late lunch. After stopping in the visitor's center for advice, we cruised the few possible choices and ended up at a place called Pat's, where I had a veggie burger (the healthiest thing I ate) and split a piece of really good coconut cream pie. That pie was the start of my downfall.
What I learned there was how hard it is to eat healthfully in so many of America's small towns -- especially those in places like Kentucky, which not only is landlocked but also has one of the nation's highest obesity rates. Restaurants stay in business by giving their customers what they want. Apparently in Bardstown customers want a lot of fat and calories!
The restaurant Circa is indeed a pleasant place to dine, set in an historic building right in the center of town and sporting two cozy dining rooms. But the menu just didn't have much in the way of healthy choices. We often order seafood, but the options on Circa's menu were fried (!) lobster tails, or Brie-stuffed (!) salmon. Instead, we opted for meat: lamb ragu for me and a pork chop for my husband.
Lamb entree, Circa

The meal was tasty, of course -- and here's a photo of the lamb ragu with its side dishes -- but loaded with butter. Atop the lamb are pieces of butternut squash, which was too delicious not to be butter-laden. The potatoes in the little side crock also was rich as can be.
Next morning we had breakfast at Mammy's, where I could not resist the (gasp) chicken-fried steak. It's something my dear mother used to make -- she's from Georgia, where it was too hot to cook anything except quickly on a stove, in a frying pan -- and I don't even eat once a year. Of course it was delicious, too. But really!

There's a photo of my husband at Mammy's, waiting for his eggs, and also a shot the window welcoming you to the popular restaurant.

It was only 24 hours of indulgence, but 36 hours later I still feel overfed.
We did enjoy touring around -- out to the Bourbon Heritage Center at Heaven Hill (a distillery) and the Stephen Foster related site nearby called My Old Kentucky Home.


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