Monday, January 3, 2011

“This is not Fast Food”

By the 1880’s railroads were ferrying people and cargo all cross the nation. In northern Kentucky rail lines linked the Cincinnati/Lexington/Louisville corridor with points beyond. The small railway known as the Georgetown, Midway, Versailles Railroad was part of this system but was eventually bypassed. The line continued to service a series of small “Bluegrass towns” along it’s tracks for several more years though. One such town was named Wallace for the family that owned the farm on which the train station would sit. Not much more than a general store in which were the depot and post office, it served the local phosphate mine for decades until the mine was depleted and closed in 1940. As the mine dried up so did Wallace. The tracks were removed the town was formally absorbed into the larger towns of Midway and Versailles. It’s now just a memory but for the old general store which has persevered through many incarnations.
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When Ouita Michael of the Holly Hill Inn wanted to open a more casual sister restaurant she found the old general store in what was once Wallace to be an ideal location. Together with her sister Paige Richardson and their husbands they would open a bakery that would both serve the Inn baked goods and act as a sandwich shop on it’s own. In 2003 they founded Wallace Station on the picturesque Old Frankfort Pike. “There’s nothing like a good sandwich” I’ve always said and the people of Kentucky seem to agree. Relying mostly on business from the nearby horse farms the business has grown quickly and is now catering events at those local farms. Locals loved the little sandwich shop so much they wrote Guy Fieri and the Triple D gang who paid them a visit in the spring of 2010. (scroll down to watch the show) It was this episode that got my attention and loving sandwiches I had to pay a visit.
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The restaurant is rather small and line ups are common. “This is not fast food” they tell you up front and the proper time and care is given to all the food. So you may have to wait a little bit but good things do come to those who wait. Sharing of tables is common and even encouraged as the sense of community is the general feel of this place. Farm owners and stable hands will share a table, a meal and of course, horse tales. It carries a horse racing theme with the menu board reads like a race form and the food is named after horses or race tracks. Wallace Station is also about as “In house” as you’ll get. With the exception of the hot sauce they pretty much make everything from scratch. Right down to the salad dressings, dips and even the various mustards. They source as much produce and meats as is possible locally making them “Kentucky proud.” With this dedication to detail you know everything is first rate.
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So, enough with the yakkity yak.

All sandwiches come with regular, crinkle cut potato chips on the side.
I opted for the Big Brown burger. Hailed as one of his top 5 all time by Guy, it’s a cross between a burger and a Kentucky Hot Brown. A griddled patty with ham, bacon, tomato and a white cheddar mornay sauce. It was a terrific burger and may crack my top 5 but it had the unenviable task of competing with my favourite (Blimpy Burger) which I ate the day before.
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Another thing conspiring against the Big Brown was how good Mrs. Sippi’s East Hampton sandwich was. Ham and melted brie on the house white with sliced apple and honey mustard. It’s then put in a sandwich press. It was fabulous. IMHO the honey mustard really set the whole sandwich off.
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I got a couple cups of mustard (honey and spicy bourbon) as well as their Mediteranian dip. All were great but the dip was perfect for dipping the chips. Mayo based with feta and capers it’s terrific.
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For desert we had an apricot cookie. It was very light and not overly sweet. We thought it was okay but not worth another try.
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What was however worth another try is the Danger Brownie. This dense fudge brownie had chopped pecans inside and sitting proudly atop was a chocolate truffle. It’s a chocoholic’s dream.
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If you’re ever in horse racing/bluegrass country a drive out to Wallace Station is wonderful way to spend an afternoon. The surrounding farms and scenery are stunning. You’ll find the restaurant at 3854 Old Frankfort Pike. 

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You can also find them on the web or become a facebook friend.
 Wallace Station Deli and Bakery on Urbanspoon
Well that’s all for now race fans. See you another time in the food court.
Davwud

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