Located on Old Frankfort Pike in Versailles, a drive from Lexington to this small outpost in the middle of seemingly nowhere is an experience that can’t be described in words. The closest one has gotten to illustrating the sheer beauty of Kentucky was “My Old Kentucky Home”, the state poem penned by Stephen C. Foster (albeit without the strong racial overtones of the original version). Enjoy the scenic drive out to Wallace Station, where you’ll be surrounded by horse farms, tobacco plants, corn stalks and tall, stunning trees that line the street. Drive down the other “Scenic Byways” in the area and just enjoy the day, as you take in all that Kentucky has to offer.
Wallace Station has been featured before on Food Channel’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”, a show which I despise but has a cult following. The show’s host, Guy Fieri, tried the Station’s Big Brown, which I tasted on my latest visit. His garish stamp is prominently featured in the front of the interior, just to the left of the entrance.
All the food is locally made, and all the breads and desserts are made on site. All the produce comes from local farmers, and the owners make sure you know that Wallace Station IS Kentucky. The interior is covered with local bumper stickers(political and radio), horse farm memorabilia and “Kentucky Proud” (produce) signs. They have embraced a community that, in turn, has made them one of the more popular restaurants in central Kentucky.
Like everywhere else, this would all be for naught if the food isn’t worth your time. In my experiences with Wallace Station, the food was…respectable. My first couple of visits have been fine, however my main gripe lays with the desserts. I’ll get to that a little later.
As stated earlier, on this last trip I ordered The Big Brown: a juicy burger with bacon, tomato and ham covered in a white cheddar mornay on a homemade bun.
This burger was sublime. Cooked medium well, it was a little more well done than I preferred but it was still extremely juicy and tender, with the combination of the mornay and bacon perfecting the sandwich. The ham would have been enough for a sandwich on its own, as it’s so full of flavor it’s a shame it was overpowered by the bacon and mornay. However I absolutely loved this burger, and would recommend it all day, every day. It’s a little expensive ($9; comes with chips) but well worth the price.
The sandwiches are gigantic, and that’s not hyperbole. Most contain enough bread for a quarter of a loaf, with enough meat, cheese and veggies to make two meals. Kat ordered the Bourbon Trail Triple Crown: Three slices of white bread, roasted turkey, cheddar, home-made BBQ sauce, bacon, tomato, lettuce and mayo.
The taste, however, was not to Kat’s liking. It was a little flat, with the BBQ sauce not adding anything. Oddly enough, her favorite part of the sandwich was the tomato, which was one of the freshest she’s even eaten:
Sadly my camera phone is terrible at conveying flavor (and even worse at taking pictures) so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. The difference between a tomato like this and something you may get at other establishments, such as a fast food restaurant, is night and day. When you use local, fresh ingredients, people will pay a little extra if they know they’re getting a better meal. It’s just that simple.
On other trips I’ve ordered a Turkey Rachel (Roast turkey, coleslaw, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on rye) and an East Hampton Ham (Brie, apples, ham and honey mustard on white), and both sandwiches were fantastic. I would have liked a bit more ham for my money, but I was still full at the end.
Now the desserts. Like the sandwiches, Wallace Station’s desserts are HUGE. Whether it’s a ginger cookie, a lemon square or a “Danger Brownie”, your dessert is enough for a second (or third) meal.
I ordered three desserts: a ginger cookie, a peanut butter cookie and the local favorite, a Danger Brownie. Like everything else at Wallace Station, the desserts are made on site, using local ingredients. Well…somewhat local. Maybe someone can explain this to me, but the Danger Brownie includes Jamieson’s Chocolate. It’s ‘Kentucky Proud”, but it’s from Ghana. I must be missing something, because I don’t understand how something falls under the “Kentucky Proud” umbrella if it’s from a foreign nation. The Danger Brownie is chocolate, nuts, and fudge topped with a bourbon bonbon and a pecan.
Since the desserts are gigantic, they may be forgiven for being so expensive; the brownie is $5 and each cookie is $3. Yet, they’re not that good. In fact I was very disappointed in all three. Out of the bunch, I preferred the ginger cookie, since it was the only one that wasn’t completely dry. The peanut butter cookie vaguely tasted like anything resembling peanut butter, and was rock hard. The brownie was a complete disaster. While it wasn’t overly chocolaty, it wasn’t worth five bucks. It was dry, boring, and just overall “blah”. Overall it was just a disaster. If I order a brownie, I expect it to be moist. Even the bonbon was dry and was void of any chocolate flavor. How do you even manage that?
Go explore Kentucky. It’s one of the most beautiful states to just spend a day exploring, and every community has its own flow and attraction, offering outsiders the chance to experience what makes their town special. Wallace Station is a perfect complement to a perfect Kentucky afternoon.
Minus desserts: A