It’s just after New Years – that time of year where everyone makes plans to stop – or start – doing something about their lives. Whether it’s to see France, lose weight or quit sniffing glue, everyone and their mother finds something that just NEEDS to change.
My resolution this year is to lose weight. I chose that because shockingly, writing a blog where all I do is go around and try delicious (and not so delicious) food around town tends to pack on the pounds. If you don’t believe me just ask Adam Richman from Travel Channel’s “Man Vs. Food” (Anthony Bourdain is the only skinny person that just goes around eating and drinking in food show history.)
Yet I chug on, trying everything Lexington has to offer because, well, I love it. Also it’s late January, when everyone forgets about their resolutions. Lexington has some of the best food I’ve ever tasted, but you just need to know where to look.
Speaking of having to search long and hard for something, I had no idea Josie’s even existed before I ate there. Located off of Euclid right next to Puccini’s, it is possible to completely miss Josie’s even if you’re walking by. The exterior looked more like that of a clothing store than of a restaurant, due to the purple and black colors and somewhat relaxed font. The interior, however, evokes much different feelings.
Inside, you’re greeted by some of the more rustic and comfortable knickknacks on a Lexington restaurant scene. Ceramic animals and assorted cooking utensils adorn the red brick walls while wooden chairs and tables, a long bar with stools and inviting booths make up the seating.
Josie’s was so comfortable in fact, I felt out of place taking any pictures of the food. It’s like going home, having dinner at the table with all your family, then pulling out your phone right in front of everyone and snapping away; It just didn’t feel right. I took one picture, then immediately looked around, anticipating my mother to jump out of nowhere to tell me no phones are allowed at the table.
Don’t let that website up top fool you: their menu is expansive. Not only do they offer everything listed, they have no less than five items of the day: pancakes, paninis, quesadillas, quiche and soups.
Our first trip consisted of a Smokehouse burger for Kat, and the panini of the day for me. A sandwich consisting of some pastrami, lettuce, banana peppers, oil & vinegar and Italian sauce on grilled bread, the panini hit the spot and couldn’t have been better. It’s a sandwich that’s so simple and yet so easy to screw up or disappoint, but in this case it was all I could have wanted. As for the Smokehouse burger, both Kat and I agree that it was “eh”. “Eh” with a little shrug of the shoulders, of course, being the American/Internet version of saying something’s adequate. They don’t ask you how they want the burger cooked at Josie’, which always makes me nervous; I don’t want a hockey puck, please. The burger was nothing special, but it was okay.
I held out high hopes for our second visit despite Kat’s burger letdown. This time around I ordered a different burger for myself: a Spicy burger, served with fried jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and southwest ancho mayo. I loved it! Again, they didn’t ask me how I wanted it cooked, but it didn’t matter because it was still juicy (albeit a little overdone for my tastes since prefer burgers medium rare). I can’t complain about any of the meal, not even the fries. Kat ordered a salad, which was…very salad-y. I can’t really write about a salad, outside to say it was fresh.
At this time Josie’s was batting a thousand with me, while with Kat they were squarely 50/50. The third and sadly final trip (for this blog, anyway) took place a few days later, and I was certain this would be the best meal of them all.
I had been eying these peanut butter and chocolate pancakes, which occasionally are available as the pancake of the day. I wanted these pancakes, I NEEDED these pancakes; I knew it, Kat knew it and deep down, our waitress knew it. When I get them, I nearly break my fork in anticipation. On that first bite…the only thing I could think of was “jeez are these dry”. Now, I’m sure pancakes consisting of peanut butter and chocolate chips are going to be a little dry, but these were really dry. I thought about using syrup, but there was no way these would taste good with the syrup. Butter helped, but I’m almost certain I gained 20 pounds with my buttery peanut butter and chocolate pancake, and sadly it wasn’t worth it. Kat ordered the quesadilla of the day, which was apparently good but I was so distraught by my food I forgot to ask her to elaborate. She enjoyed her meal, meanwhile I was finding out there was no Santa.
Before I end this, it would be amiss for me not to mention how wonderful the servers were to us on each visit (although our first waitress would disappear after we got our food.) Every waiter or waitress we had couldn’t have been nicer and more attentive, including one guy (whose name I sadly did not get) who made sure our drinks were always filled, to the point where I thought he had OCD.
If you’re looking for a place to relive those memories of growing up when you would visit your grandparents and eat your favorite foods, visit Josie’s. If you never experience anything like that, still visit Josie’s.
- John G