Ferrell’s Hamburgers, Hopkinsville KY

On the Friday of our trip, our friend Louis had been telling us about a chain of burger places that used to have multiple locations throughout western Kentucky. He said that Ferrell’s had once been a very special place. They had an outlet in his hometown, Henderson, along with multiple stores in Owensboro and Bowling Green. These days, they were down from perhaps a dozen stores to just three, in the towns of Cadiz, Hopkinsville, and Madisonville, and he believed that the survivors were nowhere as good as the Henderson store once was. Continue reading “Ferrell’s Hamburgers, Hopkinsville KY”

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Peak Brothers Bar-B-Q, Waverly KY

Our favorite meal of the trip came at a very interesting location. Peak Brothers Bar-B-Q, which first opened in 1947, is located on the outskirts of the town of Waverly, surrounded by farmland and wide open skies. It’s about thirty minutes west of Henderson, and it’s definitely worth the drive. If I lived in the area, then I would eat here all the blessed time. Continue reading “Peak Brothers Bar-B-Q, Waverly KY”

Mr. D’s, Henderson KY

In the previous chapter, I mentioned that some amazingly good fried chicken originally brought me to the Henderson area. That’s no longer available, although the rights to the old Bon Ton recipe can be purchased or leased for a price. Our friend Louis Hatchett was very clear that while nobody’s fried chicken was quite like the Bon Ton’s, there was some pretty good stuff available at a drive-in called Mr. D’s. Continue reading “Mr. D’s, Henderson KY”

Thomason’s Barbecue, Henderson KY

The small city of Henderson, which is kind of a “bedroom community” of Evansville, Indiana, is a very, very under-explored region for food lovers. Back in the spring, I asked the well-informed regulars at Roadfood.com for some recommendations, and writer Louis Hatchett strongly recommended that I come his way and sample the astonishing fried chicken at the Colonel’s Mini-Mart with him. Sadly, this once-booming little place, while still serving up the most amazing fried chicken I’ve ever had, was stumbling through bad decisions and mismanagement, and shut its doors for good a week or so after my stop. (Here’s the story.)

I was really taken with the countryside and intrigued by what else we might find up this way. Since it turned out that the area has a couple more places with very good fried chicken, more barbecued mutton, some amazing bridges, and a couple of other treats, I dropped Louis a line to confirm our schedule, and we met him in the mid-afternoon at Henderson’s most popular barbecue restaurant. Continue reading “Thomason’s Barbecue, Henderson KY”

Big Dipper, Owensboro KY

For about the only time on this trip, we were ahead of schedule, so after we left Ole South, we took a minute to drive across the beautiful Glover Cary Bridge from Owensboro into Indiana. It’s such a curious drive, going city, river, absolutely nothing. I wonder why there’s no development at all across the river. Anyway, on the way back across, we saw that J.R. Miller Boulevard is actually raised up above the small downtown area, home to a pretty busy retail area, a couple of museums, and a downright astonishing playground in Smothers Park. Continue reading “Big Dipper, Owensboro KY”

Ole South Bar-B-Q, Owensboro KY

We have not done a good job with reporting on barbecued mutton. Marie and I made one quickie trip to Owensboro, which claims that it is the “barbecue capital of the world” to raised eyebrows everywhere else, in 2010 and had a single meal of mutton, and then I motored through on a circumnavigation this past summer and had one more serving. I figured that we could probably do a better job than that. Continue reading “Ole South Bar-B-Q, Owensboro KY”

Photo Post 21: Dinosaur World, Cave City KY

I try not to type much when we make one of these sporadic photo posts, but here’s the deal. Normally, we’d have thought about something closer to home rather than making two long trips to western Kentucky in one year, but back in June, I drove past Dinosaur World and figured that our four year-old might enjoy that. Then I had a couple of very promising meals in the region and started putting money in the breadbox for a return trip. This turned out to be a really, really good idea. Sadly, the girlchild missed out on the fun – we said goodbye to her in the parking lot – but her younger brother had more fun than you thought possible on this trip, with several kid-friendly stops punctuating the restaurants. We even got to see a dimetrodon! (Although not, sadly, a fire-breathing one.) Continue reading “Photo Post 21: Dinosaur World, Cave City KY”