We are (semi) adventurous eaters. Whenever we visit a new locale we try to find the locals’favorite restaurants. So far, we have never been steered wrong. On our recent visit to Lebanon and Shelbyville, Kentucky, we sampled several restaurants. Each one had a unique appeal and a different vibe. It was early afternoon when we arrived in Hennings Restaurant in Lebanon, and it already seemed like a it had been a long day. We’d been lost, stuck for miles driving in a heavy thunderstorm and were ready for a hot meal. Hennings, located on West Main Street, immediately draws customers into a simpler time. Upon walking in the historic building, we were greeted by a friendly waitress, the site of an antique soda fountain and a case of homemade desserts. The food was traditional Southern cuisine. I ordered the Country Fried Streak with Pintos and Okra and Brittany ordered the special of the day; a sausage and cabbage plate. Our food was served quickly and was tasty, but I really wanted to save room for dessert. Brittany ordered homemade buckeyes while I ordered marbled cheesecake. Smooth, creamy and chocolately, it made up for the stress of the day. They’re open 9:00-5:00 Monday through Friday.
Later, after hiking the Cecil L. Gorley Naturalist Trail, a beautiful winding nature trail, we needed a quick bite to eat. We stopped by the Rosewood Bar & Grill, a casual, family friendly restaurant, with cheerful waitresses who checked in with us often to be sure we had everything we needed and a dinner menu designed to appeal to all ages. I chose the Southwest Grilled Chicken, a slightly spicy chicken dish smothered in cheese. No one can go wrong with cheese! The huge portions assured us we would not leave hungry.
In Shelbyville, we tried something a little different; the Taqueria Tsunami, a Latin-Asian kitchen. Located in an upscale outlet mall, with stores like Gucci, the cuisine is surprisingly good. I wasn’t sure about the combination of Latin and Asian foods, but it works. We began with an appetizer of Avocado Cilantro egg rolls, deep fried to perfection without being greasy and served with a sweet and spicy Thai Sauce.
The main dish Tsunami Bowls are well worth a sample. I tried the South of the Border Bowl; a mixture of Spanish rice, avocado, roasted corn, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños and chipotle sour cream. Upon learning this chain is expanding, my daughter immediately texted one of her friends to let him know the restaurant was coming to his college town and to try it asap.