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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Roach

Ruby Jean's Cookin' is as Good as My Grandma's

This is why we do what we do.

Last week, Tam shared a post on Facebook about Save A Lot Grocery located in Lexington having the best fried chicken. She is a huge fan! That sparked a back-and-forth convo with our followers about other great chicken finds, and repeatedly, the name Ruby Jean's Cafe popped up. Fellow "buds" commented on how much they loved their food and encouraged us to give it a try. So we did! Yesterday, we headed off to Southland Drive with an empty stomach and an open mind! This is what we discovered.

The restaurant face is quite cute, in fact I'll use the word quaint. We wondered why we hadn't noticed it before as many times as we've driven past it. It's right next to Sav-A-Lot and Old Kentucky Chocolates, two of our favorite places! The interior however, is rather simple. In fact, it reminds me of an old style, no frills diner complete with checkerboard flooring and old-fashioned seating. In the center of the restaurant is a buffet or what I just recently found out is also called a "hot bar". Who knew? Next to the hot bar were a stack of paper plates (yes, that's right, paper plates) and red cafeteria trays. Not knowing what to do, we had to ask the patrons, who all looked like regulars btw. They told us just to jump in, grab a plate and load up. And that is exactly what we did!

And now for my favorite part... let me give you the lowdown on all the country fixins: potato salad, green beans, peas, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, turkey, fried chicken, gravy, fritters, salad (we passed right over that, of course), cobbler, banana pudding and more!! That was just the stuff I could get on my plate. But the good news is, I could go back for more because it's an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for only $7.95. Now where the heck can you get all that food for that price? But the best thing about the place was how good the food was. It reminded me of my grandma's cooking, full of flavor and made from scratch. We absolutely loved it!! The "buds" were right!

This leads me to the point of this article. As we have mentioned a hundred times, the goal of KyTasteBuds is to get us out of our ruts and explore all the good things this wonderful state has to offer from food, to fashion, to places and most importantly, the people. We are interactive. We can't do this blog without you! It's fellow "buds" like you who tell us "what's good". We, in turn, share that info with other fellow Kentuckians. See how that works?! It's a win-win! In fact, visit our Buds to Buds page to see a lot of places we have been based on input from our followers.

So thanks, guys, for the tip. I sure miss my grandmother's cooking and this is a place I can go anytime I want to travel down memory lane. Coincidentally, I ran into my Aunt Bea (yes, I actually have an Aunt Bea) while there and she shared with me that it was my grandfather's fav place to eat after my grandmother died. And you know what... that made perfect sense to me. Now, I will carry on the tradition. Thanks, Ruby Jean, for keeping our family happy and giving us a place to remember good ol' Grandma's cooking! You would have loved it Granny Katie!

P.S. The entire Southland Drive corridor is undergoing a renaissance, so to speak. Marikka's German Bier Stub has been rebuilt from the ground up and serves up the biggest pretzels in town along with, you guessed it, beer! There is the community-focused Good Foods Co-op with their own hot buffet, and Winchell's with their incredible hamburgers and a to-die-for hot brown, and don't forget about the Farmer's Market that happens every Sunday from 10-2, providing you an abundance of fresh pickins!

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