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A taste of Lexington will include bourbon and produce from local farms. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s best food experiences in the Bluegrass:
1. Breakfast at Keeneland Race Course. If you're in town during racing season at Keeneland, the track offers a full breakfast in the Equestrian Dining Room on Saturday mornings. Watch the horses work out before first post, and learn how to follow the action from professional handicappers. There are also children's activities and a chance to get up close to many of the horses.
2. Fried chicken at Merrick Inn. Forget about the drive-through if you're in search of fried chicken. Merrick Inn, family-owned for more than 30 years, serves one of the best renditions of the southern favorite. Order a half chicken or a fried breast accompanied by country ham, red-eye gravy and a spiced peach.
3. College grub. Beer and pizza has long been a staple of college life, and Lexington has more than its share. Just across the street from the University of Kentucky, students often stop in for a quick slice at Pazzo's Pizza Pub between classes. The pizza is great, but the beer is even better — there are 40 brews on tap.
4. Hot Brown Sandwich. The traditional Hot Brown Sandwich is unique to the commonwealth, but a favorite of all who try it. The open-faced roasted turkey sandwich is toasted until the bread begins to brown, then covered in Mornay sauce, tomato slices and bacon. Several restaurants around the state serve the Hot Brown, but one of the best in Lexington can be found downtown at deSha's.
5. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. This stiff drink is a melding of Kentucky's traditional bourbon with a rich ale. The award-winning beer, made in Lexington, is aged in old bourbon barrels, soaking in the flavor from their previous contents. The result is a full-bodied, dark beer with vanilla notes and a strong hint of bourbon.