My Favorite Restaurants Countdown

It’s the end of a short week and I thought it would be a good time to start a series of posts about some of my favorite places I’ve eaten. Living in Kentucky doesn’t necessarily give automatic insight about a ton of topics, but if I’ve learned about anything in going across the Bluegrass, from Pikeville to Paducah and Covington to Franklin, it’s that we have PLENTY of good food here, and I enjoy it way too much.

I’ll give a thumbnail sketch of ten of my favorites. All of them won’t be Kentucky establishments, but the majority will be. My tastes in food, as with pretty much anything else, are kind of all over the place. You may agree, you may recoil in horror, or you may want to try it. I understand.

10. Ollie’s Trolley, Louisville, KY.

Apparently,  once upon a time, John Y. Brown, fresh off the success of the Boston Celtics and Kentucky Fried Chicken, decided to invest in this franchise. They had restaurants shaped like trollies, and claimed a secret blend of 23 herbs and spices in their hamburgers.

Now, to the best of my knowledge, as supported by Robin Garr and his excellent website,, there is one restaurant left. You can find it at 978 S. Third Street in Louisville– this is the corner of Third and Kentucky.

There’s no real seating in or around Ollie’s (a few picnic tables, I think, but c’mon, it’s old Louisville, do you really want to just sit outside on a random picnic table). It’s pretty much take away, and the cuisine, as best I recall is fairly limited. I say as best I recall because I only ever got an Ollie Burger and fries. That’s all you need right there.

The Ollie Burger is fried up right in front of you (ala Steak-and-Shake). Ollie’s doesn’t really do ketchup and/or mustard, but instead you get the secret Ollie Sauce. Basically, it’s Thousand Islands dressing, which would make you think that the Ollie Burger would taste a lot like a Big Mac. But it doesn’t. It’s better somehow… more flavorful and just generally tasty– who knows, maybe it’s the 23 herbs and spices.

And I love the fries. The seasoning does have a peculiar smell. I left an old Ollie’s bag in my car once and the stench lingered for weeks. I didn’t really mind though, because these are some seriously tasty french fries. The seasoning gives a nice zing, and complements the burger well.

Maybe you won’t share my enthusiasm for this one. My wife finds it thoroughly average. But I dig the tasty burgers and those spiced-up fries. I like the weird decoration and the tiny kitchen which is right on top of you as you order. Maybe I like the fact that it’s the last dinosaur of its type, so to speak. As the last of its type, it may not look like much, but there’s a reason it’s still open– well, actually two. Tasty food and cheap food. Sounds all right to me.

Thoughts, opinions, and questions are welcome. I’ll continue this series periodically.



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3 Responses to “My Favorite Restaurants Countdown”

  1. Julie Says:

    Thoroughly average–no. Kind of disgusting–yes. Although I have to admit that the little trolley is pretty cool.

  2. eljoe1235 Says:

    Hey, the only thing that’s disgusting is how SOME PEOPLE can’t just enjoy a tasty burger.

  3. Amy Says:

    Awesome burgers and fries. I especially like to get an extra cup of “Ollie sauce” for my fries. You know, the more fat and calories, the better! And, it is also thoroughly disgusting and yet amazingly appetizing that whenever you get where your going there will inevitably be grease all over your paper sack. Yum!

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