Favorite Restaurants Countdown- #7

The list to date:

10. Ollie’s Trolley, Louisville, KY

9. China Express, Middlesboro, KY

8. Louis’, Knoxville, TN

7. Moonlite Bar-B-Q, Owensboro, KY

           Moonlite (and the spelling of its name is official, confirmed via website) is one of those mythical places that I heard about literally dozens of times before I visited. When I first came west from to Bowling Green at 17, people asked me if I liked barbecue. Truthfully, I didn’t know. Eastern Kentucky doesn’t do barbecue really. Oh people might get together and grill some ribs on a Friday night, but it’s not a big restauranting thing like it is in the central and western parts of the state.

               I was actually well into my mid-20s before I managed to make it to Moonlite. It is that comparative foodie rarity that actually is what people say it is. First, there’s the barbecue. At Moonlite, you can get your barbecue pulled or chopped, and you can have your choice of pork (probably my favorite), beef, or mutton. I wasn’t that taken by Moonlite’s barbecue at first. It’s a bit more mustardy than ketchupy (as most authentic barbecue apparently is), but it has grown on me. Plus, with all of the options, you’re sure to like some of it.

             Speaking of options, it’s the rest of Moonlite’s famous buffet that really makes it a top restaurant for me. Mashed potatoes, baked apples, green beans, lima beans, barbecue beans, creamed corn, rolls, cornbread, and on and on and on. It’s all good, it’s all fresh and if you’re at all like me, you will eat until you physically can not eat any more.

              There’s a salad bar as well, not that I’ve ever made it that far, and a few scattered deserts, which sometimes are pretty good and sometimes frankly unimpressive. But the absolute deluge of mouth-watering fresh veggies and barbecue of all shapes, sizes, and types will keep you coming back again and again and again.

                  Moonlite is almost always crowded, and the buffet is a bit pricey for dinner ($12.25 Mon-Thurs, and Sunday, $14.95 on Friday and Saturday). A better bet is lunch, where all of the food discussed above, as much as you want, can be yours for only $9.00. You can also eat carry-out (which would unfortunately omit the buffet from the experience) or order from their web store.

               The only way Moonlite could be any better is if they assigned you a cot so that you could have a nice mid-afternoon doze after a battle with the buffet. Until then, I guess it’ll have to stay at #7 on my restaurant list.

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2 Responses to “Favorite Restaurants Countdown- #7”

  1. barboo77 Says:

    I dated a guy from Owensboro my freshman year of college and all I heard about was Moonlite BBQ. I must say that the one time I ate there I was less than impressed. Of course, everyone always raved about the BBQ at Mark’s Feed Store in Louisville, too. Again, I was less than impressed. But I’m not a big BBQ connoisseur, and my taste runs more towards to sweet instead of spicy.

    Joe, if you and the Mrs. ever make it up this way, we’ll have to take you to the Pit Rib House in Hickory Hills. I like their BBQ and so does Jay Leno, John Stamos, Telly Savalas, and Eric Clapton. Can Moonlite say the same? I think not.

  2. eljoe1235 Says:

    Sounds great to me! Incidentally, another barbecue joint will rank higher on the final list.

    BUT, on Moonlite’s celebrity credentials, three words– Bill Freaking Clinton.

    Joe

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