Billy, Billy, Billy…

This afternoon, my husband and I decided to get out of the house and tool around town a bit. We weren’t up to any big projects, we just wanted to get out of the house and go somewhere, if only to remind ourselves that the snow and ice and cold does not have to turn us into hermits.

Alas, I feel like a hermit! And I wish I had eaten at home.

We decided to go to the public library and hit the Friends of the Library Bookstore and then go out to lunch somewhere nearby.

Made out like a bandit at the FOTL Bookstore – got a couple cookbooks we were looking for, a couple art books and a history of the settlement of colonial US, something that will likely be useful to my genealogy endeavors as there were some migration charts and the like.

Anyway, we then went to lunch at Billy’s BBQ in the Chevy Chase area (101 Cochran Rd, Lexington, KY 40502, (859) 269-9593). This restaurant has been operating for the past 30 years or so, and as far as I know, it has always been at the same address.

There was a time when this was something of a happening spot. It still is, but probably more for nostalgic reasons and not for the high quality of the food. Now that Lexington has become something of a Foodie town, good old Billy’s looks a bit worn around the cuffs and collar and the shoes need resoling.

Having said that, I have to admit that the food was not bad, still, it wasn’t entirely good, either.

I would say that some items were acceptable and others were merely okay. The fried pickles – my, oh my, they were fabulous, exactly the kind of appetizer that goes perfectly with a cold beer (which we should have had) – crunchy fried, with the salty tart of the pickle slices playing off the crunch. The horseradish sauce that accompanied the pickles was fine, really neither here nor there. It was horseradish sauce.

My husband had the pork dinner plate and I had the beef. The pork was a little more interesting that the beef, although both were wetter than I would have liked. I am not a fan of overly wet BBQ, especially when the sauce is so watery that you cannot taste it. The beef was worse than the pork and this wet pile of bland beef made me very sad.

The coleslaw was nice. It was the kind of good you expect from your favorite aunt at a family reunion spread. Or, in the case of our lunch, perhaps a family funeral spread. Either way, my favorite aunt and — I pray to BabyJesus they make it themselves — Billy’s BBQ make fine coleslaw.

The beans were good. They were canned, or at least seemed to be, and a little too wet, although that might have been the wet meat affecting the state of the green beans. Still, they were okay.

Unfortunately, the iced tea tasted like it was made last week. I admit that I am unduly fussy about the quality of my iced tea, but I stand by my assessment – the tea was bitter and had that “been sitting around several days too long” dankness about it that I find entirely unappealing.

The service was friendly and the place was more than half full. Given the weather and time of day, more than half full wasn’t half bad!

I’d go again, just because I have such fine memories of the place. I’m hoping these gray, cold days had simply gotten the best of Billy’s, as it has gotten the best of me.

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