Restaurant Review: One Nineteen West Main
December 6, 2017
by Live in Oldham County
“We are here to have fun. But we are serious about the food.” Jason Kinser, owner, talks about his restaurant, One Nineteen West Main.
If you are from Oldham County, you see many restaurants come and go. Like many other residents of Oldham County- we become excited when a “non-chain” restaurant comes available. The good news is, One Nineteen has been here a while. And they are here to stay. Located on Main Street, this restaurant is the perfect setting to view the train, while eating lunch or dinner. For those of you who are not familiar with the LaGrange Kentucky area, our Main Street has a train track that runs directly down the center. So any shops or stores on Main street have a front row seat to the train that passes by around 30 times in a 24 hour period.
Just recently, they announced on Facebook that they are now serving beer & wine.
The afternoon started out pleasantly enough. We were seated right away and we were asked what we would like to drink. I knew they had an adult beverage menu, but we did have to ask to see the full selection. Apparently there are not too many people who decide to drink during the middle of the work day on a Wednesday afternoon…
At the suggestion of the owner, Jason Kinser, I ordered a Christmosa- a holiday version of the mimosa with a candy cane – a welcome and very festive addition. Bubbly and light, this drink was as much fun to say as it was to consume.
Yes drinks can count as appetizers.
Lets get off track a little (get it?) and talk about menu selections. ALWAYS ask your server what the special of the day is. You know that there was some thought put into that day’s selection- that is why they call it SPECIALS. If there are no daily specials, ask for the Chef’s favorite or to surprise you. Its a fun game for everyone involved. You get to try something new, and the chef gets to create something amazing. Win win.
Fried Green Tomatoes.
Panko dusted, golden brown & delicious, sided with the Sassy Southern dipping sauce. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with fried green tomatoes- and it is almost a science to get the breading just right. So when I see them on a menu I always approach with caution. I was not disappointed. These were perfectly fried, and served as promised- golden brown. They had an excellent crunch to savory ratio and the dipping sauce could have been served with a spoon.
Here comes the show.
Brace yourselves. I am about to review 3 entrees and 3 desserts. Yes it is a difficult job. But someone has to do it. Your welcome in advance for my self sacrifice.
I have to say, this is the most deliberate, well-thought out meal that I have had in a while. Juicy grilled pork chop with apple gastrique and autumn-spiced apples, rosemary red potatoes, haricot verts, topped with tobacco onions. When I heard the description it sounded like a lot of things that would be thrown on a plate and called a meal. But what was served was a piece of art. Everything is layered so perfectly, so intentionally, that your mouth immediately starts watering when your plate is put in front of you. The sauce on the pork adds a level of new experience, coupled with the apples and the crunchiness of the onions. The green beans are light, buttery, and have a little bit of a crunch. The more you eat, the more you appreciate that all of the flavors were perfectly orchestrated to make this simple, yet beautifully complex meal. You find yourself thinking that God created apples for no other reason than to be sautéed and seasoned and then stacked on a beautiful pork chop.
There is nothing fishy about the portion size of these fish tacos. Think “tacos as big as your head.” But 2 of them. Seared whitefish, nestled in a tender tortilla with lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, shredded cheese, Baha sauce and served with coleslaw. I think that I could eat these fish tacos every other day for the rest of my life and not be sorry about it. Fresh ingredients- lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, tender fish with the perfect seared edges, all paired together to offer a nice crunch. A problem I face when trying tacos from other restaurant is the soggy factor. That is not an issue with these tacos. Yes, it is a lot of food, but it is the kind you do not feel bad about. You could easily make the transition from lunch back to work after these tacos, without feeling like you need to take a nap, or that you need a wheelbarrow to take you to the car. Guilt free, budget friendly fish tacos.
Kentucky “Haute” Brown.
If you are counting, yes this is the 3rd entree I tried. It was mind over matter at this point. But I would like to point out my amazing self control, and only trying a few bites of each item so far. The desserts were my downfall. But that is skipping ahead.
Tender, oven-roasted turkey, country ham, maple bacon, fried green tomato, cheesy mornay sauce and melted cheddar over a thick slice of Texas toast. This meal is the epitome of soul food. As in you will be so full you will feel you reached another level of full that reaches all the way to your soul. Or it is just so good that it makes your soul happy. Where the fish tacos would allow you to go back to work, fueled and refreshed. This meal requires a blanket, a pillow and a nap that will drive you to dreams of bacon and world without the worries of calories.
The Haute Brown is Kentucky’s most famous sandwich for a reason. This iconic dish was created in 1926 and has lasted throughout the years because it is southern comfort food. One Nineteen puts their own spin on the open faced sandwich by adding country ham and their signature fried green tomatoes. Completely covered in cheese and topped with bacon. Whats not to love?
Because we are short on time, I will say that I had three desserts. YES THREE and I almost offered to pay the waitress to go get my car for me. One Nineteen does many things right, but their dessert is a step above the rest. You can tell that there was a level of planning and intention that went into creating these desserts. I felt underdressed eating them, I felt as if I should have been in a long flowy gown, with candle lighting, and floor length table cloths- because these were 5 star desserts served at a local restaurant in LaGrange Kentucky. There is not a dessert to rival the three desserts that I tasted (except my grandma’s devil food cake). Drop what you are doing and go to One Nineteen right this second.
Fried Oatmeal Cream Pie.
Crunchy captain cereal coating, Dean’s Vanilla Bean Ice cream, Salted Caramel and Raspberry topping. Apparently, they tried to take this off the menu and they were met with an uproar of angry customers. BRING BACK THE OATMEAL CREAM PIE they screamed. With pitchforks. And I can see where the level of hostility came from. This dessert (as the best desserts often are) is served warm with the sensation of the cold icecream. The marriage of hot and cold, uniting for all the right reasons. This is not a dessert I would have normally ventured to try, but again with the chef’s pick. If you desire childhood memories in dessert form, with a certain level of sophistication, this dessert is a must try.
Peanut Butter Swiss Cake Roll.
If you were to image every single one of your favorite desserts and wonder what they would taste like together, I can tell you from experience it is amazing. This is a grown up version of all sweets we loved from our childhood. Ghirardelli brownies (with coffee), marshmallow cheesecake center, rolled up and then topped with a peanut butter crunch served with vanilla bean ice cream. Worth the calories.
A trademarked dessert?!
Yes. The Kentucky Bacon Pie is trademarked. Creamy toffee center, candied pecans, chocolate chips, diced bacon, with a unique pretzel crust. There is a symphony of flavors packed into each bite, and you can only appreciate each one the more you eat. Hence the clean plate club. For those with more defined pallets, you will taste the subtle smoky flavor of the bacon, the sweetness of the candied pecans, the slightly bitter flavor of the chocolate and the saltiness of the pretzel crust. You know that if something is trademarked it is because it is really that good. You don’t have to tell me twice.
There are few local, non-chain options in Oldham County Kentucky- but the restaurants we do have are all doing something right. One Nineteen West Main is providing a unique experience for our residents. Reasonably priced (between $5- $15), they have the food of a 5 star restaurant, in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. The music is pleasant, without being too loud, the decor is puzzling (locals will appreciate that pun), and the setting is nostalgic.
Perfect for family dinners, business lunches, or just a random Wednesday afternoon.
Remember. Shop, Buy, Eat, Drink, Local. Live in Oldham County.
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