On Saturday, I was fortunate to be able to experience something new with Haley’s family. We took a wonderful drive through some of Kentucky’s finest farms to the popular Wallace Station restaurant. Wallace Station is a small, popular diner that was made even more famous when Guy Fieri made a visit for his show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. They feature 20-something hot or cold sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups, and desserts. On Monday nights, they serve fried chicken and on Friday nights, they offer fish fry. Located in Versailles, KY, Wallace Station proudly boasts that they are “Kentucky Proud“. For those of you that aren’t familiar, “Kentucky Proud” is a slogan for indicating that a product was made or grown in the state of Kentucky. All of their vegetables, beef, and even flour (that they use to make their own bread) are all local. It was nice to see a restaurant dedicated to supporting Kentucky’s farmers and keeping the money local.
If you go to Wallace Station, be prepared to wait. From the minute we got there to the minute we left, there was a line forming out the door and down the steps. Our wait was about 15-20 minutes outside in the blistering Sun because the line forms from the counter straight out the doors. I found this to be a little problematic because some people aren’t very considerate… I assume it’s because they leave the door open to get a nice breeze from the air conditioning but it also allows flies to enter the restaurant. It was a little disgusting because flies were just swarming as if you were in a barn. Luckily for us, the temperatures weren’t that bad for the weekend so the wait was tolerable. I was told the wait was even worse during the Monday night’s fried chicken (which I hope to try one day). Seating is available both outside and inside but if you opt for indoor seating, be prepared to limit your party to 4 or less people because the seating is limited. Despite the negative aspects mentioned above, my experience was favorable.
Seeing how popular the place was, I decided to order a bit of everything. Haley ordered the Shady Lane Chicken Salad, an all white meat chicken salad with dried cranberries and almonds on Wallace Station wheat with lettuce. I ordered The Big Brown burger, a burger named Guy Fieri’s top 5 burgers of all time with ham, bacon, tomato and white cheddar Mornay, a cup of Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup, and a Cheesecake Brownie. Haley’s father took the liberty of ordering a piece of a Tres Leches cake for us to share.
Haley’s experience was less than exciting. Right off the bat they didn’t serve her any chips (they were supposed to come with her sandwich) and her sandwich just had a dollop of chicken salad. It wasn’t even enough to spread thinly over the sandwich. So literally she was just eating lettuce bread with a layer of chicken salad so thin, you’d probably get more meat from a single slice of Carl Buddig deli meat (known to be some of the thinnest deli meat you can purchase).
My meal on the other hand fared a bit better than hers. First we’ll start off with the soup. I love soup… I love soup so much, I could consider eating only soup for the rest of my life. My father told me I like soup so much because I’m Korean… not sure what that means but I digress. Wallace Station’s soup is an authentic homemade soup that ranks amongst my top soups of all time. The soup was creamy with shredded chunks of tender white meat chicken mixed with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. It wasn’t too salty, yet you could taste the fresh spices that were floating atop the soup. Very hearty indeed.
The burger was different. Guy Fieri says that it is one of his top 5 burgers he’s ever had, but I would have to disagree with him. Don’t get me wrong, the burger was delicious with great flavor. I would attribute the flavor to the fact that the juices from the ham and the slightly crispy bacon dripped into the beef, providing a unique concoction of saltiness and pork & beef flavors. The white cheddar Mornay sauce on the other hand was a bit distracting. Mornay sauce is described as a béchamel sauce (cream sauce with roux) with melted cheese. My sauce did not taste like white cheddar nor did it taste like a roux cream sauce. The consistency was similar to sour cream and it had a coarse texture that reminded me of gritty mayonnaise.
The desserts were tasty but nothing special. The Tres Leches is what I call an acquired taste. Imagine a firm cake soaked in condensed milk. For those of you who haven’t had condensed milk by itself, it is very “sugary”. Similar to the leftover milk after you have left after eating a bowl of your favorite kid’s cereal. Now imagine a piece of cake where you pour this leftover “cereal” milk on top to the point where it gets soggy. Now put that cake on a plate and you have your Tres Leches. Sound appetizing? The cheesecake brownie reminded me of a lightly sweetened, dry brownie with a slight “sourness” from the cream cheese. As I said before, they weren’t my favorite, but were just “good enough”.
In my opinion, Wallace Station was worth experiencing at least once but keep in mind it’s not cheap and it’s definitely not close unless you actually live in Midway or Versailles. My bill was $24 for everything. If I were going to spend that much for lunch, I would rather dine at Newk’s or Jason’s Deli. But to each their own and your experiences may differ from mine. If you’ve been there before, were your experiences similar? Let me know!
|Wallace Station Deli & Bakery
3854 Old Frankfort Pike
Versailles, KY 40383
Bill Total: $28.80 For Two