Lexington, KY – Josie’s might not boast the most diverse or innovative menu in town, but it certainly serves a sought-after niche in the Lexington dining scene: a quick, inexpensive place for breakfast or lunch that’s equal parts casual and sophisticated.
Now in its second full remodel since proprietor Bobby Murray took over the Chevy Chase Place location (formerly Josie’s Grab & Go and a host of other eateries), the vibe at Josie’s is more or less “upscale diner,” although the “upscale” part admittedly stems primarily from the fact that the space is recently renovated with a new and polished semi-modern flair, immediately distancing it from whatever expectations might accompany a diner specializing in pancakes and burgers.
Josie’s maintains the diner nostalgia and charm with its friendly and casual service; a simple, no-frills menu; and the shallow wicker baskets with red and white checked paper on which the sandwiches are served. That, paired with its convenient locale with accessible parking, has apparently already helped establish it as a neighborhood favorite in Chevy Chase, as evidenced by the diverse late lunch crowd that filled nearly every table on a recent Monday afternoon visit.
The menu is relatively extensive, with 15 or so breakfast options (served all day) and more than a dozen sandwiches to choose from, as well as a handful of salads, and daily quiche and quesadilla options. Though the menu selections don’t stray too far from the norm, they leave pretty much something for everyone,
whether you’re dining with a girlfriend, child, client or grandmother. Salads include baby spinach with strawberries and pecans ($7.50), Southwest chicken caesar (grilled chicken on crisp romaine with roasted red peppers and grilled corn, $8.95) and a trio plate with chicken salad, tuna salad and pasta salad ($8.95). Sandwich highlights include homemade tuna salad on wheatberry ($6.95) and a pimento cheese burger.
During our visit, my guest ordered Shawn’s Spicy Burger, served with delicate shoestring fries and a tasty little cup of cole slaw ($8.50). The burger was juicy and fresh, with pepper jack cheese, fried jalapenos and southwest ancho mayonnaise. I opted for the quiche of the day, which contained sausage, bacon and tomato. The quiche was good, with a delicious flaky homemade crust, though it contained too much egg and not enough filling for my taste. The soup of the day that I started with (cream of poblano pepper) left me more than satisfied, however – pureed perfectly smooth with smoky flakes of cheese and a fresh cilantro garnish. The fruit that accompanied the quiche was also surprisingly good -
I’ve grown accustomed to not expecting much in a side of “fresh fruit,” but this order contained a delicious medley of watermelon, grapes, melon and berries with a hint of mint or sweet basil.
You won’t find much on Josie’s menu that you can’t find anywhere else in town, but the restaurant provides a new, fun and casual neighborhood deli atmosphere that is a welcome addition to the local restaurant landscape.
Our total, which included two lunches, a side salad, a side soup and two beverages, came to $26.16 before tip.