Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

June 2, 2013

Tim Preston: Pigging out; massages; Manila; and Mexico: 06/02/13

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — I’m starting this week’s column with an eye on the clock and an extreme awareness of the applicable deadline, so I’m going to attempt to just “knock one out” as best I can. A big part of my challenge this week is the holiday weekend and the fact I’ve been a bit out of touch with the business beat. I do have a few follow-up notes, however, and I found at least one photo to share.

I’ll start with our Wednesday adventure. Because of the holiday, I had a day off midweek and decided to take my wife out for an early supper at The Lamp Post Café. I was predictable and ordered the smoked meatloaf along with a suggested side of their new onion rings, which arrived at the table with a small bowl of a horseradish-based sauce for dipping.

I checked my reservations (based on years of undesirable horseradish sauces) and dipped in with a crispy onion ring. It was great. I also had a side salad with the house red dressing and also gave that a double thumbs-up.

I fully intended to try a bite of my wife’s half-pound cheeseburger, although I apparently got fascinated with my smoked meatloaf and that tiny gal finished every bite of the big burger before I even remembered my own intentions.

She gave it an excellent review and made a point of saying she could immediately tell it was a hand-patted burger, served perfectly cooked. Now that I’m writing about it, I have to confess we really just pigged out. I also had an order of chicken wings as an appetizer, after hearing the spicy-Buffalo style sauce is the custom creation of someone in the kitchen. I was licking my fingers and smacking my lips within the first few bites.

It was an excellent meal and one of the owners insisted we try some dessert before calling it quits.

Only a fool would decline such an offer and even though I still had a big chunk of meatloaf to carry home, I almost started drooling when they brought out a strawberry croissant, as well as (thankfully) smaller samples of Italian Cream Cake, Red Velvet Cake and Coal Miner’s Cake.

As a certified strawberry fanatic (second only to fresh peaches in my world) the simple-yet-sinful treat was one of the most delicious things I’ve had in a long time. The dessert looked so good when they brought it out, I couldn’t resist the urge to take a photo. I also had a tremendous appreciation for the Red  Velvet Cake, which had “grandma icing” instead of the cream-cheese topping typically atop that particular cake.

The café on the corner of 15th Street and Greenup Avenue also continues to get good reviews from everyone who files a field report, with the only exception being consistent comments about the time required to get a meal on the table.

I think that is a reflection of the owners’ insistence that everything be prepared according to their own standards, and the fact some of their menu items, such as stuffed pancakes, simply take time to do correctly.

Massage and art

I’ve had a real rash of missed opportunities to cover small business in recent weeks, including the recently opened Moxie Massage & Boutique at 1607 Winchester Ave., barely half a block away from our offices.

Owner Dr. Amy Litteral, a Kentucky-licensed chiropractic physician and massage therapist, had, however, sent me a note telling us a little bit about herself and what she does at her small shop.

Litteral was born in Ironton and initially attended Shawnee State before pursuing her higher education at Texas Chiropractic College in Houston, and returned to this area after practicing in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, N.C.

When she came back here, Litteral opened a studio for her jewelry work at the Pendleton Art Center in Ashland, alongside friend and fellow artist Angy Hall (who also makes really cool jewelry and happens to be one of the best rock vocalists in the region).

Litteral said she has been making sterling silver and gemstone jewelry for the past decade, and decided to open her own shop, Moxie Massage & Boutique as a way of combining her interests, skills and the healing arts.

Litteral offers several types of therapeutic massage, and is also a certified Yoga instructor and nutrition counselor who provides such services by appointment.

She also offers a “wisdom discount” for ages 65 and older. She provided some information about her plans to expand her artwork through the use of precious-metal clays, as well as ceramic and glass work she will complete with the addition of a kiln at the shop. Fascinating stuff.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit DrLitteral.com or call (606) 831-1501. The business is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Maria to share treats

I’ve written about Maria’s Manila Asian Market several times recently even though I’ve only been there once.

Owner and namesake Maria Lemaster contacted me last week to ask when would be a good time for her to bring the Independent’s newsroom a few new taste treats, including a few of those Goldilocks brand pastries I’ve been practically obsessed with.

We set a time and Maria said she will be bringing egg rolls and fried rice, along with samples of a few of other items those of us who grew up in Appalachia would consider “unusual,” and I’m looking forward to her visit with great anticipation. Love it or hate it, or whatever, I’ll write about the experience next week.

Maria’s is at 1564 Diederich Blvd., not far from Russell High School. For more information, call (606) 388-4084.

Mexican market?

On an unrelated note, I was stopped on the sidewalk on my way into work and asked if I was aware of a new Hispanic grocery business that has apparently opened at Meade Station Plaza in Summit.

I had to say I was unaware of it, but I do have a taste for a couple of different brands of (affordable) dark-roast coffees I’ve only ever found in the “Mexican Food” sections at a few specialty markets far from the hills of Kentucky in exotic locations, including Virginia and North Carolina.

I will attempt to find the new place, but as always encourage anyone who has already been there to send me a few comments so I know what to look for.

Where did you eat?

I have had a couple of tips recently about some good places to eat in neighboring counties, and I want to encourage as much of that as I can.

I intend to be on the road a lot in the months ahead and it is always good to know the best places to find a good cheeseburger, barbecue, doughnuts, pizza or coffee while away from home. That also applies to entertainment (I hear great things about an acoustic duo that plays once a week at a Mexican restaurant in Prestonsburg).

As I find these places, I promise to report about my experiences. Send notes to the email below, or just pick up the phone and give me a call.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.