Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 19, 2014

Tim Preston: Andy's Sweet & Savory; discounted art; open mics; and limo rides: 1/19/14

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — I was taking advantage of a relatively nice afternoon last week and decided to take a walk around the block and maybe find some lunch. I hadn’t made it far along Winchester Avenue before realizing the timing was practically perfect for a taste of the menu at Andy’s Sweet & Savory, which is the new cafe inside the Pendleton Art Center.

I’ve been a fan of chef Andy Moore’s foods for a long time and was happy to hear he was expanding his operations to downtown Ashland, although many weeks had passed without a chance to check out the new place. I popped in and found Moore hard at work behind the scenes while a friendly lady helped me with my order — baked steak with two sides, one of the daily specials on the big board. I added mashed potatoes and green beans to the plate and found a table.

As circumstances had it, I was the only diner on the late-lunch shift that day and I enjoyed the chance to shoot the breeze and talk downtown issues with art-center manager Melanie Osborne and artist Denise Spaulding, as well as Moore, about the rumors and reports we’ve received. We also spent a bit of time talking about what downtown Ashland really needs to again be a thriving and vital section of the city. Between the café and the artistic endeavors, I think area residents will have plenty to look forward to at the Pendleton as we move toward warmer days in 2014.

I always perk up when there’s talk of playing music, so I was especially pleased to hear from Pendleton artist Andrea Prince, who reports the arts center will host an open-mic night from 7 to 10 on the last Friday of each month, starting  Jan. 31. The first installment will be hosted by “indie/folk duo” The Drawn (learn more at thedrawn.com).

“Bring your own acoustic instruments and light percussion, enjoy dinner at Andy’s Sweet and Savory and wine from Rock Springs Winery. As always, local art will be on display for purchase in the Pendleton art gallery. Music of all styles welcome,” Prince said.

So, how was the baked steak? Fork tender and smothered in rich, thick gravy, nestled next to a big pile of hand-whipped potatoes and green beans with just a hint of onion: delicious. I also appreciated the light and fluffy dinner rolls that came with the meal and essentially yelled over the wall to ask Moore if he had made them himself. He seemed embarrassed to admit the rolls were from a package, and before I could blink there was a big, oven-fresh roll of his own making by my plate. It was so good, I didn’t even need to add butter.

The menu at Andy’s includes plate dinners, salads, quesadillas, flatbread sandwiches, regular sandwiches and desserts, although Moore advises he typically makes lots of his best entrees and sides as the daily specials listed only on the blackboard. The café at 1537 Winchester Ave. is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, email sweetsavory41101@gmail.com or call (606) 585-4089.

Good deals

A few days before Christmas, I finally made it inside the doors of Mary Johnson’s Aladdin’s Art Gallery after a couple of years driving by and saying “I need to stop there sometime.” Even on a hit-and-run journalism mission, I fell in love with the shop. At a glance I found a piece of art glass I’m certain my mama would love to have, and I was fascinated by the collection of hand-crafted kaleidoscopes on display as you enter the gallery.

Shop owner Mary Johnson passed along a note advising the fourth-annual Art From Our Attic Sale continues through Jan. 31. The event offers customers up to 90 percent off framed art, and serves as a great excuse to check the place out if you’ve never been there before.

Aladdin’s, at the corner of 13th Street and Lexington Avenue, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (606) 325-2597.

Lost limo card

It’s no secret I operate on a perpetual backlog of things I intend to get done. As part of that process, I keep a small box of business cards to the left of my office computer, and often dig into it seeking reminders or phone numbers.

Since before Christmas 2012, I’ve been plotting to get together with Chuck Williams, owner of Classy Limousine, to do a ride-along and feature story. I was reminded of this when I ran into Williams while doing a story about another local enterprise, and again when I saw something labeled “Party Bus” parked at the police station across the street from the newspaper.

We had a visit from some of our top corporate people last week and everyone made an effort to clean up their desks and work stations (I started to do the same, but got discouraged in a hurry). As part of the cleanup campaign, someone ran a sweeper in the newsroom and apparently dislodged or recovered a small stack of business cards that had fallen into the crevice between my desk and a neighboring book shelf. The scattered cards were neatly piled on my keyboard, and guess whose card was on top: Classy Limousine.

I’m taking it as a guiding message, and plan to call Mr. Williams to arrange for some sort of a ride. In the meanwhile, if you need corporate transportation, a ride to the airport/a wedding/sporting event/prom/holiday party or other special event or occasion, visit classylimo.net or call (606) 232-0049 or (888) 696-4778.

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