Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


June 14, 2014

Tim Preston: A description that made me drool, antiques and mo’ berries: 06/15/14

ASHLAND — Putting this week’s excuse at the top of the column — I’ve lost my most critical notebook and have no idea how to get around the problem so (once again) I’m just going to start writing and see where this thing goes. I do have a couple of cryptic hand-scribbled notes on my desk, and that might be my saving grace for this particular piece.

We’ll begin with a drive-by report from along Ky. 60 in the Summit community, where the “OPEN” sign is now illuminated at the new Johnny’s Pizza. I almost had a big goof up in a previous report about the new restaurant in the former location of Tres Fratelli, best remembered as the original Rajah’s space at Meade Station Plaza, when I assumed (and we all know what happens when we assume) the place was being developed by the man who owns Johnny’s Pizza in Grayson — who did an outstanding job informing me about the history of the franchise and the traditions they still carry from the original mid-Ohio locations.

The new place in Boyd County, however, is actually owned by husband-and-wife team Dwayne and Stacy Burke. And, since we’re writing in real time this week, I’m going to give them a call and see what I can get.

Johnny’s Pizza

now open

Stacy Burke at the new Johnny’s Pizza at Meade Station reports they have “been busy everyday ... overwhelming,” since they opened at the end of last month. Understandably, pizza has been the number one order for their initial customers, although she says their calzones have been “selling like crazy,” followed by orders for Italian sandwiches and specialty pastas.

“Pizza has been the big seller, especially the Johnny Supreme,” she said.

We had a comedy moment via telephone when I asked about her personal favorite on the menu and she began describing the ingredients for their Alfredo Chicken Carbonara Bake. I must’ve been hungry at the time because the funny part happened when I was trying to take notes, but actually had to put down the pen in order to wipe my mouth to prevent drooling on the desk. I shared the “Pavlov’s dog” moment with Burke, who just laughed and said “It’s been a huge seller, too.”

The new Johnny’s Pizza has seating for 120, with an additional 45 seats in their party room. Burke said they also have party specials to go with the party room, and encouraged anyone with questions about reserving the party space to give them a call. Johnny’s Pizza is closed on Monday, and open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information or to place an order, call (606) 929-5222. And, if you are in Grayson and want a taste of Johnny’s Pizza, call (606) 474-2441.

On Courthouse Square

From the “notes on my desk” file: Anita Conley, manager at The Gold Nugget at 201 Harrison Street in downtown Greenup, has extended an invitation to the area’s antique and collectibles enthusiasts to visit the shop, where she says they will find “a little bit of everything, really.” Conley advised there may not even be a street sign pointing down Harrison Street and said the best way to describe the location is to simply say it is on Courthouse Square, which narrows it down nicely even if you’ve never been in downtown Greenup.

The shopkeeper said the business began when the owners had relatives pass away and found themselves with “a building full of stuff,” that was purchased, boxed and stored over a period of years. Since then, they’ve accepted interesting things from others, and sought out additional inventory for their shelves, she said, and now make a point of switching out inventory and adding new things to keep it interesting for those who visit often.

I asked Conley to name some of the more unusual things in the shop and she sounded a little flustered as she formulated an answer. “A lot of it is stuff they collected over the years — household things, old kitchen things, tools and primitive things,” she said, before adding they have a wide variety of merchandise ranging from old service station signs to glassware and even non-antique collectibles. “We have toys, dolls, records, comic books ... a little bit of everything it seems like.”

The Gold Nugget is not open daily, but is ready to welcome potential customers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first and third Friday and Saturday of each month (that makes June 20 and 21 the next dates if I read my calendar correctly), and she said they also “usually” try to open for the city’s monthly Final Friday celebration. Anyone who is looking for specific items, or types of things, is also encouraged to let them know what they want, Conley said, and their pickers will keep an eye out and call them if they have any luck in their quests.

For more information about The Gold Nugget, call (606) 465-1032.     

Following the berries

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my recent visit to rural Lawrence County (Ky.) for a feature story about Forgot-N-Tymes Farm, although I do remember telling myself to attempt writing a nonbusiness column about the journey, and another about what any reasonable person would expect to happen if they ate a whole bucket of fresh berries practically by themselves.

There’s just no way to write the latter without offending everyone who might read it, and sadly, the specific memories of the things I saw along the way there and back have already faded. I know I had a couple of mental notes (something about working farms and a lilac bush?) about how picturesque the scenery was as I went out of Boyd County into Lawrence County as I searched for the sign pointing me to 2770 Little Cat Fork Road. Not that you need a good reason to take a casual drive in the country, but the promise of fresh berries at the end of the drive certainly serves as motivation if you get too caught up in the price per gallon to get there.

I can’t say if there are any strawberries left at this time, but everyone I know who made their trip to Forgot-N-Tymes Farm reported things like “best berries ever,” which was also my conclusion. If an old-timey tracker had been looking for me after my visit, he would have found a solid trail of strawberry leaves that had been tossed from my car window as I made the drive back to the newspaper.

And, even if the so-delicious strawberries are at an end for the year, we have the next batch of berries to look forward to as the farm’s red raspberries and black raspberries, as well as blueberries, ripen on the vines in the immediate future. For more information, visit the Forgot-N-Tymes Farm page on Facebook or call (606) 465-4501. If you get an answering machine, remember this is a family farm and not a corporate operation. Leave your name and number and the owners will call back as soon as they get back from the fields.

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

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