Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 28, 2013

Tim Preston: Seeking new tastes; Ben is back; new in Raceland, Wheelersburg: 7/28/13

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — I was going to make a point of finding some new and completely different restaurant or bakery or something last week, although financial considerations have kept me closer to my own kitchen than anywhere else.

I did, however, get to try something new and completely different on my second visit to Jim’s Hot Dogs and Spaghetti last week, while catching up with singer/songwriter and road warrior Eddie Riffe. Jim asked if I wanted to try a taco salad, and I quickly confirmed the question while thinking, “Have I ever seen a taco salad on the menu here?”

The little restaurant in downtown Ashland was filled with people, but we found a couple of stools and a good seat in the window to enjoy our meal and trade a few lies about the ongoing adventures of our collective musical buddies.

I think Riffe thought I was crazy for eating a big bowl of salad when I could have been having those hot dogs, but he just didn’t know what he was missing. The taco salad, served in a big bowl and loaded with tasty things and topped with a dollop of sour cream, certainly earned a double thumbs-up from me.

While I’m writing about places I write about too often, I think it has been awhile since I wrote anything about Rajah’s Lunch Bucket in the Meade Station Plaza, and I’ve heard from several people who’ve adopted the place as a favorite spot for morning coffee and conversation, as well as a hearty breakfast, in recent weeks.

I don’t have any real news to report from there, although I did enjoy an outstanding omelette during a recent Saturday morning visit with owner Ron Elliott.

I’ll confess I’ve been craving a big bowl of soup beans with a massive chunk of cornbread on the side, and plan to visit The Lunch Bucket for my fix for that flavor the first time I find myself putting around looking for lunch.

Of course, nearly every time I do that I glance at the daily special and decide to try that instead. It is a formula that seems to work out pretty well.

For more information or to place an order, call (606) 929-5222.

Dinner out

I think the only “dinner out” I’ve had a chance to enjoy with my wife in recent weeks was during an evening stop at Tres Hermanos Nunez on U.S. 60 in Cannonsburg.

After a painful round of “Where do you want to eat? I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” we agreed on a place in Ashland, but both agreed to keep it closer to home when we approached the Mexican restaurant next to the Fairfield Inn.

We didn’t get too carried away (again, watching the budget), but I did splurge for a Negra Modelo to drink with my meal, as well as misjudging my macho level and adding a little too much of the hot sauce to the salsa.

When the fire on my lips and tongue died down a bit, I had some kind of a super burrito, which was quite tasty and filling, although my wife got the good stuff as part of her “three favorites” entree.

I know she got the good stuff because she carried half of it home, and I ate it all as soon as she left the house to go to work. There were a couple of seasoned shrimp, some chicken breast and a big piece of steak remaining in the carryout container and it was one of the best leftover combos in recent memory.

The restaurant, which also has locations in Grayson, Greenup and Paintsville, is at 10951 U.S. 60 in Cannonsburg.

For more information, call (606) 928-0022.

Raceland note

The business revival in Raceland continues. Don Sammons of the Revive Raceland Business Association called just after I had filed last week’s column to let me know there’s another new business opening there.

Kirby Allen, owner of Premiere Auto, plans to have three to five employees in his new shop at 510 Pond Run Road.

Premier Auto will provide services such as car washing, full detail jobs and minor automotive repairs, including air-conditioner recharges.

The business will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (740) 479-0931.

New for Wheelersburg

The folks at Stultz Pharmacy are firming up details for the opening of a new location at 8991 Ohio River Road in Wheelersburg.

I spoke to a nice woman in the office who said the proposed opening date for the new pharmacy is Aug. 12; a phone number has not yet been assigned.

The business will be next to the new Bellefonte Urgent Care in Wheelersburg (also set for an August opening), she noted, and is expected to be a well-received business there.

The Stultz family of pharmacies, which has been doing business locally for three decades, also has locations in Greenup and Flatwoods. For more information, call (606) 473-7346 (Greenup) or (606) 834-1052 (Flatwoods).

Ben is back

A favorite local singer/songwriter working to make a name and have his songs heard in Nashville returns to Ashland this week, and will perform during the Ashland Main Street Songwriters Showcase during the August First Friday celebration in downtown Ashland.

Ben Robinette, who left Ashland in April 2012 to pursue a career in Music City, will return to the local stage at 9 p.m. Friday at the Chimney Corner Café on Carter Avenue. I’m not sure if you need reservations, but it might not be a bad idea to call ahead if you want to catch his performance.

Robinette, who has been playing guitar and writing songs since age 12, is the son of Tim and Jenny Robinette of Ashland. He has a sister, Kayla, and a brother, Josh.

If I’m reading this right, Robinette is just back for a visit with friends and family, and seems to be doing quite well, and playing often, with his Nashville pursuits.

For more information about Friday’s showcase, call the café at (606) 324-7500.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at (606) 326-2651.