Dappled with roaming horse farms, a lovely, back-road drive on Old Frankfort Pike will guide you to Midway’s Wallace Station Deli. This nostalgic, little restaurant is home to a former grocery store and gas station, but I’ll touch a bit more on the history after I tempt your palate!
The Wallace Station menu presents a wide assortment of sandwiches, burgers, salads and sides from which to choose. Without a doubt, I had to begin with the highly touted, Fried Pepper Rings. A generous portion of these tantalizing, golden delicacies arrived accompanied by a delicious dipping sauce.
During my visit I made new friends in the comfortable atmosphere of the back porch and relished the opportunity to sample several menu options. I crunched into Ouita‘s Favorite Salad, a bowl of tasty greens combined with kalamata olives, purple onions, tomatoes, croutons and topped with a hearty, well-seasoned fillet of tuna. Perfect!
I then decided on one of my favorite go-to sandwiches, the Cuban. Take note, Chef Ouita invariably adds her own, little twist. Check out Jaredino’s Cuban combo and report back, because Wow! Your choice of bread, slathered with aromatic, garlic annatto is stuffed with savory roasted pork, then merged with Swiss cheese, ham, velvety mustard and sliced pickles. You can almost hear the Cuban music playing in the background as you revel in this tasty treat!
Did someone say pimiento cheese?!? That’s always on my agenda. I refer to this appetizing spread as “mental cheese” because it always puts me in a good mood. 🙂 I laid into the Ol KY Grilled Ham and Pimiento Cheese sandwich with tomato like I hadn’t eaten in a week! It was hot off the panini press and filled with warm and wonderful goodness.
While I’m not drawn to hamburgers, I have to admit the Big Brown tempts me to reconsider! I’m not alone, as this heavenly combo appeared on Guy Fieri’s Top 5 Picks when he visited Kentucky to film a segment for his show. The scrumptious Big Brown boasts ham, bacon and fresh tomato dribbled with a flavorful, white cheddar mornay and served on a grilled bun in the style of the Kentucky Hot Brown.
For the “treat” de résistance, Wallace Station provides a showcase of delectable confections, prepared fresh daily at the Midway Bakery just up the road. I recommend ordering a half pint of Lexington’s hand-churned Crank & Boom ice cream along with two of your favorite cookies. (Why limit yourself to one?!) Scoop the frozen cream onto a crispy wafer and sandwich with the other. You have just created the best ice cream sandwich you’ll ever taste in a lifetime! Pass it around and share with your friends. And don’t worry, ice cream kills cooties. 😉
Following a most satiating meal, I spotted an old photo at the front door which piqued my curiosity. It seems Wallace Station, brimming with rich desserts takes pride in a rich history as well! From its humble start as a mom n’ pop small farm/grocery store and gas station in an edifice built at the turn of the 20th century, it continues in operation today as the laudable Wallace Station.
The restaurant was named after Judge Caleb Wallace, a fierce advocate for religious freedom and public education. His writings likely influenced fellow Virginia colony resident Thomas Jefferson via Wallace’s lifelong friend, James Madison.
As you settle back after enjoying the outstanding fare, take a minute to explore Wallace Station and step through an enchanting window into the interesting, local history!
Sources: National Register of Historic Places, Ghost Railroads of Kentucky, Kentucky Bluegrass: A Survey of the Post Offices, archive.org, local historian Bill Penn.