1302 U.S. 32W Bypass
Bowling Green, KY
Beer selection: None.
Food: Good southern cooking.
Kentucky has always suffered a major identity crisis.
Are Kentuckians Yankees? Southerners? Mid-Westerners?
The answer is yes.
This state that shares a border with both Tennessee and Illinois just can’t seem to make up its mind.
During the War Between the States, both the Union and the Confederacy claimed Kentucky. In fact, the central star in the rebel battle flag represented the Confederate government of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the politicians in the state capital refused to secede.
So was Kentucky a Yankee state? Or a Confederate state?
The answer is yes.
Is Kentucky the only Northern state with a southern accent? Or is Kentucky the only Southern state with a northern accent? Again, the answer is yes.
But no one seems to suffer such identity crises down here in Bowling Green, the former hub of Kentucky’s Confederate government.
A stone’s throw from the Tennessee line and just an hour drive from the meat-and-three capital of America (Nashville), Bowling Green’s roots are firmly planted in Southern soil.
If you doubt me, just carry your growling stomach to Judy’s Castle, a 51-year-old pre-interstate institution of good ol’ Southern cooking—back when the U.S. 32 Bypass was the only way to get from Alabama to Indiana.
A classic meat-and-three with the added luxury of a barbeque pit next door, Judy’s Castle is the place to go in Bowling Green for a Southern-style breakfast or country-cookin lunch.
“No hassle at the castle” is the motto.
My “meat and three” was a pork chop with black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and baked beans.
My lunch came with a pair of the most perfect freshly baked biscuits you’ll ever find. Crusty on the outside. Soft, warm and buttery inside.
Now pork chops can be tricky. I’ve had too many that were overcooked, tough, dry, tasteless, or all of the above.
I’m happy to report Judy’s Castle does pork chops right. Well-seasoned and juicy, the meat in my meat-and-three was perfection.
The vegetables were excellent as well, especially the well-seasoned black eyed peas and the sweet baked beans with hints of onion and peppers.
But you know what I’ve found best over the years of traveling Southern back roads?
No matter how good the meat and slow-cooked the vegetables, the highlight of any meat-and-three is…
My friendly waitress told me her favorite was the peanut butter and chocolate pie. She even offered to warm it up a bit for me.
I’m glad I took her advice.
A thick layer of rich peanut butter under a layer of warm chocolate under a mound of delicate meringue makes this pie one of my top ten desserts of all time.
The rest of the Commonwealth of Kentucky might not know who the heck theyy are, but one thing is certain here in Bowling Green—Judy’s Castle is the queen of Kentucky Southern cooking.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!