By Alan Cornett
Special to KyForward
Tucked away in Garden Springs Shopping Center on Lane Allen Road in Lexington, behind the Harrodsburg Road’s Home Depot, is Dad’s Favorites Deli. It’s one of those places you have to search out. The deli doesn’t open to the parking lot, but is back the arcade of the shopping center, just down from the shoe repair shop. Look for the sign on the sidewalk pointing the way. There’s no seating inside the shop itself, but tables line the wall of the shopping center hallway.
Dad’s Favorites began as a producer of locally made cheese spreads, including a signature beer cheese called Stampin’ Ground Cheddar Spread. The deli is as an outgrowth of the cheese spread business, and each sandwich incorporates a Dad’s Favorites cheese spread into the mix.
In addition to a standard menu, Dad’s offers daily specials. As I happened to arrive on a Friday, I was drawn to that day’s pulled pork BBQ sandwich, which won’t be a shock to EatKentucky readers. I added a side of Dad’s mac and cheese, which is made with his cheese spreads. My wife opted for the chipotle cheddar roast beef with au jus and potato soup on the side.
Dad’s may not be a barbecue joint, but Dad does know how to make a pulled pork sandwich. The Kaiser roll, the chipotle cheddar spread, and the honey lime cole slaw combine to give Dad’s pulled pork sandwich a far richer and more complex taste than your standard pulled pork sandwich.
Most barbecue places approach the pulled pork sandwich with the attitude of “here’s a handy logistical way to eat our barbecue.” Dad is saying, “here’s a really good sandwich that has barbecue.” It’s an approach barbecue places should embrace (many have, with Joe’s Kansas City, aka Oklahoma Joe’s, Z-Man being the beau ideal).
Clearly mac and cheese is ready made to feature Dad’s signature cheese spreads. Using Stampin’ Ground beer cheese spread again adds a more complex flavor and a nice spicy kick.
I stole a bite of my wife’s roast beef and her potato soup. Both lived up to the all-around tastiness of everything else I tried.
If you’re new to Dad’s like we were, they’ll take the time to give you a taste tour of their cheese spreads. You can sample each one while a Dad’s crew member explains the taste profile. Of course, you can buy the available cheese spreads at Dad’s deli or at many local grocery stores. I know this is true because my wife has come home from Kroger twice now with a stack of Dad’s Favorites cheese spreads. And they don’t last long around here.
Dad’s Favorites Deli’s rotating daily special is sneaky bait to lure me back on some upcoming Wednesday (Cuban) and Thursday (Reuben). But I think I’ll be happy to return any day I can find an excuse to go. And you will, too.
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Dad’s Favorites Deli
Garden Springs Shopping Center
820 Lane Allen Road
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
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Alan Cornett is chief eater and writer forEatKentucky.com. A native of Clay County, he has been eating in Kentucky for decades. Follow Alan as he eats his way through the Commonwealth, exploring its restaurants and foodways. Alan lives, eats and writes in Lexington.