A short forty-minute drive down US 27 (Nicholasville Road) from Lexington brings you to the newly opened Pasture Burgers & BBQ. Located in a huge red barn, Pasture is the new restaurant opened by Garrard County’s Marksbury Farm to feature their locally raised meats. I felt it my duty to give it a try.
The early lunchtime crowd was out in full force for the opening day. Pasture has plenty of overflow parking, so finding a spot wasn’t a problem. And although there were quite a few people queued up, the friendly Pasture crew kept it moving through their cafeteria-style serving line.
Pasture indicates it will have a rotating menu anchored by—as the name suggests—burgers and BBQ. There were also chicken and beef options. I was mightily tempted by the smoked beef bologna Reuben, but I decided to opt for one of their staples: the pulled pork BBQ sandwich.
Each of Pasture’s sandwich options are available on a bun, a wrap, or a salad. I went traditional and opted for the bun. After ordering, your sandwich slides down the line for toppings. They offer three different barbecue sauces, and after being told that the Original sauce was a sweet sauce, I went for the Hot Vinegar sauce, vinegar slaw, and—suggested by the young lady waiting on me—pickled red onions.
All of these were wise choices, and gave the sandwich great flavor without having any substantial heat. The sandwich, my side of mac & cheese, and a fountain drink were all a reasonable $8.
The pulled pork was tasty, although I admit to a bit of disappointment upon seeing a propane smoker in the back. Considering how much of Pasture’s meat is smoked, investing in a real wood fired pit (fueled by local woods) seems in order and better in keeping with the Marksbury farm to table ethos.
All that said, the food is great. Powered by local Marksbury meats, Pasture invites you to their farm table, rather than bringing the farm to your table. Wendell Berry has written about the need for local producers to do value added work rather than simply supplying raw materials.
Pasture is this idea in action, and the proof is in the taste. And while the menu is (intentionally) not complex, it shows attention to detail and real imagination. It will be fun to track their rotating menu. And it makes me wonder what a Pasture breakfast menu might look like...
While Pasture has you in the restaurant eating, they also have well stocked coolers and shelves with local milk, eggs, meats (including local alpaca!), and other locally produced foods. Again, this is a powerful way to maximize the availability of local food, making your own home meals farm-to-table.
Marksbury Farm’s Pasture restaurant is an exciting, and encouraging, new venture. With their roomy, clean space and tasty food, they make farm-to-table easy to enjoy. Pasture is a worthy new food destination for anyone in Central Kentucky.
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Pasture Burgers & BBQ
7907 Nicholasville Road (US 27)
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Courtesy of KyForward