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Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Barbecue, Central Kentucky, Lexington | 2 comments

Lexington: Bradford BBQ Goes Brick & Mortar at Zandale

Lexington: Bradford BBQ Goes Brick & Mortar at Zandale

One of the earliest reviews I did for Eat Kentucky was a foray into the Lexington food truck scene writing about the Bradford BBQ truck. Way back then (months ago, even) I was impressed by the offerings of Bradford on wheels.

Now, following on the heels of a similar move by food truck compatriot Lyles BBQ Company of Nicholasville to open a brick and mortar restaurant, Bradford has staked out its own B&M territory on Nicholasville Road at Zandale Center. Bradford moved into the cap space in the strip, behind the free standing Fazoli’s, that was once home to a yogurt shop and, briefly, a branch of Common Grounds Coffee.

Bradford BBQ front

Bradford BBQ taco sampler

This area also happens to be close to Eat Kentucky HQ, perhaps dangerously so. That makes it handy for a quick lunch visit, which is exactly what I recently did—twice.

Bradford BBQ has settled into the space well, decorating with the right barbecue joint vibe. The recent pleasant weather prompted me to eat on the patio. A pallet planter of herbs has been strategically placed at the end of the patio to provide a welcome barrier from the parking lot and nearby street.

On my first visit I went for the three taco sampler, which includes traditional pulled pork, chicken, and Bradford’s specialty Kahlua pig. Each is topped with a sweet slaw. The second time around I tried the slider sampler.

Bradford BBQ counter

Bradford BBQ slider sampler

The two samplers are essentially the same; you’re simply choosing whether you want it in taco or slider form. After trying both, I’m good either way, but the tacos are a bit of a lighter choice. Throw in an Ale-8-One and a bag of Grippo’s chips and you’re good to go.

The Bradford meats still have that addictive smoke infused taste while maintaining good moisture. The slaw is a crunchy and slightly sweet complement to the meats.

Bradford still does a great job with their sauces. I’m not a big fan of sweet sauces, so I drift toward Bradford’s Tangy, Cry Baby, and Carolina sauces. The Carolina sauce has the strongest punch. I’d love to see Bradford add an Alabama white sauce to their stable. I’m a white sauce evangelist having been converted during my time in Alabama. It’s the perfect sauce for chicken.

Bradford BBQ sauces

Bradford BBQ bread pudding

I finished off my first visit with a serving of Bradford’s bread pudding. It hits the sweet spot, especially with a dash of ice cream, after working your way through a sampler. It’s an authentic Kentucky touch that Bradford’s gets right.

The Lexington area is having a real renaissance in barbecue that is bubbling up from a vibrant food truck scene. Bradford is wisely maintaining its food truck, but it’s nice to be able to find them whenever I want in a part of town where there has been a real opening for good barbecue.

Bradford BBQ
2220 Nicholasville Road, #101
Lexington, Kentucky
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 7 PM

Bradford BBQ pig


  1. How are those tortillas? Handmade or from a plastic bag? RL Reeves Jr

  2. It’s always great to see a great food truck get a chance to be a full fledged restaurant!! I hope they make it!

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