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.
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.
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.
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.
2220 Nicholasville Road, #101
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 7 PM