You may remember Carson’s Food & Drink from our dinner stop last year (you can read about it here).
Pretty much everyone who learned we were headed to Lexington, KY for footage recommended we stop there for dinner. It was borderline cultish, but more in a “we were really excited to go try it after the tenth recommendation” kind of way.
It was there we met Mark Fichtner, who we instantly gelled with.
He’s a great guy sitting atop a throne of success, but also one that couldn’t be kinder or more down-to-earth. He also has a true passion for whiskey that is apparent from his product knowledge, to the great selection of whiskey and unique cocktails available at their bar.
This time, we stopped in for Carson’s fabled brunch offerings.
We’re lucky we had a reservation to eat with the legend himself, Mark, because that line was out the door and people seemed more than happy to wait.
The first thing we had was the “Buffalo Cold Brew” cocktail.
And darn was it good.
Cold brew coffee, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Faretti Chocolate Biscotti Liquer, half and half, and a few dashes fo chocolate bitters over ice and topped with whipped cream and chocolate pocky.
It was just the right amount of chocolate and cookie flavor to bridge the sweetness of the Buffalo Trace and the bitterness of the coffee (though cold brew tends to be sweeter than hot brewed coffee).
I would have ordered another one, but the drink itself was massive and we had so much more to try!
The deep fried cinnamon & sugar biscuits made us pause for a second and say “wait, what?” But, I assure you they were one of the single most tasty things I’ve had at any brunch.
Even our camera man kept saying “I normally don’t like sweet things for breakfast” while simultaneously shoveling fork after fork of biscuits into his mouth.
Crispy and sweet on the outside while soft and savory on the inside, the order came with a trio of dips (whipped butter, bourbon honey, and cream cheese frosting) to take each bite to another level of flavor.
The savory chicken and waffles was delicious. Soft and fluffy waffles topped with fried chicken and perfectly seasoned pork belly and sage gravy.
And, of course, I had to have the pork belly mac and cheese. It was one of my favorites from the last time, and they were kind enough to whip me one up for brunch.
This is one of the few bowls of mac with enough cheese to satisfy me. Then top that with pork belly and a drizzle of sweet and tangy bbq sauce and you’ve got a winner here (I literally talked about this bowl of mac for the entire drive to Lexington).
As always, it was great to see Mark and absolutely binge eat until it hurt at Carson’s. If you’re on The Bourbon Trail, your travels will most likely bring you within striking distance of a dinner date at Carson’s. And, if you are, don’t miss out on the insane dishes, whiskey selection, and cocktails here.
Just make sure you remember to make a reservation, because this place gets busy!
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.