My Old Kentucky Homesite

Please Pass the Sour Grapes, Henry

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 08/01/2010

I’d rather be right than be president.
Kentucky Senator Henry Clay

OK, the winners of the Lexington Herald-Leader  “The Best of Everything”  Readers’ Choice 2010 poll have been announced, and apparently I am not the most popular Local Media Personality (newspaper, TV. radio, blogger).  Nor am I the city’s most popular Pet Groomer, Cosmetic Surgeon, or Place to Worship.

No specific numbers were published, so, lacking evidence, we have to take the results on faith. The most popular media personality in Lexington is Leland Conway, who is — you’ll never believe this — a conservative radio commentator. The runners-up are a TV weatherman, and an early morning guy who claims he gets “to meet the greatest people on the earth: Kentuckians!”  (FYI: The exclamation point is his.)  Unfortunately, those people weren’t great enough to spell his last name correctly. It’s Cruse, not (as the newspaper editors wrote) Cruise. No relation to Tom or Carnival.

The poll is disappointing in other areas, too. Lexington is, happily, home to a number of decent all-day breakfast joints, but the readers’ favorite Place to Eat Breakfast/Brunch is that uniquely Bluegrass entity, the chain-restaurant Cracker Barrel (yuck). I guess the greatest people on the earth don’t necessarily enjoy gorging on one another’s pancakes.

There are dozens of local hamburger eateries here, too, some pretty good. But the second favorite Burger Joint is a national one, Wendy’s (also yuck).  Have you given up lite beer for low-end wine? You’ll probably be pleased to know that the second favorite Place to Buy Wine and Spirits is Kroger, an Ohio-based grocery chain.

I don’t really get it. Lexington is overrun with local boosters. Everywhere you go, you’ll hear about our basketball team, our horses, our bourbon, our coal, our god. Yet, when asked to choose their favorites in food, they ignore the local talent, and settle for bland national chains. Perhaps Lexingtonians don’t eat out because they’re too busy staying at home listening to right-wing radio and watching the latest news about rain.

That would seem to be the case, because the name of one of the finalists in Place for Patio Dining has a parenthetical next to it: “(NOW CLOSED).” I guess all the genteel Southern love , even from the greatest people on the earth, wasn’t sufficient to keep it from being affected by the recession. I’m pretty sure that our popular weatherman would blame the closure on meteorological phenomena. But I wonder how Leland Conway could conceivably turn it into Nancy Pelosi fault’s.

19 Responses to “Please Pass the Sour Grapes, Henry”

  1. Perhaps the poll was sponsored by Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, and Mr. Conway’s radio station.

    Here’s the thing I noticed driving across the fly-over states, they’re all the same. Strip malls with national retail and food chains filling them, not to be outdone by the other nationals not in the malls like 7-11 and Jiffy Lube.

  2. Philly:
    You may be right about the sponsors of the poll, but the odd thing is: Even though the local winners in most categories have taken ads in the section, there are no blurbs for the three companies you mentioned. Quality just sometimes wins out, I guess.

    That’s probably why Southland Christian Church (Evangelical) came in ahead of Cathedral of Christ the King (Roman Catholic) and Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopalian). Hell, Temple Adath Israel and the Islamic Center of Lexington didn’t even get a mention, nor did the bar where the local atheist church meets.

    Still, everybody knows that Lexington’s favorite Place to Worship has to be Rupp Arena, home of the UK Wildcats.

  3. Ha! I have a history of sorts with Southland Christian Church. Well, my sister and brother-in-law do, to be more accurate. But, I’ve been there on several occasions.

    Speaking of low-end wine (the sour grapes reference is apt here), I must warn you and your readers that, if you ever find yourself wanting needing to buy wine in Ontario, DO NOT buy it at a grocery store! Whatever it takes, find yourself a wine store (one day you’ll thank me profusely for this advice). When the deacon and I bought groceries on our recent travels in the Great White North (which wasn’t white at the time, but, whatever), we stepped into a section of the grocery store labeled, rather pretentiously, as it turned out, The Wine Rack. Their “wine rack” was tiny (I have nearly as much wine in my cooler as they had in their entire “rack.” All of their wines were Ontario vintage. So, the deacon and I figured we’d try some of the local and regional selections. Bad decision. Very bad decision. If it’s any consolation to you and your Kentucky friends, I’m prepared to testify under oath (or under the influence, if that’s more appropriate) that Kentucky does not make the worst wine in the world.

  4. Oaktown Girl said

    Well, sorry you didn’t win, but on the plus side you got some new readers (and at least one new commenter) out of the deal. If not an “Epic” win, at least some sort of win.

    Interesting hearing about all those oh-so-proud Kentuckians not supporting the local enterprises with their votes. Perhaps those national chains advertise on Limbaugh’s show and the local ones don’t. That would certainly tip the scales.

  5. John Evo said

    And here I’ve been calling him “Crews”.

  6. Chappy:
    I’m betting that Kentucky wine goes better with barbecued ribs than Ontario wine does. On the other hand, the Canadian stuff probably is preferable if you’re having back bacon and donuts.

    Oaky:
    Yes, I’m very happy to have gotten an interesting commenter out of the deal. If I’d come in first in the newspaper poll, they would likely be sending me daily spam advertising their advertising.

    Interesting hearing about all those oh-so-proud Kentuckians not supporting the local enterprises with their votes.
    Yes, I was really tickled by that phenomenon. All the local yahoos who are constantly yelling and screaming about how proud they are to be Kentuckians can’t even bring themselves to patronize the local bacon-and-eggs emporium. So much for “down-home” country cookin’, eh?

    Evo:
    Or — if you’re not from Arizona — it could even be “Cruz.” If you are from Arizona, you’d better change it to “Cross,” or you might find yourself being handcuffed and driven to Mexico.

  7. Don said

    I find it hard to believe that you didn’t win, what with all the pharyngulating and all. I think I’d call them and see what the official numbers were.

    But, now I do have your blog to drop in on every now and again, so win-win, I suppose.

    Take care, better luck next time.

  8. Sorry about your loss. I hope you don’t attempt to bury your sorrow under a heap of chocolate donuts. Speaking of chocolate donuts, it’s a good thing the Mossad didn’t catch Adolf Entenmann until after he had created the popular treats.

  9. Don:
    I think I’d call them and see what the official numbers were.
    I have a suspicion that the official numbers were whatever the editors of the special section wanted them to be, most likely predicated on potential ad revenues. There’s no way of knowing for sure because …

    The 2010 Readers’ Choice is an unscientific sampling based on subjective responses of Lexington Herald-Leader readers and Kentucky.com viewers. … [M]ore than 300,000 votes were counted.

    Do you see those words “unscientific” and “subjective”? That’s pretty much the way most Americans elect the president. So do you suggest I go on a hunt for hanging chads? (Note: The only Chad ever hung in Lexington was a runaway slave in the 1850s.)

  10. Des:
    You know what the holes are made of, don’t you?

  11. Ralph said

    I’m impressed. It must have been difficult to count 300,000 subjective responses.

  12. Ralph:
    It’s easy to count subjective responses. You just decide what you would have wanted them to be, and tally them subjectively.

  13. I don’t really get it. Lexington is overrun with local boosters. Everywhere you go, you’ll hear about our basketball team, our horses, our bourbon, our coal, our god. Yet, when asked to choose their favorites in food, they ignore the local talent, and settle for bland national chains. Perhaps Lexingtonians don’t eat out because they’re too busy staying at home listening to right-wing radio and watching the latest news about rain.

    I smell a Letter to the Editor.

    Philly

    Here’s the thing I noticed driving across the fly-over states, they’re all the same. Strip malls with national retail and food chains filling them, not to be outdone by the other nationals not in the malls like 7-11 and Jiffy Lube.

    Sadly, that sounds not just like the fly-over states, but my state, (unless you fly over PA on the way to KC).

    Chappy

    I’m prepared to testify under oath (or under the influence, if that’s more appropriate) that Kentucky does not make the worst wine in the world.

    I hear they’re good for lighting the charcoal briquettes on fire for the Bar-B-Q. Or maybe it was for putting out the fire. I forget which.

  14. SI:
    You may smell a Letter to the Editor, but it wasn’t me who passed that odor. I don’t do L’s to the E because the Herald-Leader insists on owning all rights to material they publish. Screw that.

  15. One of the brighter revelations- Gatewood made the list in two categories. While, I don’t always agree with him, he confronts the powers that be, here… and, he is an all around fun guy to party with.

    Re bourbon: I do love my corn liquor, and too, I can’t understand how anyone would chose two wheaters(read-bland) over Four Roses???

    All considered, you sir were probably robbed.

  16. Solly:
    I don’t know Gatewood, but I’d be happy to party with anybody who isn’t selling Jesus.

    You’re right about the wheaters. Just about every bourbon I like — and there are many — is rye. I like it better in bread, too.

  17. In all fairness, I guess that I should disclose that I am a native of Woodford Co., but I love the whiskey produced next door in Anderson Co. I had forgotten how much I like a good rye. Unfortunately, Big Daddy’s only stocked 3 different brands to choose from, so I chose Old Overholt. I know, it is cheap, but I couldn’t see paying $40 for a start up from Virginia.

    Anyway, the point being that Anderson Co. whiskies incorporate a heavy rye mixture to the bill. Wild Turkey has been my standard for over 20 years, and it makes a great julep… if one leaves out the sugar water, and only adds ice and a sprig of mint.

    The other Anderson Co. liquor is, of course, Four Roses. Once again, a bill that is strong on the rye. It is this distillery that produces Bulliet for some other bottler. If you haven’t tried it, give it a go. It is 4/1 corn to rye. Though, I think that it can be a tad immature and over priced. It was priced great when it first came out… oh well!

    On to some meat: it appears that Kentucky.com has a little over 19k hits per day- a little less that 900k per month. You noted that their poll received around 300k votes. Probably, most of the people visiting the site are repeat visitors, and while I only voted once, I would assume that most also only voted once, unless they cleared their cache???

    Something isn’t right here. Either my brain is fogged by inebriation(well, granted), or Kentucky.com is unscrupulous… well, there are probably a lot of other factors, but in my current state, I chose to dwell on those two.

    Anyway, cheers.

  18. Oh, I meant to add that while Anderson Co. produces some fine liquor, The people… well…

    Hell, I have a lot of family there, and spent a good part of my childhood in Lawrenceburg, Suffice it to say that L’burg was one of the few cities that welcomed the Klan in the 70s. But, that was then…

  19. Solly:
    My favorite bourbons — at least this week — are Basil Haydon, Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace, and Woodford. Not necessarily in that order.

    As far as the meat: I think if the poll had been completely on the up-and-up, the Herald-Leader would have printed specific numbers. But that wouldn’t have been “unscientific” and “subjective,” would it?

    Clearly, “winning” businesses were informed weeks before the results were “tallied,” since many of them ran ads in the “special” section. Maybe I should have offered to pay for a blurb about this blog.

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