Fried pickles at Mammy’s Kitchen, Bardstown. Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

Selling our 16 year old on a visit to Bardstown, KY, “Bourbon Capital of the World” wasn’t as easy as we thought. She has no interest in bourbon, corn mash or rye, which is as it should be. Then we heard that the tiny downtown, about 3 hours from my laws in Cincinnati, OH, and 2 hours form Louisville, KY boasted 3 consignment shops. Nora regularly trolls the resale stores in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and wanted to research the merch in Kentucky.

She was also intrigued by the promise of a meal at Mammy’s Kitchen – the fried green tomatoes and fried pickles were calling her name.

The vegetarian choices as this family owned place are extremely limited – even the salad and grilled cheese routinely come with bacon. But Nora enjoys a tuna melt, and there was also a tuna sandwich, or the grilled cheese without bacon. That’s what the three of us ate. I don’t think a vegan would do well here.

But oh, those fried foods. We really didn’t need to eat anything after stuffing

Willett Distillery, Bardstown. Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

Willett Distillery, Bardstown.
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

ourselves with the light tomatoes, the pickles, and some fried mushrooms just for fun.

In fact, we might have considered skipping an entree and heading straight to the dessert menu. The chocolate pie is apparently worth a trip all on its own, with the coconut cream right behind.

Surprisingly, Mammy’s has only been around since 2006; it looks like it’s been there forever. What has been in Bardstown since the 1920s is a drug store with an old-fashioned soda fountain. Stop by Hurst Drug Store for a milkshake and another glimpse of the past.


Future bourbon, Willett Distillery.
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

And we did manage to sneak in a tour of Willett Distillery. Nora enjoyed walking around the old buildings, set on beautiful grounds out in the country surrounding Bardstown. And we enjoyed sampling a few reserve whiskeys – tiny sips that still allowed us to drive safely back to Cincinnati.