Henry James Family Dining, or How I ate BBQ and vomited

Henry James Family Dining

Henry James restaurant located here in Lexington. Watch out, there is a second location off of HWY 150.

In my time in Lexington, and in conversations I’ve had regarding BBQ, I’ve come to realize that several people believe that all Lexington BBQ is created equally; therefore, all Lexington BBQ taste pretty much the same. This narrow view is shared by many and these people are just misinformed. Case in point, Henry James Family Dining, a restaurant located on Talbert Boulevard in Lexington. From the outside, Henry James looks like an old Taco Bell that’s been remodeled; inside it’s reminiscent of a Shoney’s with a fast food counter. The place is unsuspecting, and when you take your seat you’d never know how sinister the restaurant really is.

The waitress was sweet enough, taking our orders and promising satisfaction. We ordered the BBQ, especially after the menu boasted that it was “Lexington’s Best Barbeque.” Zach ordered a classic coarse chopped sandwich, and I decided to mix it up by ordering a brown sliced plate–brown meat is the dark meat of the pork–and mac and cheese instead of fries. Brave, I know.

Now before we go forward, you should know that Henry James specializes in “homestyle cooking” as well as BBQ. You’ll see typical Country favorites on the menu like a meat and two veggie plate, baked spaghetti, seafood, etc. I glanced at other reviews on my phone while we were sitting in the restaurant and got a sinking feeling. Most customers couldn’t stand the place. Looking around at the clientele, it was mostly families with kids and senior citizens. The food is cheap, quick, and easy to gum.

The BBQ Plate

Exhibit A: The culprit that caused the pukes.

At first glance our food didn’t look bad, but it’s all in the taste. Zach’s sandwich was cold and my “hickory-smoked” meat was terribly sweet. The slaw was inedible–it tasted like sugared cabbage. The hushpuppies were under-fried, which is a damn shame. Last but not least, the mac and cheese was obviously from a bag/frozen. At first the meat was decent, I could eat it despite the overall sweetness, but by the fourth bite it was all over. After that bite you realize the meat tastes like sweet bile, and no one is going to save you from this nightmare.

Now the cornerstone of Lexington BBQ is the smoky sweet/sour vinegar flavor that comes from hours of chimney smoking in a special sauce. I was told my meat was smoked, but I have my doubts. The sauce was sweet in a disgustingly evil way. It’s sad that we spent money on this flop. Even sadder was the ride home when I realized I was probably going to have to vomit later.

-Cindia Gonzalez



Filed under Homestyle Cooking, Lexington, Reviews

9 responses to “Henry James Family Dining, or How I ate BBQ and vomited

  1. Steven Lynch

    I’m not a big fan of Henry James. I have eaten there and not gotten sick but I would rather eat somewhere else. If you really want good Bar-B-Que then go to Lexington Style Trimmings. It is run by my daughter, Wende, and I’m telling you it is the BEST in town. The hushpuppies are perfect. If you try it and are not satisfied then I will pay for your meal.

    Steven Lynch

  2. Stiffedmartini

    I felt the same way with the burgers frozen patties held together by brown plasma and obvious filler , hardly any beef in them..

  3. Donna Leonard

    That’s a shame. In all my 34 years of living there I’ve never eaten at this place. Guess I’ve stuck w/my favorites.

  4. Luis Gonzalez

    Oh Damn! That sounds worse than the food they serve on this hulk of metal. Come to think about, this guys do a pretty good job with the BBQ ribs. Thanks for the great review, I’m scratching old Henry James off my bucket list.

  5. Only eaten at Henry James once. That was all it took to know never go back. As with your experience it was a waste of $.

    And I agree about Lexington Style Trimmings… they have the absolute BEST hush puppies in L-town. Slightly greasy, but delicious.

    I have always liked Speedy’s on no. 8. I always get the BBQ salad.

    Also, if you’re up to a drive toward Southmont, Cook’s Barbecue is decent.

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