A Taste of Kentucky at Patti’s 1880s Settlement

Patti’s is more than just a restaurant. It’s an experience.

Located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, just outside of national recreation area Land Between the Lakes, Patti’s is well-loved by locals and travelers alike. It’s a big place but the dining area is split up into smaller, more intimate spaces, each with their own decor and personality.



While gallivanting around Western Kentucky, I knew this had to be one of our stops, if nothing else because Man Friend had never had Derby Pie. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


Patti’s is a cute, homey-feeling place, where the drinks come in mason jars and the servers wear long dresses. There is quite a variety of food options, including their famous 2-inch thick pork chop, but we had come for a local classic: the Kentucky Hot Brown.

img_0767The Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich topped with pork, bacon, tomatoes, and then drenched in “cheese” which seems a little more like some type of gravy. The whole thing is finished off with a generous portion of home-style potato chips.

And oh, my friends, it is not as good as it looks: it is much, much, better.

The service at Patti’s is generally very friendly and the Friday afternoon we went by our food came out incredibly fast. Though we shared the Hot Brown it was definitely more than enough food for both of us (The photo below is just my half).


I feel like the picture below of a first-time experience speaks for itself:


We both agreed that though the whole thing was amazing, the chips and cheese were really the best part. However a Patti’s experience would not be complete without pie.

With over a dozen choices you really can take your pick, but there’s a Kentucky staple that I think everyone should at least try once. At Patti’s I think it’s technically called “chocolate pecan pie” (I’ll let you go scour the internet for the controversy over the name “derby pie”), but it’s that same delicious, gooey stuff my Kentucky born-and-raised mom made for special occasions when I was a kid.


A little denser than most other pecan pies you will encounter, this stuff is real good. My biggest complaint here was probably that we decided to share, and let’s be real, I could totally eat my own slice.

The food at Patti’s is pretty reasonably priced, especially for the portion sizes, though you might heave a sigh paying $7 for a piece of pie. For a special treat or if you’re just visiting it is worth every penny.

What’s your favorite place to grab local flavors of pie? Do you have a favorite tourist-town eating spot?


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