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bell house ed
        Bell House Club.

Local Eateries

Bell House in Shelbyville, KY.


     From time to time, I submit reviews of restaurants I dine in.  These restaurants are usually regional and places I have frequented more than once.  I will also note my experiences with places in which I dine on vacation and while traveling.  Today, I will share my dining experience at the Bell House on Main Street here in Shelbyville.
     My son-in-law and I do not often have the occasion to share a week day lunch together. But today he wanted to meet me for lunch and celebrate my retirement which had taken place just before our lunch meeting. We had not made reservations but had no difficulty with getting a table immediately upon our arrival. Our waitress was well attuned to our needs and gave very competent service throughout our meal.
     I ordered the Bell House Club with fruit cup. I requested toasted wheat bread and extra melon in cup. Both requests were honored and my food was served promptly. My son-in-law also seemed well pleased with his food. We both ordered iced tea and our glasses were kept full throughout the meal.
     My son-in-law insisted upon paying for my meal. Our waitress brought the check and the total was accurately calculated. Overall, a very nice lunch that exceeded my requirements. I actually brought 1/4 of my sandwich home as I was well satisfied with my portion amount. I do not have the occasion to dine at the Bell House for lunch very often. But now that I do not work at my practice any longer, I will go back again very soon!

Click on the link below for a story about pickled peaches.

Pickled Peaches

By Jene Hedden



story and recipe by Jene Hedden

     My Uncle R.J. and Aunt Irene Hedden had no children, and I was their only nephew. Uncle R.J. was an avid student of the Civil war, and the year I turned 13, they invited me to travel with them on a two-week adventure visiting Civil War battleground sites.

      I had never traveled without my parents or even outside the states of Kentucky and Indiana, so accepting the invitation was a challenge to my sense of comfort or in other words, a little scary.  But, I gathered my courage and decided to join them in their tour of the history of the "War of Northern Aggression". I can still recall the mixture of fear and excitement I felt as we set out early the first morning in Uncle R.J.’s 1954 two-tone Chevrolet Belair.  It was quite a car!

     My uncle was very conservative with his money, so for the duration of the trip, we stayed in travel courts and rooms for rent.  In fact, the first night of the journey, we stopped in Zanesville, Ohio and stayed in a room that was so small, you could barely walk around the two beds that were crowded into it! 

     The following morning, we stopped for breakfast at a truck stop in Wheeling, West Virginia. I think I may have ordered bacon and eggs. When the waitress brought our food out, along with my bacon and eggs was a small dish of another white substance with a dollop of melting butter in it.

     “I don’t think this is mine,” I told Uncle R.J.  “I didn’t order mashed potatoes!”

     He laughed and said, “That’s not potatoes.  It’s grits!”

     “Grits? What’s grits?” I asked.

     As a child, I had eaten cream of wheat and oatmeal for breakfast. But I had never had grits, so I think I was hesitant to try this new food. However, my uncle reassured me and explained that “in the south” grits usually accompanied a southern breakfast and was included in the price of the food.  Thus occurred my first encounter with the corn concoction; but it wouldn't be my last.

     I do not recall further encounters with grits until many years later. As a young adult, I would from time to time experience a similar exposure to grits, but I often found them to be bland and runny.

     But whenever I ate them, I remembered that truck stop, my uncle R.J. and our amazing travels.  We went to Gettysburg, Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Appomattox Court house, Richmond, Va., Charleston, S.C. and finally ended up in Punta Gorda, Florida.  Not only was it a time of enrichment and the creation of fond memories, it was for me also a giant step toward independence, learning about the wider world and growing up.

     Many years later I discovered the joys of “local cuisine”. When my wife, Pam, and I would travel to some destination, I would inquire at a restaurant about its specialty or the regional food favorite.  On one of these occasions, we were dining in a small restaurant with a nice view of the riverfront in Savannah, Georgia. When I asked our waiter about specialties of that establishment, he asked me if I would like to try the dish upon which the restaurant had built its reputation.

      I said, “Sure! What is it?”

     He replied, “Shrimp and grits”!  I agreed to order it.

     Amazing! Wonderful! Spectacular! I could go on and on. It was a love affair at first bite.  After my first taste of shrimp and grits in Savannah, I have ordered the dish countless times at other restaurants. But, as is the case with most ecstatic experiences, they've never been as good as they were that first time!. Still, the search continues.

     Sometime later, I began to think that the secret to the dish is found in the grits, not the shrimp, so I began seeking out other recipes for grits. I soon found that cheese grits is to be desired over non-cheese grits, so I began to experiment in my own kitchen with grits, cheeses, garlic, spices, chicken broth, hot sauces, and other ingredients. 

     Through the years, the recipe changed and evolved as I continued adding new ingredients, making subtle adjustments and boiling it down to the recipe I now use.  And just as my grits recipe changed and evolved, so did the bashful young boy who embarked on his first big life-changing adventure with his aunt and uncle and a simple bowl of grits in Wheeling, West Virginia.  After all, life also has a way of adding ingredients, making subtle adjustments and boiling things down. 

     I expect my grits recipe will continue to change and evolve over time.  Perhaps the boy will too.  After all, we're never too old to tweak the recipe!


 “Pop’s* Four Cheese Grits”

Serves 30

Heat oven to 350 degrees 

Bring 12 cups water to a soft rolling boil.

Add the following in order:


               8 cubes chicken bouillon (delete if using chicken broth instead of water)

               1 stick butter (cubed)

               1 package cream cheese (cubed)

               10 slices Velveeta cheese

               10 drips hot sauce

               6 shakes Mrs. Dash

               5 shakes garlic powder


Heat and stir until all dissolved.

Add three cups of “Quick Grits” stirring continuously until smooth and creamy

Dip two cups grits from pot and add slowly to four uncooked scrambled eggs.  Add grits/eggs mixture to large pot stirring continuously. Continue to stir for two-three minutes.

Pour grits into casserole bowls that have been greased with cooking spray.

               Sprinkle two cups grated cheddar cheese over casserole bowl.

               Sprinkle ½ cup Parmesan cheese lastly over casserole bowl.

               If desired, you may add ½ cup crushed cornflakes over the cheese.


Bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.

*My grandchildren call me Pops