My husband and I had an amazing month-long road trip through Tennessee, with our final destination being the Land Between The Lakes region. We both heard so much about Pattis 1880s Settlement from everyone we met along the way that a visit was inevitable!
After exploring LBL for one day, it quickly became apparent why this place is such a must-see for those who love history: nestled in Kentucky’s tip top area lies this charming old world settlement full of wonderful surprises – like Pattis 1880s Settlement.
What a truly delightful experience!
We parked our truck in a centrally located downtown parking lot when we arrived in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. We sat out on foot to see the inns, dairy barn, antique stores, and other enthralling bits of scenery. Then, just in time for a very early dinner, we entered the door of Patti’s.
Pattis 1880s: A One-Of-A-Kind Attraction
Patti’s Restaurant is a 44-year-old recreated historical log cabin village with a restaurant offering a country club-like menu and great meal options. Patti’s runs the gamut from gourmet pork chops to steaks and salads to a Kentucky Hot Brown, the state dish.
We had to wait about ten minutes for a table, but they give you a pager that will let you know when your table is ready. You can wander the property while you wait. Reservations are strongly suggested.
Note: Hours of operation are 11 AM to 8 PM daily. Patti’s is open 352 days of the year, minus December 24, 25, and 26th.
We were thrilled for our dining experience at Patti’s 1880s, a Kentucky restaurant offering eleven unique and gorgeous rooms. We were seated in the Crown Room. Our server arrived quickly to take drink orders before we perused the visually stunning menus.
I had come specifically for Patti’s version of the classic Hot Brown sandwich. What is a Hot Brown? It is one of my favorite sandwiches ever – an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon strips, a tomato slice, and usually mornay sauce.
Patti’s 1880’s mixes things up a bit and adds Black Forest ham, and uses a house-made cheese sauce instead of mornay. They also top it with lightly fried potato chips – which did not disappoint.
I’ve eaten a Hot Brown all over the state of Kentucky (and several places outside of the state), and besides the Brown Hotel in Louisville, where it originated, Patti’s was the best.
Patti’s 1880’s is well-known for their Apples Delight pork chop, available in both one and two-inch sizes. Eddie chose the glazed baked apples version, though the pork filet-wrapped in bacon sounded much tastier to me.
To accompany his chops, he chose a side salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette and a baked potato. If you’ve never had hot bacon dressing, by all means, order it with your salad. I remember this tasty item from back in the day, and it is fabulous!
Before diving into your savory feast, be sure to try the warm Flowerpot bread served up with whipped strawberry and plain butters – an unforgettable flavor combination that you won’t want to miss out on!
Fun Fact: Patti’s serves 138,620 pork chops annually.
Impressive Food and Dessert
Don’t stuff yourself because this is one place you will not want to miss the tempting and sinfully delicious dessert options. Patti’s must have some bakery fairies that whip up all these goodies because it seemed like every dining guest and those in the gift shop were buying up sliced pies and cakes, plus whole ones, as fast as they could.
Eddie picked the layered coconut cake, an absolute Southern classic. He loved every bite of it. I passed on dessert because I was too full, and later regretted that decision. Lesson learned—always save room for a good, homemade dessert.
Other options included butterscotch pecan pie, sawdust pie (recipe is on their website!), Bill’s Boatsinker pie (dark chocolate fudge with coffee ice cream), and meringue pies.
Need dairy-free options? Gluten-free options? No worries, Patti’s has special menu pages just for you.
The Awesome Property
Food isn’t the only reason to come to Patti’s, though reason enough for many of my readers to chime in that they have driven seven-eight hours just to have a meal there. It is that special of a place.
Patti’s 1880’s Settlement has a collection of local boutiques to shop at, or you can make an overnight of it at the hotel, bed and breakfast (Rose of the Lake), or campground. I browsed several stores, including Little Lambs (children’s clothing and toys), The Pink Tractor (junior’s boutique), Reflections (home decor), and Wagon Wheel (collectibles and home decor).
Then, I drooled over the lovely displays and items at River Birch Mercantile, but realized I currently live in an RV and there is no room for anything else.
The Christmas store wasn’t open just yet, but there was an excellent sampling of the merchandise in Yesterday’s, which you could seriously look through for an hour. This is also where you will find Patti’s pies and desserts to take away, fresh fudge, sauces, seasonings, and signature cookbooks.
And speaking of Christmas at Patti’s, they were a contestant on The Great Christmas Light Fight with their Festival of Lights display back in 2018. The festival is lit between 4 and 10 PM daily starting November 5th through January 16th.
Activities around the property include gold panning, mini-golf, and viewing the beautifully landscaped gardens.
Who is ready for a road trip to visit Patti’s 1880’s Settlement? If you already know about this gem, cheers to you. I’m now a big fan.
Patti’s 1880’s Settlement
1793 J.H. O’Bryan Ave.
Grand Rivers, KY 42045
Phone: 270-362-8844 (Gen Info/Reservations)
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