Papa Leno’s restaurant is well known among the staff and students at Berea College. The restaurant is located among the art galleries and shops on the main road into the Berea College area. When my daughter and I set out on our mother-daughter trip of a lifetime we needed to stop by Berea College to take care of last minute details. Thus, we found ourselves stopping at Papa Leno’s for lunch.
It’s a pretty straightforward restaurant. Free parking is on the street or in a lot about a block away. The servers will take your order and bring your food. The meals are always tasty and served hot. Refills and everything else is on your own. It is exactly the type of place that the college crowd loves. Maybe that’s why Papa Leno’s is so successful?
Even during summer break this place is crowded. They offer no frills Italian fare with a few American favorites thrown in. There are the standard pasta dishes like spaghetti, chicken pasta or alfredo. Other fare includes minestrone soup, tomato soup or potato and bacon soup. A full menu is available online by visiting their website.
Papa Leno’s features a warehouse style décor. The walls are brick. Beverages are by a Coca-Cola drink station. This was well stocked and tidy. The wood tables are either plain or with a vinyl tablecloth. Napkins, red pepper, parmesan cheese and other condiments are on the tables. Pop music from the 1980’s era plays softly. It is not loud enough to interfere with conversation.
When we arrived the ordering line went from the front counter to the front door. It took a few minutes to be able to place our order. For me, this was fine as it gave me time to peruse the menu.
My daughter wholeheartedly suggested the meatball subs. These come with chips and a pickle. Both of us ordered water. On the counter was a tempting assortment of cookies. I decided to try the pistachio pecan.
After ordering we fixed our drinks (both water) and went in search of seats. This proved to be difficult since we had to wade through the crowd. The problem was solved when we spotting a couple getting up to leave. My daughter was as quick to snag the seats as the server was to clean it.
A few minutes later our food arrived. The sandwiches were piping hot. They looked and tasted like they were on thick homemade bread. The meatballs were neatly placed and covered in generous layers of sauce and mozzarella cheese. They went beyond being a two-fisted job. We needed a fork and knife to successfully tackle these monster sandwiches.
I’m happy to say that they both tasted good. The meatball subs came with 1 oz. of Ruffles potato chips and a crisp dill pickle.
Although the green cookie looked interesting, the flavor was a disappointment. I took a bite and gave the rest to my daughter. However, the sub was terrific. We’ll definitely be back.
The cost for lunch at Papa Leno’s in Berea, Kentucky was about $13.00 plus tip.
My Rating: 4 stars
The address is:
108 Center Street
Berea KY 40404
Phone (859) 986.4497
Papa Leno’s in Berea, KY