Chef Jim Olert opens a grill in the country

AvonJim Olert, who teaches culinary skills to students at Southside Technical Center, has returned to a working kitchen. Olert and his wife, Elaine, have opened a grill at Avon Service Mart, near Bluegrass Station.
“It’s a cozy mom-and-pop country store that serves breakfast and lunch,” he said. “Our menu consists of an American flair with several comfort food choices. We have everything from burgers and hot dogs to chicken, pork and fish.”
Homemade items include sausage gravy, beer-battered onion rings, seasoned home fries, and fried pickles, Olert said. Daily specials can include meatball sandwiches, sloppy Joes, chili, or Kentucky hot Browns.
Olert is a graduate of Baltimore International Culinary College and has worked as sous chef at Roy and Nadine’s, kitchen manager at Café Joseph-Beth, banquet chef at the Hyatt Regency hotel, and executive chef at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. He started teaching at Southside in 2004.
The grill is at 5569 Briar Hill Road. Hours are 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ­Saturday. Call (859) 327-3212.
Special events

■ Town Branch master distiller Mark Coffman will introduce Town Branch rye at Jonathan at Gratz Park, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $20. Call (859) 252-4949. Jonathan is at 120 West Second Street.
Specials
■ If you missed the Fat Tuesday ­celebrations around town, you still can get Cajun specialties at Rick’s White Light Diner in Frankfort. The diner, featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2010, serves oyster po’boys, crawfish pie, ­muffalettas and crawfish etouffee. New hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through ­Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ­Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Rick’s is at 114 Bridge Street. Call (502) 696-9104 or go to ­Whitelightdiner.com.
■ Starting Friday, Thai Orchid Café will offer Lenten seafood specials including shrimp and greens, tom yum seafood noodle bowl, and crispy chili fish. The café is at 1030 South Broadway. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to Thaiorchidcafe.net.
■ 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street, Washington, is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Specials include chicken Parmesan and Swiss steak on Saturday, and baked spaghetti and hot German potato casserole on Sunday. Call (859) 907-6093.
■ The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, is serving grilled Clare Island salmon with cream risotto and grilled asparagus as the weekend special. The pizza flavor is “sky high meat pie.” Call (859) 233-1500.
■ Jan Sullivan, chef/owner of Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Road, is ­making ­shamrock sugar cookies for St. ­Patrick’s Day parties. Soup specials are chunky Cheddar potato and tomato bisque. Call (859) 554-6044.
■ The color green reigns at ­Greentree Tearoom this month. The menu features potato leek soup, Irish oat scone with blackberry jam, ­spanakopita, corned beef, poppy seed egg salad and Benedictine tea ­sandwiches, Bailey’s fudge, and ­pistachio cupcakes. Greentree is at 521 West Short Street. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.