Eating my way through the alphabet: Engine House
Published 2:00 pm Friday, March 3, 2023
By Eden Slone
After four weeks of Lexington dining, I headed east! Don’t worry, not too far that you can’t try it for yourself. For letter E, I traveled to Winchester to try a downtown staple, Engine House Pizza Pub, our first pizza stop on our restaurant tour. We can’t have a restaurant guide without some pizza, and Engine House did not disappoint.
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Engine House is located in Winchester’s scenic downtown (which, in my opinion, is worth the visit in itself). It’s a cozy space. With a small bar as you walk in that had an intimate feel, I wondered if anyone had ever walked in and exclaimed, “Norm!” I sat in an elevated booth in the back corner and felt like I had my little private room. The most notable part of the space was the restaurant’s holiday decorations. Green twinkle lights, leprechaun footprints, and bursts of rainbow colors all over the room transported me straight into a pot of gold. Engine House is ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! If you need a spot to spend the day, we may have just found it. With how much thought they’d put into their St. Patty’s decorations, I’d also love to see some of their other holiday set-ups.
Although Engine House may specialize in pizza, the menu was by no means limited to just red sauce and crust. With a stacked list of appetizers (meatballs, cheese bread, and even beer cheese stuffed pizza bites), subs and paninis (hot ham hoagies, chicken and pesto paninis, the works), and salads, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Although I was itching to try the beer cheese stuffed bites, I had to leave room for the main event: the pizza. There are several signature pizzas to order, with a slew of toppings like bleu cheese, Philly steak and even potatoes. There is also the option to build your own pizza with all of the toppings from the signature pizzas and then some. Although my head told me to try one of the fun signature combos, my heart told me to make my own. Since I took I-64 (the road I take back to my hometown), I couldn’t help but order my childhood favorite: ham, bacon, and banana peppers, a combo I’d recommend to anyone if you haven’t tried it before. I got a personal size and was thrilled to see four large pieces of pizza sitting in front of me. The crust wasn’t dry. The sauce had good flavor. The cheese had that good cheese-pull ratio we like to see on pizza. The banana peppers gave the pizza a hint of tang and the bacon with ham made for a savory bite. This was a solid piece of pizza. I also tried their buffalo chicken calzone and am so glad I did. Mozzarella, buffalo chicken and ranch, all tucked inside warm dough–this combo always hits the spot. I’ve always loved the combination of buffalo chicken with pizza; the calzone was the perfect spin. I walked out of Engine House with a full but happy stomach.
The buffalo chicken calzone. Warm buffalo chicken with ranch and cheese cannot be beaten. However, I do want to bring attention to my ham, bacon and banana pepper pizza one more time and give it the attention it deserves. I recognize it was a hot take not to get a signature pizza, but I had trust in my old faithful, and it served me right. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.
Final Takeaways: Engine House is a casual, fun restaurant that reminded me of the joys of eating local in a community, from the leprechauns to the pizza toppings. Waitresses that greet you with a smile and will probably remember your order if you stop in a few times, college sports on the TV, and feel-good comfort food that leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. I’ll be back, Engine House!
9 West Lexington Ave., Winchester, Kentucky 40391
With a passion for food and the way it brings people together, Eden Slone is an intern reporter who has created the Eating My Way Through the Alphabet series as a way to highlight some of the best food in Nicholasville, Lexington, and beyond with a new restaurant in alphabetical order being shared each week. If you have a favorite restaurant you’d like to have featured, feel free to send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.