This article was originally published in our June 2021 issue. 

The main feature at Emmet’s Kitchen & Tap in downtown Fayette isn’t exactly on the menu, but restaurant manager Brandy Asbury says there’s no substitute to the recipe for Emmet’s success.

“You get that small-town feel when you come in,” she says. “We try to make everybody feel like they’re welcome, like you just came home.”

Emmet’s is a three-minute walk southeast of Central Methodist University and on the east side of the Howard County Courthouse. Brandy says the restaurant draws from all the surrounding communities. Many locals and out-of-towners have become regulars known by not only name but also by favorite drink or meal.

The menu is varied and creative, no doubt, dubbed as “American cuisine with a delicious Cajun twist,” and Chef Matthew Buckman puts on a masterful culinary performance every other weekend with a special “Matthew’s Table” menu.

“This allows Matt to be a little creative and allows him to play with some different flavors,” Brandy says. “And it gives people who eat here often something different to try.”

A previous Matthew’s Table menu had creamy mushroom risotto with grilled chicken or creole tilapia served over rice with creole tomato sauce, with choice of soup, salad, or gumbo.

Diners can also take home a taste of Emmet’s. House-made dressings and sauces are a big hit, including the Worcestershire Sauce—bottled and sold at Emmet’s. Brandy’s favorite? The Honey Jalapeno Dipping Sauce.

“In all honesty, you can put it on anything. I put it on everything,” she says. Diners can also purchase a bottle of the Sweet Baby BBQ sauce and fresh Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Chef Matt has created culinary delights at Emmet’s for fifteen years now. He was trained by the late owner and restaurant founder Rob Schluckebier. (Rob named the restaurant after his grandfather. Emmet’s opened in 2003).

“Matt has a unique ability. It just came to him,” Brandy adds. “You can give him any three ingredients and he can make you a wonderful meal. Food is his gift.”

Daily lunch specials Mondays through Fridays add to the options found on the regular menu. The daily specials are listed on Emmet’s Facebook page. If you can’t decide what to order, Brandy will recommend the grilled beef tenderloin.

“For me, personally, when I go out to eat, I love steak. I’m a meat and potatoes girl,” she says. The tenderloin is served as steak, in pasta, or in a salad.

Beef Tenderloin Salad

Emmet’s also has a banquet room available for private events, from rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions to birthday and anniversary dinners, from business lunches to cocktail receptions.

Brandy has been part of Emmet’s for sixteen years now. Brandy says she and Emmet’s fit like a glove.

“You meet so many different and interesting people,” she says, whether they are regulars or first-time guests. “They become your friends. They become your family.”

111 N. Main Street, Fayette | Mondays–Thursdays 11 am–2 pm, 4:30 pm–8 pm; Fridays 11 am–2 pm, 4 pm–9 pm; Saturdays 11 am– 9 pm; Sundays 11 am–2 pm | | 660-248-3363

Photos / Matt Buckman