reverb 10: soul food at hillbilly tea


December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

I had a lot of really great meals this year and I made some good comfort food including mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole but when it comes to soul food, nothing was better than the meal we had at hillbilly tea in Louisville, Ky. Before this trip to the Watson conference in October, we'd been to Louisville a number of times and eaten and numerous places, most of them quite good. But nothing quite as memorable as this meal. We hadn't planned out our evening; we were hungry and hillbilly tea was close. They'd just started serving dinner so we only had the lunch menu online to judge the kind of food they served. It was within walking distance so we decided to go for it, which sometimes works out and sometimes is a disaster. This time, we got lucky.

For starters we had frog legs, which were lightly battered and were really good. Then, I had roadkill stew which included lamb, rabbit, bison (I think) and a whole bunch of veggies. I cannot accurately describe how good this food was. Michelle had bison steak and sweet potato fries. The food was delicious, yes; it was hearty and tasted like home but better. It was comforting and nostalgic and all the things soul food is supposed to be. But the meal was so memorable because of the atmosphere, the experience and mostly, the person I was with, which in my opinion, is what makes trying new things so fantastic: you're creating an experience with someone else. I think food is a big part of my social life because I love having conversations about great meals, over great meals. I love sharing the tastes, smells and adventures of food with others. We're trying to recreate these experiences in our kitchen. It's an ongoing process; I'll let you know how it goes for 2011. For now, I'll just remember the wonderful anticipation the moment before I dipped my spoon into my roadkill stew.

Seriously, if you're traveling to Louisville you HAVE to check this place out.