If you’re unfamiliar with Hillbilly Tea, a hit Louisville eatery downtown on 1st St with one of the most interesting concepts in the city, then you may not have noticed their most recent spot, which landed in the Highlands back in the fall. There has been a lot of talk recently about Portland and all the great things that are supposed to be happening in the West Louisville neighborhood, including a Hillbilly Tea location, but few people have mentioned Hillbilly Tea Shack on Baxter Ave, the recent addition to the Highlands in one of the most awkward and overlooked locations in the neighborhood.
Karter Louis, owner and operator of Hillbilly Tea, has a lot happening right now. Between his original location on 1st St, the Cafe in Portland, and his new project, Billy Box, opening soon on West Chestnut downtown, it’s pretty easy to overlook the tiny, strange location at 960 Baxter Ave. Hillbilly Tea Shack actually opened in the Highlands months ago, but I hadn’t noticed it until walking by the other day. For such a small spot, they did a great renovation of the former hot dog stand. While the walk-up window is still in use, you’re now able to actually go inside and dine at one of the cutest little bars ever. You can also check out the lounge in the back room or simply wait at the counter for your to-go food. Some of the favorite menu items, like the pork and pone, from Hillbilly Tea’s downtown location appear on the Hillbilly Tea Shack menu in the Highlands. Other favorites include the smoked chicken salad, hell belly frog legs, and their amazing breakfast items. As with all their locations they serve a variety of fresh, organic whole-leaf teas as well.
In a brief conversation I had with Brent at Hillbilly Tea Shack on Baxter Ave, he mentioned that they would be extending their hours during the warmer months, making their magnificent Appalachian grub available to the late night crowd as well. This was the original plan for Hillbilly Tea Shack, but the winter is always weird for foot traffic, and they decided it would be better to shorten the hours until the Spring rolls around. Whether you go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late night just know that it will be delicious. I’m glad that something awesome has finally made its way into that strange old hot dog stand. Welcome to the neighborhood, Hillbilly! We’re happy to see you.
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