Monday, September 5, 2011

Hillbilly Tea

Imagine yourself enjoying a chilly mason jar of organic iced tea with your favorite little brother on a blazing hot day. Add to this scenario a trendy, low key, and ecclectic atmosphere with wholesome Appalachian inspired cuisine, and you might just have the perfect Sunday afternoon. We sat in one of the wooden booths and were given both breakfast and tea menus as our server listed off the daily specials. I went for the classic peach tea and Michael chose a green tea with ginger and jasmine.We noted the cool wall decor which includes colorful, abstract artwork that is framed along a brick wall and painted onto a fabric, hung at the far end of the room. There are many other pieces that tie into the mountain theme such as a rocking chair with a country quilt laid on top. Upon entering the room, you will see a counter to the left that features a multitude of teas and desserts. There is a shovel and a wicker kitchen chair that hang from the side walls, a wagonwheel sitting on top an old kitchen cupboard, and a few mini schoolhouse chairs scattered about. Ironically this "Hillbilly"cafe is situated in the heart of downtown. Sitting at 120 First Street (in between Main and Market Street), I think it brings the best of the "backwoods" - cuisine and culture, to my beloved Louisville.

I was so caught up in this fun and relaxing atmosphere, that I wasn't even a little prepared to place my order when the server arrived with our teas. However Michael, always the decisive one, announced he was all set on the Hillbilly Breakfast Platter. I looked at the menu over and over and considered options such as the Moonshine Breakfast with bourbon pork chop and eggs, the Skillet Pancake, and Poached Eggs on a Buttermilk Biscuit. I finally decided on the Hillbilly Nola - granola made from scratch with housemade yogurt. Unfortunately, we arrived after the breakfast rush hour that left them with no granola! So with pressure building on me to decide, I changed my game a little, and in the heat of the moment, I blurted out "Scrambled Eggs with Succotash". Both Michael and our fun server gave their approval with a nod stating, "Nicely Done ".

Speaking of nice, the teas tasted so incredibly pure that there was no need to alter the flavor by adding any sugar. As we waited for our food, I told Michael about the uniquely refreshing bubblegum iced tea that I purchased a few weeks prior from the Hillbilly Tea tent at a local festival. I highly recommend it. My succotash included a mix of white and pinto beans with some corn, a little tomato, and an amazing array of herbal flavoring that was tough to pinpoint. I definitely tasted hints of basil which is my favorite. This flavor was present in the scrambled eggs too. I felt the corn and tomatoes could  have made more of an appearance but I was satisfied overall and would order this comforting dish again. Michael's platter included scrambled eggs and two toast sticks which he said were borderline burnt. However, he relished the crispy potato cake draped with a light cheese and the petite, yet succulent bison patties. He also appreciated the orange slice and single strawberry that added some sweetness to the platter.

One might expect to walk away from a hearty breakfast table feeling bloated from an overabundance of grease and salt. Fortunately that is not the case at this establishment as the chef takes great pride in using the most simple and fresh ingredients that are sourced locally. The portion sizes were big enough to fill our stomachs but not bust our buttons open like any gluttonous breakfast diner or even some other trendy brunch cafes would surely do. I mean don't get me wrong, I love to pig out every now and then but I've got to keep my buttons in place if I want to keep my body rockin.

As for service, it was prompt and all the wait staff were very attending. We particularly enjoyed our down-to-earth server who was quite chatty. He was full of compliments and he even apologized for not delivering our food personally due to his serving a big party of tourists. We will definitely be dining here again and plan to check out the lunch menu and the new upstairs area that is in the works.  

So the next time you are craving an organic tea or a "backwoods" brunch platter that won't bust your buttons or your bank, I suggest you head downtown to Hillbilly Tea. It's where the Holladays like to have their tea parties. Live to eat!


  1. Great restaurant selection! You all just need a financier (is that french enough) for your endeavors!

  2. Beth, you're so not a wannabe foodie. Whatever. Lamers for lemurs!

    I have yet to read your rich-o's review; I will go and do that now.

    Dare you all post about your fun eats down in Florida? I want to hear more!

  3. Aww, thanks Claire! We OD'ed on seafood in Florida...there were so many great eats, I am torn as to which one to write about. Might have to write them all :)