After I shared with Betty what I did for a hobby, she had read through some of my other stories and saw where I mentioned that I had not found a good barbecue place. Since that story, I visited a few that I liked pretty well, but she insisted that I still hadn’t tried “the best”.
We met at the park in Lookout Valley and I followed her to a shopping village on Brown’s Ferry Road. I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover because I would never have thought a barbecue place would be any count unless it was an old country building with a smokehouse connected …but a shopping village?
I was surprised when I went inside and saw the homey, country atmosphere it had. There was banjo music playing overhead and the place smelled wonderful. Betty and I headed up to the counter and we placed our orders. They had a moonshine still next to the counter, but Betty and I decided on sweet tea. We both had the pulled pork sandwich platter for $7.95 but Betty got slaw as one of her sides and I chose okra and we both wanted baked beans. The girl at the counter tempted us with pie and so Betty got the buttermilk pie and I got the peanut butter pie.
When the girl asked where we would be sitting, Betty pointed to the left of the restaurant and I pointed to the right. The girl laughed at us and before Betty and I got into a fuss, I just pushed her out of the way and sat down on the left side at the table I wanted. Betty can get bossy and after all, this was my hobby.
We looked around while we waited on our food. Betty said she liked their floral arrangements and pointed at the ceiling. When I looked up I saw large dead tree branches with some type of moss hanging from it. I don’t know why they thought that looked good, but I was just hoping no varmints were going to fly out of those things. It went with the rest of the place though and you’d never know from the inside of this place that it was in a shopping village.
When the girl brought the sweet teas, they were in a Mason jar … or at least what I thought were Mason Jars. I was surprised when I lifted my glass that it was so light and found out it was plastic. I liked that though, because it was easier to lift. The tea was really good and not that stale tea you might get elsewhere. This was really good Southern, sweet tea.
Our meals came and boy did they look good! The meat was piled high on the bun and it was smothered in a dark rich sauce. Betty and I both knew we would need to ask for hot sauce though. The waitress brought us some and we added it to our sandwiches.
I have visited several places in a row without giving many whee-ee-dogggies, but lately I have really been impressed with a few and this one was no different. I would have to say it was the best BBQ I have tasted in the Chattanooga area so far! It certainly gets a Willie Mae “Whee-ee-doggie!”
The rest of our meal was delicious too. When we ordered we were asked if we wanted slaw on our sandwiches and we said we would like it on the side, so with the okra and baked beans as my two sides, I felt almost like I was cheating to have the slaw on the side in a tiny cup and I ate that too. The baked beans were dark and sweet and had bacon seasoned in them. Everything was simply wonderful!
Betty noticed that every time people would leave, another group of people would come in. I never knew about Hillbilly Willy’s and I thought it must have been a well-kept secret. Others must know how wonderful this place is because they sure stayed busy.
The hot sauce was good and hot too, but I recommend not breathing in just before you take a bite or you will cough. And, the sauce gets hotter with each bite.
When the waitress gave us a refill on the tea, I told her how good it was and she said, “Oh our tea IS good. When you have barbecue, you have to have good sweet tea… it’s the Tennessee State Law.” I did not know that. She was a sweet girl and talked as Southern as the tea.
Just then, Betty got bossy and said, “We’ll take our pie now.” Our waitress may not have known we had ordered any at the counter, but she went to get it for us. I never cared for buttermilk pie and didn’t plan to switch desserts with Betty for tasting purposes, but the peanut butter pie was so rich I couldn’t have eaten it all anyway. It was so delicious. It was one of those desserts that would make you sick if you had no discipline. It had chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. I wanted to eat the whole piece, but I was too full so I let Betty try it. She liked her pie best.
The place was full of Southern charm and the service was exceptional. The food was worth the jaunt out to Lookout Valley and I would make that trip again for it. If you have never eaten there, you really need to visit these folks. If the people in that area hoped to keep it a secret just for them, I am sorry to give such a good review because now the secret is out!
11:00 am - 8:00 pm