Hillbilly Willy’s Bar-B-Q – The Secret Is Out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - by Willie Mae

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!

Hours:

11:00 am - 8:00 pm


It's Punkin' Chunkin' Time At The Brainerd Farmers' Market

Chunk a punkin’ this Saturday at the Brainerd Farmers’ Market for a chance to win a pumpkin just in time for Halloween The Brainerd Farmers’ Market announces its first annual “Punkin’ Chunkin’ Contest.” The O’Neill Family Farm will supply the pumpkin, ready for Jack-O-Lantern carving and pie making. The game is simple: chunk a pumpkin as far as you can to win a free pumpkin. ... (click for more)

Harvest Fest At Main Street Farmers Market Is Oct. 29

Harvest Fest, a local festival sponsored by the Harvested Here Food Hub, will be on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Event hours are 4-7 p.m. and will coincide with the Main Street Farmers Market on 325 East Main Street. In addition to regular farmers market activities, Harvest Fest will include free local food prepared by premiere local chefs representing 1885, Easy Bistro, Flying Squirrel, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)