Etta Cox, Lilly Taylor, Nellie Sullivan. My Great Aunts and My Grandma

Nellie Sullivan grew big vegetable gardens in the Cumberland Highlands of Eastern Kentucky.

Green beans, sweet corn, Irish potatoes, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, sweet onions, and peppers were just some of the vegetables she grew from seed and put up in Mason jars to get her family through the long, cold winters of Appalachia. Continue Reading

The Root Beer Stand 129 18th St, Corbin, KY 40701

I did not see anybody get killed but in the rough and tumble railroad town of Corbin, Kentucky such an occurrence is not an infrequent one.

We wrote about the Murder At The Root Beer Stand in a previous report but on this visit our only concern was scoring a chili bun. A chili bun is a chili dog minus the dog. It’s a culinary peculiarity that you can only find in parts of Central Appalachia.

It is also delicious.

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: The Root Beer Stand In Corbin

Alicia At Birrieria Jalisco In Lexington Kentucky

We ate a lot of tacos in 2016. First and foremost, we start each day with a minimum of one taco, hot out of an 1800s-era cast-iron pan in our tiny 9th Ward kitchen here in New Orleans.

We have yet to find a Louisiana source that can even come close.

We ranged across two continents and half of the US eating tacos this year but during our end of year analysis we surmised that the finest of them all was served out of a tiny, taqueria in a forlorn strip-mall in Lexington Kentucky.

Field Report: Birrieria Jalisco (Lexington, Kentucky)

Glenda Smith Of The Snack Shack In Mt Vernon Kentucky

Glenda Smith Of The Snack Shack In Mt Vernon Kentucky

Once a year I drive up to Appalachia where I’ve been researching an Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail for the past decade.

Corbin, Kentucky is the buckle of the chili bun belt but as you radiate outwards from that dusty little town you will encounter the regional specialty in a host of small villages like Barbourville, Manchester, Williamsburg and London.

For the uninitiated a chili bun is a chili dog minus the dog.

In my cross-hairs for my next pilgrimage: D&D Market in Stinking Creek, Kentucky. Coordinates 36.905605, -83.699637 if you’re looking for a roadtrip. Maybe I’ll run into you there and buy you a chili bun.