Barbecue on tater tots? Louisville’s Feast scrambles Southern classics

The scene: With its garage-style feel, high ceilings and exposed ductwork, Feast is a near-perfect physical rendition of a classic barbecue joint, from the old brick building to the order-at-the-counter layout to the metal trays food is served on. It absolutely looks the part, but the four-year-old Louisville flagship location goes beyond standard barbecue-shack fare with its lengthy array of craft beer taps, eccentric menu items, flat-screen TVs, and location in trendy NuLu, the up-and-coming dining and nightlife section of the city’s fast growing downtown. The very first Feast BBQ was just across the border in Indiana, but was too small for its burgeoning popularity and closed, supplanted by this large and very popular spot, while a second new one opened in suburban Jeffersontown.

There is usually a line for food (and drink, as you order both at the front counters), especially on busy Friday and Saturday nights, but it moves quickly, and the restaurant holds a lot of diners at large picnic-style tables. It’s got an energetic sort of mess-hall feel, quite lively, and in addition to the array of craft draughts, signature bourbon slushies and deep bourbon list (like every restaurant in Louisville, the capital of the American whiskey trade), the neighborhood is packed with craft cocktail bars and modern speakeasies. All of this is convenient to the major downtown hotels, making Feast and all of NuLu popular with both locals and tourists alike.

Reason to visit: Fried pickles, pork cakes, loaded tots, ribs, fried bread pudding, bourbon slushies.

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