Another cold Sunday found us paddling over the rough, Ohio river waters to Rabbit Hash, KY. We meet at the public landing in Rising Sun to paddle across to see the best kept secret in Kentucky, Rabbit Hash. The General Store attracts many awesome musicians. I mean, awesome. It’s almost like a rites of passage thing for any serious musician in the midwest area to play the General Store. If they don’t play it free, it’s very cheap. They are not playing here for the money, I’ll put it that way.
We canoe over there, well, because we like to canoe anyway… and Rabbit Hash it right across the river from Rising Sun. A little walk up the bank on the other side, and you’re right in the middle of Americana. Imagine this, you walk in, and you’re greeted by the locals with a genuine welcoming smile, there’s cornbread and taters on the wood stove, and a buffet of other country-folk food brought by the locals placed there to help yourself. No cover, no charge, just buy your beer, play nice and be merry. Be yourself.
A few friends of mine head over about once a month and I’m in attendance whenever I can. There’s ALWAYS great bands that play in the General Store… sometimes in “the barn”. Last time I was there, we watched the “Gregory Morris Group.” Today, we saw “The Tillers.” Just plain out good times, good friends, true music, the good people of Rabbit Hash and the best dutch oven corn bread this side of the Appellations.
But you know what made today’s visit exceptionally awesome? As I was shaking hands with the locals and listing to the Tillers rippin’ on the dobro and stand-up bass, I was bending over to ladle out a some chicken and and dumplings off the stove and I bump hands with… Jean Robert de Cavel, yeah, that one, the biggest chef in Cincinnati, and he has his little girl with him. And he wasn’t the only one with a kid there. This place is essence of my most nostalgic place on earth.
Many of you know my love of cooking… and food/wine experiences, so I’m really interested in what Jean Robert is eating, or not eating. Last time I saw him was at Seven Days for SIDS at the Cincinnati State Culinary Institute… next to the likes of David Cook (Daveeds, in Mt Adams) and other culinary dignitaries. Seeing Jean Robert ladle out the same dumplings as me, is like meeting Donald Trump partying in a trailer park. This goes to show that a true culinary experience… has to be found, and it’s alive and well in Rabbit Hash.
The General Store can probably only hold 35-40 people legally. It was shoulder room only and everyone is just happy. Happy on a Sunday. Happy in general. Man, it’s really what the doctor ordered.