The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette In Sandgap Kentucky

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette Drive In in Sandgap Kentucky

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette Drive In in Sandgap Kentucky

When I was a kid, my handle on my father’s cb radio was ‘Old Hickory’. I’d sneak out to his Country Squire station wagon and lay down in the front seat to talk to all my trucker buddies who were passing by on I-75 in rural Kentucky. I can still smell the leather seats.

Jackson County, Kentucky is named after Andrew ‘Old Hickory’ Jackson, and it’s one of the prettiest places in all of Appalachia. McKee, formerly ‘Yellow Dog’, is the county seat, and sits 10 minutes to the south and east of where Sandgap is located.

I’ve traversed that region since I was kid competing against other children in regional, public-speaking competitions held across Eastern Kentucky. When I turned 16 I bought a purple 1973 Honda CB-350 motorbike and began touring around the area on my own.

Frosty-Ette Drive In, established in 1953, often caught my attention but I had never stopped in until last month when business carried me to nearby Berea.

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette Drive In in Sandgap Kentucky

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette Drive In in Sandgap Kentucky

I’m always on the hunt for fresh chili buns for my long-running Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail series, and as it happens Frosty-Ette has a good one. Fresh ground beef has been lightly simmered with just a whisper of chili seasoning, then piled up good and heavy on a steamed, warm bun. Unless you ask for condiments you will not receive any but it’s an error quickly remedied with the lady at the order window.

Once I has applied some ballpark mustard, and chopped white onions this chili bun practically sang. A hamburger came dressed with mayonnaise, mustard, onions, tomatoes and pickles. The lady grill cook has a touch as light as a hummingbird as this is one juicy burger; it’s a perfect medium. When her skills are praised she responds with a ‘hush it, you’re gonna give me the big head”

An orange-creme dessert shake is one of the finest I’ve had in recent memory.

I’m in the area for the big Appalachian Food Summit held at nearby Berea College. It’s a gathering of scholars, writers and eaters who are interested in the foodways of the region. As I buy a couple dozen farm eggs I can’t help but wonder what the thinkers back at the conference would order at this tucked-away little gem of a restaurant.

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette Drive In in Sandgap Kentucky

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette Drive In in Sandgap Kentucky

Jackson County is the birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry star “Stringbean” Akemon

Frosty-Ette Drive In

US 421 N

Sandgap, Kentucky

40481

606-965-3883

Hours of Operation:

11am-8pm

7 days a week

About RL Reeves Jr

I’m a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This entry was posted in Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Frosty-Ette In Sandgap Kentucky

  1. Virginia Prewitt says:

    Sand Gap is not at the foot of Big Hill. It is not at the top of Big Hill. You must go up Big Hill and go through Morrill and Clover Bottom before getting to Sand Gap. Just for your information.

  2. RL Reeves Jr says:

    thanks, rl

  3. Carolyn York says:

    The Frosty-Ette is located in Sand Gap, KY. Sand Gap is 10.5 miles south of Big Hill, Ky. From Berea you take Hwy 21 to junction of US 421; turn right and follow US 421 for 10.5 miles to Frosty-Ette on the right at the top of Sand Gap Hill.

  4. Carolyn York says:

    Thank you for the positive report from our county.

  5. RL Reeves Jr says:

    My pleasure, it’s beautiful up there and we had a great meal.

  6. Skeeter says:

    I just drove by there a few days ago….half the sign on the top is missing 🙁

  7. Georgia Million says:

    I sure enjoyed your positive message aimed at our little humble restaurant and county.

  8. RL Reeves Jr says:

    We can’t wait to come back and visit. rl

  9. Ruth Cross says:

    Their Hot Fudge cake is awesome too! Haven’t had anything there I don’t like!

  10. RL Reeves Jr says:

    I’ll try it on my next visit. I’d love to interview the owner at some point. rl

  11. Lora says:

    I’m one of the organizers of the Appalachian Food Summit and live in Jackson County. Thanks for coming to the Summit and visiting the Frostyette. It is a gem! Next visit – Follow 421 on down to Tyner and hit up the Valero Station for an equally great chili bun. Then cross over the Clay County line and try out Robinson’s Grocery on your way to Pat’s Snack Bar.

  12. RL Reeves Jr says:

    Thanks for all the tips. I’ll include them on my next few editions of the Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun trail series. They’ll be compiled into a book around 2022. RL Reeves jr

  13. Pingback: Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail: Corner Market In Corbin | C h o w p a p i

  14. Carol Malicote Wright says:

    That’s where I was born,came to Ohio right after that, but when I visit I like to eat there, it’s so yummy, love this place♡

  15. RL Reeves Jr says:

    I do too! Can’t wait to get back there in a couple months.

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