LIVING LOCAL | Louisville BBQ joint garners local following, nat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LIVING LOCAL | Louisville BBQ joint garners local following, national acclaim

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What makes Kentuckiana unique? Is it the food? What about people or places? Each Thursday on WDRB News at 11 p.m., we'll take a look at the people, places and things that make Kentuckiana special in a weekly series, “Living Local.”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- You know the food is good when all you see is finger-licking and empty plates.

Chad Cooley and his partner Jamie dreamed of opening ""Momma's Mustard Pickles and BBQ."

It's named after Chad's mother, but a failed food truck nearly sidelined his dreams.

Fortunately, Chad has an ace in the hole: 2013 Breeder's Cup winner Mucho Macho Man.

Cooley sold his share in the stallion and opened the restaurant in St. Matthews.

Momma's does smoke sausage, ribs, even dessert with fried pickles, but the wings are the big draw. They sell around 8,000 a week.

"Everybody loves the wings," Cooley said. "They've been called the best in America."

The secret to their success, as they say, is in the sauce ... or in this case, lack of it.

"It's a Kansas City dry rub style of BBQ, so it's not covered in sauce," Cooley said. "Twelve herbs and spices, and it's a secret passed down by the angels." 

It's so good that Food Network star Guy Fieri came to check Momma's out.

"It was a lot of fun meeting them," Cooley said.

Momma's now has two locations and thousands of regulars. But more than flavorful food, it's about family.

"This is the way I think BBQ should feel, which is welcoming to everybody," Cooley said.

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