Hello world and more specifically, DWD readers. So, this is my first blog entry ever and I want to start by thanking Dani for giving me an outlet to express what I hope is my creative side. That said…
Year 2010 was the year of the hamburger in Atlanta. Since last summer (if not a season earlier), restaurants have listed the house hamburger as a reason to stop by and dine. Also, a number of new burger joints either gained more popularity (see, Grindhouse Killer Burgers), opened (see, Googie Burger in Centennial Park), announced they were opening and still have not (see, 5 Napkin), opened-closed-and reopened (see, EVOS). While hamburgers on the menu and hamburger joints are nothing new, the attention and detail paid to them is. The food blogs, magazines, and restaurateurs covering the Atlanta dining scene took a play from each other’s playbook and invested in the all-American hamburger. To take some examples, 2010 brought our attention to:
1. The Bocado Burger. Said to be the closest competition to the legendary Holeman + Finch burger, Bocado has paid special attention to every delicious bite of their burger. Such attention did not go unnoticed as their burger was named Creative Loafing’s “Best Burger” of 2010. Bocado even began offering “The Wimpy”–a plate of 3 burgers. I always thought they should give away a shirt for the brave of heart (and artery) who decided to undertake and devour The Wimpy.
2. FLIP Buckhead. After much success with their Midtown location, the FLIP guys (Richard Blais and others), decided to bless Buckhead with a burger boutique. Opening in October 2010, this FLIP locale has had its share of growing pains, but nonetheless remains a go to on Roswell Road for diners craving a burgers.
3. Yeah! Burger. Shaun Doty ceased operation of his non-burger restaurant, “Shaun’s”, presumably to focus on his burger joints, located in Midtown and Virginia-Highlands. Beef, Bison, Turkey, Veggie, Chicken, Yeah! has it. If you are so lucky to be aware of Yeah! Burger’s secret menu (http://www.yeahburger.com/secret — you’re welcome), you know they even have $1 sliders on special.
See what I mean? Burger-mania in the A! My prediction: This summer…this year…is the year of the hotdog. You heard it here first folks (I hope): Year 2011 is the year of the hot dog in Atlanta and hopefully, the world. I, for one, am excited. Not only do we share initials, but hot dogs are by far my favorite food (followed by fried lobster tail…go figure)! It’s still pretty early in 2011, and already, more and more restaurants are cranking out wieners. There have always been places to grab a quality dog in Atlanta. Star Provisions, Holeman + Finch, Brandi’s World Hot Dogs (in Marietta)–my fave, so had to mention–and Ormsby’s have had their dogs on the menu pre-2011 and have done well with them. Others are following suit. So far, 2011 has brought us:
1. JCT. JCT Bar of JCT Kitchen and Bar (upstairs) has added weiners to their menu. Available Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5pm, these dogs are far from what you will get at Turner Field. Each week, JCT puts together 3 different dogs, $4 each. On Wednesday, JCT Bar hosts Wiener Wednesday, where the wieners are available for $2–WINNING! Of course, I had to go, and of course, I had to try all 3 of their offerings for the week–(i) bacon-wrapped wiener with pimento cheese and slightly braised purple cabbage, (ii) slaw and jalapeno, and (iii) Vidalia onions and Coca Cola BBQ sauce. I averaged 2 bites per dog…Awesome!
2. Yumbii. If I am lucky enough to write another blog entry for DWD, it will likely cover the food truck craze in Atlanta, and yes, a food truck is a restaurant (or at least close enough). One of the premier street food vendors (second only to King of Pops) is the Yumbii Truck (from Hankook Taqueria). I used to refer to this as a “taco truck,” boasting menu selections from Korean BBQ tacos to fish tacos to sesame fries. While occasionally a chef’s special menu item, Yumbii has permanently added a hot dog to its mobile menu! The Hankook Hot Dog is a “Chicago Red Hot” (not spicy at all), loaded with mustard, chipotle ketchup, jalapenos (spicy), and cucumber kimchi. A twist on a dog, I’m willing to unwind and enjoy. Yumbii, @yumbii on Twitter (you know, mobile and all).
3. HD1. No, not me. I’m talking about Richard Blais’s new restaurant concept. Hot Dogs. Last year, rumors were abound that Blais would open a hot dog joint named, Haute Dog–cute, huh. As first reported by Caleb over at whatnowatlanta.com, Blais, is slated to open his hot dog restaurant in June 2011. While it is reported that the restaurant will be different from the FLIP franchise, with Blais involved, you know there is going to be something inventive and unique about these dogs. Whatnowatlanta.com reports that HD–the reported name of the restaurant–will occupy the space left vacant by the relocated San Fransisco Coffee Roasting Company. If Blais can make a hamburger taste like a hot dog, which he did with his Chicago Dog burger occasionally served at FLIP, the hot dog should be a breeze. HD, 664 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30306.
I could go on and on about hot dogs in general and in Atlanta, but Dani gave me a character limit, which I have now gone over (glad she’s not Twitter). Hopefully, after reading this entry, you are craving a hot dog. My advice: go get one!
-H.D. (Harvey Daniels, III)