Marie and I found a great way to get stuck in traffic. We went down to Poncey-Highlands to try Richard Blais’s new hot dog place around the time that the Little Five Points Halloween parade was wrapping up. Getting there wasn’t hard, and parking, for perhaps the only time in Hd1’s short, popular life, was no trouble at all. Going home, however, now that was a headache.
But before we joined that long line of cars attempting to move out of town, we enjoyed some pretty good dogs, and some really good fries, at the latest intown eatery aimed at people half our age. It really was a curious visual experience. Like Flip Burger Boutique, the music is entirely too loud to enjoy conversations, and there are elegantly-framed wide-screen TVs behind the bar playing music videos that don’t match the pulsing, robot techno above us. Late nights, they have a DJ. Well, when I was in my twenties, I enjoyed yelling at my friends above the soundtrack of Yakitori Den-Chan in Buckhead. It’s lost its charm. I did enjoy wondering what in the world was on the TV. I think it might have been clips from the film Velvet Goldmine before it all dissolved in a solarized wash of pink pastel, like a bad acid dream. The design is fussy, the seats are uncomfortable and the hot dogs are pretty good.
We split an order of waffle fries, which were completely delicious to start with even before they poured a wonderful, thin maple syrup all over them. I can definitely see myself stopping by to get an order of these fries to go.
The hot dogs were certainly good, but really, my favorite three dog places in the region – America’s Top Dog, Barkers and Brandi’s – have it all over these. They’ve got nothing to fear from Blais. That’s just because those guys are that good, and not because these are in any way lacking. The meat is really good, and I liked the toppings. Marie ordered, if you can stand the cooler-than-you list, a fennel sausage dog with San Marzano ketchup (no Heinz here, of course), fontina and grilled radicchio. I had the red haute dog, which came with brisket chili, pepper jack “foam” and Vidalia onions.
It’s good, but we’re clearly not the target audience any longer, and America’s Top Dog is better. It’s been too long since we’ve indulged over there, anyway.
After supper, we risked the wrath of the parking gods for a quick ten-minute hop down to Atlanta Cupcake Factory and back. We’ve really pushed our luck doing this lately; I think we’ll quit before our parking lot karma runs out. There, we briefly commiserated with the owner, who prepared too many cupcakes on a day that many of her regulars would be unlikely to risk the Halloween parade traffic to visit.
Her regulars obviously are onto a good thing. Marie bought cupcakes for us to take home and share with our daughter. They were really tasty and light, and the time we spent drumming our fingers waiting for traffic on Freedom Parkway to clear move was made worse knowing that we had those desserts in the back seat, and were anxious to try them. They were worth the wait.
Other blog posts about Hd1: