I certainly enjoy having the small audience that Marie and I have, but sometimes I think that I’ll do a lot better by y’all once we get a book deal, an expense account and a secretary. Okay, so I’m not really counting on these things, but I bet that if we did have a secretary, then they would have pointed out a remarkable oversight that I made long before now. Back in May, I happened to spot the sign for a new burrito place in downtown Marietta, and resolved to stop in as soon as possible. About a week later, I wandered over there, hungry for such a meal, and was surprised to learn they were still about a week away from opening. I ended up driving to the Chilito’s in Kennesaw instead to get my fix and wrote them up instead. I promptly forgot that the burrito place on the square ever existed until I remembered out of the blue more than five months later. I’m serious; the place fell into a black hole of memory.
My plans for this past Wednesday got juggled around, so, having only remembered that “that burrito place” existed about 48 hours previously, I took advantage of the chance to swing by and see whether they ever opened up. I had to drive to do it, because I couldn’t remember the name, and Google couldn’t help me find the place. Now that I know the name, Google’s still not much help, because the owners have not done much of anything to let the world that they’ve been here for five months. Not even the phone company can track these people down. I’m not sure whether this might be incompetence or somebody’s very clever plan to make customers really work to find the place. But they seriously are there. Look, photographic evidence:
Okay, so let’s get one thing out of the way: that’s a really terrible name for a restaurant. All I could remember about it, once I remembered that “a burrito place on the square” existed at all, was “I think that it had some wacky name.” Amusingly, the owner had his own take on it. I asked of the couple whether one of them was “Hollie,” and he admitted that just about everybody asks that. As for why it’s spelled that way, he said he wanted something memorable. Didn’t work with me, I’m afraid.
Much like the many “fast casual” burrito places in the city, this is a build-to-order place with the ingredients on the other side of the sneeze guard and assembled per your specifications. I had the daily lunch special, which is your choice of a burrito, chips and a canned soda for six bucks. The guacamole is an additional eighty cents, but I have to tell you, it’s easily worth that. All of the ingredients of my “bowl” burrito were very tasty, particularly the fresh jalapenos, but that guac was outstanding. I highly recommend everybody give this recipe a try. While thinner, and more like a dressing than a dip, it’s actually about as good as Bone Garden’s, which has my favorite in the city.
The restaurant seems to get a pretty good crush of business from government workers during the lunch hour. I arrived at 11.30 and had the small space to myself for a few minutes before the county clerks, attorneys and deputies filed in and took up all of the handful of tables. I took from the sort of noncommital way that the owner answered when I asked how business was that as of now, Hollie Guacamole! is dependent on doing a lot of noon to one business to stay afloat, and that they haven’t been able to turn their place into a big word of mouth destination. Places on the square have always seemed to me to have a lot of trouble turning themselves into something that the public wants to search for. I’m not sure what this place is doing wrong, but when a Google search for: “hollie guacamole” marietta turns up (today) exactly five entries and three of those are echoes from one gentleman’s Twitter feed, I can only conclude that there are a hell of a lot of people missing out on this very tasty guacamole and the friendly owners. And the Lime Crush, the soda that I’ve been enjoying the most for the last several weeks.
And this is after five months. I won’t swear that I’m incredibly optimistic that they’ll make it another five at this rate, and that’s a shame*.
*They did better than I expected, but not good enough, making it to June of 2012 before the “Now Leasing” sign appeared in the window. Better luck next time, guys.
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