Clocked!, Athens GA

This is Marie, contributing an entry about Clocked! in Athens. Every once in a while I take a trip up to the town I lived in longer than anywhere else in my life, and generally any little excuse will do for a visit. Sadly, the arrival of the baby sharply reduced the number of trips, but I still try to make it up when possible. In this particular case, a former neighbor of mine happened to be free, so we had lunch together with her husband and kids before I went and did a little shopping and visiting.

When I lived in Athens, I only went to about three restaurants, and therefore paid no attention to places that should have been enjoyed (in some cases, repeatedly) when I didn’t have to drive 90 minutes to get there. If I had been paying attention in 2000 when they started, Clocked! would have easily made my trio of favorites a foursome, if for no other reason than the shakes. Oh, I have not yet had one of those shakes, but I will. There will be a Festival of Dairy to rival the post-pregnancy Festival of Nitrates as soon as the baby is weaned, and this restaurant is going to have to be in the list. You know a shake must be good when the person who ordered one at your table has to start on it with a spoon, and then passes it around for the whole table.

I chose this restaurant for one main reason, and that requires a little background story. My dad and one of his sisters had a competition going for years in which they tried to make the most unlikely recipes possible. I am not solid on all the rules, but they essentially boil down to a) the food must be likeable and b) the food must be silly, and A trumps B but B is required. One of my father’s creations was the peanut butter burger. As a child I was distinctly anti-condiment; I would not use ketchup on my fries, I fussed if given pizza with any toppings other than cheese, and so forth – but I loved his peanut butter burger. He didn’t make them all that often as he only did cooking for special occasions (a doctor’s schedule does tend to reduce dinner opportunities) but the rare meals assumed greater prominence as a result. So when I was looking for a place to have lunch with my former neighbor, the opportunity to have a peanut butter burger was irresistible – I’d likely have gone even if the reviews hadn’t been so positive.

Now, a peanut butter burger, however tasty, is not terribly photogenic. Overlook all that brown to the little dish of red sauce by the sweet potato fries, though. That is the best solution to the problem of “ketchup doesn’t go with sweet potatoes” problem that I’ve encountered. It is a sweet raspberry pepper sauce that is quite mild, leaving barely a tingle on your tongue, but it is light years away from that cinnamon apple goop that some places desperately try to inflict on the unwary, and goes admirably with the fries.

Overall, this is good food at only slightly over fast food prices, made with care. Recommended.

Other blog posts about Clocked!:

A Hamburger Today (Oct. 30 2008)
Foodieville (Oct. 15 2009)