Foodie News x Restaurant Reviews x Hip-Hop Attitude

In 2010, I (Nick Love) spent over 45% of my annual income eating out at some of Atlanta's best (and worst) restaurants. So, who better to guide you through the city's crowded dining terrain?? Now, I, along with my team of Hip-Hop generation foodies, will expose and review ATL's newest hits, hidden gems, and old favorites. Hopefully, this blog will earn us a free meal or two while we point you guys in the direction of some good food and steer you away from the wackness. Let's eat!!!

Oct 26, 2011

Review: HD1 | Bad Dog!!!

Name: HD1
Cuisine: American w/ the signature Richard Blais flair
Neighborhood: Poncey-Highlands
Address: 664 N. Highland Ave. NE Atlanta, GA 30306
Phone: (404) 815-1127

What to say, what to say.  After yesterday's "situation" with LeRoy's Fried Chicken, I figured we might as well keep the ball rolling.  If I go ahead and get the negative reviews out the way, I can deal with the harsh feedback and critiques all at once.  So, this brings us to HD1.

(Prawn Dogs, Shrimp Fried in Grits)

After seeing an ad for HD1 on Scoutmob, I tried for 2 weeks to work a quick visit into my schedule.  I was beyond excited to sample the latest Richard Blais creation.  For those of you not familiar with Blais, he is the celebrity chef mastermind behind FLIP Burger Boutique (which I happen to love).  Billed as a "haute doggery", the place was pretty much what I anticipated - fancy hot dogs with a contemporary, boutique-style dining experience.  Essentially, FLIP with wieners instead of beef and turkey burgers.  But, what I didn't anticipate was the "ehh" feeling I got after I sat down and ate.

(Red Haute Dog)

Now, keep in mind, I visited HD1 on TWO occasions within a week of one another.  My first visit was very underwhelming.  First, the building kinda sneaks up on you once you turn off of Ponce and onto Highland Ave.  The building sits almost right behind the Urban Outfitters plaza and it only has about 6 or 7 parking spaces.  So, before you know it, you're there and passing it.  Second, I'm not sure what happened that morning but I was one of the first customers in that day and the whole place had a wood chip scent very similar to one of those hamster cages you'd find a pet store.  I wasn't sure if that was supposed to be "new restaurant" smell or if that was the chili being prepared but it was quite the turnoff.

(Reuben Dog)

Then, I get a gander at the menu.  I wasn't too startled.  I expected to see a few oddities.  I knew Blair wouldn't stick to just ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut.  So, I took a few calculated risk.  I started off with the Prawn Dogs, Shrimp Fried in Grits (pic above) as an appetizer.  Then, for my main course, I ordered a Red Haute Dog (fancy chili dog) and, at the suggestion of my waitress, a Reuben Dog (basically a Reuben sandwich with a beef frank instead of corned beef (both pics above).  Finally, for good measure, I threw in some good ole' Waffled Fries w/ Maple Oy.

(Waffled Fries w/ Maple Oy)

Well, I loved the fries!!!  But, that's pretty much where it stops.  The Prawn Dogs were okay.  I didn't really get it.  It was basically fried shrimp on a stick.  The whole thing of being "fried in grits" didn't really come thru.  Even though I did detect a hint of a texture difference, honestly, it could've just been corn meal.  Then, the hot dogs. . . . I'll say this, maybe my taste palate just isn't sophisticated enough to appreciate what HD1 was going for.  But, then again, I really think that much of what they did with the gourmet ketchups, cheese foams, and other toppings on the hot dogs just would've been better suited for a hamburger.  The flavors and nuances of my choices just didn't flow together on that bun.  Maybe some things are better left alone OR at least left simple.

(Banana Ice Cream w/ Caramelized Rum)

The one saving grace of my meal other than the fries (which really were great) was the soft serve ice cream I had for dessert.  The Banana Ice Cream with Caramelized Rum was INCREDIBLE!!!  Hands down, one of the best things I've ever tasted.  It probably deserves its' own separate blog.  It was creamy and sweet with just the right amount of caramelized rum sauce as to not overpower the flavor of the ice cream.  It was probably PERFECT.

Here's the crazy and disappointing part though.  I went back a week later to get another serving of this ice cream and guess what. . .  THEY DON'T HAVE IT ANYMORE!!!  I wish I had one of those Blackberry Messenger red, angry face emoticons to put here.  You should've seen the way I looked at that hostess.  Lol.  What did they replace with you ask??  Answer - Whoppers candy soft serve.  I'm done!!!  But, that smell was gone so I'm gonna chalk that up to a fluke one day thing.  No worries.

To sum this all up, I love Richard Blais, I love FLIP Burger Boutique, I'm not at all crazy about HD1.  I do recommend it for those who are just curious and want to see how far someone could stretch the limits of an Oscar Mayer.  Other than that, stop at Sonics and grab a Chicago Dog.  Tell 'em I sent you.

Grade: C-
What's Great: Atmosphere, Service, Prices
What Ain't: Food, Parking
Ideal For: The Adventurous Eater

HD1 on Urbanspoon


Randy Barnes said...

My experience tonight was one of complete happiness. The Tuscan - Italian sausage and Kenturkey were incred. [Tuscan by a length.] Fries next time. Big surprise was a NY Lager, Gold-something for $3. After 9pm is wide open. Very different experience from Flip. I'm going back.

Nick Love said...

Really?? Yeah, the Kenturkey did sound kinda good when I saw it on the menu but after my experience, I'm definitely scared to jump out there and try another one.

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