“Haute Dog” Heaven at HD1

As a proud and avid lover of food that’s as American as baseball or red-white-and-blue, I was thrilled upon hearing about the opening HD1””a new, cutting-edge restaurant that’s all about hot dogs””but with a refreshing, modern approach.

Curious about what could be done to possibly better my beloved standard ketchup-and-mustard dog, I took to Atlanta’s charmingly unique Poncey-Highland neighborhood to try a taste of HD1′s “gourmet” hot dogs. And I’m so glad I did!

Far from your everyday hot dog joint, HD1′s owners, celeb chef Richard Blais and local restaurateur Barry Mills, along with executive chef Jared Lee Pyles have created a very inventive and unmatched menu of hot dogs and sausages, including funnel sausage, merguez lamb sausage, classic hot dogs, just to name a few. They also offer house-made condiments, such as their waffle fries with ma-ploy sauce, that are to die for. Here are a few shots of the goods, but they’re even more tempting in person!

My favorite dog though, and I love the name, is the “East Bound and Down” hot dog (named after the HBO comedy series.)  For a steal of only $6.50, this is HD1′s house frank, topped with delicious Carolina pulled pork, sweet mustard slaw and mop sauce. And the atmosphere made it that much more enjoyable. Designed as a modern beer garden, the rich woods matched with metallic accents makes for a very hip place to enjoy a dog or two, along with their extensive list of mostly canned beers.

So, the lesson learned: the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does not apply to hotdogs. HD1 has taken this American favorite to a whole new playing field. It’s official, I’ve been spoiled, and I’ll never look at a ketchup-and-mustard dog the same again.

Have you had a chance to visit HD1? What are some of your other favorite restaurants putting a gourmet spin on classic American bites?