Let’s face it; I’m a push over for most animals excluding snakes. Especially snakes. Recently on a trip to Atlanta to spend some quality face time with my two youngest granddaughters, one a bona fide teen ager and the other on the cusp but acting like one, my wife suggested we head out to Lucky’s Burgers and Brew. She’d actually heard about it down here at the Beach from Diane Geyer whose husband, Ernie, developed the restaurant concept.
Several years ago Ernie Geyer was diagnosed with cancer. Subsequently he went to the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital in Jacksonville for treatment. When he realized he needed to be in the Jacksonville area for a period of time he decided to rent a place in St. Augustine. His best pal in the dog world was his golden retriever, Lucky, who went pretty much everywhere that Ernie went. (sounds like a well-known lamb’s story)
Consequentially it was Lucky that took up residence with Ernie in St. Augustine and saw him through those dark days and the happy ending when Ernie was declared cancer free. Ironically a number of years later Lucky died of cancer. It was at that point that Ernie decided he needed to pay tribute to Lucky by opening a dog friendly restaurant (there are now 3).
Ironically the name of my dog when I was growing up was Lucky. Is that not a total coincident and a cause to “bond”? As it turned out, there were numerous big life size pictures of Lucky, the Golden Retriever, covering pretty much all the walls in the restaurant. I need to note that my Lucky on the other hand was a black and white terrier about a third the size but as we’ve all agreed size is of no matter.
While the owner encourages diners to bring their pets and sit out on the patio where there is even a dog house, we did not bring along my little French Bichon, Madame, who does not handle other dogs being in her territory. In this case that would have been the entire patio. So we sat inside which was an excellent compromise since the weather was typically hot, muggy August in Atlanta.
The themed menu features aptly named burgers including the Memphis Bloodhound, the Georgia Dawg Pounder, the Poodle Chaser, the Boxer and the Retriever among others. However the mother of all burgers is the Grim Reaper. It consists of 4 beef patties, 8 slices of American Cheese, 12 strips of Applewood smoked bacon, 7 fired eggs and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Okay no Partridge but as big as that sucker is who knows what could fly in unnoticed? Incidentally no one has ever been able to finish the Grim one and, really, who would want to? And, yes it is definitely sharable by 4 at least.
But wait, wait there is the Undertaker which is a somewhat smaller version of the Reaper and while it doesn’t say so on the menu, I would venture to say guarantees a trip to the morgue should you personally finish either one I suspect.
I personally opted out for the Georgia Dawg Pounder. It’s your basic burger but the hook here is the fried pimento cheese ball on top and as a fan of pimento cheese (what red blooded Southerner isn’t?) I had to go for it. The grandchildren had the scaled down kids’ burger. It’s your basics Lucky Burger. Unfortunately my bride’s choice, because of her gluten issues, was the Lucky’s Ham and Swiss. She was not so lucky. Lesson #1, if you are coming to a burger joint stick to what they are noted for, seriously.
If you prefer a meatless burger there is a black bean burger plus there are chicken and turkey options. But why bother to come to Lucky’s if you aren’t having a burger?
While I enjoyed my pimento burger what really made my visit most memorable was a dessert 3 of us shared. It is called the Lucky Dog Dessert Burger, what else? It was described on the menu as warm chocolate chip cookies, gooey brownie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It came with funnel cake fries and raspberry dipping sauce. While the girls dug into the brownie and ice cream I did a swoon over what I thought was the most outstanding part of the presentation those fries and the dipping sauce.
What a neat way to serve funnel cake. Everyone thinks of funnel cake as a carnival staple where you struggle around the premises trying to eat this large mess while powder sugar leaves a bigger trail than Hansel and Gretel. Funnel fries are the way to go.
It was a fun calorie filled evening which the girls enjoyed and when you can make young ladies happy then there’s you Happy Meal after all.
What you will need to make your own:
Flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, baking powder, vanilla and oil for frying
Or be smart and buy the Funnel Cake Batter Mix (Duh!)
Remember when you are pouring the batter through a funnel into the hot oil just pour in long strips about 5 or so at a time
Nix the powder sugar and buy a readymade dipping sauce instead.
Tip: Don’t share
If you go, there are three locations of Lucky’s in Atlanta:
1144 Alpharetta St
Lucky’s Town Brookhaven
305 Brookhaven Ave. Ste 1250
Lucky’s Emory Village
1569 N. Decatur Rd