Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs
““Ummmm.? Follow your dreams – Yeah!.” – Mac Miller
Stop for a second and ask yourself, “What did you want to be in middle school?” As I reminisce on this question there’s a handful of jobs that come to mind. I wanted to be a dentist for a while. I had this really cool guy named Dr. Goldfarb or something as a kid and I thought I wanted to be just like him.
A baseball player, a fireman, a cop, an FBI agent….I could go all day. I went to college to pursue a career in forensics, or crime scene reconstruction to be exact. I majored in Sociology and fine arts, took criminal justice classes and after all the dust cleared I emerged #thefoodguy.
Whoa. Wait. That does not make a lot of sense.
I’ll give you the Readers Digest version. After all the partying and smoke cleared, I was doing the same things I did since I was a 14-year-old kid washing dishes at the Elks Club – working in food. The journey has been long and covered most of the continental United States, as I waited tables, worked in drive thrus and set up weddings and events.
I cooked, cleaned and made drinks. I worked in fine dining, fish houses and hotels. I was surrounded by talented Chefs and amazing food, which is an experience if you allow it to be. At some point I just decided that I was good at this and committed to a career in culinary.
As I enjoy the last year of my 30’s I look back and realize I must have made the right choice. The food world has been good to me and I’ve lived a very blessed life full of amazing people ad even better food.
Brandi had a dream too, but hers started in middle school and never changed. She knew when she was young that she wanted to own a restaurant, and that is exactly what she does today. She beelined when most people dabble in a bunch of things while they figure it out. This was all she was ever going to be.
What kid dreams of being a hot dog stand owner?
Le sigh. Brandi didn’t DREAM of owning a hot dog stand… she dreamed of owning a restaurant and in 2002 she made that dream a reality. This isn’t a hot dog stand, this is a historic building in an industrial suburb of Atlanta, which just happens to house “World Famous Hot Dogs!” I knew it was going to be good when I drove around the block twice and could not find the building.
Nestled next to a set of old train tracks sits a grey building with a beat-up asphalt and dirt parking lot. Glass encases a tiny dining room and a bar top close enough to the kitchen to reach over and grab your own dog (which I would never). Brandi is a giant smile with kind eyes. She oozes southern hospitality without any effort – its genuine. I immediately feel at home and before I exit with a full belly and another episode completed, I feel like part of the family. We share dog pictures, restaurant stories and how we got on to the path that led us to this face to face today.
Brandi, you’re a fine girl…. what a goooooood ….
No. Please don’t. Resist the urge as I did. I’m sure she’s had that song sung to her more times that she cares to hear it. I must admit I too was singing it as I planned the visit, drove to the restaurant and headed back home. It’s a catchy tune, but we’re talking hot dogs here – not yacht rock. As we continue to travel the country in search of the best food, we seem to come away with something much, much more valuable- great people. The story of how she took her middle school dream and made it her reality was as mind blowing as the red-hot dogs, cold slaw piles and spicy chili I consumed. Plus, we review our first peach pie! When the journey is as interesting as the menu it’s like getting a hanging breaking ball on a 3-0 pitch. You crush it. It’s getting cold so toast your buns, sit back and relax- hit play as we deliver another episode of “Behind the Dish” from Marietta, Georgia.
The Peach Pie
Stay tuned and stay hungry. #thefoodguy
Brandi’s: 1377 Church Street Ext NE, Marietta, GA 30060
Rating: Best Supporting Meat (Hey- just getting your name called is a big deal) On a side note, this is hands down the best hot dog chili I’ve tasted to date. Spicy, unique and amazing.
Major League Teams: Atlanta Braves
Minor League Teams: Gwinnett Stripers, Rome Braves, GCL Braves
Other Baseball: Savannah Bananas- Coastal Plain League. A little baseball and a LOT of fun!
Shout Out: @Braves_Cape who I had the opportunity to finally meet, but has been helping with hot dog recommendations in the Atlanta area when I’m up that way.
How we rate our meat sticks
- Oscar Wiener (The Best, award winning)
- Best Supporting Meat (The Joe Pesci of hot dogs- never a star, but you need him)
- Nominated Dog (Hey- just getting your name called is a big deal)
- Honorable Mention (Average, Edible- No shame in the game- or bun)
- Drunk David Hasselhoff (You may be on the floor and incoherent after this one)