Hi everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your week so far!
I was invited to eat at and review Hottie Hawg's Smokin' BBQ, a BBQ restaurant and catering company being featured on Catering Wars, a new competition series on Lifetime focusing on four of the top catering companies in Atlanta. I love having any kind of excuse to eat out, so I readied my belly, (AKA not eat for half the day), grabbed my man, and drove on over to this little establishment.
When we entered the restaurant, I felt like I just walked into a big man cave, with its deep red walls, Dallas Cowboys sports memorabilia, and TVs playing sports everywhere you looked. Ruben, a huge Cowboys fan, was already in love. We sat down, ordered our food, and spent the next several minutes debating about the possibility of wearing Dallas Cowboys jerseys (including the puppy) in our Christmas family portrait this year. (I'm a Seahawks fan though, so we'll see!)
We started our night with the Fried Okra and Hawg Balls, deep fried balls of Macaroni and Cheese. Now, I'm still a novice when it comes to eating okra. I have however, come to appreciate it a lot more ever since I moved to Seattle and even more so now that I live in the South. When I was growing up, my exposure to okra was very limited--I remember eating it only one time, and that was because I saw Paula Deen cooking with it on the Food Network and got curious. Fresh okra was never available at any grocery store, (they don't grow okra in Hawaii), and my only option was found in the freezer section. With that said, I don't have very high expectations when it comes to preparing and eating okra. I thought the fried okra was really good, and that the tiger ranch sauce turned the dish up by several notches. When I asked Ruben what he though about it, he thought it was pretty excellent as well, and he's been eating okra his whole life!
The Hawg Balls were also delicious. Super crunchy exterior with a smooth, creamy, cheesy interior. Just a little more touch of salt and it'll be perfect!
**Sorry for the poor quality of pictures, all I had was my iPhone, and the lighting just wasn't cooperating that day.**
THE MEAT. Oh my god, the meat was SO. FREAKING. GOOD. Ruben and I shared the Burned Ends, Sliced Brisket, Ribs, Wings, and Pulled Pork. I've always believed in the concept that if your meat is tender and flavorful, then the BBQ sauce is optional. I don't know if that's the rule among BBQ experts, but that's just my opinion. And this meat, oh my god this meat, was all of the above. No sauce needed! (Though the sauce was pretty good too!) The wings were the best I've ever had in my life, and the ribs were the best I've ever had in the south! Forget getting a man grill for my dream home, the smoker is where it's at!
And of course, you can't forget the sides. You just can't! Macaroni & Cheese, Slaw, Beans, and Collard Greens. MORE FOOD. I loved the slaw--it was the healthiest thing we ate all night! It was fresh and light, and didn't have that mayonnaise base that you'd often find in other versions.
By this point, we felt like we just competed in a Man vs. Food challenge and lost. There was just so much food! But at least we weren't timed, we didn't get a "I'm a loser" shirt, and we got to take home whatever we couldn't finish.
We ended our night not with dessert, but with a couple of margaritas, made with freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and only the best premium tequila. Once criticized for being too girly of a drink, Ruben dubbed Hottie Hawg's version as the "man-garita". Although the flavor was good, it was the sheer strength of the drink alone that converted him into a "man-garita" drinker. I enjoyed the margarita as well, but I think next time I'll get dessert. You know me and my sweet tooth!
Have you ever been to Hottie Hawg's Smokin' BBQ? Will you be tuning into Lifetime to watch Catering Wars?