HD1, Richard Blais' new "haute dog" concept, has been open for a little over a week now. After months of buzz/hype, the space age looking restaurant is starting to rake in the criticism. The concept very casual - you order at the bar, a runner brings out your food and you can be in and out of there in about 20 minutes unless you want to linger and drink some beer from the quirky selections. Let's see what Atlanta thinks about HD1 so far.
The Semi-Wordless News: Photography blog, Savory Exposure, posted a series of photos taken at a media lunch with a little bit of prose thrown in for good measure. [Savory Exposure]
The Non-Committal News: Jon Watson, of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, went on opening night and while he was not willing to pass too much judgment he did say: "HD1 seems less dedicated to “hot dogs” than Flip is to burgers, but does not lack in the creative combinations and re-working of ingredients and techniques on which Blais has made his name. Only two of the choices on the “Stuff” section of the menu actually qualify as a hot dog, while the majority are a range of sausages, like the Chicken-apple ($6), lamb Merquez ($7), and the “Kenturky” ($5) topped with bacon, mornay sauce, and tomato-pimento marmalade." [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
The Super Early Meh News: The Food Abides also went on opening night, but was less shy than Watson about passing the following judgment: "The experience was nice enough and while I can't point out any particular shortcomings, I left shrugging my shoulders." He went on to close his blog post with: "HD1 is definitely a good place to stop for a quick bite, but not destination dining." [The Food Abides]
The Super Early Good News: Cliff Bostock, of Creative Loafing, visited early in the game and said: "I look forward to returning and, as someone who doesn't really like hot dogs, I am surprised to be saying so." Bostock wrote a more composed breakdown of each of the dishes in a "First Look." [Creative Loafing]
More Good News: Kim Severson, of The New York Times, tweeted during her visit: "Many delicious little, perfect things to love at HD1, the hot dog (sort of) place Richard Blais opened in the ATL. Sorghum popcorn!" [Twitter]
The I Like Flip Better News: The Gourmet PhD is a Blais Fan, but wasn't completely won over by the hot dog joint. They said: "I’d come here for lunch again in a heartbeat but I’d stick to Flip Burger for dinner. With its communal tables and counter ordering, HD1 is perfect for a casual lunch but I’m looking for something that makes me want to stay and linger when it comes to dinner." [The Gourmet PhD]
The Still Good, But a Tad Inconsistent News: Cliff Bostock returned to HD1 for as fourth visit with his partner Wayne after his "First Look" went live and said: "We encountered a few glitches that didn't show up in my earlier visits. One pertains to taste. Wayne ordered the "pigs in sheets" app, which turned out to be pulled pork between layers of puff pastry. Sounds groovy. I've got a cold from hell, so maybe my taste buds are shot, but I'd rather eat Vienna sausages in biscuit dough next time. According to our server, the pork is seasoned with curry and jerk spices. It doesn't work, at least not in the proportions the spices were used Sunday night. I don't hold this against Blais. He experiments — that's his genius — and not all experiments succeed." [Omnivore]
Have you been to HD1? Let us know how your meal was in the comments section below.