BBQ, Burgers, and Dogs

a huge hamburger with french friesJala Burger from Marietta Burger Bar (photo courtesy of Marietta Burger Bar)

By Brian Benefield

[This is the latest of Brian Benefield’s Second Helpings columns, highlighting food in Cobb County. To read more of his reviews, follow this link]

Summer in the South is quickly approaching, and who doesn’t love a three napkin-worthy, juicy cheeseburger, a hot dog piled high with fresh toppings, or a flavor-packed pulled pork BBQ sammie on a warm, sunny afternoon? I know some places you need to check out and get yours before it gets hotter’n blue blazes, as my Mother used to say, and sometimes still does.

Dave Poe’s BBQ is just a stone’s throw from Marietta Square and has been around since 2006. And before that, Dave was winning awards in the BBQ circuit competition and catering to local dignitaries since 1975. All that experience certainly shows in the quality food they prepare. You have to try some of their slow-smoked, melt in your mouth pulled pork and either get a sammie or a plate with a few sides. Their mac n cheese is deliciously different, made with big rigatoni noodles that hold the cheese like a caramel apple sticks to the roof of your mouth at the county fair. The collards are slightly tangy with just enough vinegar bite, and you can’t go wrong with baked beans or potato salad. Of course, they have St. Louis and Baby back ribs and brisket, but you can also try a burger or smoked wings. Order the Redneck Lasagna, their mac n cheese mixed with Brunswick Stew. Trust me on this combo. Give it a whirl around the dance floor, and you’ll be glad you did.

Marietta Burger Bar

If you have over thirteen types of burgers on the menu, the name Marietta Burger Bar is befitting of this eatery that opened in late 2019. All burgers served are Angus beef patties, which means quality right from the get-go. The colossal MB burger has two six-ounce patties, cheddar cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, and onion-garlic aioli. That burger will have you full as a tick without a doubt. All burgers are served with fries or hand-battered onion rings that are perfectly crispy and seasoned well to accompany your tasty nosh. If you are vegetarian, they dish up the Impossible burger to satisfy that undeniable burger flavor. You can get wings, a chicken sandwich, or even a salad here, but I think you know what to order when the name is Marietta Burger Bar. As most of you know, if you read my columns, I am a breakfast person through and through. My next order here will definitely be the Cheesy Breakfast Burger, complete with American cheese, bacon, and a fried egg. A nap will soon follow after this gastronomic delight.

The hand-spun milkshakes aren’t to be missed, so thick and sweet that you may have to call your boss and tell them that you’ll be late getting back to work because you’re savoring every sweet. Slow. Sip. This place is a laid-back neighborhood joint that caters to the locals. You may see several Marietta police officers, construction workers, and the white-collar crowd congregating here to get their burger fix during lunch. Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page to see the Burger of the Week, and on Mondays, served with a domestic brew for only $15. You can’t beat that with a stick (another Mom phrase from my youth).

Fox Dogs has been very well received in Marietta Square, near Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes. Zach Fox, the owner, is a Marietta native and has been selling hot dogs from a food cart since 2010. They use only Sabrett’s all-beef dogs and have quite a variety. You can build your own with all the traditional toppings or add some specialty toppings like bacon, chili, or Sabrett’s Red Onion Sauce. Try the authentic Chicago dog with a poppy seed bun, onions, Vienna relish, tomato, sport peppers, mustard, and celery salt. If you are from this neck of the woods, give a Southern Slaw dog a day in court made with chow chow, coleslaw, chili, cheese, and mustard. The well-loved Italian beef sandwich is made with a French hoagie roll, thin-sliced Italian beef, Giardiniera, a fiery mix of pickled peppers, celery, carrots, and cauliflower. That relish gives the sandwich a nice punch of flavor that lingers in your mouth. For sides, they offer fries, onion rings, and the ever so popular corn nuggets, sweet creamed corn that’s battered, fried, and seasoned with flaky sea salt. A fan favorite!

We love these three spots, and feel free to leave a comment where your go-to place is for Summertime eats. Most everyone in the South is passionate about where they get BBQ, burgers, and dogs, and if you’re not, you may need to reevaluate your life decisions.

>> Read more of Brian Benefield’s articles about food in Cobb County by following this link