Happy Hawg Barbecue – Hiram, GA

IMG_5306If you’re one of my three regular readers, you may think that the building above looks familiar – you’d be correct (check out this entry).  As we drove by a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the name had changed.  Again.  I had eaten there in at least three previous iterations, but when I saw the sign out front this morning about the “Yellowjacket hotdogs” as we drove back towards home, I figured they deserved one more chance. 

I’m always up for a chili dog, so when we were sitting around the house unsure of lunch, I mentioned that I was thinking about going to the new place on Highway 92.  A long discussion ensued, but I won out and went to I pick up some carry-out for a try.  The first thing I noticed was the format change – where Benson’s had been a sit down and order place, at Happy Hawg, you order as the register and then take a number and they deliver your food.  I quizzed the server about the new name:  Was it just a new name?  Were the owners the same?  How was the sauce?  Was their cole-slaw vinegar or mayo based?  Satisfied with her answers, I pretty much ordered one of everything <g>. 

I started with the yellowjacket hot dog, sans onions.  One thing that I noticed that was unique about their presentation is it is one of the few chili dogs I’ve ordered that was served with ketchup on it.   (See my comments on the derivation of the yellowjacket here.)

IMG_5308When I opened the box, the chili dog was wrapped tightly in wax paper.   As it was opened, the first thing that I noticed was that  the chili was really thin.  And and been added ON TOP of the mustard and ketchup.  It was good.  Not as good as Fred’s Barbecue, or the Varsity or even Martin’s, but good. 

I also ordered a half rack of ribs.  I was impressed that they served the ribs (and the pork sandwiches) dry, and they looked tasty.

IMG_5312The ribs were okay, but not great.  The side meat was cooked very well, but the tops of the ribs were a bit tough – it took more than a little pull to get that meat off the bone.   I also ordered a pulled pork sandwich.

IMG_5310The pork on the sandwich was served dry and stacked high on the bun.  And it was smoked excellently.  The sauce was a little sweet and still warm and the meat absorbed it well as I dunked the sandwich.  My dear one had a chopped pork sandwich as well, with cole slaw and baked beans.   Her two sides were okay, but, again, not great.  I did notice as I was leaving that they had corn nuggets.  If we go back, I’ll have to order those.  I also ordered a side of fries

IMG_5307which were served in a large carry-out container, with the skin on.  They were slightly greasy and not cooked to firmness, and fairly bland. 

Overall, I was most impressed with the pork.  I wouldn’t hesitate to stop and grab a sandwich (they also have a “big pig” which is a pork sandwich on Texas toast) or pick up a half pound of pork to take home.  Maybe next time, I’ll try the brisket.

IMG_5305It turns out they aren’t brand new to the barbecue business.  There are two other Paulding County locations, the original in Dallas on Villa Rica Highway and another at the top of the ridge on Ridge Road.  When Benson’s closed, I imagine that they saw the opportunity to get a location on a high traffic road that was already geared up for their kind of food and they snapped it up.  It appears to have been a good business decision.  Business appeared to be good when I was there mid-afternoon.  I’ll keep my eye on their parking lot.    If you’re looking for their menu, click here

I couldn’t fiHappy Hawg BBQ on Urbanspoonnd an urbanspoon link for the Hiram location yet, so I attached the one from Dallas. 

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3 comments

  1. I was eating in Happy Hawg in Hiram Ga tonight with my family. I witnessed the owner verbally abusing a waitress in the dining room in front of the customers. I confronted him about it after we ate and he said “they are my employees and I can talk to them how I want to” We wont be back. What a shame.

  2. I noticed the location – the original, I take it? – on GA-61 when I drove out to Carrollton a few weeks ago. It’s on my to-do list. Glad to know that they’re doing well enough to support three locations!

    1. The one on 61 does appear to be the original. They sold their own bottled sauce, which made me wonder if they were a franchise or a larger chain, but I couldn’t find anything to that effect.

      The pork was the standout. And I intend to try the brisket.

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