Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Hogpen Gap Grill in Helen


Last weekend was my first visit of the year to North Georgia’s faux Bavarian village of Helen. LC joined me to visit my folks and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather.

Much has changed since October 2012. Longtime upscale favorite Nacoochee Grill has closed and is being renovated to reopen soon. Doors and windows were boarded up at Old Heidelberg, home to my favorite tiny balcony overlooking the square. Word is the owner is wanted to attempted murder.

LC and I enjoyed our meal at Hogpen Gap Grill when it was brand new last Fall, although it was too chilly to sit outside. Now the training wheels are off, its spacious patio nearly full of patrons in the Springtime sun. With my Mom along for lunch, we chose a table ouside where I started off with an unfamiliar German beer called Weihenstephan, from the oldest brewery in Germany founded in 1040.

Hogpen Gap Grill specializes in organic beef burgers with a variety of fancy toppings. However, I was secretly planning to stop by Yonah Burger on our way home, a trick I’ve yet to accomplish in the many years I’ve traveled that route. So, I chose the bratwurst platter instead, which comes with the ubiquitous sauerkraut and potato salad on the side. LC surprised me with his order of fish ‘n’ chips, while my Mom didn’t surprise me at all, ordering the salad with grilled chicken.

Mom enjoyed her salad while LC inhaled his fish and fries. My bratwurst was appropriately browned in a skillet, consuming my attention to the extent that I didn’t even steal a fry from LC’s plate. The only disappointment is that the original menu offered a choice of sides including spaetzle and red cabbage, both of which I love when done properly. Now neither is available, just the standard sauerkraut and chunky potato salad that is not exactly German, but not entirely American either.

Service here is friendly and the food has been quite good on both visits, although my experience so far is limited to their German fare. I’m certain we’ll be seeing more of this patio in the months to come!

8735 N. Main Street 706-878-1822

Hogpen Gap Grill on Urbanspoon


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