How does one write a review of a restaurant that one has never actually been to?  Well, it can be done and, of course, there is a story behind it.  Here goes…

A few months back, Melanie Hale, one of our long-time friends from Young Harris mentioned the Happy Hawg to us and raved over their ‘Hickory Tater’, which is basically a baked potato topped with chopped pork barbeque.  We’d intended to go give it a try the past couple of times we were in town but with other events demanding our time, we just weren’t able to work it out.

This past Friday I had a morning meeting to attend at Young Harris College so I decided to head up Thursday afternoon with the intent of finally stopping in and giving the Happy Hawg a try.  Of course, as often happens, things didn’t go quite as planned.  I’d turned on to Highway 76, was on my way into Hiawassee, and about to head up the hill in front of Towns County High School.  I pressed the accelerator, the car engine revved up and…the car began slowing down.  Not good.  Time to make some phone calls.  Connie Lou, in turn, called Melanie to see if she could recommend a reputable mechanic (of course she could) and then began texting me numbers for our Allstate Motor Club account so I could arrange a tow.  In the mean time I managed to nurse the car into a nearby parking lot.

As it turned out, Melanie wasn’t far from where I was and offered to give me a lift over to the college.  By this time I wasn’t all that concerned about supper.  Well, Melanie being Melanie, was concerned for my well being and when she arrived to pick me up, had a piping hot Hickory Tater in the car waiting for me.  Yeah, she was worried about me not getting to give the Happy Hawg a try yet again.  That’s just how she rolls.

Anyway, Melanie dropped me off and I settled into my overnight digs and finally dug into my tater…and I wasn’t disappointed!  The Hickory Tater was a large baking potato, split lengthwise and topped with a heaping helping of chopped pork barbeque and came with a couple of tubs of barbeque sauce and ranch on the side.  The pork was smoky and tender.  I really don’t have a preference over chopped or pulled but chopped works quite well here.  The sauce was a basic, slightly sweet tomato (ketchup?) –based sauce that worked quite nicely with the pork and baked potato.

So how did my Hickory Tater fare on the Thumbs Scale?  An easy 2 out of a possible 2.  I definitely need to stop in next time I’m up that way and see what else is on the menu but if everything else is as good as the Hickory Tater, it’s going to be tough to choose.

Oh, and maybe you’re wondering about the car?  Yep, transmission is toast and is going to have to be replaced.  Ouch.  Oh well, could be worse.  Fortunately cars can be fixed or replaced and we have good friends that are willing to help us out when circumstances go south.  Life is good, make the best of it.

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