I originally intended to simply add this to the end of my previous Happy Hawg entry from a couple of weeks ago.  But…as I thought about it, I realized that this was a different experience and really deserved its own space.  For those that aren’t already familiar with our recent car issues and would like to read the back story, just click on the link above.

The car has been repaired and we’re the proud owners of a new used transmission.  OK, we’re the proud owners of new front brake rotors too.  The car needed them and since the garage had the front end taken apart to replace the transmission, it just made sense to go ahead and do the brakes too because there wouldn’t be any additional labor charge.

But I digress…

The next challenge to tackle was picking up the car from the garage and getting it back home.  Picking up a car from the garage we usually use isn’t much of a challenge.  We simply leave work a little early to get there before closing time of go by on Saturday morning.  When the garage is 150 miles away from home things aren’t so easy.  This was going to require taking a full day off or going to pick it up sometime over the weekend.  Still not too daunting but there were still other obstacles to contend with.  The upcoming weekend was move-in weekend for Jenna at Flagler College…in St. Augustine…400 miles in the opposite direction.  The car would not be ready until Friday afternoon and we needed to be home Friday evening to load up and get ready to hit the road Saturday morning.  We thought about simply driving up Monday morning but found out the garage would be closed Monday in anticipation of heavy traffic because the garage was located within the zone of totality of the total solar eclipse that was set to occur.  We finally worked out a plan to have our good friend and YHC Alumni Affairs Director, Dana Ensley, pick up the car for us on Friday, bring it back to YHC and park it.  We had planned to go up to YHC to see the eclipse ourselves but after driving 400 miles Saturday, spending most of Sunday getting Jenna moved in and situated then driving another 400 miles back home Sunday night, when we looked out at the car Monday morning and thought about the drive up to Young Harris which would take nearly three hours and the likelihood of a five to six-hour drive home due to eclipse traffic and simply said ‘nope’.

Fast forward to Saturday.  We finally had the opportunity to make the trek up to Young Harris to get the car.  We arrived on campus around noon, spent a few minutes in the bookstore and decided to grab some lunch before picking up the car and heading home.  It didn’t take us long to decide that we wanted to go to the Happy Hawg and give the dine-in option a try.

The Happy Hawg is a tiny place off Highway 76 between Young Harris and Hiawassee.  When I say tiny I mean that there are five tables inside.  Fortunately, there are another ten to twelve tables outside in the front of the building and on the deck overlooking Lake Chatuge.

We placed our orders at the counter, got our drinks and picked an indoor table.  ConnieLou ordered the pulled pork plate with cole slaw and Brunswick stew on the side.  I ordered the pulled pork plate with Brunswick stew and fried corn.

We sat down to wait on our food and I noticed that each table had three bottles of barbeque sauce on it.  ConnieLou had already made the same observation and picked up a spoon along with our other utensils and napkins because she knows that I’m a bit of a sauce nut and that I’d want to taste each of the sauces before deciding which to put on my pork.

She knows me well.

Their sauces include a tomato-based ‘House Sauce’ that’s thick, smoky and just a little sweet – think about a cross between a Georgia-style sauce and a K.C.-style sauce, a North Carolina vinegar-based sauce that’s tangy with a little bit of a pepper kick, and a South Carolina mustard-based sauce that’s a nice mix of sweet and tangy.  All three were quite good and all got a bit of use on my plate…not overlapping of course.

When our orders arrived, I was a bit surprised to find that the fried corn was fried on the cob rather than being cut off and then fried.  It wasn’t what I was expecting but was still quite good.  ConnieLou enjoyed her slaw and we both enjoyed the Brunswick stew which was a little chunky without being too chunky, if that makes any sense, and tasted quite good.  I ended up giving mine a small squirt of one of the sauces but that’s not unusual.  As for the pork…we had no complaints at all.  It was moist and smoky without being overwhelming and paired quite well with each of the sauces.

So how did the Happy Hawg (dine in edition) fare on the thumbs scale?  Four thumbs-up out of a possible four…easily.  Needless to say, the Happy Hawg has earned a spot in the list of restaurants that we tend to return to over and over when we’re in the area.

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