Holeman & Finch Public House Serves the South's Meanest Carbonara

Categories: Travel Hog

Carla Torres
Hungry? Eat. It's that simple.
Holeman & Finch was opened in 2008, and it revolutionized the cocktail culture in Atlanta. Five years later, the public house (as it calls itself) is doing more than encouraging locals to drink. As soon as guests walk in, they're greeted with the word "eat" on a glass window that looks into the kitchen. At 10:15 on a recent Thursday night, my dinner guests and I arrived (fashionably late) for the famous 10 o'clock burger.

The 10 o'clock burger got its name from its elusive nature -- there are only 24 of them served each night. At 10:15, the group of patrons next to us (there's communal seating) was paying and getting ready to leave. As soon as our waitress arrived, we ordered four burgers, only to learn the departing group had eaten the last ones. H&F was recently named Georgia's Best Burger and America's Best Late-Night Burger by the Food Network. Those distinctions might explain why people line up as early as 8 p.m. on any given night to ensure they get some double patties on lockdown. As tourists, we didn't know better.

See also: 10 Adorable British Foodisms We Should All Adopt

What we did know is that we were staying for dinner, burger or not. The menu is composed of small plates meant for sharing and seasonal dishes. The meal is broken down into sections: the first is Aged, Ground, Stuffed, Cured, Fermented, Rolled, and Tied -- all one. Following that, there's the Farm; then Parts and Plates; and Befores, Durings, and Afters. Cheese is the last section. Plates arrive as they are ready and in the perfect order.

Holeman & Finch via Facebook
We began with a Before -- bacon caramel popcorn -- that was so delicious the popcorn surprisingly outdid the bacon. It's a delectable marriage in a tiny metal bowl. What followed were deviled eggs three ways, because, you know, one isn't enough. Country ham, jalapeño, and bread-and-butter pickle make it difficult to choose just one. A threesome is better.

Carla Torres

Carla Torres
Veggies are important. Didn't mom ever tell you? Which is why ordering something from the farm is important. The fried okra with tomato purée was exquisite and delicate. All right, fried food might not be the most healthful, but it's delicious, which is why fried oysters on any menu are always a go. Especially these, paired with a creole rémoulade. It was difficult to distinguish whether the rémoulade or the oyster made the dish. Either way, this dish was taking the cake.

Carla Torres

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