Sunday, August 17, 2014

The White Tiger Gourmet (Athens, GA)

217 Hiawassee Avenue, Athens, GA 30601, T: 706-353-6847

White Tiger Gourmet is one of Athens’ unique restaurants. It is a small BBQ joint housed in a shack in a posh residential area of town. With a cult status and erratic hours, you are often confronted with either a closed door or a significant line. As I arrive at 5.55, five minutes before opening on a Friday summer night, there are already three sets of people waiting. In the two years I’ve lived here, I have only been here once; or, more accurately, I've been here six times, but it was open only once.

I am hungry and decide to have two sandwiches and no sides. The BBQ Pork Sandwich ($6.50) is basic: smoked pork on a kaiser roll with homemade sauce. The big onion roll is packed with a chunk of tasty moist pulled pork with a relatively light and thin sauce. Definitely the best pulled pork sandwich I’ve had in Athens (which is not know for its BBQ, however). After that I started on the dish that White Tiger is best know for: the Bacon Cheddar Burger ($7.50). It is a half pound burger on a kaiser roll with bacon, field greens, tomato (normally it comes with cheddar, which undoubtedly gives it an even better flavor). While the bun and burger are a bit dry, the bacon at times chewy, and the mayo sparsely applied, the big burger tastes almost as good as it smells (which is outrageous).

VERDICT: 90/100

As is the case at all BBQ places in Athens, the best dish is not BBQ. Still, White Tiger is absolutely worth the hype and frustration. I’ll be back soon!

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