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May 15, 2013 03:28 PM

Atomic Dawg [DTW - Berkley]

On the west side of Coolidge, between Catalpa & 12 Mile.

Visited yesterday @ 1PM. It was almost a ghost town. Two tables occupied
upstairs. I was the only person downstairs. One other customer was turned
away because they are a cash-only operation.

Chicago dawg was quite good. Good snap. Good poppy seed bun.
Properly dressed. Tasty. Ate half and took the rest home for dinner. It
re-heated okay.

New York Italian sausage was of the sweet, not spicy, variety. For some
reason, I was expecting spicy. My fault. Good bun w/chew. Good
sausage. The cooked onions were also good. Ate half and took the
rest home for dinner. It re-heated okay.

I noticed an olde fashion, 4-spindle milkshake mixer. I was told that
they used hard/frozen ice cream. I order chocolate and didn't pay
attention to the ingredients or prep. I prefer my milkshakes a bit
coarse. This was soft-serve creamy. My mistake. Not very
chocolate-y. Dunno if they added any chocolate syrup. If they did,
they need to add more. Also, not super-sweet (just as I prefer).

The grill & counter setup make me wonder if they can keep up with a
lunch rush.

Overall; if I'm already in the neighborhood and craving a proper dawg,
I will return. If they & Hippo's are equally convenient, I will probably go
to Hippos.

I am inclinded to return @ ~12:10 ... just to see what their noon-time
traffic is like ... and whether they are a dawg delivery machine on the
same scale as Hippos.

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  1. I imagine between 12-1 they're busy with HS students.

    We tried Atomic not long after they first opened and weren't horribly impressed but I think we need to try again.

    1. > the grill & counter setup make me wonder if they
      > can keep up with a lunch rush.

      In one word: No.

      No, they couldn't keep up. No, there was no
      lunch-rush (last Saturday). I counted eleven
      customers, including me.

      I returned on Saturday ~12:20 ... and the staff
      seemed to be very busy - a frenzy of activity. Two
      women were doing everything but the actual
      grilling. The guy at the grill was also training
      someone who was *very* new to the operation.

      I was the only person in line to place an order;
      and it took'm four minutes to acknowledge my
      presence and take my order.

      I ordered two dawgs and a milkshake. I was told
      that the milkshake would "take a long time because
      I have seven others ahead of you." They've got a
      5-spindle blender. How long could seven milkshakes
      take? I decided to heed her advice rather than
      risk waiting "a long time."

      The dawgs (to-go) appeared on the counter 22 mins
      after I arrived, without anyone besides the grill
      cook noticing/acting. I let them sit there for ~3
      mins, just to see what would happen. Nothing.
      Happened. Only when I went to investigate
      (pulled/read the tkt) did anyone make a move
      towards putting the two dawgs in a paper bag.
      They didn't include napkins and I didn't notice.

      Their version of coney sauce was ... different. It
      is more of a ground beef sauce than classic coney
      sauce. I will not order it again.

      I do not see a way for this operation to survive
      given the current volume of customers, staffing
      and slow throughput. I spent almost 30 mins for
      two dawgs ... and she still had four milkshakes to
      make when I left.

      I confirmed that they do indeed use hard-frozen
      ice cream for their milkshakes. They leave them
      on the mixer so long that they have a smooth,
      creamy texture.

      I took the long way home; stopping at Jaws for my
      milkshake fix. Yolando had me out the door in 4 mins.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rainsux

        I went to Costco and had a hot dog in my hands in 60 seconds, and that was *after* the girl and I had two communication errors. I put the mustard on myself. It came with a drink, and it was $1.59 out the door.

        There is no world, either this one or any that are in parallel to this one, in which I would wait 25 minutes for a hot dog. I will *never* be that hungry.

        So...won't be going here!