Nothing against the cat lovers out there, but I’m a dog guy. And I’m especially a sucker for golden retrievers. They’re friendly, laid-back and fun-loving, and we humans could learn a thing or two from them.
So it’s no surprise that I love the fact that Roswell’s newest tavern takes its name from a member of my favorite breed, after owner Ernie Geyer’s golden, Lucky.
Though many groan at the mention of another burger place in Atlanta, Lucky’s Burger and Brew doesn’t feel like an attempt to get in on a fad. Instead, we find a welcoming local watering hole serving quality burgers, sandwiches and cheap beer.
It seems that Geyer’s canine also inspired the atmosphere at Lucky’s. The modern diner setting, with a retro maroon and yellow color scheme, sports multiple portraits of his friendly pup. The patio is also dog friendly, and diners are encouraged to bring them along.
Burgers reign supreme on Lucky’s menu. You can build your own burger (starting at $6), choosing between the beef, turkey or black bean patty, with toppings ranging from complimentary to $1 each. However, I recommend looking first to their selection of specialty burgers before customizing your own.
For some south-of-the-border kick, try the Chihuahua ($9). The green chilies, guacamole, pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayonnaise gives this a nice jolt of heat. The Poodle Chaser ($8.50) comes topped with brie, caramelized onions and Dijon. Though I enjoy the use of brie, a cheese not often seen on a burger, it nearly overwhelms the flavor of the beef.
But the burger that won me over is the simple Double Stacker ($8.50), consisting of two 4-ounce patties and cheese. Like all of their burgers, this comes with lettuce, tomato and pickle on the side, but I never reached for them. GM/Chef Ted Lescher uses an 80/20 grind of grain-fed beef, sourced from Buckhead Beef, and the Double Stacker showcases it well. Cooked to medium, this oozed juice and packed a lot of beefy flavor.
All of the burgers come on a toasted challah bun and include fries or cole slaw, but I upgraded to the onion rings ($1.25). Sliced thin, the crispy rings come with a delicious white barbecue sauce. I highly recommend trying these, even as a standalone side ($3.50).
There is more to Lucky’s than burgers, though. The lightly battered tempura fried artichoke hearts ($5) are a pleasant surprise. Swap out the Poodle Chaser’s patty for a fried chicken breast and add a few slices of granny smith apples and you get the French Poodle ($8.50), a great alternative if you aren’t in the burger mood.
Some dishes could use some work. The Buffalo Fries ($2.50) quickly turn to a soggy mess. Almost all dill flavor disappears behind the heavy batter — however delicious that batter may be — on the fried pickles ($4).
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Lucky’s wonderfully inexpensive beer selection. The 12-ounce cans of “Old School” beers ($2.75) include Tecate, Old Milwaukee and, my favorite, Stroh’s. Lucky’s runs regular daily specials featuring one of these beers for a mere $1.50 each. Tough to argue with that.
The food at Lucky’s is consistently satisfying and though none is that revolutionary, it doesn’t try to be. This is a great neighborhood tavern that locals and their furry friends should frequent.LUCKY’S BURGER AND BREW 1144 Alpharetta Street, Roswell, 770-518-5695 Food: Burgers, wings and sandwiches Service: Friendly and helpful Best Dishes: The Double Stacker, tempura fried artichoke hearts and the French Poodle Vegetarian Selection: All of the burgers can be made with a black bean patty and multiple salads are available as well. Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express Hours: Noon-close Mondays-Saturdays, 12:30 p.m-close Sundays Children: Fine Parking: Ample Reservations: No Wheelchair Access: Yes Smoking: No Noise Level: Low to moderate Patio: Yes Takeout: Yes