By Henri Hollis
Piping hot, slick with oil and sprinkled with sea salt: Almost any food is good when it meets these criteria. Even pretzels. Make those soft pretzels, then pair them with tangy, gooey beer cheese dip, and even the most entrenched pretzel-hater like me might be tempted to dance a little polka.
Hobnob, the Midtown tavern open since 2010 ( a Brookhaven location opened this year ), has certainly evolved over the years, but the restaurant knows better than to take its soft pretzels off the menu. I mourn their nachos, which used to be my favorite in the city, even though the new version is probably just as good. As the restaurant has changed, the soft pretzels have remained stalwart in the menu’s appetizer section.
One of the restaurant’s few dishes still priced under $10, the pretzels themselves are excellent, but the warm cheese and beer dip is the star. It’s thick and creamy, but not stringy, and it has surprising piquancy and depth. Each order includes two pretzels along with that delicious dip, but be warned: splitting this appetizer can spur impromptu competitions of, “who can fit the most cheese dip onto each bite of pretzel.”
Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern, 1551 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, 404-968-2288 and 804 Town Blvd., Brookhaven, 404-464-8971. hobnobatlanta.com