Great neighborhood pubs typically have a few things in common: reasonably priced drinks, a laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff and a dash or two of unique character.
The Whelan in Atlanta’s Blandtown neighborhood has all of the above, with its extra punch of flavor coming from a South African twist.
A few popular South African dishes are scattered among the chicken wings, burgers and onion rings found on your typical pub menu. Coconut curry mussels and peri peri chicken certainly stand out, but the most eye-catching dish is the boerewors sandwich.
Pronounced with a rolled R in a South African accent, the sausage’s name sounds sort of like “buddha-vorce” or “buh-divorce.” It’s a combination of the Afrikaans word for farmer and the Dutch word for sausage, and, like many other culturally significant sausages, boerewors is specifically defined and regulated.
For eating purposes, though, here’s what you need to know: Boerewors must be at least 90 percent meat, always include beef, and must contain either pork, lamb or both. The sausage also can’t be made with mechanically separated meat.
Finally, it’s delicious, and the Whelan dresses it up with a decent bun, tasty pickles and a bright, acidic tomato relish.
It’s just the sort of sandwich that you order again and again at your favorite neighborhood pub.
The Whelan. 1133 Huff Road NW, Atlanta. 404-228-5164, thewhelan.com.