Photo Gallery | Bad Dog Taqueria in $20
ATLANTA – “My friend told me that everyone has had a bad dog in their life”, owner Tracy Mitchell of Bad Dog Taqueria explains “and she had closed her restaurant, so, I decided to use that name”.
“I wanted to push the envelope”, Mitchell explains.
Accountant turned restaurateur Tracy Mitchell decided to open a taqueria in December after she secured the site on North Decatur Road; she explains that she grew up in a family full of foodies “before the word became a popular moniker”.
“This wasn’t my original concept; I wanted to open a farm to table breakfast-themed restaurant but clearly, I’m located next to a restaurant that serves breakfast food”, she recants with a chuckle.
In December of 2010, Mitchell closed on her restaurant space, decided to open it as a taqueria and spent the next six months creating the menu. “The way I came up with the menu was pretty unconventional”, she said.
Mitchell, basically, compiled ethnic recipes from random people and friends; she wanted to make the meals as authentic as possible, inside of a tortilla. The tacos have names like Go Fish!, Uncle Morty, Evita and Snooki. Each taco is named to describe its inception.
“I got the recipe for the Uncle Morty from my Jewish neighbor’s aunt from Queens and the Snooki is my recipe, I’m from Jersey”, she explains.
“I’m across the street from a major international university and Atlanta is an international city. I really just wanted to give my patrons a taste of home”.
The restaurant offers a weekly taco special and a daily secret taco. The daily “secret” taco, the Mac Daddy, is eight inches long and crafted with her gourmet macaroni and cheese, chorizo, H&F breadcrumbs, a homemade tomato tortilla and homemade jabernero ketchup.
Mitchell, personally, cooks 35 secret tacos for lunch and 25 for the dinner hours. Apparently, the tacos have gotten pretty popular; she says people come from pretty far away to order them. Mitchell was recently approached by Southern Living to feature her recipe in their magazine.
“If you’re a lady and you can finish our secret taco, you’ve accomplished something. We present it with a knife and fork.”
“I think food should be fun and you should feel like you’re in a positive extension of your home”. And many people think she does a great job conveying that feeling; she hasn’t gotten a negative comment on her Facebook wall, yet.
Every Tuesday, the Where U Live team chooses a Metro Atlanta restaurant and with the restaurant's help, shows you how you can sample the menu without spending too much.
Mitchell recommends the Chips and Salsa as a starter; chips are made, daily. The chips are made from Yucca potatoes, Plantains, Boniatos and Corn; they’re served with three types of salsa. The restaurant offers a traditional Salsa Fresca, a sweet Plantain Pineapple Serrano and a spicy Fire Roasted Tomato salsa. One order of chips and salsa costs about $4.00
The “We’ve got Seoul” taco was inspired by an elderly Korean woman Mitchell met while volunteering with the “I Care for Seniors” program in Decatur. Mitchell asked the woman if she had an authentic Korean BBQ recipe, the woman obliged and mailed her recipe to Mitchell’s home. The taco is crafted with a tender, lean Korean BBQ Pork Belly, Kimchee slaw and Salsa Verde. The “We’ve got Seoul” taco costs about $3.00
She, also, recommends the “Miss Saigon” taco. This taco is crafted with filet mignon, red onion, shredded romaine, jasmine rice and fresh lime juice. According to Mitchell, the “Miss Saigon” taco is the only Filet Mignon taco in the city and people like it because they have the ability to choose the meat’s temperature. This taco is, kind of, tangy with a sweet marinade and very tender; its costs about $5.00
The “Bollywood Taco” was inspired by Mitchell’s friend from India. The taco is crafted with traditional Indian Samosa filling with Curried Potatoes, peas and served with Tamarind Coriander Chutney. The taco is pretty spicy but very reminiscent of traditional Indian fare. The “Bollywood” taco costs $3.00
For dessert, Mitchell recommends a scoop of Morelli’s gourmet ice cream. Bad Dog Taqueria features three flavors: Salty Caramel, Krispy Kreamier, and Peanut Butter Oreo Cheesecake. The popular ice cream is crafted with artisan ingredients and enthusiasts say “you can taste each flavor in the name”. Morelli’s gourmet ice cream is hard-scoop, local and was recently rated the 3rd best in Ice Cream Parlor in the United States by Gourmet Magazine. One scoop of ice cream costs $4.00