(Actually, the title to this post should really be Sean and Kimi Go to White Tiger because we went through so much freaking hassle to get a burger for lunch)
Located on Hiawassee Avenue, White Tiger Gourmet caught my attention while I was reading through Athens Food and Culture Magazine late last year. It wasn't just the unique name that piqued my interest - it was also their whimsical decor, delicious looking foods and the promise of local produce that brought me here.
The first (and perhaps one of the most important) thing you should know is that White Tiger Gourmet only accepts cash. No plastic here. Don't make the mistake we made because I guarantee you the Rite-Aid around the corner doesn't even carry $20 in their drawer for cash back. If you do happen to forget, there's a Suntrust off Prince so you can get cash out of the ATM there. Got some bills? Good, let's get some food.
Like the magazine depicted, White Tiger Gourmet has a whimsical and somewhat of a mismatch design. It has an antique shop feel with the rustic looking tables and seats but the toys, cups and figurines on the back wall give it that whimsical vibe. Not sure how a place decorated like this would fare in Atlanta but in Athens - this is nothing out of the ordinary and completely normal fare.
Despite being tortured with the smell of smoky, succulent pork, we ordered the Happytop Cheeseburger (1/2lb, grilled onion, American cheese, organic field greens, mayo), Alice Burger (1/2lb, grilled portabella, mozzarella, organic field greens, White Tiger Sauce) and a couple dark chocolate rocky road candies for our meal. My Alice Burger (requested medium) to my surprise, did come out a juicy medium. The grilled mushroom contributed to a meatier texture and the peppery field greens paired well with the creamy, zesty White Tiger Sauce. I did find the bun a little chewy for my taste but aside from that - it's a tasty burger.
The dark chocolate seemed a little pricey at $1 a piece but it had a good texture contrast and it was a pleasant sweet ending to our delicious burgers.
White Tiger Gourmet is a hidden jewel amongst the many restaurants in Athens. Because of its rather inconspicuous location, it can get easily overlooked for other places in town but they serve delicious food that's worth checking out. While it's no H&F burger, their burgers are pretty damn tasty and I'm glad to have a place like this in the Classic City.