Hot dogs are, well, hot right now in Atlanta. Doggy Dog just opened a brick and mortar (The Dogg House in Decatur). The team behind the Mercury launched “the Helpful Hot Dog,” a weekly nonprofit event along the BeltLine entrance of Ponce City Market. And Atlanta now has its own New York-style hot dog vendor (well, kind of) with a cool backstory. Enter the Midnight Marauder.
The Marauder, aka Ian Nathanson, moved here from Long Island as a teenager and watched Atlanta’s culinary scene grow through the lens of his dad, a vegetarian chef. Nathanson saw firsthand how limited the options were for industry folks fresh off a late-night shift. “Man cannot live on Waffles and Houses alone,” he says.
So he launched the Midnight Marauder in East Atlanta Village’s We Suki Suki: The Global Grub Collective, which he credits with helping a guy with no culinary industry experience (him) get his idea off the ground.
Unlike the conventional dogs you’ll find in abundant New York street carts, the Marauder’s dogs are “hyper local Southern ingredients all under the guise of a midnight snack.” Most ingredients used in the hot dogs are sourced from Georgia. (A notable exception is the vegetarian dog, which comes courtesy of Asheville’s No Evil Foods.) The buns are from H+F Bread Company, the franks from the Spotted Trotter, the pickled toppings from Doux South, and the kimchi from Simply Seoul.
Put them all together and it is one ridiculously tasty Hyper Local Hot Dog. (Say that 10 times fast.) I tried a natural casing beef hot dog nestled into a buttered, warm, and pillowy soft bun, topped with “drunken” Doux South mustard and pickled green tomatoes. The toppings tempered the richness of each snappy bite of juicy hot dog.
So, why the curious name? Nathanson cites a love of serials, masked vigilantes, the A Tribe Called Quest album of the same name, and raiding the fridge for a midnight snack for his late-night identity. Midnight Marauder is open Friday and Saturday, 11:59 p.m.-4:00 a.m., so it caters to people leaving bars and, of course, industry folks who need an alternative to yet another waffle-based meal. Marauder also offers late-night delivery through UberEATS. If the wee hours don’t exactly fit your schedule, Nathanson has a pop-up at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 4:30-8:30 p.m. (until October 26th), and another at Eventide Brewing on October 14 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.