Off the Eatin’ Path decided to shake it up a bit for this review. We traveled to Pallookaville in Avondale Estates to try the famous gourmet corndogs and handmade milkshakes. Each of our writers was so impressed that they each wrote their own entry. One of them even went back for seconds the following day.
Pallookaville: Modern Americana Meets a Circus Classic
I’ve always been a fan of the circus. Not so much for the clowns and lion tamers (let’s face it, clowns are terrifying), but for the food. Whether you identify it as circus food, fair food, or amusement park food, we all get the same images of funnel cakes, corndogs and boiled peanuts. Every region of the world has their own distinct food culture, and within that culture is a version for the streets. This is our street food.
This is where Pallookaville steps in.
Jim Stacy had a dream to take the classic hotdog dipped in batter and create something special with it. He wanted to create a gourmet corndog. And his end result is truly unique. Starting with a food truck, Jim created a following that lead him to open this restaurant and bar in Avondale Estates.
Stepping into Pallookaville is a bit of a culture shock. There is a lot to take in and you’re immediately reminiscing of your childhood while feeling like you are experiencing a diner from times gone by. The walls are filled with eclectic action figures, stuffed animals and toy cars that you, or your parents, probably remember having as a child. Small flat screen TVs hang from the ceiling playing old Hanna-Barbera cartoons that Cartoon Network should still be playing. Palookaville is a modern Americana explosion that keeps your attention without overloading your senses.
The menus (yes, there is more than one) are just as exciting to look at as the restaurant itself. The food menu is filled with delicious deep fried goodies, hotdogs, and even a few salads for those seeking a lighter, healthier option all printed in old school circus font. Pallookaville’s second menu is a strong shift from the circus to a 1950s diner and soda fountain. Don’t just order a Coke; take the time to check out their soda list with all of the custom syrups to mix it up. Read through all the milkshake combinations. And for the adults, check out the vast array of Shaketales.
While we were hanging out, just taking it all in, we had to start with some boiled peanuts. Warning: the portions are LARGE here. Ordering a small will leave you second-guessing what “small” actually means. When it came time to order, I figured our server would know best. I asked for their best milkshake, corndog and an order of cheese fries.
The Mister V.O. milkshake was perfect. Fresh OJ and vanilla ice cream with an orange circus peanut topping that gave it a classic creamsicle taste. Not too thick, and surprisingly refreshing for the 90 degree Georgia heat. The corndog, man… THAT corndog, was absolutely perfect. A Polish Kielbasa dipped in their pepper batter (jalapeños, red pepper flakes and Sriracha). As spicy as it sounds, it’s the good slow burn packed with intense, delicious flavor.
There is a reason their slogan is “Eat Good. Laugh Hard. Live Well. Die Happy.” Pallookaville is new, different, and yet completely approachable. The food is nothing short of delicious and the atmosphere takes you back in time to your childhood and even further back to another era. Not only am I excited for Palookaville, but also for Avondale Estates. This restaurant, along with others like The Bishop, is the beginning of an exciting food scene in the Avondale area.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go to lunch. At Pallookaville. Again.
If I were traveling from out of town, I would love to find a place like this. I love finding these quirky, local places that often define a neighborhood. The atmosphere at Palookaville is a bit over-the-top and unique but that’s what makes it fun to visit.
If you took all the trappings of a circus carnival and used them to decorate a 1950s style diner, you get a bit of an idea of what you are in store for. The back wall displays are stuffed with old toys and all kinds of novelty items you may or may not remember from your childhood.
It was refreshing to see old school TV shows shown (but not in your face) instead of the usual Sports games. I’m not even sure what show was on, but it was broadcast in Black and White.
Started off with a serving of hot boiled peanuts that came steaming hot from the kitchen. Never thought of boiled peanuts as an appetizer, but here in Palookaville, it seems to make sense. I have to be honest, I am not a big Corn Dog fan. So I went for the Italian Sausage Frankfurter Sandwich covered with slaw and their hand cut fries. The Sandwich was great but the fries were even better. I couldn’t keep my hand out of the fries until most of them were gone.
Pallookaville is located at 17N Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates, GA 30002