Every town has its hidden eateries, known only by the locals. Warner Robins is no exception. Natalie's, formerly known as Mike's Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, has marked its spot in Warner Robins.
Located on Russell Parkway, Natalie's attracts a variety of people. Don't want to eat in? Just use their call-ahead service and take out your meal.
The restaurant is a seat-yourself-type place, and let me add that it shows. We picked our seat in the dinning room. There were many tables to choose from, but we chose one slightly tucked away. During lunch, however, good luck finding a table; the place is standing room only by noon.
Once our waiter found us, we ordered. The menu was broad. I had a hard time narrowing in on what I wanted. Whether it was a salad, barbecue sandwich or fish, they had it and everything in between. Finally, I decided to get the basic Jr. Burger with fries, for $6.75, and my friend ordered two chili dogs with fries, for $6.25.
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The dinning room d?cor seemed eclectic. Everything from Star Wars spaceships to pictures of monkeys adorned the walls and ceilings. The window curtains were what impressed me most - faded with large flower prints. There was no real rhyme or reason to the decorating, and that's the way they liked it. The unique style amused me.
As my amusement faded, our food came out. My Jr. Burger was great, and the fries - well, they were fries. The chili dogs weren't as impressive. Although the health inspection said 98 percent, I have to disagree after finding a hair in the chili dog. No hard feelings though; the second dog was hair-free.
Don't let our food horror stories scare you. You can order one of the many other choices on the menu. Check out the gyros. They offer Greek, chicken and steak, each for $4.19. If you're in a healthy mood, go for one of their many salads ranging from $2-$5.95. Though their hamburgers are delicious, they all range about the same, with different names for different sizes like the Gorilla Burger for $4.89. If you're brave enough to take on the hot dog challenge, then try one of their many specialty dogs - Polish Dog, Italian Dog or a King Kong Dog, each for $3.25. Don't worry, they didn't leave the kids out. For about $3, you can get anything from a burger or grilled cheese to a corn dog.
Since I was familiar with the menu, ordering the second time I visited wasn't as difficult. I got a BLT with onion rings, and my mother got a burger. The food wasn't as stellar the second time around. My BLT was greasy, and the bacon was more just in the way than actually contributing to the meal. The onion rings, however, were made well and tasted good.
Aside from the eclectic decorations and the mediocre food, the name, Natalie's, adds something interesting to the place. Mike's Dogs was renamed after his deceased daughter. The name alone brings your meal closer to home. No matter where you go, some places just feel like home, and to some, home is also named Natalie's.
823 Russell Parkway, Warner Robins
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Payment: Cash and credit (Visa)
Kids menu: Yes
Noise level: Moderate/low
Wheelchair accessible: Yes