Photos Andy Calvert
As the leaves start to change colors and cooler weather announces itself to the south, many people take to the open road to enjoy the change in the scenery. In a year that has limited our travels and interactions with others, opportunities to get out of the house and seek the experiences that make us whole are all the more coveted.
Like it or not, things have to be done a little bit differently to achieve that, but hopping in the car with your friends or loved ones to experience a “life-changing sandwich” at Frankfurt Doner & Meats shouldn’t push your comfort level too much… just your waistline.
Just a short drive from just about anywhere in our corner of the state, FD&M resides in downtown Ball Ground, Georgia, where they have built a loyal base of customers who have had their lives changed by their signature menu item: the Doner. This sandwich consists of shaved angus beef served in a Persian flatbread with house made tzatziki sauce and a choice of fresh toppings. If ordered all the way, it includes lettuce, tomato, onion, feta cheese, red cabbage, cucumber salad and sliced cucumber.
“Most people can’t pronounce Doner,” said owner operator Elke Werner. “We had so many people come in and tell us that sandwich changed their lives that we just decided that’s what we should call it. So now we encourage everyone to try a life-changing sandwich.”
This two-handed sandwich is a mammoth to behold and a delight to the taste buds, but it’s far from the only thing on the menu. In fact, what you can buy to prepare back at the homestead might be just as life-changing.
When you first enter the restaurant, the eye magnet that is the meat display draws you in like a moth to the flame. House-made bratwurst, frankfurters, burgers and more are prepped and ready for your grilling delight. It isn’t until you are done salivating over the selection that your eyes wander to the menu that consists of the aforementioned Doner. A few other classic sandwiches like the Reuben, Italian and chicken salad, fresh grilled brats and frankfurters, as well as salads, soup, sides and desserts.
Everything is made in-house, and with brats and sausages that range from “cheesy explosion” to “Georgia Peach”, the flavors are anything but ordinary. Anything in the case can be prepared for you to enjoy on-site or packaged for you to cook at home. For those enjoying them at the café tables, fresh sauerkraut, grilled onions and a wide variety of condiments are available and served on a fresh-baked bun that ties the bow on an authentic German experience.
Elke Werner and her husband, Herr Detlev Werner, started the business 10 years ago with a mission to deliver authentic German meats and cuisine to their friends and neighbors. Herr went through rigorous training to obtain his Meisterbreif (Master Craftsmen) Certificate as a butcher, and his expertise set the bar for the meats served to FD&M customers today.
With Oktoberfest upon us, there couldn’t be a better time or a safer way to get out and enjoy the day. Ball Ground’s downtown is bubbling with green spaces where you can enjoy your meal at a safe social distance, and there is absolutely no shame in heading over to enjoy your lunch and leaving with your dinner packed up in a cooler.
“We enjoy what we do and I think our customers can taste that in our food,” says Werner. “We see the same faces all the time, but more and more new faces keep coming and we are happy to have them.”
If the impromptu trip isn’t your cup of tea, the team at FD&M is always happy to prepare bulk call-in orders, so you could plan your trip to pick up your brats and sausages for the big game. Just make sure to grab a Doner while you’re there…it’s not every day you get to eat a life-changing sandwich.