I am a burger fanatic and there is no getting around that fact! I love hamburgers, cheeseburgers, custom burgers. . .It is just one of my all time favorite things to eat (Yes I eat them bunless so they are gluten-free). Having come to Austin via Southern California & San Francisco I have plenty-o-hamburger experience under my belt (and yes it made the belt loop expand a few times)!
The brain child(s) behind the Hopdoddy Burger Bar are Moonshine Chef and Hopdoddy partner Larry Perdido along with Moonshine’s Chuck Smith, Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles, the creators of the Roaring Fork, Eddie V’s, and Z’Tejas. And they have most certainly ground out an exceptional concept & product! Find yourself asking where did the restaurant name come from? A play on word of course: Handcrafted beer (hops reference) and the nickname given to Aberdeen Angus cows of Scotland (doddy), forming the “perfect union of burgers & beer.”
Hopdoddy is not your average burger joint. Hopdoddy is passionate about using “the freshest, all-natural ingredients” to fashion artisan burgers. Don’t fret my gluten-free & vegetarian friends, as there are options for you as well! Drinks you ask? Hopdoddy answers with an outstanding selection of craft bears on tap, wine, and a most excellent cocktail menu for “grown folks.” With a contemporary but approachable setting (art work by Matt Lankes has been carefully selected to reference Austin’s independent spirit), one can easily relax into a delicious burger & beer at the bar or in one of the many casual dining booths.
Looking at the Hopdoddy menu, you have nine burgers to choose from ranging from The Classic Burger (perfect description) to custom crafted burgers such as the Magic Mushroom, Llano Poblano, Trelingu, and the Buffalo Bill, all made from fresh ground Black Angus Beef (meat ground on the premises-you can actually watch the meat being ground in their butcher room). Looking for gluten-free or a vegetarian option(s): Check out the Janis Joplin (veggie burger with sunflower sprouts, hemp seed & avocado) or the Continental Club (Turkey burger with fresh basil & my personal favorites) -order without the bun for a gluten-free option (buns are warmed on a separate grill surface to prevent any cross contamination.
Ordering is easy – Menu‘s are available as you walk up to the counter & the menu is clearly displayed on the wall behind the register as well . . . .The tough part – choosing with delicious burger you want. Not feeling up to a burger (shame on you), Hopdoddy also serves up “Salad Bowls” (small & large sizes available) that are just as delicious and uniquely crafted as their burger selections.
Jones-in for something sweet? Let the mix master behind the bar fix you a delicious ice-cream float or milkshake made from “hand churned” ice cream. You can even “booze it up” with a selection of liquors ranging from Baileys Irish Cream, Frangelico to three Godiva options (*warning if you add these to your milkshake you will become a Hopdoddy devote -Thanks Rob)!
Three more impressive qualities about Hopdoddy that have thoroughly impressed me:
(1) The Owners/Partners of Hopdoddy’s refashioned the prior Cissi’s Market, maintaining the architectural bones of the space and improving upon it in a sustainable manner and for that I have the utmost respect (I being an architecture/construction junkie for 15+ years as my prior profession).
(2) The customer service is exceptional! I have been to Hopdoddy five times since it’s opening and every time, be it an employee or a manager, someone has checked with me to see if my food was ok and if I needed anything else. Customer service is so important and can make or break a restaurant – Hopdoddy has it down like clockwork!
(3) The recycling program Hopdoddy has in place. Many restaurant recycle in the back of house operations, however, here at Hopdoddy, the customer is required to be socially responsible and participate.
During my last visit I had the pleasure of speaking with Owner/Partner Chuck Smith. I greatly appreciated his taking time out of running a new & very busy restaurant to ensure that I was happy with my meal & to talk Hopdoddy concepts/philosophy. I will continue to be a customer of Hopdoddy, enjoying delicious burgers and a great environment in which to devour them in!
1400 S. Congress
Austin, TX Z 78704