Part of growing up and learning how to balance my health has included knowing when to indulge…and I’ve learned something important in the last few years.
If you’re gonna eat a burger, then eat a burger.
My mom has always followed the rule that if she’s going to enjoy food, she’s going to really enjoy it. Growing up, you would never find reduced fat sour cream, half-fat ice cream, or any sort of diet drinks or foods in our fridge. If she wanted ice cream, my mom would eat full-fat, fully-delicious ice cream. Just a little amount, because she claimed that if she ate the good stuff, she didn’t want as much.
You know what? She was 100% right.
It’s taken me a while to learn this, but I now fully agree with her that when you’re craving a treat, it’s best to eat real food, fully indulge, and appreciate every bite.
Enter: Hopdoddy Burger Bar
This is now a big company with 16 locations in Texas, Arizona, California, and Colorado, but don’t be fooled: Hopdoddy started right here in Austin, TX (the original location is still booming on S. Congress Ave) back in 2010. The name comes from burgers and beer: “hop” is from the hops used to brew beer, and “doddy” is doddies, the name of Aberdeen cattle’s original angus.
If you needed a list of some really good burger places in Austin, Hopdoddy would definitely be on my list. On any given day you can expect a line out the door, and that’s how you know it’s good! The beef is always from humanely raised cows that are never given antibiotics or growth hormones, and it’s ground in-house; the buns are baked fresh in the store twice daily, and if you’re there when they’re baking, you’ll know it from the mouth-watering smells that hits you right when you walk through the doors!
They have 12 taps of local beer (and if I’m being honest here, they usually have 2-3 good ones, and the rest are just the most popular crowd pleasers, but not necessarily the best that Austin has to offer…just my two cents), some lovely mixed drinks, and one of the best milkshakes in town.
Nate and I were running errands last weekend (<- Ha! How lame are we? I remember how excited I felt last week to have a quiet Saturday afternoon to run some errands…), and stopped in for a late lunch at the north location on Anderson lane. Even around 3:30, there was a short line out the door, but we were ushered inside within 10 minutes.
I’ve tried most of the burgers on their menu, and I’ll honestly tell you that I don’t dislike any of them! The La Bandita is one of my favorite black bean burgers in Austin, and the Magic Shroom will knock your socks off with the goat cheese, field mushrooms, and pesto.
This time around I went with the Llano Poblano:
|Angus Beef, Apple-Smoked Bacon, Tillamook Pepper Jack, Seared Poblano, Chipotle Mayo, Red Leaf Lettuce, White Onion, Beefsteak Tomato|
This time around I let Nate talk me into splitting the Green Chile Queso Fries with him. They’re definitely not bad at all (I mean, how could anyone not like something with the words “queso” and “fries” in the title?), but I still believe that the Truffle Fries are one of the greatest things on the menu. Get them.
Even with all of the new restaurants popping up every year in Austin (I heard that there were 100 new ones in 2016??!!), Hopdoddy remains one of my favorite spots in Austin. Back when I was auditioning for grad school and deciding where to land, I booked a flight to visit Austin and asked my Facebook friends where I should eat while I was here. The two most popular suggestions? Home Slice Pizza, and Hopdoddy!
So now that I’m seriously craving a burger again on a Friday morning, I’m going to go to my first ever Barre class today! Haha! Wish me luck!