We visited Hopdoddy on a Friday evening. It’s easy to find, off the 5 Fwy at Jamboree, near REI. Parking is easy—plenty of spaces in a huge lot. The place was bustling, with a line stretched all the way to the door (20+people) and it didn’t get any shorter while we were there.
Hopdodddy is all about specialty burgers. Hipster surroundings focus on the microbrew-age crowd and there were a good number of the requisite full-beard and thick-rimmed glasses in attendance. The restaurant is clean and cold. The dining experience doesn’t include a whole lot of contact with the servers, but they seemed adequately friendly.
The food is good. We ordered the Classic Burger, the Good Night/Good Cause on a gluten-free bun and the Llano Poblano along with two large fries and drinks. The burgers were juicy and had a decent amount of flavor. They’re not going to overwhelm you with size, but that’s sort of par for the course when you’re paying for the food plus the vibe. The lettuce in the classic was soggy. Not a big deal.
Our burgers were $7, $8.25 and $8.50, so our group of 4 wasn’t getting out of there for under $50.00. For a burger meal, it’s pricey, but if you think of it as a kickin’-it-with friends meal, it’s not so bad. Still, it’s definitely not a budget choice.
I’m partial to places that offer a gluten-free option, so I am predisposed to be favorable. I will say, however, that the bun was not as soft and chewy as I prefer. That, of course, is not a good thing or a bad thing. Just a preference. It wouldn’t in any way deter me from coming back to Hopdoddy. As a matter of fact, I’m planning to hit it again this week.
The natural soda in the soda fountain was very good. I had the cola (Mexicane) and liked it very much. It’s cool to have an all-specialty soda fountain and just sets Hopdoddy apart that much more from run-of-the-mill burger joints.
For those of you squeamish about public restrooms, have no fear. These were clean—and the liquid soap smelled great.
If you don’t mind the wait, or can visit Hopdoddy on off-hours, I recommend it. A little break from the burger norm is nice sometimes.
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