Hopdoddy burger bar 1400 S Congress Ave STE 190A Austin, Texas
Hopdoddy. Everyone always freakin’ asks me if I’ve been to Hopdoddy yet. Yes, I have. It was ok. Stop asking.
They ask because since this South Congress burger bar opened, there has been an tremendous wait to get in and sample their wares. It’s a little bit of a convoluted system- although there’s room for singles at the bar, you need to claim your table before you walk up and order your burger. Which means someone needs to wait at the table to make sure it’s not taken in the interim, and if they’re all already occupied, then son you’re outta luck.
So why is everyone so nutty over this place? It may be their respectful approach to the ingredients. The Angus beef is ground in house, all buns are made on premises and the fries are cut on site from Kennebec potatoes. I can see why this level of pride in their product would appeal to diners.
Right, you’ve claimed your table, now go and join the line at the back of the store to order your burger. The menu features around 11 different burger combinations, from the classic burger offerings to more unusual ingredients such as basil pesto, goats cheese and serrano chilies. I’m somewhat of a traditionalist, and thus am less enthused by unorthodox upgrade options. One benefit Hopdoddy holds over competitors is they do offer a gluten-free bun, which was particularly handy for my dining companion Rachelle of Blinded By The Bite.
I selected the “Goodnight” burger, with Tillamook Cheddar, Hickory BBQ Sauce and Sassy Sauce. All burgers also come standard with leaf lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and mustard. I also chose to add bacon because I know how to party. To this day, I cannot tell you what constitutes Sassy sauce, nor what it tastes like. But it was in there, and assisted in contributing to the high-napkin usage of this burger.
And so to the burger itself. It was tasty, a little drippy and I found the bun to be a little greasy on my fingers. Ultimately I just found myself thinking “I really don’t get what all the fuss is about”. It’s a decent product, perfectly adequate by burger standards, but I’m confounded as to how people are lining up for it, particularly given other choices in town. I know that many of my friends still love coming here, so perhaps it’s just one of those personal preference things, like Coke Zero Vs Diet Coke.
Here’s a shoutout to the fries, which were deliciously crispy, well seasoned and finished with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
Final verdict? Go if you’ve already found parking on South Congress and there isn’t a line.