Posts Tagged ‘San Diego’

Hodad’s

It’s so unlike me to wait years to go to a raved-about, local burger joint. But somehow, I had never made it to Hodad’s. So when I realized that I was graduating, and leaving San Diego, it became clear that such a travesty be righted. So I called Katie and said, “we are going to Hodad’s.” She had no qualms about this plan.

The original Hodad’s is in Ocean Beach, but we didn’t feel like waiting for a table, so we went to the 2011-new downtown location. It was an early dinner, so we had no trouble parking. Our order was promptly taken, and food was served quick.

The restaurant itself is a fun environment. I think the OB location is dive bar-ish, but this one is more of a restaurant-style burger joint. I always love the out-of-state license plates on the wall – sure to keep me distracted from my NEED FOR CHEESEBURGER NOW!!!!

We shared a half-basket of “frings” and a chocolate malt milkshake. The half-order of frings were easily big enough to share. So was the milkshake. And two of my burger-joint pet peeves were avoided at Hodad’s:

Pet Peeve #1: Frozen, store-bought onion rings.

Nothing is like a hand-breaded fresh onion ring. The rings here were clearly homemade, and clearly delicious. The fries were thick wedge-cut, and full of potatoey goodness.

Pet Peeve #2: Milkshakes that cost $5-$6, barely have any milkshake in the refill tin, and are lacking in the ice cream department.

This shake was almost entirely ice cream – just how I like it. Although my go-to shake is a vanilla-malt, I was willing to switch it up with a chocolate-malt shake on this occasion. It had good flavor, but I think I just prefer vanilla to chocolate.

As for the burger, it was served pretty quickly after the frings and milkshake. I had really high-hopes for this juicy bacon-cheeseburger.

The verdict?

Well, the burger itself was delicious & full of flavor. What a great cheeseburger. I could eat here over and over again if I had continued to live in SD.

There was only one shortcoming in the burger. The bacon, which abounded on this burger, got lost in the rest of the meal. I think the issue was that there was just too much ketchup and pickles on the burger, so the bacon flavor didn’t really come through (my burger was pre-served with ketchup – I didn’t do this ketchup-ing myself! And I realize that this revelation may come as a bit fantastical, given my oft-voiced opinion that ketchup should be included as its own food group!)

To clarify, though, I had a piece of the bacon separately, and it was simply delicious. This discovery leads me to believe that the cook was a bit too heavy-handed with the condiments.

I think the burger was about $7.00, and the frings and shake were about $4.50 each, all of which seemed more than reasonable.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here, and while my arteries are thanking me for waiting this long to go to Hodad’s, I regret I did not go sooner. When I next visit SD, this will be my first stop.

The Last Bite:

Burger rating: A- (fix the condiment ratio, and it’s an A)

Overall experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A

Never stop nomming!

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Yeah yeah, so I only remembered to take the picture after I’d eaten half the burger. Sorry.

Five Guys Burger’s and Fries

The Five Guys craze has hit California full force in the last year, and I no longer have to go very far to get one of their burgers. Having been to the restaurant locations in Tempe and Atlanta in prior years, I am no newcomer to the Five Guys menu, and I typically order my burger the same way.

Cheeseburger (2 patties) with:

– Extra cheese (free of charge!)

– Raw & grilled onions (extra of either if I am in the mood)

– Pickles

– Lettuce

– Ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce

I personally found that the first couple times I went to this location of Five Guys that the patty itself had little flavor and got lost amongst the other accoutrements of the whole package. This was not an issue I remembered having at the other locations I’d been to (Atlanta, Fremont, Pacific Beach, Pleasant Hill, Tempe, but really, who is counting). However, the Costa Verde (La Jolla) Five Guys is very new, and since then the burgers seem to have gained the flavor I am used to in a darn good cheeseburger. On this occasion, Katie and I stopped by to get our fix, and by the end of the meal, I was quite satisfied with my burger.

I always get a regular order of fries. If you’ve never been to Five Guys before, you will soon learn that a “regular order” of fries is actually a gigantic cup of fries. That’s it, you say? Well, they also then throw in another cup full of fries into your bag. So a regular order of fries is really comparable to whatever the largest size McDonald’s offers. The fries are actually my favorite part of the meal (I like regular, not Cajun-style, personally), and they are actually what I look forward to most when I go to Five Guys.

Burger and fries comes out to about $9.25. You get your money’s worth. Single-patty burgers are available, and the orders of fries are sharable with you and ten of your closest friends, if you’re looking for a cheaper deal.

Now I have only been to the La Jolla Five Guys recently, so I do not know if this is a recent addition to all locations (will report when I am in the know), but the soda machine is this hi-tech gadget that is totally out of this world. I usually only order water when I go out to eat, but on this occasion Katie got a soda, so I got to see her use the machine. It uses a touch screen to choose your drink (and flavored syrups!), and is very quick and clean. I wish I had a picture of it, but maybe they have been added to all locations and you all will know what I am talking about. In any event, it’s pretty darn cool.

All in all, you can usually count on a good burger from Five Guys. But as for the soon-to-be age old question of “which is better, Five Guys or In ‘n Out?”, I think In ‘n Out wins for best burger. That said, Five Guys fries are some of the best around. Although I have since left La Jolla to come back to the Bay Area, I am sure I will soon visit another Five Guys (and will BurgerBlog the results!)

The Last Bite:

– Burger rating: B

– Overall experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A- (Love those fries!)

Never stop nomming!