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Hodad’s
May 22nd, 2013 by Harold J. Forbes

logo_hodads1 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 101 vote, average: 9.00 out of 10
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Hodads 1

Hodad’s
945 Broadway
San Diego CA 92101
http://hodadies.com

 

Soakin’ in the California Sun! –

Hodads 2Ahhh! Beautiful Southern California! What better place to inspire a Burger Tyme guest post? Having already sampled the SoCal classic In-N-Out Burger and the gourmet up-and-comer Umami Burger as part of my travels, I decided it was time to seek out new territory for my fellow burger addicts while in San Diego to see a baseball game at Petco Park. After reviewing several San Diego “best burger” lists I decided on the one name that I saw on all of them: Hodad’s.

After the final pitch of the ballgame, I trekked through the streets of downtown San Diego to find the place, which is actually the second location of Hodad’s just opened in 2011, the place is located next to the jewelry store where they sell plantwear accessories. The original Hodad’s is over in Ocean Beach where it built quite a following. Along the way it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and named one of the five best burgers in the U.S. by CNN. But screw the history of it all and the media recognition! Can you really trust the media anyway? All I wanted to know this day was whether this was a quality Burger Tyme.

After about a 15-minute walk from Petco Park I had finally made it to this unassuming burger joint. It wasn’t much to look at from the outside, but the line of people out the door was certainly a good sign. When the hostess (perhaps too formal a term for this place, but it is the best word I can come up with) realized I was alone she invited me to have a seat at the bar. And so I grabbed a menu and claimed a stool.

Hodads 3The menu was pretty simple. No snobbish gourmet-style burgers here! Just the basic hamburger or cheeseburger available as a single or double patty and with or without bacon. Also basic were the prices, with the most expensive offering setting you back a scant $12.50 including a side of onion rings. The only nonstandard burgers here were the Guido burger, a pastrami burger with ketchup, pickles, swiss cheese, grilled onions, and spicy brown mustard inspired by Triple-D host Guy Fieri, and the Blue Jay burger, a bacon cheeseburger with bleu cheese and grilled onions. Neither one sounded overly appealing so I went for a classic double cheeseburger with a side of fries. I also ordered a chocolate milkshake since the only sodas they had were Pepsi products, and I don’t do second-rate sodas.

While waiting for my order I took in a bit more of my surroundings. Almost every square inch of the walls was covered with old license plates, something I have always been fascinated with, adding to the relaxed aura of the place. I laughed when I saw the California plate personalized with “EFEN SWT” and the sticker about two feet below it that said, “Never Trust the Police.” On the beverage cooler there was also a sticker for In-N-Out Burger, an ironic tribute to the SoCal icon by this hole in the wall place that claims to have the “World’s Best Burger.”

What Diet? I’m on Vacation! –

Hodads 4After about ten minutes of waiting my milkshake comes out and it was nearly a meal in itself! The shake came out in a 32-ounce metal cup with a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream on the top and hanging off the sides. Breaking with Burger Tyme tradition I elected to start of the shake before the burger came just so I wouldn’t have a big mess from melted ice cream. I ate the ice cream down to a safe level by which time my burger arrived, and like the shake it was much bigger than I anticipated. It is a good thing I had skipped lunch because I would need the full capacity of my stomach to ingest this burger feast.

The burger was massive with one end shoved in a paper wrapper and the other hanging out in such a way as if to say “eat me, if you dare!” The two burger patties were probably about 1/3 lb. each and resting on top of fresh sliced tomatoes and onions, pickles, and shredded lettuce, sandwiched in by a lightly toasted sesame seed bun. I used both hands to pick up this monster and attempt to fit the thing in my mouth. Upon biting into the beast I was impressed by the excellent seasoning of the beef and how well the veggies complemented the meat, especially the pickles that provided a nice crispness to each bite. The patties were cooked to perfection and quite juicy, although before I was half done with the burger the bun could not handle the juices from the burger and the condiments and became rather soggy. Perhaps a bit more toasting could have improved the bun’s performance, but otherwise this was an excellent burger indeed.

Hodads 5Hiding underneath the burger was a large portion of fries, which once I finished the burger I began to tackle. The fries were battered potato wedges that had a bit of thickness to them, a departure from the thinner fry cuts BurgerTyme maestro JoeMoney has expressed preference for in the past but just the way I like them. The danger with this type of cut is that it can be difficult to cook so that the inside of the fry is not mushy, but these fries were fried for just the right amount of time with a crunchy outside and a firm warm inside.

The chocolate shake was a bit too much for me and I am ashamed to admit that I was not able to finish. The shake was nice and thick, however about half the cup was still in ice cream form. I guess that is why the serve it up with a spoon instead of a straw. I would have preferred a Coke to accompany this fine burger offering and perhaps the shake as a dessert afterwards.

The Wrap It Up –

Hodads 6Is this truly the world’s best burger as the restaurateur claims? Probably not, but it is certainly in my personal top five. For you Burger Tymers from Houston, I would say this is very similar to Christian’s Tailgate, both in the style and quality of the burger and the general vibe of the establishment. A more toasted bun and leafed lettuce instead of shredded lettuce would have made the Hodad’s burger better in my opinion. Despite these minor shortcomings, if you are in the San Diego area and are looking for a unpretentious place to have an outstanding burger at a reasonable price Hodad’s should be at the top of your list.

About the Author

Harold J. Forbes, in addition to being a hardcore Burger Tymer, is an accountant and author focusing on personal finance and preparedness topics. You can learn more about Harold and his books on his Amazon author page at http://amazon.com/author/haroldforbes.


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