Hopdoddy Burger Bar
2300 W 7th St, Ste 140, FW. 817-270-2337. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
In Fort Worth, the hamburger wars are real. There are countless burger challenges, and our annual Best Of edition features a compilation of our critics’ favorite five burgers. So what does Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar hope to contribute to the Cowtown meatscape?
The restaurant’s management honed its blueprint in the ATX, where even the new craze is so five minutes ago. But everything about it runs efficiently. There’s an odd combination of counter and table service for bar items. Although the queue for the cash register might run out the door, you’ll be assigned a place to sit while you wait. Even during a 6 p.m. rush on a Friday evening, service was attentive and prompt. Meat is ground onsite, and the buns and sides are all made in house.
My dining companions and I visited during happy hour, when adult beverages, fries, and the signature burger are all $5 each. My craft beer-loving friend appeared impressed with the adult beverage options, and his $5 Panther Island Tailgater cream ale was served in a huge frozen schooner. The classic margarita was also a steal at $5: The mix was fresh and tasty (not the premade junk that looks like antifreeze), and the black lava salt rim added an adorable touch.
Hopdoddy’s menu is simple – sandwiches, fries, a few salads, booze, and milkshakes. The Llano Poblano burger was a spicy, juicy mess: The patty arrived smothered in pepper jack cheese and zesty chipotle mayo, with an overlay of slightly sweet, smoky bacon on top. The pieces of grilled pepper upped the heat factor exponentially, but the soft bun absorbed some of the heat.
If you’re a sucker for a good cause, part of your purchase of the seasonal Goodnight burger contributes to Make-a-Wish North Texas. The charity’s lovely, and the burger isn’t bad, either. The standard cheeseburger was exquisitely flavorful, thanks to caramelized onions, tangy barbecue sauce, piquant jalapeño peppers, and the restaurant’s signature Sassy sauce, which actually got lost in all the different sweet/spicy flavors.
The weakest item we tried was the Greek burger. At the time of our visit, the kitchen was out of the lamb patties. The substitution of a fairly dry, uninteresting turkey burger did not live up to the tangy feta cheese and tzatziki sauce. Sharp arugula lettuce and pickled red onions added some zest. Perhaps I chose poorly: If they’re out of lamb, order any of the other nine burger options.
Fries cost extra here, but both the shoestring parmesan truffle fries and the sweet potato fries are worth it. The generous serving of parmesan spuds were loaded with salty cheese and bits of parsley and accompanied by a surprisingly complex and yummy aioli dipping sauce. The serving was more than enough for three people. The more subdued, savory sweet potato fries were served with a smoky chipotle mayo. Hopdoddy’s condiment bar is stocked with chipotle ketchup, which packed packs an unexpected punch, and honey mustard, which, inexplicably, works well as a dipping sauce for the sweet potato fries.
One small quibble: We weren’t asked how we wanted our burgers cooked. The Goodnight burger came out medium, but the Llano Poblano was more on the well-done side. Because the burgers are made with gloriously well-marbled Angus beef, they still tasted great despite the erratic grilling. Hopdoddy is located in what’s now being called Fort Worth’s Left Bank, on a great corner spot with an ample amount of parking in back – a real plus when you consider that there are at least four armies in the great West 7th Burger Wars within a mile of one another, and they all have less desirable parking options. Is Hopdoddy as good as Rodeo Goat? Both have merit. And West 7th is long enough to accommodate an extra burger joint.
Greek burger $10.50
Parmesan truffle fries $6.95
Sweet potato fries $3.75
Goodnight burger $8.25
Llano Poblano burger $8.50
Panther Island Tailgater Cream Ale $5 (happy hour)
House margarita $5 (happy hour)