The best of both worlds arrived in Newport Beach–burgers and beers. The place: Hopdoddy Burger Bar (yes, doddy with an ‘o’ and more about the name later). The location: Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Dr.
The debut of Hopdoddy’s first Orange County location marks a new high for burgers. Newport Beach is Hopdoddy’s first full-service restaurant for the Texas-based beer and burger phenomenon. The OC location is contemporary and inviting with seating at tables, the bar, and patio. Best of all—it’s a bargain. Burgers start at $6.25 for a classic burger.
Now for the food experience:
Cocktails, beer and wine: IPAs and hefeweizen are among the craft drafts available. Wines are served by the glass ($5 to $8). For cocktails try the “Little Larry” ($3), a mini frozen margarita topped with grand marnier. It’s refreshing and just right to get the party started.
Other cocktails include sangarita (gold tequila, freshly squeezed orange and lime juices, pomegranate grenadine, served over-the-rocks with chile salt on the rim. $7); and “Lil ‘Prick” (prickly pear martini with silver tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, $8).
Sides: Whatever you do, don’t skip the green chile queso with fries ($6.50). Dip the fries in the queso and please resist the urge to gobble the queso like soup! It’s that good. Another healthier choice: harvest quinoa ($4).
Crafted burgers: The stars of the show are the crafted burgers. For California restaurants, Hopdoddy created the “K-Town Belly,”grass-fed beef, braised pure pork belly, with kimchi, house-made gochujang, Korean rice crispies, mayo and basil ($13).
Two burgers to try: “Buffalo Bill,” a bison burger with blue jack cheese, Frank’s hot sauce, apple-smoked bacon with sassy sauce ($10); and the “Greek” burger, lamb with feta, arugula, pickled red onions, tomato, cucumber and tzatziki sauce ($9.25).
Salads and Sodas: Three salads are available—Caesar, spinach and arugula, and baby kale. Drinks include blueberry soda, kombucha, and more. Variety is the name of the game.
Desserts: If you have room, try the shakes ($5.50). Variety plays a role, again. There’s everything from Nutella & chocolate to chocolate stouts, and vanilla bean to red velvet cake.
Other details: Hopdoddy does in-house grinds (angus, akaushi, grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, turkey, chicken, tuna, and black bean. There’s even a window where you can watch the preparation. The beef patties are anti-biotic free and hormone free. There’s a bakery on premise for fresh breads and buns (including wheat and non-gluten). A homey touch: brown paper towels on a paper towel holder on each table. Trust me, it comes in handy.
The name: Oh, yes, the name—Hopdoddy–the hop for beer and the doddy for a nickname given to “the native cows of Aberdeen.”
Bottom line: Go to Hopdoddy. Don’t over think it. That’s Hopdoddy’s job (read their comment on their website).