I finally made my way to Scottsdale to try Hopdoddy Burger Bar. This mini chain started in Texas and now we have 2 locations here in the Valley. The “Hop” part of their name stands for beer (they serve artisan craft beers) and “Doddy” is a Scottish cow. Their beef comes from humanely raised cows that aren’t given any hormones or antibiotics (according to their sign). They bake their own buns in house and cut their own potatoes for the fries. The restaurant itself is spacious and has a nice modern ambience to it. You basically order your food up front and they assign you a number and a table to sit at where someone waits on you. They have variety of special burger combinations to choose from topped with their own blend of “sassy” sauce. I ordered the Goodnight/Good Cause Burger (a dollar is donated to Lone Star Paralysis) – an Angus Beef patty topped with caramelized onions, jalapeños and BBQ sauce. The burger is hot off the grill and really good. They also have great shakes here. Some of their combinations include Caramel & Sea Salt, Red Velvet and Nutella & Chocolate Pretzel. From a price standpoint, they compare with Fives Guys and Shake Shack. I definitely put them above Shake Shack for the better burger at $8. If you come during social hour (3:30pm – 6), they knock $2 off the burger and the fries are $5. My only negatives is that our food came out separately and I really didn’t see the need for servers when you order everything up front. They are basically there to refill your drinks. But overall I give this place a thumbs up and will stop in again another time.
While I was in Pasadena for a football game at the Rose Bowl, I grabbed dinner at Slater’s 50/50 in the downtown area. I had read some amazing reviews about this place. Founded by Southern California native Scott Slater, he created a burger patty that is 50% ground beef and 50% bacon. Umm.. yum! I ordered the original 50/50 burger and it was delicious and so full of flavor. With so many ingredients and toppings to choose from, you can design your burger the way you like it. The wait to get in this place was a little long but worth it! I highly recommend trying the Slater’s 50/50 experience next time you are in Cali.
This was my first time trying Ethiopian food. We ate at this small little place called Tina’s Ethiopian Cafe. They had some pictures and artifacts from Ethiopia hanging on the walls. They also had a TV playing some goofy Ethiopian videos of people dancing on youtube (weird stuff too..). But the food was good. I got the combination watt with chicken and beef cooked with moderately spiced sauce and herbs. You eat with your hands and it comes with injera – a type of spongy bread used to help scoop up the food. It reminded me a lot of Indian food. I enjoyed this experience, but I’m ready to go back to Italian food. I miss my garlic and oregano.