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Cheap Eats ~ San Diego

California, Cheap Eats, San Diego, West Coast By June 11, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Ahh, San Diego. German for a . . . well, we all know how that line from Anchorman goes, so no need to rehash it on the interwebs for the millionth time. Instead I’ll just jump into the Cheap Eats scene in San Diego while fondly looking back at one of the most fun episodes of Cheap Eats we have ever done. Yes there were Ferrari rides that included doing donuts with a donut making guru. Oh and this was the episode where I found my all time favorite burrito that came with a serious helping of steak, shrimp, french fries and Mexican wrestlers. And that is just the half of it . . . so join me for a second serving of Cheap Eats San Diego!

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Cheap Eats ~ Santa Barbara

California, Cheap Eats, Santa Barbara, West Coast By June 1, 2018 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Home to the summer residences of Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, and Julia-Louis Dreyfus(just to name a few), and boasting an average home price around $1.3  million, you probably wouldn’t expect the word “cheap” to be thrown around too often in Santa Barbara. One could even say Santa Barbara is Hollywood’s Shangri-La. But can this gorgeous beach town also double as an oasis of Cheap Eats?  Well, you just might be surprised at the deals to be had. I may not have rubbed elbows with Oprah or Tom Cruise but I did get myself four square meals and almost made my budget. How close did I come to making it under $35? Well, I’m glad you asked . . .

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Hopdoddy Burger Bar Edition

Arizona, Austin, Burgers, California, Chain, Colorado, Gourmet, Los Angeles, Texas, West Coast By August 6, 2016 No Comments

I’m really scratching my head on this one. As I struggle to tickle the keys on my beat to hell 2007 Macbook, I face the stark truth that I am about to give props to the one burger joint in Austin that seems like it came out of the Wachowski brothers’ Matrix trilogy: Hopdoddy Burger Bar. The customers don’t wear nearly the same amount of leather as Carrie Anne Moss, and I’m pretty sure open carry in Austin’s City Limits doesn’t include Matrix level hardware, but the almost too perfect polished feel of the place seems jarring enough for me to take the red pill. In this case, the “red pill” meant taking on three(actually 4) burgers to see how deep Bang for your Burger Buck can go here. And how deep does the rabbit hole go at Hopdoddy? Let’s just say by the end I was waxing poetic on these burgers with the Mad Hatter and Alice.

On paper, places like Hopdoddy are why I began the search for Bang for your Burger Buck. The $10 and up burger trend was shifting burger discourse away from beautifully imperfect burger stands to chef driven concepts dripping with start up cash from dudes in Teslas who just started saying the word “dude” again after a 5 year hiatus post college/grad school. With a full bar, boozy milkshakes and several well positioned monitors blasting ESPN, the temptation to stay awhile and get loose at Hopdoddy is great. $50 later you may find yourself asking how a burger and beer experience bordered on a light sushi dinner. Well, it’s not really a conspiracy on the part of joints like Hopdoddy. They figured out awhile back that people will spend money in all kinds of settings, whether they be quiet white table cloth lined dining rooms or a burger joint with kobe on the menu and kobe highlight reels on the TV. So why should you spend your hard earned buck here? Because in this instance, the crowds indeed gather for good reason: their burgers rock. Their burgers are also all over the map. In fact, it kind of irks me when a burger joint can’t pick one burger version and run with it. In Hopdoddy’s case, they have 12 burgers that showcase extreme topping creations versus that one single interpretation of what they believe a great burger truly is. After an initial dud, I honed in on three burgers that struck me as compelling on their own and fine to compare and contrast. Like shopping for a car or a Mac(hint hint), budget will drive your journey. So here are three great Hopdoddy burgers, in ascending order of Bang for your Burger Buck, that are indeed worthy of your hard earned buck. And I freaking enjoyed eating every one of ’em too.

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