Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gluten-Free in Austin, TX- Hopdoddy Burger Bar Review

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is a new restaurant on South Congress in Austin, Texas. The atmosphere is upbeat and modern. I had read somewhere that they had gluten-free buns, but they advised to call ahead to check if they have any because they go fast.  Because they have gluten-free buns, I assumed they must have gluten-free friendly burger choices. When you enter the restaurant you have to wait in a line to order, then they assign you to a table. Their menu features ten burgers. They all looked fabulous, but were any of them gluten-free? We asked one of the waitresses as we were waiting in line if any of the featured burgers were naturally gluten-free (just by subbing in a gluten free bun); her reaction was very hesitant and unsure (never a fun reaction to see when asking about gluten-free options). She stopped the next waitress that walked by and she was clueless too. Finally they went and got the manager; he was much more helpful, but not sure about if any of the burgers were naturally gluten-free. We had to point out the ones we were interested in and he read out the ingredients to himself to verify there was not gluten. All in all we learned that their BBQ sauce DOES have gluten in it. They have two specialty ketchups to choose from, a BBQ ketchup and chipotle ketchup, that the manager told us both contained gluten. Once we reached the front of the line we found out they did not have any gluten-free buns remaining.  When we inquired about the buns, they made sure to let us know that they were only 99% gluten-free because they are baked in a non gluten-free environment.  They actually bake the gluten-free buns themselves.  They claimed that the fries, however, are completely naturally gluten-free.

I ordered the Continental club, a turkey burger with pesto, bacon, arugula and provolone (no bun) with fries. It all tasted very good. The fries were excellent, but I wish I could have dipped them in some ketchup.

All in all I don't believe I was glutened, but I wouldn't describe Hopdoddy Burger Bar as "gluten-free friendly". They have a lot of potential. They just need to educated their employees more and go through each burgers ingredients and identify the gluten free burgers on the menu.

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