Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar doesn’t sound like a place that would be frequented by vegans and I doubt it is. I wouldn’t have frequented it but my family was gathering to celebrate two birthdays and, as I’m the only vegan, places serving seitan, tempeh, or tofu weren’t in the running. My family did check Bad Daddy’s online menu and found I could order a black bean burger. Everyone’s needs covered, we chose a time.
From what I understand, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar has been in service less than a year at the Southlands Mall. If the amount of people waiting to be seated was any indication, they’ll be in business for some time. I don’t care for eateries where music and the roar of voices make it impossible to speak to anyone not seated directly next to you. If you share the same distaste, take your meat eating family members elsewhere. If you don’t mind the decibel level and you’re entertaining non-vegans, this may be the place for you.
Bad Daddy’s reminded me a little of Applebees, albeit an industrialized one. The walls are covered with music and movie paraphernalia juxtaposed with random car parts. The ceiling is open all the way to the corrugated steel roof, leaving the HVAC system and support cables for the pendant lights and hanging speakers exposed. The high ceiling does make the small space feel larger and, all in all, I liked the look. I was highly covetous of a framed poster depicting the original Star Trek cast. I couldn’t get a picture of it: a television blocked most of my view.
Sports nuts will love the amount of televisions mounted on the walls or at a slant down the center and both sides of the room.
So, a great place for televised sports and beer-I took a look at the prominently displayed business licenses and Bad Daddy’s is good to go-but do not recommend it for intimate conversation. I do recommend the food: my meal was excellent.
Bad Daddy’s has a build your own burger and a build your own salad option. There’s a little sheet at the table you can fill out so both are made to your choosing and, as someone who usually feels like she’s harassing the waitstaff with her dietary restrictions, the sheet came in handy. That’s not to say the waitstaff wasn’t willing to answer questions: everyone was nice and extremely helpful and I did have a question about the Bad Daddy’s sauce. It contains mayo so be forewarned.
It was hard to choose between building my own salad or burger. You can choose up to seven ingredients plus dressing with the salad and there is a list of vegetables, fruits, and crunchy options to choose from. As the only vegan protein option was the black bean patty, I chose to build a burger. I did so with the black bean patty, a lettuce wrap, grilled onions, avocados, jalapeños, BBQ sauce, and spicy mustard. My burger came with one side and I ordered the home made chips. The waitress asked me if I wanted the black bean patty grilled or crispy and, thinking texture, I chose crispy. I sipped one of the freshest strawberry lemonades I’d ever tasted as I waited for my food.
I have no complaints about the food. I’m glad I ordered the patty crispy because it did add another level of texture to the meal. My iceburg lettuce bun was fresh and green, no spot of brown marred the avocado slices, and the jalepeños were perfect: sweet when I first bit into them and then wonderfully tongue searing. The chips were crisp without being oily and had been seasoned with savory spices. They were a tad salty but nothing my lemonade couldn’t handle. The burger was a mess to try to eat but Bad Daddy’s anticipates that problem and leaves a roll of paper towels on the table. After an errant jalapeño landed in my lap, I polished off the rest of my meal with a fork. Much less mess.
My step-sister ordered the chicken tender salad and she raved at how fresh everything was. I concur. The black bean patty is the only vegan option beyond fried pickles or side dishes but I give a burger bar kudos for offering one. When my check arrived, there was a survey card letting me know a donation would be made for each one filled out. I praised Bad Daddy’s for the freshness of their food and asked if they’d consider adding tofu as an option for the salad. I doubt there’s a big demand for tofu at a burger bar but it never hurts to ask. I’ll keep my eyes on the menu. It could happen.
Need to entertain a carnivorous friend or family member? Check out Bad Daddy’s menu: