(Updated July 2015) Way back in November I spied some construction over at Seaboard and saw the sign for "Bad Daddy's Burgers". All I could think was that they were crazy for putting a place like that right across the street from Tyler's which rocks out all sorts of bar food, including burgers. Roll forward four months later and I'm hearing a buzz about Bad Daddy's from friends and online peeps. So I just couldn't resist and had to go check em out!
Bad Daddy's has a pretty nice patio but inside it's actually sorta small. A U-shaped bar up front, small dining room with maybe 15 - 20 tables. Decor is a mix of Western, male and a bit macho. Pictures of 60's and 70's icons ranging from Steve McQueen and John Wayne dot the walls. But it's comfortable and cozy space, good smells emanating from the open kitchen on the side. I grab a seat at the bar, order up a beer (not a big selection) and peruse the menu. Some apps, salads (hahaha) burgers, sandwiches and that's about it. I go for the Bad Ass burger, a double beef-bacon patty with buttermilk bacon along with god knows what. At $13 it's certainly not cheap but comes with a side, I go with the sweet potato fries. While I'm waiting for my meal, I check out the crowd. Mostly older and male, 30 - 50 which I guess makes sense.
When my burger comes out, my mouth sorta drops. It's big and tall, reminds me a bit of what you might get at the recently closed Draft. I start working on the sweet potato fries trying to find a weak spot to attack the burger but it's an intimidating beastie! I finally decide to squash it down, slice it in half and go to work. I certainly don't need to eat the WHOLE thing. I take a bite and the patty tastes sausage like. Firm with the saltiness of pork or maybe it was the bacon on top. Bad Daddy uses some nice fresh leaf lettuce and tomatoes which made things a challenge. The bun broke apart pretty quick (potato bread) given all the moisture coming from the sauce and veggies. Eventually I had to pick up pieces of my burger with a fork to finish it off. And it wasn't a bad burger but somewhere in the slightly above average range to me. Bad Daddy's grinds a blend of hanger, chuck and brisket in their burger meat but I couldn't tell in this Bad Ass burger. The sweet potato fries were very good even though they were a bit limp. Served with a chipotle dipping sauce, they were the stars of the meal.
Service at the bar was very good, the bartender was a professional. I have to admit that given Bad Daddy's is a small chain, they had an uphill climb for me. I really prefer a one-off spot like Chuck's for my burgers or maybe Flip down in Atlanta. Not to say that Bad Daddy's is bad, because it's fine. But at this price point I expect amazingly good and pretty good is not good enough. So for all you meat-loving carnivores you should give Bad Daddy's a try. And I'll definitely give Bad Daddy's another shot since I live down the street. Still, I'm pretty certain I'll take care of most of my beef craving needs across the street at Tyler's or down at Chuck's on Wilmington.
111 Seaboard Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27604
Bad Daddy's Burger Bar - Reviewer: Ron Wen - Rating: 4 out of 5 stars