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June 08, 2018

Hodad's – I was craving a burger today

We do not eat a lot of hamburgers, so when we do I want a really good, even a great one.  Lots of places make good hamburgers, there's an In’n’Out just down the street and makes a pretty good one, but it’s not really good, just a way above average good, probably my second favorite

For a really good hamburger and a bit of exercise today it’s a bike ride to Ocean Beach and wait in line at Hodad’s.
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What’s a hodad?  A hodad is a wanna be surfer, someone who enjoys the beach life and its style but cannot surf.  The Beach Boys (except Dennis) were all hodads (plural).   Hodad’s (possessive) is a great burger joint with 3 family owned locations in San Diego.  Get it?

For our bike route to Ocean Beach we’ll ride through Mission Bay Park to Fiesta Island.  There we exit the park on Pacific Highway to pick up the San Diego River Pathway.
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Although the bike path follows the south side of the San Diego River, with its lush river bed, and the path is wide and easy, it also follows I-8 east and at times feels like we are riding on the shoulder of the highway.
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But this egret doesn’t mind the traffic noise and we are soon at Rob Field away from the traffic, and with Dog Beach in view.
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Our last trip to Hodad’s was October 2017, when we found it ‘closed for repairs and stuff’.  That blog can be found HERE.
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So is it worth the wait?  The line is always out the door, but that is because check-in is just inside the door.  Don’t be fooled by the line.

I was wondering what repairs were made, nothing obvious.  But the ‘stuff’ is a bit more noticeable.  The concrete floor has been resealed, the center surfboard table refinished and check out the new (fake) marble bar!
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However the decor remains pure Hodad’s!  Sweet!
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So what is the best burger here?  Guy Fieri told Jay Leno his #1 favorite burger was Hodad’s Guido, a burger with pastrami, Swiss cheese and grilled onions. I've not tried it ...  Hodad’s also made the CNN top 5 list, the only burger west of the Mississippi on the list.  Both nice national recommendations for a local burger joint.

I like the mini bacon cheese burger.  The bacon is first boiled to remove the fat, then woven to the size of the patty before being fried.  The result is crisp, lean bacon in every bite.  They also offer a veggie (Fran’s choice) or even a vegan burger … and those also can be ordered with cheese and bacon.

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My suggestion, for a couple, is for one to order a burger of choice ala-cart and the other to order a burger-in-a-basket.  As you can see I have more than enough fries, nice seasoned steak fries, in my basket to share with Fran and her veggie burger.  And again mine is the mini-burger!

To allow the burgers to settle we headed over to the pier for a walk.  The riding of a bike is not allowed on the pier, but walking our bikes went unnoticed.  In 1966 the OB Pier was opened as the ‘San Diego Fishing Pier’, but the name did not stick.  At 1977 feet in length it remains the longest concrete pier on the west coast.
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The pier is a good spot to watch the surfers.  These guys are NOT hodads!
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Fran is walking her bike past the Walking on the Water Café.  I have not eaten here since it was the Ocean Beach Café, but it’s the same location with the same great views.  And it's also voted the best fish and chips, and the best nachos in a reader’s poll.  I guess it’s time to come back, that is when a burger is not a priority.
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On the south side of the pier are the Ocean Beach tide pools.  These are great pools with the same critters found in the more famous Point Loma tide pools.
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The tide can rise quickly. So when beach combing, always have a good idea when and how fast the tide can change.  In less than an hour the tide pools are again submerged.
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We took a short break on the way home to watch the kite-boarders on Mission Bay.  They make it look easy ….
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I trust you are also having No Bad Days!

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