Doods Foods

We’ve heard a lot of good things about Doods Foods, the place is a small independent owned counter slinging burgers out of a little stand in the Tin Can bar with stellar Yelp reviews as well as cheap, cheap prices.

Now we love Burger Lounge but sometimes you don’t really want to pay $15 dollars for a burger and fries no matter how great that grass-fed burger and crispy fries are. Sometimes its ok that your burger was fed things other than grass…

The Tin Can Bar

The Tin Can Bar

Perhaps the best part is that Doods Foods is super close to us, in Banker’s Hill on 5th. When you enter the Tin Can its the ideal dive bar. Small, dark, Christmas lights, a great beer selection, a small crowd, 70s game shows on the TV and quirky live music. You order the burgers from the Doods Foods counter where it’s just one guy doing all the work. Note that if they’re pretty busy it can be kind of slow because as mentioned its one guy. You can get burgers, grilled cheese variations, sandwiches + fries and/or a salad with your burger.

Tin Can Bar

I got the Doods Burger, a classic burger a.k.a. thin patty, American cheese, tomato, onions, lettuce and chipotle buttermilk on a bolillo bun. Ok. Everything in this was very well done. The bolillo bun is AMAZING. The perfect amount of soft and squishy yet still held up to the burger. The tomato/lettuce/onions are super fresh and they also slice the onion suuuuper thinly which is nice because I for one think super thick crunchy slices of onion can completely overwhelm if not entirely ruin a burger. Lastly, the chipotle buttermilk is a nice touch, creamy and flavorful it definitely added a little twist to the otherwise classic cheeseburger.

Doods Burger

Doods Burger

Now for the bad news. The meat. The meat they use is apparently sourced from a Mexican market and its more fatty than usual chuck and super finely ground. Its definitely a little more greasy which I didn’t mind but the fact that it was super finely ground and tightly packed made the patty seem a little too mushy and too dense. The outside bites where that extra fatty chuck crisped up were nice but once those crispy edges are gone everything just seems so mushy and sadly the same cheap meat that makes the burger so attractively affordable also tends to be not so flavorful.

Doods Burger Inside

Doods Burger Inside

I got a side salad and that was good but nothing crazy. Just simple lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots and an Italian vinaigrette. I appreciated the freshness of the vegetables but I wish it had come with the chipotle buttermilk instead of the forgettable Italian vinaigrette.

Doods Foods side salad

Doods Foods side salad

The other more daring burger they have is the Flying Cheeseburger. This baby is a double patty, double American cheese, double bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions, chipotle buttermilk on bolillo bun MONSTER. Definitely a generous portion of everything but sadly the already kindof extra greasy pattys paired with all the bacon and extra cheese and whatnot makes this a super greasy mess. Tasty but hard to finish and afterwords you definitely feel a pang of regret for eating the whole damn thing. But then again maybe that’s how people like to feel after polishing off such a huge thing?

Flying Cheeseburger

Flying Cheeseburger

The fries are ok, a little too crispy/greasy for me.

Overall, I think Doods Foods is doing everything right except for the meat they use. Its definitely not a bad burger at all but it could be PHENOMENAL with a better meat selection. Then again that might be why the prices are relatively cheap compared to Burger Lounge.

Despite not entirely fulfilling our burger dreams I can’t help hoping that this place improves the meat and really nails it. Sitting in this hipster-ish little dive bar under the green glow of Christmas lights talking to the super friendly bartender, drinking good beer and listening to a girl sing about her crappy boyfriend from Riverside I can’t wait to be back and have a really great burger to top the whole experience off.

CHECK:
Doods Burger $4
Flying Cheeseburger $8
TOTAL w/ tax: $12.96

Doods Foods

1863 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 381-2756

https://www.facebook.com/doodsfoods

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Jayne’s Gastropub II

So the first time we went to Jayne’s we loved their patio and thought the food was good but perhaps a tad pricey (see our previous post here). But we loved the decor and vibe of the place so we returned for the most cost-efficient of hours, happy hour!

For happy hour Jayne’s has $6 dollar drinks, wine, and small plates, as well as $5 dollar beer and $3 dollars off regular cocktails! We ordered a couple of the small plates, drinks and dessert and were quite pleased with the food, the drinks and the price. What was great too was that there was plenty of seating at the bar and bar tables during happy hour and unlike a lot of bar areas this one had plenty of natural light and it was a great spot to hang out with friends.

DRINKS: We ordered a Gimlet and the Tom Collins. Both were part of the $6 dollar specials, which also include the Rickey, Highball, Daiquiri and the Old Fashioned . The gimlet is basically gin, lime juice and some sugar so if you are a fan of tart/sour (I am) this is a simple refreshing drink.

Gimlet

Gimlet

The Tom Collins is also gin-based, with lemon, sugar, club soda and a cherry and orange garnish. This is also not very gin forward for those wary of gin and its a nice drink to sip on a hot day.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

APPETIZERS: So the $6 dollar plates are small plates, we started off with the Crispy Calamari, as we noted previously, Jayne’s calamari is pretty great with a crispy golden crust that is unbeatable. It also comes with lemons, cocktail sauce and aioli for dipping.

Jayne's Calamari

Jayne’s Crispy Calamari

Jayne’s is also famous for their fish & chips. They use that same beer battered fish for their Sea Bass Fish Tacos so naturally we had to order that too. The tacos come with traditional toppings (shredded cabbage, corn, salsa, white sauce) and though nothing too crazy, they were good standard fish tacos.

Sea Bass Fish Tacos

Sea Bass Fish Tacos

Another Mexican-leaning dish in this English pub type restaurant was a Pulled Pork Quesadilla. This was smaller than we were hoping it would be but still packed with flavor.

Pulled Pork Quesadilla

Pulled Pork Quesadilla

Lastly they have the Baby Jayne’s Burger. Jayne’s burger is supposed to be great so I had to order the baby version during happy hour. This is definitely larger than a traditional slider but obviously smaller than a regular burger. It comes with a hefty portion of fries, these were good but not stellar but there were so many we couldn’t even finish them.

Jayne's Baby Burger

Jayne’s Baby Burger

My burger came with pickled red onions, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and mayo. There was also a side of ketchup. Great bun, good meat and solid toppings. This little guy was very tasty indeed, it would probably have been out of this world if the patty had been medium-rare instead of cooked all the way through, even cooked well-done it was still soo juicy. The medium-rare is a personal preference though and besides that there’s not many unkind things to say about this burger. I’m also sure its harder to cook a slider patty medium-rare since its thinner than a regular patty.

Jayne's Baby Burger

Jayne’s Baby Burger

DESSERT: Since everything else we ordered was a nice shade of beige or brown (happy hour menus rarely have very vegetable or non-fried options no?) we thought we would continue the trend with the Caramel Crème Brûlée. This isn’t normally on their dessert menu but was a special that day.

Caramel Crème Brûlée

Caramel Crème Brûlée

This had great caramel flavor, I actually don’t love the crunchy sugar crust on traditional crème brûlée but here because the custard was infused with caramel the burnt sugar / deeper caramel notes of the sugar crust paired beautifully with the creamy center of the dessert. Since this was an early-ish dinner though I think the crème brûlée did not have enough time to chill and the custard was lukewarm so hopefully next time it will spend more time in a blast chiller!…Yeah we watch Iron Chef, we know what those blast chillers are for 😉

Caramel Crème Brûlée Zoom

Caramel Crème Brûlée Zoom

Overall we were sad happy hour could not be served in the back patio but we liked the food and the prices for Jayne’s happy hour. The service was excellent too, the bartender was super friendly and attentive. If you are planning to go to their happy hour our favorite was definitely the Baby Burger, ask for it medium-rare and you’ll definitely be a happy camper. Oh and if someone orders the White Bean Crostini with Grilled Peppers let us know how it is, I saw one sail by me and it looked quite tasty….

CHECK:
Gimlet $6
Tom Collins $6
Crispy Calamari $6
Jayne’s Baby Burger (w/ fries) $6
Pulled Pork Quesadilla $6
Sea Bass Fish Tacos $6
Caramel Crème Brûlée $9
TOTAL: $48.60

Jayne’s Gastropub
4677 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92116
http://jaynesgastropub.com/

Brooklyn Girl Eatery

Brooklyn Girl is a great spot in Mission Hills doing fresh and inventive food and one of our favorite go-to neighborhood spots. The restaurant has a nice look to it and definitely lives up to its “Brooklyn” title. It’s housed in a warehouse style building but has a cool vibe with modern art on the walls, big crystal chandeliers in bird cages and trees wrapped in lights inside. They have a restaurant seated dining area, a bar area, communal tables and a “pantry” section that sells food items.

Menu

Menu

We have been here a couple times and not only do we love the food but the service seems to be on point here. Also the bar and communal dining tables are great when you want to stop by but do not have a reservation.

The bar area

The bar area

BREAD: In fact you do not get bread, they instead serve you popcorn which has been spiced differently every time we’ve been. Last time it was Thyme and Butter Popcorn (shown below) and the previous time it was a spicier version.

Thyme & Butter Popcorn

Thyme & Butter Popcorn

APPETIZER: Ok. You must try the Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs. With a name like that how can you even pass it up? Between the flavorful pork, the crisp salty bacon and the sweet-spicy glaze this hits all the right spots. The slaw on top doesn’t hurt either.

Ginger Glazed Bacon Wrapped Pork Meatballs

Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs

Vietnamese Meatball

Vietnamese Meatball

ENTREE: This is one of the few restaurants where the chicken can compete with steak and seafood. Normally we always go for steak/seafood when eating out but here the roasted chicken is amazing. Another fantastic standby is their Williams Burger. You pick between cheddar and blue cheese and can add cherry wood smoked bacon, a fried egg, or fried oysters for extra. We definitely suggest adding the bacon. This burger comes with the classic sides (lettuce, tomatoes, pickle) and the Kobe/Angus beef was cooked to a perfect medium rare. No crazy aioli’s or unusual ingredients, just a classic done right (including the crispy thin fries!). Sometimes you can really tell the caliber of a restaurant when even their salads sound/are delicious. We ordered the Duck and Date salad and if you are a fan of duck this is the dish for you. The duck is falling off the bone tender and comes accompanied by frisee lettuce, spinach, Marcona almonds, chopped up dates and banyals vinaigrette. The richness of the duck pairs well with the sweet chewy dates and the fresh greens, a great cold weather salad (it’s been chilly lately in San Diego!).

Duck and Date Salad

Duck and Date Salad

Williams Burger

Williams Burger

SIDES: One of the must order sides is their Cornbread and Honey: freshly baked cornbread (made to order) with a molten white cheddar core is topped with honeycomb and brought to your table. It’s sweet and salty and we actually prefer it as an appetizer than a side. Another notable side is the Brussels and Bacon. If you normally think of brussel sprouts as limp, yellow-y, boiled bitter little bundles you are in for a treat. They are deep fried until they are shattering-ly crispy on the outside then served with bacon and caramelized pecans. Definitely a fantastic thing to add to your order and we always end up fighting for the last few pecans.

Brussels & Bacon

Brussels & Bacon

Brooklyn Girl has simple but inventive takes on dishes and we like that it makes good food thats relatively affordable. This coupled with the good service and nice ambiance ensures that we will keep returning here, at least until we can find out how to copy those Vietnamese meatballs…

CHECK:
Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs $11
Williams Burger $14
Duck and Date $12
Brussels and Bacon $8
TOTAL: $48.60 (w/ tax)

Brooklyn Girl Eatery
4033 Goldfinch St
San Diego, California 92103
brooklyngirleatery.com