Daddio’s Burger is a cut above

Goat Cheese Burger with applewood-smoked bacon.

When restaurateur Dave Jones founded Novrozsky’s in 1983, he wanted to provide quality burgers beyond what fast food franchises could offer. The concept was wildly successful and there are now nine Novrozsky’s throughout Southeast Texas. His original location at the corner of Calder and Lucas, however, didn’t fare as well with hurricane damage, and a two-year Calder Road construction project limiting access to the site. In the interim, Jones experimented with other concepts including Geo Burrito and Sol, a Mediterranean restaurant.

His latest offering in this location is Daddio’s Burger. When you’re already operating a successful string of burger outlets, it might seem there are other worlds to conquer, but Daddio’s delivers gourmet burgers with a twist. They’re made with never-frozen Nolan Ryan All Natural Beef delivered several times a week. In addition to the usual assortment of toppings including grilled onions, hickory sauce, mushrooms, avocado, bacon, homemade chili and an assortment of cheeses (six at last count), there are specialty burgers like the Groovy Green Chile burger with fire sauce and roasted green chilies or the Goat Cheese Burger with applewood-smoked bacon, chipotle sauce and the aforementioned goat cheese, and a Fried Egg Burger. Other variations include a Buffalo Burger with all-natural bison buffalo meat and a Black Bean burger for vegetarians. Daddio’s also offers four salads including a Daddio Salad with grilled chicken, bacon and avocado slices. All salads feature their homemade ranch dressing, which the menu modestly describes as “the bomb!” – and in fact, it is quite tasty.

Elsewhere on the menu are a variety of chicken sandwiches that feature a marinated chicken breast expertly grilled. The Maui Wowie Chicken has a slice of pineapple and teriyaki sauce. Like all their sandwiches, it is available on your choice of a white egg bun with sesame seeds, wheat bun or a jalapeño cheese roll.

Their french fries are a revelation. They start with fresh Idaho russet potatoes, which are cut and soaked to remove excess starch, stored in tubs in the cooler overnight and then blanched to await final cooking when you place your order. This labor-intensive process yields fresh-cut fries that are worth all the fuss, a clear improvement on the frozen variety served almost everywhere else. You can order them with cheese, chili … or order Parmesan Truffle Fries for a special flavor. Sweet potato fries are also available.

Hand-dipped chocolate or vanilla malts and milkshakes round out the menu along with limited kids offerings. Daddio’s Burger also offers catering and accepts online orders. This is definitely not fast food, but their efficient kitchen turns out your order with dispatch and delivers it hot and fresh to your table. In short, burgers, chicken sandwiches and wonderful fries like Mama might make – if she were an experienced restaurant entrepreneur with over 30 years in the business.

– James Shannon