Hello, funky Austin import. We’re here to judge you. Ever since Hopdoddy migrated into the DFW burger market in October 2012, it’s been high-octane clamor all the way. Could the burger possibly match the hype? We gave the Magic Shroom a whirl. And oh, how it thrilled. The patty was thick and juicy (but not distractingly so). Cooked to a shade past medium, we would have loved it a tad pinker, but the quality of that peppery Angus sang. The sandwich itself was smartly engineered, too: The patty sat between white onion rings, a red tomato, a bed of leaf lettuce (on bottom), and (on top) a generous layer of melty goat cheese, meaty mushrooms, a note-perfect slathering of bright green basil pesto and barely noticeable mayo. There was plenty of juice from the patty and mushrooms, but the bottom layer of veggies stayed crisp. This was bliss on a bun. Heading toward Mixed Up Burgers, we were sure this would be a walk.
As its name suggests, Mixed Up’s method is to pack your toppings into the raw patty, then sear it all together on the grill. We chose a trio of our favorites: bacon, mushrooms and blue cheese, which our helpful server assured us would melt well into the burger. She was right. And though it might not have had Hopdoddy’s gorgeous looks (this was chopped iceberg lettuce, a pale tomato and pickle chips), we were impressed by the hand-formed patty in all its clunky, unevenly seared glory. Served open-faced, with burger on one side, bun lid and veggies on the other, this was a harmonious mouthful when assembled: crispy, salty bacon pieces mingled with scrumptious beef and just-melted-enough blue cheese. A bit later, we added a smear of mustard, which made the harmony soar even higher. This was no Hopdoddy walkover. But then came deconstruction time: the mushrooms were there, but so finely chopped you had to look for them. And because of all the patty-packing and searing, the beef was a little more dry than we like. We’ll be back for you, Mixed Up. But for now, we’ve gotta ask: Who’s your Doddy?