The Mama Ricotta @ Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Bad Daddy's makes their own cheese.
Bad Daddy’s makes their own cheese.

To say Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is a chain restaurant is to do it a disservice. It is most definitely a chain restaurant, albeit one with local roots — the first Bad Daddy’s was in the Charlotte airport — but this is no Fuddrucker’s. There’s a real commitment to the art of the burger here, with locally sourced ingredients and a high level of culinary sophistication. They make their own American cheese here. And even the veggie burger — a Tex-Mex approach with taco-style toppings — looks pretty good.

But I allow myself to be steered towards the Mama Ricotta, which doesn’t have any ricotta cheese but comes with a slab of Buffalo-milk mozzarella made in house, a pesto of similar origin and fresh tomato slices, with a drizzling of olive oil to complete the dish.

The flavor profile is unlike that of any other burger I’ve eaten in recent memory — the closest I can remember is the old-school diner pizza burger, which compares to this one as a Texas Instruments calculator does to my Mac laptop.

It’s a whole lot better, is what I’m saying.

The burger menu lists just a few constructed burgers like this — I’m in for the patty melt next time — and a create-your-own list of ingredients that is genuinely impressive. I’ve never eaten buttermilk-fried bacon. But I bet it tastes great on a burger.

504 Hanes Mall Blvd., W-S, 336.893.6456 •

— BC

[This article is part of the cover story “The Hamburger Renaissance” published on July 2, 2014.]