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One of Austin's best burger joints is opening a second location

Matthew Odam
Austin 360

I suggested in last year's "Best New Restaurants" edition of the Austin360 Dining Guide that it would be a smart bet to buy theoretical stock in Buddy's Burger. Turns out that was prescient advice. 

Twin siblings Zain and Isha Fidai, and their cousin, Saad, plan to open a second location of their drive-thru burger joint later this year in Round Rock. Buddy's, which earned a spot in our annual list based on the strength of its affordable, nicely seasoned smashburgers, will be located at the corner of Old Settlers Boulevard and Sunrise Road, with a late 2022 opening date scheduled. 

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Buddy's Burger opened in Northeast Austin in 2020.

The original Buddy's is located at 9001 Cameron Road. Below is what I wrote about it in last fall's Austin360 Dining Guide:

The family of twins Zain and Isha Fidai, and their cousin, Saad, was ahead of the smashburger craze. They created a recipe for the juicy, crispy smashers in 1999, and that family favorite serves as the basis for the trio’s Buddy’s Burger, which opened in the summer of 2020. 

Buddy’s blends the new school with the old. That means hormone-free and never-frozen beef flattened into small, 3-ounce patties, capped with a suspended lava flow of American cheese and scattered with the shrapnel of shredded lettuce. Unlike some newer, fancier burger options, the price remains affordable and the set-up is classic — no heirloom tomatoes, hydroponic butter lettuce or fancy cheese that requires a Google search. 

The ragged, crunchy-edged patties cling to each other as if to keep from spilling out of a slightly sweet bun smeared with a tangy spread called Buddy’s Smack Sauce (also a recipe from 1999). The meat is generously salted, enhancing the beef's flavor, and pressed as thin as a pancake. Each bite packs all of the savory, juicy, tangy and crunchy wallop you hope for from a cheeseburger. 

Patrick Terry has proven with the 16-year run of his P. Terry’s empire that Austinites are hungry for a fast, affordable burger made with better ingredients than the national chains offer. While it wouldn’t be fair to either the newcomer or the dominant P. Terry’s to directly compare a nascent operation with the reigning king of the niche, it’s clear that a path has been cleared and lighted for a place like Buddy’s. Buy some (theoretical) stock in Buddy’s Burger, because I think they have the blueprint to be around a while.