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Looks like the gastropub food trend is here to stay.

Burger Daddy, a new-ish neighborhood burger joint that opened in Grimes last July, is taking bar food from basic to gourmet. Its menu features amped-up items like frings (fries and onion rings served with ranch), Chicago dogs, chili-topped tenderloins, Mac Daddy burgers and more.

Burger Daddy occupies a former Rookies within a small strip mall on 200 Gateway Drive -- and you can tell, too. Walk in to find wooden floors and walls decked in road signs and vintage license plates. Dad-friendly tunes play in the background (Bob Seger, anyone?) and off to the side is a game room where you can play Indy 500, Big Buck or pool. Because let’s be honest, you’d expect nothing less from a rural Iowa sports bar.

If drinking is more your game, hit the metal-lined bar for a brewski and some football. Tip: With only a few flat-screen TVs, it’s not a place you’d go to watch the big game. But if you happen to like watching sports while chowing down on a good burger, it’s a solid choice.

When in a burger joint, order a burger. The waiter recommended the Bulldog, the bacon-guac burger and the bacon cheeseburger deluxe.

But first: cheese balls. Golden and puffy, these curds smelled like the Iowa State Fair and had juicy cheddar cheese oozing out of every bite. There was enough to split between three or four and came with a large side of ranch (as everything in the Midwest should).

After the curds, a few friends and I split two burgers. First up, the Bulldog. Featuring bacon, onion rings, cheddar cheese and a special Bulldog sauce, this burger finished with an unexpected, peppery kick. The soft, buttery bun and side of earthy fries tamed things down.

Next: the bacon-guacamole burger. The heap of lettuce made it a fresher option, but was still plenty savory thanks to the bacon. The guac was creamy, garlicky and mended all the flavors together into one messy, but still delicious, burger.

If you have the option of a second side, order the Daddi-O’s, aka onion rings. They’re the crunchiest you’ll ever have -- in the best way. They were thick and not just fried coating like some places make them.

So next time you're in Grimes, give Burger Daddy a go. It was no cheeseburger in paradise, but it’ll certainly cover your cravings.

Burger Daddy

Find it: 200 Gateway Drive Suite #106, Grimes

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Info: burgerdaddyburgerjoint.com

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