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Diners make it their way at Fuddruckers

JoAnn Correia compliments her hamburger with fresh produce at Fuddruckers. (Bart Ah You / The Modesto Bee)
JoAnn Correia compliments her hamburger with fresh produce at Fuddruckers. (Bart Ah You / The Modesto Bee)

Another famous burger chain claims you can "have it your way."

Fuddruckers, a new Modesto eatery, is part of a national chain of "fast casual" restaurants (nicer than fast food, less expensive than casual dining) that boasts the "World's Greatest Hamburger."

Diners place their order at the counter and are given a pager. While their food is custom prepared, they pick their seats and wait. In a few minutes, they are paged and can top their food however they like at the all-you-can-eat fresh produce and condiment bars.

"You can put as much or as little on as you want," owner and Modesto resident Kevin Bidlack said. "You can create your own masterpiece."

He opened the franchise last October with his wife, Lisa, and said business has been brisk and better than expected.

Bidlack said the secret of the chain's success is its fresh, never-frozen food, grilled to order. Diners can choose between ª- to 1-pound patties on from-scratch baked buns. The burger choices range from "The Original" to specialities including the "The Works" (bacon, mushroom and American cheese), "Black & Bleu" (smokehouse bacon, blue cheese and balsamic-glazed onion) and "Queso Perfecto" (pico de gallo, queso, tortilla strips). There are also buffalo, turkey and veggie burger options.

For those who aren't burger lovers, Fuddruckers has a variety of chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, fish 'n' chips, hot dogs and salads. Cap off any meal with cookies, brownies or milkshakes made fresh.

The dining area includes an assortment of booths and tables, as well as a small video arcade area. A 48-person banquet room can be rented for parties or special events Mondays through Thursdays.

— Marijke Rowland
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