by Molly Reitter

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is a good place to go when you feel like being bad.

Why not start with some buttermilk fried bacon. Yeah, you heard me. Take some really high-end center cut of pork belly bacon, bread it and deep-fry it until perfectly crispy.

Or maybe add a fried egg on top of a fresh burger blended from hangar steak, chuck and brisket.

Or maybe a milkshake with any number of ingredients, including alcohol, to make the meal complete.

It feels good to be bad.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Birkdale Village is the fifth Charlotte-area location from veteran restaurant guru Frank Scibelli. He also owns Mama Ricotta’s, Cantina 1511, Paco’s Tacos and Midwood Smokehouse. Bad Daddy’s began in Dilworth on East Boulevard in Charlotte in 2007. The Huntersville location opened in March 2011.

Head Chef Adam Long has been with Bad Daddy’s since the beginning and has helped create the baddest burger bar in town.

Long grew up in the Chicago area, did a stint in the military, then graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Charleston in 2003. He worked at several 4-Diamond establishments, which is a grand distinction as only 2.7 percent of all restaurants worldwide gain the rating. Then worked as a sous chef for former President George W. Bush and family in 2007.

“Politics aside, it was the most amazing experience,” he said. “The President knew my name from the first day.”

After working the State Dinner for Queen Elizabeth and other important events, he came to work at the very first Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in July 2007.

Bad Daddy’s differentiates itself from other burger joints by making the burgers big and the details small.

The white cheddar ripens at least 90 days in a blue cheese aging house. The hotdogs are served on cape cod buns. The ice cream was specially developed by Los Angeles dweller Kriss Harvey, a frozen treat expert who trained with a master chocolatier and a gelato master. The vanilla extract used in the ice cream is made without any alcohol, giving it incredibly robust flavor. A trained pastry chef makes gluten-free buns in-house.

These tiny details might be overlooked, but the taste of the flavors cannot be ignored.

The menu is full of different combinations for burgers and salads. There is a burger with pesto, rosemary ham and fried egg that somehow tastes amazing. Or build your own burger choosing from buffalo, black bean, tuna, bacon and other ingredients.

There are 23 different toppings for salads to choose from, in the case that you’re trying to be good.

Regular customer Rhonda Hollingsworth, of Davidson, likes all the options available at the restaurant.

“Every time I go, I can get something different,” she said. “I can get a fresh, healthy salad if I want to eat clean or a tasty Southern burger with chili if I’m really hungry. I can truly create what I want to eat.”

The restaurant itself looks like an updated burger joint. There are lunchboxes on the walls and some music posters.

The decor is simple because the food is complex in the best way possible. It has elevated the mere burger to an absolute work of art.

“It’s the best thing between two buns,” Long said with a laugh. One taste and you’ll want to really be bad and order another.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

8625-A Lindholm Drive, Huntersville