Owner’s monthly pudding creations spice up the menu at Athens burger joint

FILE - Original recipe house-made banana pudding from Baddies Burgers & Fries in Athens, Ga. on Dec. 22, 2022.

Occupying the former space of Nedza’s at 1591 S. Lumpkin St., Baddies Burgers is a classic burger joint that keeps it simple, serving up fries and smash burger combos. However, the menu takes a bit of a twist when it comes to dessert.

Instead of milkshakes or ice cream, Baddies’ specializes in pudding, using owner Joe Nedza’s personal homemade recipe.

For the initial inspiration of Baddies’ desserts, Nedza fell back on his roots. He decided to invest his time and energy perfecting a tried and true offering − banana pudding − from his former restaurant Nedza’s. 

“I had a really, really good banana pudding recipe, and I was like, this is unique. I believe our banana pudding is some of the best pudding that you can buy,” said Nedza.

FILE - Baddies Burgers & Fries owner Joe Nedza dresses to-go orders on Dec. 22, 2022.

While banana pudding is a staple on Baddies’ menu, Nedza didn’t stop there. Diving into his culinary creative side, he also crafts a new flavor of pudding that rotates every month. Past months have featured flavors such as May’s birthday cake banana pudding and June’s dreamsicle banana pudding.

“Our burger has one way and it stays the same, but the pudding is a way for me to get creative again and have fun,” said Nedza.

For several of the flavors, Nedza takes inspiration from the month itself, theming the pudding to holidays or seasons.

“I just think what does this month remind me of and how can I turn that into a pudding,” said Nedza. March, for instance, featured mint Oreo pudding, emphasizing green for St. Patrick’s Day.

In other months, Nedza draws influence from his friends, family, and even his cravings, letting his whims take the lead. This month, residents can enjoy banana pancakes as September’s featured flavor. 

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“I heard the song Banana Pancakes one day, and thought, ‘Man, I could make that into a pudding.’ And for whatever reason that flavor just reminds me of September,” said Nedza.

Many of these flavors are only available during the month that they’re launched. However, some grow so popular that they become permanent fixtures on the menu. New permanent additions include Death by Chocolate and PB&BP, a blend of Reece’s, peanut butter pudding, bananas, and Nilla Wafers. All of Baddies’ pudding is sold by the cup for $5. For those looking to stock up, it can be purchased at $8 per pint. 

Closed Sundays, Baddies is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and posts all new flavor updates to their Instagram @eatbaddies. As a sneak peek for October, residents can look forward to the epitome of fall, a pudding inspired by pumpkin spice. 

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