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SF – (Townsend) – Holy Grill ... the burger was not quite a religious experience

rworange Dec 28, 2006 02:54 AM

There’s a new restaurant section in the Design District on Townsend & 8th ... near the traffic circle.

Holy Grill serves burgers, hot dogs, shakes, floats (root beer or berry), frozen yogurt (Ambrosia), fries, onion rings, chili and daily specials ... called the secret menu & posted next to the counter. The names are cutesy with a religious theme ... the floats, for example, are called “walk on water”.

The website says of the burgers ...
“BURGERS ARE MADE WITH 1/3 LB OF HAND FORMED MEYER’S RANCH 100% NATURAL ANGUS BEEF, GRILLED MEDIUM WELL, SERVED ON A MILTON’S BUN WITH CRISP LETTUCE, TOMATO, ONION, PICKLE AND HOLY SAUCE (HOLY SAUCE = KETCHUP, MAYONNAISE, SWEET RELISH AND DAB OF DIJON):

I ordered the Pagan ($6.99) ... cheese and hickory bacon.

It had some potential ... but here are some tips
- ask for it pink in the middle. The standard medium well resulted in a dry patty that might have been from a fast food joint ... and I’m not trying to insult McDonald’s here ... which are juicer
- Don’t ... DON’T order the blue cheese ... the cambozola blue was more like salad dressing
- Skip the bacon ... over-cooked and dry.

Now the reason I say there is potential is that the bun/condiments were quite good, despite reports to the contrary elsewhere on the web.

I thought the bun was a nice, on the verge of being fancy but still traditional. It held up well on my burger. There was a nice piece of butter leaf lettuce, tasty slice of tomato, two fresh, thin rings of red onion and two nice slices of pickle cut length-wise. The Holy Sauce was ok.

I think that if the burger wasn’t over-cooked there would be something there.

A note ... the Guru is vegetarian with a Portobello mushroom substituting for the burger. There is another veggie option ... Yoga ... a house-made veggie patty (brown rice, lentils & mushrooms) caramelized onions & jack cheese on a wheat bun.

There are turkey burgers, chicken breast and a fish sandwich (Good Friday).

The plain hot dog is called a Dogma. The Dog with Voodoo chili is called a St. Bernard. I could use some booze about now ... which they have ... wine (Big House) and beer.

You can get a 100% buffalo burger too called “Enlightenment” ... sigh ... and I thought Café Gratitude was pushing my cute-o-meter into over-drive.

Hand-cut fries are plain with sea salt (Virgin), baked with garlic, olive oil & chives (Nirvana), or topped with cheddar & voodoo chili (Gratitude). The buttermilk dipped onion rings with sea salt and ranch dressing are called Halo rings.

They are open till 9 during the week ... which in that area is a miracle.

Holy Grill

659 Townsend St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 431-4659 (or 431-Holy)
www.holygrillsf.com

Hours:
Closed Sunday:
Mon-Fri: 11 am – 9pm
Sat: 11 am – 7 pm

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  1. Mmmonica RE: rworange Dec 28, 2006 05:19 AM

    I agree that overall, it's not awesome, but it's pretty good. The onion rings are probably the best thing I've had there. Definitely get an order of those if you go to Holy Grill.

    1. josquared RE: rworange Dec 28, 2006 05:42 AM

      I stopped by there a few weeks ago and ordered the chicken sandwich; it was nice and juicy and pretty good all told. As in your hamburger, the bun and condiments also held up their end.

      I also got the fries; I do like fries with some crunch to them, but mine came out overdone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: josquared
        rworange RE: josquared Dec 28, 2006 05:44 AM

        I've read that about the fries. Supposedly the shoestring fries are better, but I didn't see those on the menu.

      2. Benny Choi RE: rworange Dec 28, 2006 11:18 PM

        Thanks for the detailed report, rworange. I've enjoyed every lunch I've had there, although the buffalo burger was a bit gamier tasting than I expected. The turkey burger is very good, especially when adding avocado to it.

        You can beat the lunch crowd line by ordering ahead on their website. The only catch is that I found the food will be ready a full 5 to 8 minutes ahead of your designated pick up time, so I suggest picking a slightly later time and show up a bit early. I've been pleasantly surprised to pick up a freshly cooked burger with no waiting while the place is packed with people waiting.

        Their fries remind me of In-N-Out fries - they need to be ordered extra crunchy to taste right.

        Holy Grill is operated by Mission Bay Foods. They operate many of the cafes in the different design center buildings in the neighborhood, as well as Dos Pinas taqueria and other places. http://www.missionbayfoods.com/

        In general, I've found both the food quality and prices to be high with Mission Bay Foods venues.

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