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Jan 27, 2008 05:19 PM

Oakland (Temescal): Bear Naked Burgers - $1 draft Trummer Pils in the correct glass and a nifty Niman Ranch burger

This is such a deal.

Draft Fat Tire and Pyramid are also $1. Anyone who doesn’t want beer can choose a free soda with their burger.

And what a burger … I can’t imagine what the 1/2 lb burger would be like because my 1/3 lb burger was a major meal … which came with a good mixed greens salad.

My reservation about using a ciabatta roll for a burger is waived … this was a good bun … Gregoire-quality good. Also, a regular bun couldn’t handle this burger.

Great slice of red onion, tasty tomato slices, pickle and lettuce with a juicy perfectly-cooked burger (medium-rare). $5.95.

The beer came in one of those long skinny glasses marked “Trummer Pils”

Mr. Espresso coffee is $1. No other purchase required.

The signs say the beverage prices are a Grand Opening special … but they have been open for a few months, so this deal may last awhile. This is the old Café Pippo location. Same owners, but they decided to change the menu to burgers and sandwiches.

Here’s a previous enthusiastic report about the turkey burger and what else is on the menu.

They kept the Café Pippo pimento fries in the menu which were great and added garlic fries (plain fries also available).

The only nit I have is that the salad was just slightly over-dressed for my tastes and I’d ask for dressing on the side next time.

Golden Gate meat is the supplier and I am not clear if the hot dog is Niman Ranch or Golden Gate’s hot dog.

Anyway, this is the same owner as La Calaca Loca next door and the focus is on quality and often organic. Fulton Valley free-range chicken is used and the menu says the bacon is 100% natural.

I also want to try the tuna melt which sounds delicious … tuna, green olives, capers, scallions, herbs, tomatoes, and provolone on sourdough bread … $6.45 with salad.

Maybe I’ll have that with a java milkshake.

There are some nice green salads available
- Garden salad with fennel, pumpkin seeds, avocado, chickpeas, carrot, cucumber, sprouts
- Arugula with seasoned toasted pine nuts and feta cheese

The daily house-made soup on my visit was red minestrone

Free wi-fi is available.

Bear Naked Burgers
5179 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

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  1. man oh man, you totally had me going that this was the place for my dive club to meet for its pre-meeting dinner (number one requirement of that group is a good beer selection, and geographically that location is near perfect for our purposes), till I read the fine print about the ciabatta bun...but maybe they would make it with sourdough bread?

    Seriously, thanks for the report; I expect I will be trying it very soon!

    9 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf

      I'd try it yourself before you bring a group. One of the saddest baskets of fries I've been served.

      1. re: Morton the Mousse

        I don't know if we just have very different taste in fries, or you got a bad batch, but I've been there 3 times now, and I and my friends all thought their fries were great.

        1. re: ace

          I assure you, it is not a matter of taste. These fries were literally saturated in grease and floppier than a limp wrist. The burger was pretty awful as well, the salad was inedible. The beer was great.

          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            You must have ordered the fries "San Francisco Syle."

            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              Yuck. Well, I have had great, not-particularly-greasy, remarkably crisp fries the three times I've eaten there, and the burgers have been great. Never had a salad there.

              I wonder whether they changed cooks, or if their food is just really uneven.

              1. re: ace

                Don't think so. Reading Morton's posts over the years I can see how BNB would not appeal to his tastes. He's more of a Gregoire type of guy and while this is a tasty burger and I've liked their fries in the past ... even though they both use the same bun from the same bakery ... as I said earliery it is not it the same class as Gregoire ... burger or frie-wise ... but still good to me and in that nabe ... you got that and Smokehouse.

                1. re: rworange

                  Gotcha. However, I do think it's weird that he describes the fries as "floppier than a limp wrist." I've always found them to be very crisp, even when they put them in a plastic to go box, they ended up crisp when I got home. I think their fries are sooo much better than Smokehouse.

                  I know this is heresy, but I don't think Gregoire is in a better "class"'s all a matter of taste...I don't like their fries, and I've never had anything there I loved, or even liked all that much (and I've tried numerous times- it's close to my house). I've never eaten their burger, though, and I know people love it.

        2. re: susancinsf

          six of us went tonight. Unlike rw, my salad was perfectly (that is to say under) dressed...service was ok though they got my burger and hubby's mixed up (so he got mine and I got his with mayo, yuck...and unfortunately 'his' came to the table way before mine even though we placed our orders together , so he ate half my burger before I realized the error....)

          No advertisement about the $1 beers, but we got that price by asking.

          the burger itself was pretty good, as burgers with mayo on them go, and I have to admit that the bun was fine. I couldn't finish it (got the smallest size, a third of a pound). Nice lettuce, onion and tomato. The fries were also fine, nothing thrilling, but I certainly wouldn't call them sad.

          Two of the group got turkey sandwiches, which they both enjoyed.

          Since you order and pay at the counter, it is convenient for a group: no hassle or haggling over who ate what or getting the bill....

          Total for hubby and me for two fries, two burgers with side salads, and two beers, with tax but before tip: $21 and a bit of change. Those $1 beers make it a great deal, good even without it!

          Easy parking.

          I don't live anywhere nearby, so probably won't go that often, but at those prices for quality ingredients I would definitely go back...

          1. re: susancinsf

            yeah, when I went, I didn't notice any signs inside the restaurant detailing the drink deal...but I did see a sign on the window next to the door on the way out. For $1 beer, I would've thought they'd be a bit more crowded around dinner.

        3. You had me at "tire"...looks like I'll be going this week.

          1. I assume the $1 draft is WITH a burger purchase. Does it apply to refills? If not, what is the regular price?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Xiao Yang

              Yes, $1 with burger purchase. Don't know the refill policy, if any, since one beer is about all I can handle usually. Regular beer price for draft is $3.75

            2. Both Gregoire and BNB use Semifreddis ciabatta of the very few things I can stomach from Semifreddis....

              2 Replies
              1. re: donbonus

                I've used the Costco ciabatta rolls (from Grace Bakery?) for sandwiches including burgers. I thought they worked well, split and toasted using the "bagel" setting on my toaster (otherwise the bottom crust gets too hard).

                1. re: donbonus

                  Thanks. I suspected they were the same roll which brought up thoughts of Gregoire. BNB makes a really good burger, but Gregoire's is better.

                  In general, I want a burger bun for my burger. I despise sourdough rolls ... it just makes it a hamburger sandwich, not a good ol' hamburger. However, this bun for whatever reason works perfectly without making it seem like some other type of sandwich.

                2. Went there for dinner tonight. Really enjoyed it. The burger was cooked as requested (medium rare) and quite juicy & flavorful. Normally I'm a straight hamburger bun kind of gal, but the ciabatta roll was perfect. Not overly hard or chewy (my normal complaint with non-bun hamburger holders) and handled the juices well. Slightly underseasoned for my taste, but nothing a dash of salt on the patty didn't fix.

                  Also got the garlic fries, which were tasty if slightly greasier than I would have preferred. Also needed salt in my opinion (or perhaps I just need to stop being such a salt addict).

                  Sadly, the $1 beer offer is only for the first one. Too bad, because it was a rough day and was looking forward to a couple (or 3) Trumers, but the budget wouldn't allow at regular price.

                  Anyone know how long the beer special is going on? I meant to ask and forgot.