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Aug 22, 2009 08:49 PM

Granulated Burger (Blumenthal style) at Duc Loi Supermarket

After eating at Mission Street Food this evening, I was walking by Duc Loi Supermarket (18th and Mission) and saw a flyer for a "Mission Street Food Burger." The description of the burger mentioned a technique that Heston Blumenthal was using to make a "granulated" burger. As I was reading it, a guy walked by who is apparently making these burgers and he explained the process which sounded pretty labor intensive. Google turned this up:

Tomorrow's the first day they'll be serving it and it comes with fries for $8. Really curious about this but I won't be able to go tomorrow so hope someone will give it a shot and report back. They also have a vegan burger and will start serving Korean food in the future.

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  1. I read your post, got dressed, and walked right over. By sheer coincidence, on my way, my sister texted me that Tablehopper had twittered about the burger already and said it was good but greasy. I ordered it without fries and asked them to put some grilled jalapenos on it that i saw they had in the counter. I meant to ask what type of bread they put it on, but i forgot - it's a crispy roll that looks like the ends have been cut off. The burger was GOOD. very flavorful, nice texture, salty but not too, juicy, but yes, greasy. it's served with some type of herbed aioli (i know i should have asked more questions but i was hungry!) which is really good but because the burger is so juicy and, yes, greasy, the aioli ended up all over the place - this is a really messy burger. It took me 6 minutes to get it home, which meant that the juices soaked into the roll, but didn't make it soggy. I paid $8 (i thought it would be less without the fries but i didn't look at my receipt until i got home.) It was really good, not huge, but satisfying.

    1 Reply
    1. oh, and i forgot - the burger was also topped by a good deal of very well carmelized onions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mariacarmen

        The meat was really good [chuck + brisket + *short rib*], and the bun was
        well-matched. The aioli was CAPER-bsed, if memory serves.

        agree on the greasy/salty notes ...
        This was a burger that starts dripping beef tallow as soon as you pick it up.

        It was a little bit on the salty side for me, but I also had a side of the quite salty

      2. Here's the word from MIssion Street Food's blog about its burger venture.

        Duc Loi Supermarket
        2200 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

        1. Is this strictly a carry-out operation or do they have table/chairs for eating on site?

          1 Reply
          1. re: A.Blinken

            Carry-out, although there are a few milk crates near the counter that you can rest on. The beef burger was excellent, not too salty for me, however the fries were over the top salty. Ask for reduced salt if you order the fries. Will be back to try the vegan burger.

          2. I don't understand why they call it "granulated." There's nothing remotely similar to granulation in Blumenthal's process and he doesn't use the word.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Are you -sure- you want to know? Granulating is a medical term.
              Search for "granulation tissue".

              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                That's definitely not what they're referring to.

                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                  I sent an enquiring email to missionstreetfood and got a very thoughtful explanation of their etymology. Apparently granulation is derived from the "grain" of the meat rather than any sort of "granules":

                  "We just made up the term because in his "In search of perfection" video series blumenthal's process involved gathering strands of ground meat directly from the grinder spout and carefully laying them on saran wrap so they are all going the same direction. He piles them up, torchons it and then slices that meat torchon into patties. While it is not as pronounced, nor the same advantage as say, cutting against the grain with beef brisket, it does yield a burger that essentially falls apart in your mouth--we think in a good way. That allows us to sear it really hard and not worry about it becoming tough as a result of overrcooking. If it ends up medium well, it is still more "tender" than most medium rare burgers, but with the extra caramelization and maillard deliciousness we all love.

                  "I don't kow what "granulation tissue" is. But we are essentially creating a grain and then slicing against the grain, whereas most burgers--even those where people are proud of handling it as little as possible--are still just a jumble of grains and probably more packed together than would be ideal. -- Anthony"