Burger (and beer) bonanza: Bix, Marlowe, Rosamunde/Toronado; random bites
We had reservations at 8 pm at Bix on Saturday night. The room is certainly nicely appointed in an Art Deco style and the jazz trio swung. Service was also excellent and the food was solid. I suspect you’re not going to have any food epiphanies here but you likely won’t kiss any frogs either. I ordered a strawberry-based cocktail that would have been much better a week or two later (the strawberries at Grand Lake in the am were not at their peak yet either). We had a goat cheese and beet starter that was tasty if comically small. The SO went for the chicken hash which suited him perfectly as he was in the mood for comfort food and a smaller plate (it just comes with some grape tomatoes). I was there for the Bix club burger and it was indeed a fine burg, grilled to order, hefty and most all a burger should be. Small quibble: too much cheese (and I can’t believe I typed that) but easily fixed via a quick cheese-ectomy. Fries were also very fine. Shared a really tasty chocolate bread pudding for dessert and the SO had a cappuccino. No pix, too dark in there.
On Monday, we hit up Marlowe for another burger. It was very tasty though it arrived in a puddle of its own juices. Fries were very good with some sort of crunchy coating. I tried an iced tea with blood orange while the SO went with a bottled Anchor Porter, one of the ubiquitous-in-the-Bay-Area little gem salads and an egg salad sandwich. This was not a cheap meal at all at $45 before tip and I wouldn’t have minded if the quality had been there but there were a few too many missteps including way too many raw onions in the salad, the aforementioned juice puddle and a lackluster overcheesed (am I really complaining about too much cheese again?) egg salad sandwich. And what’s with putting horseradish aioli on the burger and then serving it as the dip for the fries too? Not a miss but not a place to rush back to.
For our final lunch of the trip, we arranged to meet osho at Rosamunde for their Tuesday-only cheeseburger. We arrived early at Rosamunde and should have ordered our burgers straight off as the wait ended up being nearly an hour by 11:45. Not a big deal when you have a lot of taps to consider next door at Toronado, And apparently it is happy hour all day on Tuesdays, oh y’all are so lucky. We ended up ordering two rounds and got change from a $20. First round was the Moonlight Death and Taxes from Windsor CA for SO, Two Rivers pomegranate cider from Sacramento for me, and osho please advise! Round two was Bockor Cuvee de Jacobin Rouge for me (sour/wild ale is awfully tasty, and I never would have known except for the kind bartender who offered me not one but two tastes when I very quietly admitted I wasn’t much of a beer drinker; here’s a fun link that mentions Toronado in case you want to learn more and that describes the beer much better than I ever could: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/223/50772) and the Moonlight Twist of Fate (one of the three hand-pumped beers, this one a bitter) for the SO with a Spaten Brau Franziskamer Hefeweisen from Munich for osho (the tall golden one).
I hope I got the names right and sorry for the extra-bad photos. This is a bar where you take pictures very furtively and make notes when no one is looking. But I would go again in a heartbeat and highly recommend a weekday as it is not too busy (I hear it is wall-to-wall during the usually happy hour times). The burgers BTW were quite worthy, though mine was done more than medium rare and as mentioned they took nearly an hour to come. I just noticed they have Dogfish Head Punkin Ale on their out-of-date website list – I woulda had that too if it was available but it’s seasonal. Maybe in November…
Since pane had been talking about it the night before and we had peeked in when in Hayes Valley, I thought a sandwich from Fatted Calf was in order to supplement the Rosamunde burger we’d shared. Porchetta sarnie and Prather Ranch beef jerky with bourbon in hand we hied us back to Patricia’s Green and ate at a table in the sun. The sandwich seemed a tad pricey at $9.50 considering there was a lot of baguette there but it was tasty. Jerky was very tough but the bourbon was definitely in evidence. No lineup at Smitten so we tried a kid’s cup of vanilla. We both loved the flavour and texture but it is a mite pricey at $3.50 as noted by others. Watching them alchemize the stuff “instantly” was kind of fun though. Since I was feeling a bit Mexican deprived we stopped for a plate of tacos at Los Compadres stand at the foot of Hayes. Not bad for $5 and a downtown truck, though they were out of everything except chicken and al pastor, which is what I tried. And heck, since we were going right by, why not try one of the corn dogs from Showdogs? This was a bit of a disappointment, as the shell was quite thin and the dog rather dull and very large.
Links to other reports on this trip: Coffee talk: Blue Bottle x2, Stella’s, Bicycle, Jane, Grand Prix, Ma*velous, Creamery, Sightglass plus beans http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784422
Double shot of pie: Pizzeria Delfina (Filmore) and Bao Necci/Danilo’s http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784423
Leary love: Canteen and House of Shields http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784428
Oakland adventure: Grand Lake FM, BC Deli, St. George’s/Hangar One http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784432
Things Asian, a cocktail, and OTG: Z&Y, Shanghai House, Shanghai Dumpling King, BC Deli, Olive, Lers Ros, Sankaku http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784434