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Mission Bowling Club Burger [split thread]

The Mission Bowling Club burger is the best griddle-cooked one I've ever had and the only one that compares favorably with charcoal-grilled. It's pretty much the opposite of Red's.

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  1. Yup, very different, as I stated above. We almost had another tonight!

    12 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      Wait, so the controversial (at least on other blogs/sites) $15 Mission Bowling Club burger is a winner? If there've been reports here I've missed them.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Oh, I know that's how it's described. I'm curious about first-hand experiences with it specifically at MBC, and at this price.

          1. re: Frosty Melon

            we had it just this Saturday (i was with grayelf). It was as wondeful as ever. we got it at happy hour prices - $10.00. Wonderful texture, juicy, very savory - on the verge of being ALMOST too salty, but not. the Acme bun is very crispy, a good foil for all that juiciness. Only bummer was it came with underdressed meh greens, no fries. We could have ordered some but it'd be nice if they threw some on the plate. But that burger is still to die for. I love the caper aioli. i'm done squawking about the price - it's worth it.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              here's a pic. hard to tell but it was ruby red rare in the middle. perfect.

              1. re: mariacarmen

                Happy hour is before 5:45. Good time to take the kids because I'm told that they are not allowed after 7. Is that when the strippers start waiting tables and giving lap dances?

                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                  haha - no, it's when the hipsters come out in their skinny jeans. you really don't wanna expose highly impressionable children to that, do you?

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      If the jeans are low-rise and the hipsters high-brow, then no don't want to expose the young 'uns. :)

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    I too enjoyed the burger at the happy hour price. Not sure if I would be willing to pay the full amount. I'm pretty sure the saltiness is coming from the caper aioli. At first bite I thought it might be too much, but eventually it all settled in.

                    1. re: Civil Bear

                      not for me. salt-grease-plosion. not even a slice of tomato to cut the in-your-face fat. absolutely not for me, but the hubs loved it.

                      1. re: Civil Bear

                        it does all settle in. fries thrown in make it worth the $15, to me.
                        love love love the richness of it! and it's not too big so you don't get overloaded by the richness.

            2. Wasn't in the mood for a burger last night but was very impressed with the blackened sturgeon (replaced the salmon on the menu) with a potato latke, salmon roe, creme fraiche. Very nicely done. The Jerk Pork Shoulder sandwich was also quite good, and the Thai Beef Jerky was spicy and excellent as a snack/starter. The profiterole, caramel and strawberry dessert (replacing the Tiramisu on the menu) was unfortunate. Saw lots of the big burgers and will try one next time.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Thomas Nash

                wow, that sounds awesome, and more of a destination place in its own right than just grab-some-food while you're bowling. thanks for this.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Tried the hamburger last night. It was really extraordinary. Makes MBC a destination place just for that. Easily the best in SF. Amazing what one can do with such a basic item by taking great care with ingredients, accoutrements, and technique. The grinding, patty making is what does it. Wow! Is the word.

                  1. re: Thomas Nash

                    awesome! making me want to go back again very soon....

                    1. re: Thomas Nash

                      >The grinding, patty making is what does it.<

                      How about the cooking of ground beef in beef fat? That burger reminds me of my father's (and my) favorite late-night snack back in small-town Midwest, which was a slice of bread with butter on one side and bacon grease on the other, fried in a skillet on both sides, which we called "fried bread". He died of a heart attack at age 53. I don't eat fried bread today and won't be eating that burger.

                      1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                        My grandfather's late night snack was pan-fried salt pork from fat back on hot rice. I only dream about it.

                2. i do have an issue with the pricing; whiel i understand i can't expect it to be $8 like it was at duc loi, it's still not in a super high-rent area and harris ranch beef (which they use) is extremely inexpensive. the rest of the menu seems fairly expensive too for what it is.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: vulber

                    It was $9 at the end of the run at Duc Loi, and due to the labor-intensive process Myint was clearing $2 an hour.


                  2. I had this during happy hour the other day ($10 3-6pm everyday). I can't recall exactly how it was at Duc Loi so hard to compare, but this was certainly quite good. Very nicely cooked, great meat, the texture--with the directed granulation--was awesome.

                    WIth all the great burgers in the city I'm not sure this really stands above, but it certainly is a great bite if you are bowling or in the area and want a burger. For my taste, the 4505 Meats burger is still better, but obviously not available daily.

                    I'm a huge fan of Myint's restaurants and would love to try the other things on the menu here.

                    1. After watching him eat that burger on The Layover, I'm skeptical about Myint's burger tastes...but hearing the thing doesn't come with fries is probably the biggest deterrent. Are fries really a $5 add on?

                      Is this thing competition for a Spruce burger? What's the scoop with the bun, is that brioche?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sugartoof

                        It's reportedly an Acme bun. It's not like any other burger. Here are some posts about the original Heston Blumenthal recipe, I think all Myint uses is the patty technique:



                        And Myint making some at Duc Loi:


                        1. re: sugartoof

                          Are you referring to the SF Layover episode? That was Danny Bowien not Myint.

                          1. re: pamf

                            Oh, thanks for the correction then. I had a feeling I was mixing him up as I was posting.

                        2. I missed out on the whole mission burger experience back in the days, so I was super psyched about its reappearance at MBC. A couple of weeks ago, we finally had a chance to make the pilgrimage there, and...it was ok.

                          The burger we had was actually under seasoned, contrary to some of the reports I had read. The sweet, earthy flavors of onion actually shine through in much better focus than the patty. This may offend the burger purists, but I actually liked the greens as an condiment to the burger, since it gave a nice contrast to the richness of the burger. But I did wish the fries comes with the burger at that price point.

                          Speaking of the fries, there were actually the best part of the meal. They were perfect bite size half domes with an incredible crisp skin and soft center. Great flavors, even without the sauces. We also ordered the french onion casserole, which was also a mild disappointment as it came lukewarm and very one dimensional, both in flavor and texture.

                          1. "Wow ... so good I almost went back the next day" report from grayelf:


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              she's right - it deserves to not be shared with someone else.

                            2. The mission bowling club website does not mention any happy hour, but I thought it used to do -- any word if they've dispensed with happy hour (and $10 burger)?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: eethan

                                It did used to list the burg at $10 during happy hour, see menu here: http://www.missionmission.org/2012/03...

                                I'd pay $15 for that puppy (still dreaming about it from April trip) but $10 is better. I just emailed them to inquire...

                              2. For their weekend brunch, they serve the burger with rice, gravy, and griddled eggs for $12. That didn't seem like something I'd like, but they kindly made me the regular burger instead. Great stuff. I appreciated that they used a good quality white bun rather than the brioche buns which are increasingly common for higher end burgers.

                                It was served with a good sized portion of shoe-string fries.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: hyperbowler

                                  and they charged you $12 for the burger and the fries? that's a great deal, for that burger....

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    Actually, I'm not certain what they charged me, but I'm fairly certain it was the full price rather than $12. Worth every penny!

                                  2. Has anyone tried to replicate the burger at home? A recent "Wimpy Wednesday" talked about the chuck, brisket, hanger steak, added fat blend.
                                    I may have to do this.

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: steve h.

                                      intrepid! i wish they had pics of the process.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        I'm serious about replicating this burger. Deb and I will be on the road for awhile. This is on the stack when we return and things settle down a bit. If other folk beat me to the punch, I want to hear about it. I promise to share chapter and verse, that includes shortcomings and failures.

                                        1. re: steve h.

                                          awesome, can't wait to hear! i haven't even graduated to grinding my own meat, so i'm going to wait with bated breath for your report. (where are you off to now, here-aways?)

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            Hi mc,
                                            Next week is Europe. We'll end up in Budapest for our 38th wedding anniversary (June 30) and return early July. Never been to Pest (seems appropriate).
                                            Edited to add: Monterey and Pebble Beach in August. Car Week is an annual event for us old folk.

                                            1. re: steve h.

                                              I loved Budapest, you will too, i'm sure of it! and early congrats!!

                                      2. re: steve h.

                                        Upthread, there's a description of someone trying the technique: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8444...

                                        1. re: hyperbowler

                                          Ah, the hamblogger post is the gold.
                                          Thanks for the link.
                                          I'll work this at a household level. The recipe intrigues the hell out of me.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            Yeah, that's my take.
                                            I'll noodle the formula and report back. I never get things right first try. I'll work this a few times and see where things lead me. We'll see.

                                        2. Went and had the burger at happy hour for $10, no fries included. I have to say that this is the best burger I've had in the city. I've had the 4505 burger and this was way tastier. I split it as I had been snacking all day, salty, delicious, super juicy, and cooked to a perfect medium rare. I normally prefer my burgers rare, but would probably go medium rare here next time.

                                          Already plotting my return visit.

                                          1. I guess I'm the outlier here - I'm not a particular fan of the Mission burger. I thought it was a bit too salty and otherwise without much character. I think they're purposely going for a loose and tender middle (see other posts on special technique) but to me it came across even a bit mushy.

                                            Tasty, sure. Worth going out of your way for? No.

                                            (That said I really like the fried chicken and would consider returning for that).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: boris_qd

                                              You're not alone---I'm an outlier too. It's salty in the way of the Zuni burger and nicely put together to hold in juices, but surprisingly, the taste was not that deeply beefy considering how they craft it. It just tasted like . . .meat. I've had better flavor from dry aged Prather Ranch GB. I don't have anything against this burger but I admit I was a tad disappointed.