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Feb 14, 2013 11:02 AM

Rare Hamburgers in Oakland/Alameda?


I'm looking for a place that will cook a rare hamburger in Oakland/Alameda. So far, I've come up with this list:

Lake Chalet

Am I missing anyone? Craving a really good, sloppy rare burger!

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  1. Hopscotch, Cafe Rouge, Chop Bar, Forge, Triple Rock, Plum

    10 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Just wanted to say (late) that Hopscotch had the fattiest, most luxurious rare burger I've ever had. I think there was either pork belly or short rib mixed into the meat. Fabulous. Lake Chalet had an excellent one, too.

        1. re: eatgeek

          Hopscotch grinds the fatty trimmings from beef tongue along with chuck.

          Haven't had one yet, but can't wait to try it.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            We've not met, but I can confidently say, You deserve it!

          2. re: eatgeek

            I kinda doubt any restaurant would cook a burger patty with pork in it to just rare. No?

            1. re: vincentlo

              There's no reason why not. These days not eating pork rare is cultural practice going back to when trichinosis was a problem and is not related to any current issues of food safety.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I understand trichinosis is not a problem in this country, but serving pink or rarer pork poses a huge liability to the restaurant. If you get a stomach problem from pork cooked below medium, it's easy to blame the restaurant for that.

                1. re: vincentlo

                  No more so than for beef, though. In fact, I've never heard of getting e. coli from pork, only from beef. That's why a lot of restaurants won't serve burgers cooked below medium at all.

                  1. re: vincentlo

                    The USDA guidelines are the same for ground beef, pork, veal, and lamb: cook to an internal temperature of 160ºF.

                    The common term for that is well-done. I call it compost.

              2. re: eatgeek

                I don't believe there's any pork in the burger unless you order the optional bacon.

            2. I've never had an american restaurant refuse to serve me a rare hamburger, so what's the real question? Best burgers in the east bay? Or do you mean "raw" ?

              3 Replies
              1. re: bbulkow

                There are places that cook medium, take it or leave it. Prather Ranch's American Eatery, for one.

                Might be more efficient to compile a list of those places and avoid them.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  The real question is, Where can I get a rare hamburger? Some places have policies again serving anything below medium.

                  1. re: eatgeek

                    The usual rule is if the hamburger meat is fresh ground (i.e., not frozen or processed) you can cook it to order, however desired. Usually places that use processed or frozen patties cook burgers well done to ensure any/all bacteria is killed. (Think burger chain e-coli deaths.)

                    I believe all the places you listed will cook to order.

                  1. Never had a rare burger come out of Barney's kitchen despite ordering it that way. The only true rare burgers I've had in the East Bay the last few years were at Cafe Rouge and Wood Tavern.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: SLRossi

                      According to wikipedia, Rare means red and cold in the center, not pink, not warm. I'll admit that Rare around here means Wikipedia Medium, and you might have to order Blue or very rare in order to get Wikipedia Rare.

                      Therefore, I take back my statement about always getting rare burgers.

                      I would trust Cafe Rouge to make a burger that's red by that definition.

                      1. re: bbulkow

                        That Wikipedia article is wrong. Saignant (literally "bloody") should be translated as "very rare." By the US definition, rare is almost raw in the center but not cold. The French would probably call both rare and medium-rare "à point."

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I'm more confused now --- what you say makes sense --- is there really so much controversy?

                          Why don't you update the wikipedia article, taking into account US and French definitions?

                          1. re: bbulkow

                            It doesn't seem controversial to me. The reference cited (Aliza Green's "Field Guide to Meat") is just eccentric.

                    2. Thanks, everyone! It's cool I'm not the only one ordering rare burgers. Cause every time I do, I feel like some dirty carnivore. Now we're dirty together.