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Rare Hamburgers in Oakland/Alameda?

eatgeek Feb 14, 2013 11:02 AM


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. Robert Lauriston RE: eatgeek Feb 14, 2013 11:18 AM

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

    10 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      eatgeek RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 14, 2013 04:46 PM

      Hopsctoch! Thanks!

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        eatgeek RE: Robert Lauriston May 20, 2013 09:35 AM

        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
          Melanie Wong RE: eatgeek May 20, 2013 09:37 AM

          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
            eatgeek RE: Melanie Wong May 20, 2013 10:27 AM

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

          2. re: eatgeek
            vincentlo RE: eatgeek Jun 29, 2013 02:54 AM

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

            1. re: vincentlo
              Ruth Lafler RE: vincentlo Jun 29, 2013 10:19 AM

              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
                vincentlo RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 29, 2013 06:41 PM

                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
                  Ruth Lafler RE: vincentlo Jun 29, 2013 08:45 PM

                  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
                    Robert Lauriston RE: vincentlo Jun 30, 2013 10:48 AM

                    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
                Robert Lauriston RE: eatgeek Jun 29, 2013 11:12 AM

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

            2. bbulkow RE: eatgeek Feb 14, 2013 12:56 PM

              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
                Robert Lauriston RE: bbulkow Feb 14, 2013 01:01 PM

                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
                  eatgeek RE: bbulkow Feb 14, 2013 01:43 PM

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

                  1. re: eatgeek
                    ML8000 RE: eatgeek Feb 14, 2013 02:19 PM

                    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.

                2. nicedragonboy RE: eatgeek Feb 14, 2013 01:10 PM


                  1. s
                    SLRossi RE: eatgeek Feb 15, 2013 01:51 PM

                    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
                      bbulkow RE: SLRossi Feb 15, 2013 11:48 PM

                      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
                        Robert Lauriston RE: bbulkow Feb 16, 2013 10:06 AM

                        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
                          bbulkow RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 16, 2013 06:04 PM

                          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
                            Robert Lauriston RE: bbulkow Feb 17, 2013 10:19 AM

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

                    2. e
                      eatgeek RE: eatgeek Feb 15, 2013 02:36 PM

                      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.

                      1. p
                        Pius Avocado III RE: eatgeek Jun 29, 2013 08:32 AM

                        My burger from 510 burger the other day was ordered medium-rare, came out very rare. I am always a medium-rare guy, but this one has me thinking my next order from them should be medium- it should have a better char, and judging by their medium-rare, will still have plenty of red meat.

                        1. raeanne RE: eatgeek Jun 29, 2013 03:58 PM

                          Chop Bar and Flora both will serve rare. I usually order mine medium rare and they're my two favorites. Bloody, juicy, and perfectly pink inside (still warm).

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