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Aug 30, 2013 03:29 PM

Hamburgers - SF Dish of the Month September 2013

The SF Bay Area Dish of the Month for September 2013 is Hamburgers!

The goal of Dish of the Month is to collectively try as many versions of hamburgers as possible during the month of September! So let's start exploring and eating—report back with reviews and photos.

This will be a great chance to return to long-time favorite places, and also try some new burgers that you haven't tasted before.

Here's a link to the this month's close vote:

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  1. My favorite is the burgers at Original Buffalo Wings on Lombard believe it or not. They also do great shakes/malts. It's not that pretty inside, but they also have cheap beer specials. I actually don't like their wings.

    I wonder how many people who rate burgers in SF have had one in the South.. eg like Atlanta. I have consistantly had amazing burgers in the south, even in weird places like the airport or the ballpark. I suspect they tend to use 70/30 or even 60/40 beef.

    8 Replies
    1. re: sfchris

      I would have never thought to try the burger there. I have been known to pick up an order of the house made chips for the ride home though...

        1. re: eethan

          Don't knock it until you try it. Beef fat tastes great! In fact, it's really why we eat beef.

          1. re: sfchris

            I have no fear of beef fat, but that ratio astounds me. I've tried 75/25 at home and found it definitely too fatty---but who knows, maybe there's some blend and technique that can make it work. I'd be game to try it, if anyone makes one here.

            1. re: eethan

              I usually do 80/20, but on occasion I've gone up to or a little past 25% fat. I normally am obsessive about cutting the fat out of my meats, but I enjoy the fattier hamburgers if the meat isn't grounded too finely (ie. like a hand chopped consistency).

            2. re: sfchris

              The question is if you still get a burger at that ratio?

              Does the patty hold so you can pick it up, without swimming in juices?

              1. re: sugartoof

                Oh, easily. I regularly make burgers for friends who always slice them in half at the start, and their buns are never too soggy even at the end. Personally, I like my burgers on the rare side, so it's not like I've cooked the juices out of them either.

                In fact, most "high-end" burgers I've asked about have 20-25% fat. 4505's is usually 20-25%, Pat LaFrieda likes 23%, the Morton's steakhouse chain is 20%, and Heston Blumenthal's crazy labor intensive recipe ends up with 25%, I think.

                I've even heard of 70/30 ratios being used in famous kitchens. Again, if you are worried enough to ask, then you probably don't want to know (it's like how many sticks of butter went into that classic meal you loved).

          2. re: sfchris

            I have had that burger. As I remember, nice chew to the roll, none of this brioche. I liked the burger a lot, for a griddle cook, and for the price.

          3. Not quite September, but close enough.

            Breakfast this morning, as it is almost every Saturday this time of year was the 4505 Meats "Best Damn Cheeseburger" at the Ferry Building, with add-ons of both egg and tomato.

            This is one of my favorite burgers year-round, but I think it is even better this time of year with the addition of the tomato. The acid and slight sweetness of the tomato serve as a contrast to the salt and fat of the patty, which is rarely cooked past medium rare, despite how thin it is appears. The standard burger includes "secret" sauce, lettuce and onion and is served on a housemade scallion-cheese bun.

            Note that along with the markets they attend, they have also been serving the burger at their butcher shop on Sundays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: absc

              I had a not quite September burger at Rocker Oysterfellers in Valley Ford. Large 1/2 lb. Asked for Medium rare, came medium. Very juicy, with Baconnaise and grilled red onions(my choice). Chiabatta bun that was very good. Sturdy and flavorful. Came with pickles and tomato slices. Fries with peels were quite good.

            2. So I went to Mission Bowling to try the burger everyone has raved about lately last Saturday for lunch with a friend. We each ordered the burger with the mayo on the side (heard it is too heavy and best ordered so you can add as you like) and I ordered my burger medium rare as recommended with an english muffin as I tend to prefer a thinner bun. The burger was indeed delicious but was so salty that I left thirsty until the following day. My dining companions burger was not overly salted and near perfection. So, perhaps my patty was an unusual error. My favorite burger in SF remains to be the one at spruce- bar none. I still need to try the one at Nopa and Marlowe. Curious if anyone else had a similar experience at MBC.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mcw

                My MBC burger was also salty but I assumed it was due to the caper aioli.

                1. re: mcw

                  I too felt that burger was too salty, but otherwise really good.

                  1. re: mcw

                    I wasn't impressed. Found it too greasy and oversalted and didn't come with interesting condiments.

                  2. Epic Roasthouse, BAR AREA ONLY. In the evenings, a delicious house ground cheeseburger, fries, beer (or juice or soda) and brownie is only $20.

                    I recently had the cheeseburger from Broken Record and loved it.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: walker

                      Good to know the burger at Broken Record still ranks even after the changeover in chefs.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        Yes, the Broken Record cheeseburger was a take out order that did not get to me for about 30 minutes. Can't wait to actually eat one there! (My daughter had gone there and brought back brussels sprouts with goat cheese, really delicious. She loved the sorta Mexican corn on the cob but I did not try it. They had the whole fried catfish and loved it.)

                        1. re: walker

                          Thanks. Considering Rickybobby doesn't even do takeout, and they seem to be purposely trying hard to get a rep for poor customer service (which I've experienced first hand)...that's good news.

                          1. re: sugartoof

                            The to-go burger was part of my daughter and her husband's regular meal; don't know if they regularly do to-go orders .. best to give them a call I guess.

                    2. I finally had a chance to try Kronnerburger in the Mission this past week. It was excellent. They executed my request of medium rare perfectly. This tends to be a problem for most places I try. I usually end with medium, which ruins the experience for me.

                      I believe the burger was $11 and I got the addition of bone marrow for an extra $4. I wouldn't opt for this again. The marrow gets lost amongst the burger. If you have a hankering for it, order the marrow appetizer with toast instead.

                      The service was efficient and very friendly. I love the dark ambiance. I believe they are more cocktail focused as there was only one red wine by the glass available and it wasn't anything to write home about. I also tried their onion rings which are tempura style. Quite good with a mayo (chipotle?) dipping sauce on the side.

                      I definitely recommend this place. I'm going to put it up there with my other two favourite spots for burgers, Mission Bowling Club and Magnolia.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: ChervilGeorge

                        They serve drinks, but I wouldn't call them cocktails (milkshake with Scotch, for example).

                        I don't like their burgers much either. Too fatty. But it's a fun spot.

                        1. re: ChervilGeorge

                          i agree with all of this. unfortunately, they're moving to oakland soon, closing down in the Mission spot on 11.22.

                          they're not making the bourbon milkshake anymore, either. but they did have a very good spicy tomato juice blended with some good dried peppers (maybe chipotle), in a shotglass, alongside a shot of mezcal, and a tecate beer. went really well with the burger. we also tried the patty melt this time - same juicy burger patty, on acme pain de mie (i'd have preferred rye, but it was still really good.) we also had the iceberg lettuce salad, with these wonderfully salty/smokey/fatty chunks of bacon. really excellent. the other thing we noticed about the burgers was that the lettuce and tomato were very fresh, not at all wilted. it's a great burger. i'll go again before they close, and watch for their opening in Piedmont.

                          and, not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, and not in the City, but Oakland, but Hopscotch's burger is wonderful-just had one again yesterday. it's got beef tongue in it and it's juicy and super beefy. along with their duck-fried chips - excellent combo.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            We must have hit Hopscotch on a really, really bad day for lunch, about three months ago. Three of us had uniformly awful meals: burger, fish'n'chips, fried chicken. We compared the duck fat chips to the regular chips and there was very little difference. We've had some great duck fat chips elsewhere, so not sure what the problem was. Sigh.

                            1. re: jaiko

                              wow, sorry to hear! 4 of us were there this weekend and split the chicken, the burger, the chips, some padron peppers, the uni oysters... everything was uniformly great. my second time there, both times a hit. i do agree there's not much difference between their duck fat chips and their others, but they're still really good. plus i love their cocktails, and the space.

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                The SO thought the Kronnerburger was his favourite of recent memory and really appreciated the fresh fixings. I liked it but was not transported, finding it a little underseasoned. It's also quite small which was a good thing that evening as the server brought us two instead of the one we ordered.

                                My favourite is still Mission Bowling Club's, reconfirmed this past Wednesday at happy hour :-).

                                Second favourite is Hopscotch's which I also shared with mc. We were a bit worried because it looked more well done than medium rare but it was juicy and delicious, lots of beefy taste and a bit of char. Definitely craveable.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  i'm going to try to get back to kronner burger this week before they close. and yes, the hopscotch burger was delish.

                                  1. re: grayelf

                                    Is the Mission Bowling Club burger still discounted at happy hour?

                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      It's $10 for just the burger. Regularly, it's $15 for the burger and fries. I can't really see paying $5 for fries when I'm really after the burg, so it works well for me!