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Mar 13, 2014 05:41 AM


I'm looking for the best burger/steak martini combo in the East Bay. Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley?

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    1. Nizza La Bella might be a contender if it wasn't for the dense hamburger bun.

      1. Sidebar, Oakland.

        (OTOH, when I think about an old-school martini and meat experience, I think of House of Prime Rib and Alfred's in SF.)

        7 Replies
        1. re: Rapini

          Alfred's is definitely worth the BART ride. Nothing like it on this side of the bridge.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            And at Alfred's your martini is served along with the shaker so it's actually bigger than a double.

          2. re: Rapini

            on a recent visit we hit up the new (to me) north beach location of Original Joes. I thought my prime rib was good, but my wifes burger was great - and, just like the martinis, tasted like id walked through a time machine to get it. Before i saw the detail in your post this was my immediate thought, but its obviously geographically undesirable (for you).

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              Try the charbroiled hamburger steak next time... best in the Bay Area!

              1. re: OliverB

                how is that different from the burger? just without the baguette?

                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  No it's completely different... I have a feeling they use a different cut and selection of sirloin/chuck. It's about a full pound (really enormous!) and the larger steak size portion allows for a much fuller flavor when cooked on the broiler, so the exterior has a perfectly charred texture while the inside is extremely tender and bursting with juice! It's also prepared au jus; bathed in a mouthwatering broth which soaks into the rare meat and makes for the perfect contrast between the light charcoal smoke flavor and succulent juicy inside. Make sure to order it with sauteed onions (extra charge) and always charbroiled! It comes with hot pepperoncini which lends an extra kick, and the usual choice of sides. If you haven't had it before, it's a must order at OJ's. It's really nothing like the pedestrian brown gravy ladled hamburger steak topped with mushrooms that I grew up with on the East Coast. They definitely put the emphasis on the word steak at OJ's... yes, it's ground chuck, but the ratio differs from the standard Joe's Burger. You can see the charred exterior in the photo below but not shown is the perfectly rare, moist and red inside... and the immense size! It's the perfect choice when you can't handle a full steak, but still want something substantial. It's easily twice the size of their burger, but without the sourdough, which is filling in itself. It's my favorite dish on the menu (my "regular" order) and I eat there often! I actually think that Marin Joe's has the edge over their standard burger.


          3. I can't speak to their martinis, but although we feel Townhouse/Emeryville has slipped somewhat, they still do an excellent prime rib, Wed-Sat special. Small end, firm texture, perfect medium-rare. Go early; when they run out, that's it until the next time. If they have the au gratin instead of mashed potatoes, get the sub of gratin, but it's not always available.

            5862 Doyle St. @Powell, Emeryville
            They are on OpenTable
            Ph: 510.652.6151