Welcome to the 2009 Burger Bonanza wherein two girls eat 20 of the city's best burgers, on the path to burger enlightenment. The 10 best will then be chosen to be featured—in ranking order—in 7x7's September magazine issue. Burgers must fit our "fancy burger" parameter: made with beef and available as part of the regular dinner menu at upscale restaurants in SF. Beyond that, we're open to suggestions, which we hope you will leave in the comment box below!
Beef: Pre-ground Marin Sun Farms
Bun: Panorama bakery
Fixings: Lettuce, tomato and housemade pickles, mustard and mayonnaise
Cooked: Grilled over oak and almond wood
Comes with: Fresh fries
I am not a staunch classicist. I'm willing to eat whatever tastes good, even if it doesn't adhere to rules of tradition. I don't mind if my Neapolitan-style pizza has some non-code toppings. So what if my taco has beans in it. I can recognize that it might not be the "right" way or the "correct" recipe, but I enjoy it just the same. Throughout the course of this burger bonanza research, I encountered my fair share of burgers with innovative toppings, from barbecue sauce to foie gras to pineapple. I'm sure some of those creations taste good, but sometimes, like when it comes to burgers, there is nothing quite like the pure, unvarnished classic. And for that, no one does it better than Acme Chophouse.
Acme isn't doing anything weird. Their burger is a thick patty of Marin Sun Farms beef, with a minerally tang and a rich beefiness. It's comes on a Panorama bun with the usual—lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise (the latter three are housemade). There are no gimmicks and no punches pulled. This is just a burger in its stripped down form. As a writer you learn over time to eliminate unnecessary words from your writing, the ones that don't help you tell the story. At Acme, they've eliminated the unnecessary distractions from an American classic. The result? Pretty goddamn delicious.