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Obsessed! Bruce Hill, Chef-Owner of Zero Zero, on Burgers

Photo by Aubrie Pick

"I love a good thin burger on a soft bun. There are a couple places around town where I like to get them, like Sam’s in North Beach. It’s not a big thick burger—it’s more of a four-ounce, wimpy American one. It’s my favorite because it has balance, and it has that char flavor. I get it with lettuce, sweet pickles, red onion slices, and tomato.

A bun needs to be a soft, chewy, classic 5-inch bun, and it needs to be made out of highly processed flour, like the one at Red’s Java House. There, I get it Red’s style, with mustard and sweet pickles. And I really love cheese. For the cheese in this burger, I want two slices of American. It definitely has to stick to the back of your mouth a little.

What I really like to do is dip my burger into ketchup bite-by-bite. That way, it brings the ketchup to the front of the palate, and you taste that first, followed by the whole burger. Ideally, I want a high-quality source of meat, but that’s probably not what you’ll get from one of these burgers. However, that’s part of the beauty of the all-American experience.

It’s funny because these burgers are like any burger you could get at Burger King, but these are better because they are made to order, the ingredients are fresher, and there’s more care. They have what I call the give-a-shit factor."

Sam’s 618 Broadway, 415-391-1539

Red’s Java House Pier 30, 415-777-5626

*Published in the April 2011 issue of 7x7 Magazine