We spotted partners Liz King (left) and Judith Powell (right), toughing the weather in cute coats and distressed boots, while out for a shop on Market St. Liz works retail development and oversees some of the construction of Apple stores, and Judith is the executive director of The First Tee of SF, a youth development program. When they're not hard at work, the two are busy shopping and eating local, in SF and beyond.
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!
I found myself at Zuni Cafe last Sunday. It was my first visit in months, and the first time on a weekend in even longer. Among other things Zuni is famous for (its chicken, its caesar salad, its shoestring fries, its oysters, its ricotta gnocchi, its espresso granita--jeez, that's a long list) is its Balsamic Bloody Mary.
“Good meat is 95 percent of a good burger. It should be well-seasoned with salt and pepper; Nopa seasons their beef well in advance, which makes a huge difference. I order mine medium-rare and smear it with a side of their feta-harissa dip. They use brioche-style soft buns, which I like. Zuni’s burger is really good, with the house-made ketchup and pickled onions and zucchini, but there’s one problem—it’s on focaccia, which gets soggy. You end up having to eat it with a fork and knife. The burger at Taylor’s Automatic Refresher is close to perfect. I get it with raw onions—I like the crunch—and American cheese. Yup, American.
Just to let y’all know--In the last couple of months, Zuni Cafe finally solved its lifelong glass problems. Thanks to wine director Thierry Lovato and co-owner Gilbert Pilgram, those former clunky, thick-rimmed, poorly balanced café glasses that were Zuni’s one major blemish for years have now been replaced by elegant, thin-lipped, all purpose wine glasses. A minor change to many, perhaps, but it’s significant to me and makes me much happier to order finer wine there. Thanks, Zuni
As luck would have it, Danny Meyer’s plane sailed into SF yesterday morning right like clockwork, giving him just enough time to grab an early lunch with me at Piccino before he was off to give a talk at the California Culinary Academy’s swanky new pad in Potrero Hill. (The lecture, Obama-esque in Meyer’s very earnest yes-we-can attitude, was all about giving the love back to your diners by way of excellent hospitality—not just sending them off with tomorrow-morning’s coffee cake.)