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: 2 four-ounce Marin Sun Farms grass-fed beef patties, pre-ground
Bun: House-baked sponge bread roll
Fixings: Lettuce, tomato, housemade vinaigrette, secret sauce, caramelized onions, housemade aïoli and cheddar cheese
Comes with: Smashed fresh fries made from crushed new potatoes cooked in peanut oil with herbs
Put a spork in it indeed. This is my last write-up for the Burger Bonanza, my final burger. At first we weren't even going to include Spork's burger, on account of the fact that it's hardly traditional. Dubbed the in-side-out burger, it's kind of Wimpy-like in character—a mighty stack up of bun, patties (there are two thin ones), secret sauce, onions, cheddar, lettuce and tomato. It is decidedly a fork-and-knife burger, no two ways about it, and on principle I object. But principle is so boring. Because this crazy creation is just straight up delicious.
It's reminiscent of In-N-Out in the very best of ways. The sweet secret sauce, the spongy bun, the caramelized onions evoking the chain's grilled version. But there's grass-fed beef, and no matter what way your order In-N-Out fries they will never, ever compare to the smashed, fried new potatoes with herbs that accompany the Spork burger, which are like potato crack. To call them fries is to do them a great disservice. This burger falls comfortably in the middle between the best quick-service burger and the finest gourmet creations, and it surely deserves top billing as one of the better ones in town.